Hmpf, what makes the Thuringian town of Ruhla so special? Is it the distinct Ruhlaer dialect that’s spoken? Is it the unique Ruhlaer Costumes that are worn around these parts? Is it the delicious Ruhlaer Tüschel (a dessert made with cherries or raspberries) that’s eaten here?
Um, you’d be right to say any one of these things; but that’s not the answer to the question.
The answer to what makes Ruhla so special isn’t its cuisine, costumes, or language; it is its architecture. Heck, even I learned something new here — just when I thought I’ve seen or heard it all.
Let me explain… Ruhla is home to the Church of St. Concordia, a church built in 1660. And before you go saying — big deal, it’s Germany there’re churches all over the place — I’m getting to that. You see, St. Concordia’s is a Winkelkirche; a church with two aisles that meet at a right angle.
It’s the only “unaltered” (meaning not changed, not that the church doesn’t have an altar) angle church in Germany, thanks in part to it being spared by World War II bombing.
Great, that’s all you need to see, so let’s go. Nah, I’m just kidding. If we skipped out now, you wouldn’t get to see the 90+ models of the mini-a-thür park. Cute name, right? It’s a scale model of some of Thuringia’s most famous sites, like Wartburg Castle, the Planetarium, and Creuzburg.
And leaving would mean missing out on the Trinity Church (b. 1686), the half-timbered houses on Köhlergasse, and the views from the top of the Carl Alexander Tower. Well, that’s if you managed to climb all 111 steps!
Have you done the Night Skiing yet? Or, partied hard at the Park & City Festival (a May/June event)? No? How about the Summer Skiing events, the Christmas Market, or the Parish Festival (in September)?
Are you going to try exploring the caves in the area? What about hiking along the Rennsteig? What’s the Rennsteig, you ask? That’s a gorgeous scenic route and hiking trail that runs along the mountain peaks — offering some of the best views in Germany.
That alone would make Ruhla special — but aren’t you glad there’s so much more to make it even more spectacular?
Me too. ;-)