Wernigerode is popularly known as Bunte Stadt am Harz or, “the colorful town in the Harz foothills.” And there is plenty of color and beauty in this town’s charming fairy tale architecture. Tourists have been flocking here since the 19th century.
The Wernigerode Castle is certainly the jewel of this picturesque location (see webcams!). Perched atop a hill overlooking the town, this fortified old hunting chateau is a unique blend of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance styles.
One cannot visit the town of Wernigerode without a special trip to the castle. Tours have been offered here since the 1930s. Stroll through the living quarters and bedrooms, all furnished in a historically-accurate fashion, as well as some special exhibitions.
The town center will leave you breathless with its intricately decorated houses. The Town Hall has a gingerbread house-like quality to it with two pointy turrets flanking its candy-red façade with timber stripes. It is easy to spend time simply wandering the streets, trying to find that perfect postcard camera shot.
Be sure not to miss another highlight — with the emphasis on high — which the locals refer to as Harzer Schmalspurbahn. Non-German tourists will be more familiar with the term “narrow-gauge railway.” This one will take you up to the highest peak of the Harz mountain range, the Brocken.
The mountains provide plenty of opportunity for fun outdoor recreation. There are many nature trips and hiking trails. Bicycling, especially mountain biking, are also popular in these foothills.
But there is plenty of culture to accompany all that open-air fun. Wernigerode hosts many different events during the year, such as a Johannes Brahms Choir Contest, Castle Festival, Town Hall Festivities, the Wine Days of Neustadt and the Harz Mountain Run.
With over 700,000 visitors in just one year, this colorful town has versatility, beauty, fun and charm and is well on its way to becoming the next tourist hot spot.