Heldburg is a medieval little town with an impressing castle. The town dates back to the year 837. Unfortunately, I tried to visit the castle on a Monday and I found the doors locked after I walked from the last public parking area to the castle and climbed up all the stairs to the ticket counter.
Later I learned that most castles and other attractions are closed on Mondays.
Please collect as many information as you can before you start your sightseeing tour. Please check also for events which take place at the Heldburg castle.
The castle of Heldburg, called "Veste Heldburg"
It was Monday and the castole could not be visited
During my first visit in January 2004 heavy rain started and hindered me to explore all the treasures of Heldburg. This was unusual - normally the winter is great for winter sport in the Thuringian Forest and for visiting attractions such as castles, museums - except on Mondays.
So I visited only a bakery and some other grocery stores to get some food for a light evening meal with my son in his place in Siegritz.
This was always a nice and cheaper way than going out all the time and not being allowed to have more than one beer. The lawas against drinking and driving are very strict.
If you stay in a B & B or a "Pension" how that is called do the same and purchase some of the local specialities. It is fun to try something different. I became very fast addicted to certain things such as pumkin seed bread and the gamous Thuringian cold cuts. Try fresh sweet butter, especially that from Ireland!
Europe offers so many good things which we miss in Canada.
The "Stadtkirche" in June and with sunshine
The old town gate
As promised I came back again with Elizabeth in June 2005. We had great weather and were on our way to the spa in Bad Colberg which is only a few kilometers away.
She was impressed by the medieval town gate through which still all the local traffic flows. It is considered to be a landmark.
Heldburg and its surroundings were a so called "Sperrgebiet" during the communist system. That meant many restrictions applied for travellers and locals because of the close border to West Germany. Sometimes complete villages were torn down.
I got the feeling that many locals already forgot about all these bad things, they only remember what was eventually better than now, such as employment and child care.
Naturaly we visited the "Stadtkirche" (town church) which was built beteween 1502 and 1537. One major renovation had been perormed even under the communist sytem. Please vist it.
Their are so many great looking buildings in Thuringia that it is impossible to visit or show them all.
That would also become boring after a certain time. Try instead to catch impressions from everything. See how joung people enjoy to live in houses built hundreds of years ago.
Bring some of the ideas back to your country. Learn how downtown ares can be revatilized.
Learn also about the people. Don't be afraid to go in small local restaurants and go through the adventure of ordering something which you don't know.
Sit together with people who do not speak your language. I did so in Japan and hat a great time. I got even free samples of many things there. In Thuringia I got free schnapps on the house.
Be aware that the adult generation grew up under a communist system.
Also do not be afraid to find a reasonable priced accommodation in a "Gasthof" or a private pension. Just ask in any tourist office.
Keep your eyes open!
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