I really don’t think I gave the town of Schleusingen a fair shake. Yeah, not very nice of me, was it? Which is why I gave it a second go — because I wasn’t sure why. Whew, I’m glad I did.
Really, how could I, of all people, not love a German town dominated by its very own medieval castle? It’s even better that you’ll find Schloss Bertholdsburg’s tower makes a great lookout point to the area around the Thuringian Forest. Within this early 13th century castle is also a museum, housing exhibits on everything Thuringian.
Ask around, you might even hear the tales of the Schleusingen Witch Hunts, where even the Mayor’s wife was accused of heresy. Luckily for us these days, that kind of thing doesn’t go on anymore.
Today’s Schleusingen is fun, vibrant, and you’ll find it exceptionally pretty. It’s located within a region known as the Henneberger Land, which also encompasses parts of Lower Franconia in Bavaria. And for as tiny as Schleusingen is, it’s one of the Hennenberger Land’s bigger towns. I guess that’s if you add in the town’s seven villages.
Speaking of its villages, I think you’ll really like them. Fischbach started off as a 15th century village, while Geisenhöhn is quite small — with only a population of around a hundred people. Come to think of it, Heckengereuth has just about that many people living here as well, in addition to having those quaint half-timbered houses.
And now that people aren’t worried about being burned at the stake for witchcraft, the townsfolk like to party. One of the biggest celebrations is the Burg & Stadtfest held in June; while the Kürbisfest is an October goodie. Plus, let’s not forget about the Martinimarkt, held every November.
In between festivals is a good time to see some of Schleusingen’s other sites — you know, places like its 18th century Jewish cemetery, or learn about its East German agricultural days. And don’t forget to see the Teutsche School, one of Germany’s oldest schools.
Yeah, I’d say Schleusingen was worth a second look — and I liked it so much, maybe I’ll give it a third. ;-)