In January 2004 I had my first encounter with Schmiedefeld. There was heavy snowfall and the streets were lined by walls of snow.
I had lunch there in a little restaurant. I was not able to understand a single word of the waitress and I thought she must be a foreigner. She was not, she was from Schmiedefeld. I learned that in certain parts of Thuringia a dialect is spoken which is very close to low German.
Later, when it cleared up a little bit I saw many tourists who obviously came to this village for winter sport. It is well known for that. Another advantage of the location of Schmiedefeld in the Thuringian Forest is its proximity to the "Rennsteig", the famous hiking path.
At this time I was not interested in any winter sport. I was alone and did not have any equipment or adequate clothing with me. But I really loved the drive along the snow covered trees in direction Suhl after I had finished my lunch.
Schmiedefeld welcomed me in summer 2006 with sunshine
My first target was the tourist office where I met really nice German speaking people. One lady who understood English was in vacation.
I learned that Schmiedefeld can be traced back to the year 1406. Mining of iron ore was the reason for the settlement. I heard here again the name "Crux". I had previously visited a little museum, called the "Schwarze Crux". (see our web site).
The steel was needed by the booming weapon industry in Suhl until the 17 th century.
Schmiedefeld experienced a very hard time by the loss of the iron ore mines. Only in 1682 the new established glass industry brought some growth.
Today tourism is helping and bringing or maintaining jobs. We cannot do any longer any skiing, but Schmiedefeld and the close "Rennsteig" are attracting hikers or people who just want to spend leisurely days away from at home.
A major boost for Schmiedefeld was the connection to the railway system in 1904. After that tourism became a business. Today there are not any longer scheduled trains coming to Schmiedefeld, but I was told that occasionally as steam train is scheduled to take tourists around.
Today Schmiedefeld still has three glass-blowing companies. I visited one of them and bought a little black cat for Elizabeth who had already returned to Canada.
The owner Mr. Ehrhardt was busy creating new artistic figures. He offered me to try glass blowing. If you are interested to learn that or painting glass ornament contact him or the tourist office when you are in Schmiedefeld.
Another company called "Kunstglasbläserei und Heimatstube Sieder" offers also similar courses. If you love art work just try it - I am definitely not an artist.
Being a tourist destination for hikers and people who practice winter sport Schmiedefeld has naturally many restaurants and offers also accommodations for the visitors.
It is certainly very convenient when you want to go cross country skiing or down hill skiing when you must not drive a large distance before you can do that. A ski lift is very close to the village. I was told that is the longest in Thuringia and it is operated even at night. Also snow boarders can improve their skills here. As I always confirm that Thuringia offers something at any season and when you combine history, art, health, fun, home cooking and physical activities what can you do more to have great vacations?
A ski lift in summer
Many Germans love to hike. Very often they combine this with fun. I Bavaria we saw hikers who were towing a little cart with a keg of beer behind them.
Elizabeth loved it and me too. This was before my accident.
Now I must send her alone on certain trips and she was always excited about her little adventures.
I would prefer a tour in a horse drawn wagon as shown below. If you are interested ask. They call it here a "Kremserfahrt".
Not very crowded!
Better than walking - at least for me!
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