The region around the town of Ilmenau is called the "the Ilmkreis".
In medieval times this area consisted of six different principalities.
Ilmenau was for me the main attraction
Unfortunately I never had the time to explore the whole Ilmkreis and to discover the many hidden treasures - but I got a good feeling that there is so much to explore that you can easily spend all of your vacations just here.
Nature is certainly one of the major attractions.
If you like winter sport - you can enjoy that or if you are a hiker, you can follow the steps from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Johann Sebastian Bach. But you can also hike on your own or join a guided tour. That can be more fun. Just ask in any tourist office.
The combination of nature, culture and history will fill your visit to Thuringia and the Ilmkreis with unforgettable memories.
Wear good walking shoes and drive to Arnstadt.
This town became in 1920 the administrative center for a whole region - now it is an essential part in the so called Ilmkreis.
Arnstadt is considered to be the oldest settlement in Thuringia. It was already mentioned in the year 704.
Johann Sebastian Bach started here in the age of 18 as an organist in the "Neue Kirche" (New Church - now called the "Bach church").
In order not to miss something visit tourist information offices and collect brochures. Ask about things you want to see or do. If you are lucky somebody may speak English. But people are always friendly and helpful. You can also try Russian!
A Canadian student who worked in Arnstadt loved it and sent me pictures which I collected in a web site. Please use the installed link and visit that site.
Find you way to the "Wachsenburg". The castle is located in the area around Arnstadt, close to Holzhausen.
I believe you will enjoy the visit, especially if an event like a medieval market takes place.
The "Wachsenburg": close to Holzhausen
As already mentioned - hiking is very popular all over Germany. If you want to, you will always find company.
Meeting point for a hiking tour through the "Harztal"
Hiking close to Altenfeld in the "Harztal"
Altenfeld is part of "Großbreitenbach". Similar as in Canada communities merge their administration to become more efficient.
Beautiful weather, beautiful sights
You see, hiking can be fun
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