You can't get much more Mitteldeutsch than Mühlhausen, a handsome medieval town that sits at the country's geographical heart. Encircled by nearly intact fortifications, its historic centre is a warren of cobbled alleyways linking proud churches (some desanctified and now housing museums) and half-timbered houses. In the early 16th century, the town became a focal point of the Reformation and a launch pad for the Peasants’ War of 1525, led by local preacher Thomas Müntzer. The decisive battle took place on the Schlachtberg in nearby Bad Frankenhausen, where the rebellion was quickly crushed. Müntzer was decapitated outside the Mühlhausen town gates.
The GDR regime hailed the reformer as a great hero and an early social revolutionary. Numerous sites remain around town that uphold his memory. With reunification, Mühlhausen became united Germany’s most central town, located a mere 5km north of the country’s precise geographical centre in Niederdorla.