In the center of Saxony-Anhalt in East Germany is the industrious city of Staßfurt. Sitting either side of the river Bode is this little salt-producing entity surrounded by fields, fields, and more fields!
The whole area is very flat and there are many lakes dotted across the landscape. As a result, this whole region is very fertile and was (and still is) used extensively for farming.
The name of the district itself, Salzlandkreis, translates into Salt County and this is the areas main industry due to its watery past. Although the salt here was identified in the 13th century, it wasn’t actively mined until nearly 600 years later, and traces of this can still be seen today.
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Old buildings can still be found in Staßfurt as well, including the Old Eagles Pharmacy — an ancient half-timbered 4-story high building. There is also the 15th century church of St Johns and the St Petri Church who’s steeple dominates the city-scape.
Parts of the medieval city wall still exist and artillery structures can be found if you take your time to pick up the clues. You can follow the edges of the old town through the modern streets if you know where to look!
There is enchanting Wasserburg Egeln close by which is a living museum. People dress in period clothes and hold feasts, banquets and hunting shows throughout the year. This moated castle also offers themed weddings and hotel accommodation as well — now that really would be a day to remember! ;-)
Other large properties include the Gänsefurth stately home within the boundaries of a large nature reserve and the fortified Falkenstein Castle just outside of town. The restored monastery of St George & St Pancras in Hecklingen is also worth a visit and is on the Romanesque Tourist Route through the state.
Fancy something different – then head for the water-parks! There are salt-water pools here with water slides and even water-skiing available. They have brought in tonnes of sand to make some realistic beaches as well — so well worth a visit in the warmer months!
Europe’s Bicycle Route R1 from France to Russia also passes through Staßfurt — and what perfectly level ground to take up the whole route.
Oh, it’s 3,500 km long, by the way — that’s 2,200 miles!
Well, maybe just a small part of it then… :-)