Sitting just about right on the border of the Czech Republic is the tiny town of Oelsnitz (Vogtland); a place in Saxony and the great Vogtland along the River Weiße Elster that has less than 12,000 residents (so, it’s not all that big — but it is made up of 10 little hamlets).
Most people who come to Oelsnitz come to see Schloss Voigtsberg, a most formidable castle that sits high on the mountainside. The oldest part of the Schloss is its donjon, or tower, that was built around the 1230’s; making it almost 800 years old. It is in relatively great shape for its age, though.
The castle does have a museum in it, though come to think of it — the whole place could be considered a museum. The Prince Hall is a great example of Gothic style artwork and don’t skip out before seeing the St. George Chapel.
Besides being a regular old tourist attraction Voigtsberg hosts a fun festival and historical market at Whitsuntide, which is held a week after Easter.
Other than just visiting Oelsnitz’s castle, this part of Saxony is great for camping. And you can do it over by the Talsperre, where the water and trees make for the best view. This is where you’ll find the best walking and cycling trails, too.
When you decide to come back to “city life,” come see the Rathaus (1861) that overlooks the Marktplatz. There’s also the Zoephilsches Haus with the spires of St. Jacob’s Church in the background. St. Katherine’s is also another frequently visited spot.
At the Protestant Cemetery is a memorial to Soviet POW’s and at Alten Reichenhainer Straße 29 is the childhood home of George Dittmar, he died in 1945 at the Bergen-Belsen camp as ardent opponent of the National Socialists.
Here in Oelsnitz, you’ll find almost a millenia’s worth of history and the best countryside to do it in. Proving you don’t have to be big to be great.