I think the town of Osterwieck in Saxony-Anhalt (just north of Wernigerode) is really special. For real, do you know many other German towns out there that fall along not one, not two, not three, but four scenic routes?
Yeah, three. Which ones?
Well, it falls along the Romanesque Route. So that means some pretty awesome Romanesque architecture at the St. Stephen Church in Osterwieck’s Altstadt. Its towers stand 53 and 54-meters above the 12th century church, although its spire didn’t come along until the 16th century.
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Osterwieck also falls along the German Framework Road. Oh yeah, some 400 half-timbered houses is the reason for that!
The last scenic route you might not have heard of, yet, is called the Green Belt. A much better name than what used to run along this way — the inner German border that divided the country.
People might’ve been kept in or out, but plants and animals don’t have to follow political maps. So, along what was once a four decades long border is all sorts of flora & fauna.
The three scenic routes of Osterwieck do not end your sightseeing, ya know. At the oldest house in town is a Local History Museum — where you can learn about how Charlemagne waged a campaign against the Saxons, amongst other things.
You know you’re going to find a castle here in town, right? Actually, there are three of ’em. Berßel Castle (known as Rittergut) isn’t a medieval structure — it’s of a half-timbered design. And the Wasserburg Zilly is a traditional moated castle. But, the Schloss Hessen is where Osterwieck’s Castle Christmas is held at the end of November.
Sorry, none of the castles have a medieval watchtower. You’re gonna have to head out into the countryside to see that. Good, ’cause that’s where you’ll have to go to see the Bismarckturm monument.
Look at that. You’ve got three scenic routes, castles, and a whole lotta history crammed into 212 square kilometers.
Wait, with all that land, it’s not exactly crammed, is it?
Whatever, it still doesn’t change the fact that Osterwieck is pretty gosh-darn special. :-)