Renowned musicians, including Franz Liszt, Richard Wagner and Niccolò Paganini, have been inspired by the area’s beautiful landscape. And the town’s rich cultural heritage also influenced such famed poets and scholars as Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Wilhelm Humboldt, and Arthur Schopenhauer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller.
From any point in town, look up to the neighboring mountain spur and you will see the magnificent Heidecksburg Castle. It has towered 60 meters above the surroundings since the 13th century, though fully renovated in the baroque style after fires in 1735.
The fortification has served as a museum since 1919, and you will want to come and see its wealth of antique furniture, noble artifacts and ancient weaponry, as well as breathtaking views of the town.
At Schiller Street No. 25, you can walk through the very same house where Schiller and Goethe met on September 7, 1788. Also stop by the Schillerhöhe, a memorial to the poet-philosopher with an elegant bust, created in 1830.
Another must-see while visiting is the Thüringer Bauernhäuser (farmhouses), which was founded in 1914 and is widely regarded as the nation’s oldest open-air museum. Located within Heinrich Heine Park, the original buildings date back to the 17th century and include an old village pharmacy.
Other local landmarks not to miss are religious in nature. They include the late Gothic Church of St. Andrew, built between 1463 and 1475, the 15th-century Cumbach Parish Church of St. Nicholas, the 12th-century Volkstedter Church, and the Romanesque Church in Schaala, which has its roots in the 1300s.
Should you tire of seeing the sights, drop by a night club, local theater or Cineplex to relax. Cycling, hiking and boating along the Saale River are also good options for recreation of a more physical nature.