Attractions

Top Choice Castle in Eisenach

Wartburg

When it comes to medieval castles and their importance in German history, Eisenach's Unesco-listed Wartburg dominates the landscape. This huge medieval castle, 40,000 tonnes of sandstone on a craggy hill, has featur…
Top Choice Palace in Schmalkalden

Schloss Wilhelmsburg

Overlooking Schmalkalden, the late-Renaissance Schloss Wilhelmsburg was built between 1585 and 1590 by Landgrave Wilhelm IV of Hessen as a hunting lodge and summer residence. Since then, it has largely kept its orig…
Top Choice Palace in Jena

Dornburger Schlösser

About 15km north of Jena, you'll find this hillside trilogy of magnificently restored palaces in medieval, Renaissance and rococo styles, with stunning views and immaculate gardens. The Altes Schloss, the oldest, bl…
Museum in Eisenach

Bachhaus

Comprising two 15th-century houses knocked together in the early 17th century, this is Johann Sebastian Bach's actual birthplace, and an international site of pilgrimage for music lovers. Founded in 1907 and still o…
Historic Building in Eisenach

Lutherhaus

The religious reformer Martin Luther lived here as a schoolboy from 1498 to 1501, in one of Thuringia's oldest and most handsome half-timbered houses. Now including a modern annexe, the museum's permanent collection…
Planetarium in Jena

Zeiss Planetarium

The world’s oldest public planetarium (1926) has a state-of-the-art dome projection system, making it a heavenly setting for cosmic laser shows paying tribute to music legends such as Pink Floyd and Queen, or sendin…
Cave in Saalfeld

Feengrotten & Feenweltchen

These former alum slate mines (operational from 1530 to 1850) were opened for tours in 1914 and rank among the world’s most colourful caverns, imbued with shades of brown, ochre, sienna, green and blue. Small stalac…
Museum in Jena

Optisches Museum

Carl Zeiss began building rudimentary microscopes in 1846 and, with Ernst Abbe’s help, developed the first scientific microscope in 1857. Together with Otto Schott, the founder of Jenaer Glaswerke (glass works), the…
Museum in Jena

Stadtmuseum & Kunstsammlung Jena

This handsome fachwerk townhouse at the northern end of the market square dates in part to the 13th century. It now houses the Stadtmuseum (city museum) where you can learn how Jena evolved into a centre of philosop…
Historic Building in Jena

Schillers Gartenhaus

Goethe is credited with recruiting Schiller to Jena University in 1789. The poet, playwright and philosopher enjoyed Jena so much that he stayed for 10 years, longer than anywhere else, spending summers in what is n…