Not once. But twice.
The history of Lützen is tied into a decisive battle of the Thirty Years’ War, known as the Schlacht bei Lützen or Battle of Lützen, in 1632. While it was a victory for the Swedish, it was bittersweet since their beloved king, Gustav Adolf, died in the carnage.
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The spot where King Gustav died is where you’ll find the Schwedenstein. And there’s a huge Gustav Adolf Memorial Church — which was originally a Romanesque one.
A miniature of the battle that took the Swedish King’s life is found at the Urban & Regional History Museum. Which is conveniently located at the 13th century castle.
Because no one ever listens the first time, another huge battle took place here in Lützen — this time almost two hundred years later. The game remains the same, but the players were different — one of them being Napoleon whose army fought at the Battle of Großgörschen in the village with the same name.
Großgörschen is a lot calmer today than it was on May 2, 1813. That’s good, not having to dodge the short-statured Frenchman to see the mid-12th century Village Church, the 18th century Windmill, or the Village Museum.
It’s also a quiet spot in the village of Starsiedel, which borders the White Elster River. Great place to find a picnic, I’d say.
In the village of Röcken there are a number of ponds, so yet another place to chill for a picnic. Röcken is also home to a stunning example of Romanesque architecture at its church; and where you’ll see the epitaphs of a few Knights.
The village was also the hometown to Friedrich Nietzsche, a poet & scholar so beloved that there are monuments to him in a number of other German towns (like Naumburg). He’s buried here, paying your respects to this respected German writer is in order.
Another cool village in Lützen is Dehlitz, home to a village church from 1500, and a deserted 12th century village.
Awesome — a ghost town.
I’m totally fascinated with how the modern day Lützen has managed to come out of the shadows of its past. Maybe everyone started to read the prose of one of its favored sons?