Nienburg (Saale) — 1 10th Century Monastery, 5 Scenic Routes

Did you ever had a deja vu? You know, that strange feeling that you’ve seen or done something before? Such is my life in the town of Nienburg (Saale) in Saxony-Anhalt.

I got this uncanny feeling I’ve been here before. Oh wait… I have. Not once. Not twice. Heck, not even the third time is the charm. Get this, Nienburg is on five scenic routes (well, the 5th isn’t a “scenic route” per se, but it still counts).

So, if you’re following the Romanesque Route, you’re coming to Nienburg. If you’re on the German Avenues Route, guess what? You’re coming to Nienburg. Same thing goes for the Saale Cycle Route, the R1 European Cycle Route, and the “Blue Ribbon” route.

I’ll start at the end for a minute for those of you who don’t know what the Blue Ribbon thing is. Saxony-Anhalt got this brilliant idea to highlight all the water activities that you can do in its rivers and lakes. And because Nienburg lies along the Saale (hence, the Saale Cycle Route), you’re enjoying the very best of the river.

Now, the reason Nienburg falls on the Romanesque Route is, naturally, because of the Romanesque architecture — found at the medieval Klosterkirche Nienburg, or Nienburg Monastery Church. Built more than a thousand years ago, it’s a building ordered into being by none other than Charlemagne.

I guess he wanted those coming from the other side of the eastern border of the German Empire to be duly impressed. Shoot, I would’ve been. ;-)

A lot of history is found within the walls of the original 10th century Benedictine monastery. The Church of Sts. Mary & Cyprian is over a millennia old. Other buildings were once used as a castle, and you’ll even find a painting done by Lucas Cranach the Younger. I’m a book lover, so I was totally engrossed at the thought of its 16th century library.

What’s totally got me dumbfounded is that Nienburg isn’t even 25 square kilometers. So, how much more history and sites can you pack in? Let’s see… There’s a 19th century Jewish cemetery, although only a bit of it still has the original tombstones. Then there’s the red-brick chapel in the village of Gerbitz, which is also great for a picture, as is the Church of St. Laurentius, built in 1742 in Latdorf. For something really old, there’s a menhir in Latdorf, too.

And if you’re looking for a castle, guess what, you’ll find one. Schloss Neugattersleben (located in Neugattersleben at Friedensstrasse 1) can only be seen from the outside, but it’s still a grand structure nonetheless. Also in Neugattersleben is the Almshouse, looking picture perfect, right town to its rounded tower; and be sure to swing by the old watermill.

As much as I love old buildings, I love festivals and parties even more; so it’s great there are so many here in Nienburg. The Christmas Market is just charming, and the Messe St. Nikolaus is just as fun. The best would probably be the Pferdemarkt, a horse & bird market held every May. It’s great to just watch people — and who doesn’t love horses?

The best part of the Nienburg isn’t its medieval monastery, castle, scenic routes or its bell dinging Bell Tower. Nope, it is its 16th century half-timbered ice cream shop right on the Marktplatz!

Yummy treats. Historic location. This deja vu thing in Nienburg (Saale) isn’t a bad thing. :-)

 

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