Gotha County

A discovery tour through Gotha County

The impressive royal seat of Gotha, with the Thuringian Forest and the Rennsteig right on the doorstep, the legendary Drei Gleichen castle hills and the enormous fruit plantations of the Fahner Höhe all shape the landscape of Gotha County.

Germany’s largest early Baroque palace, Friedenstein Palace, can be seen for miles around. The former Ducal court and the birthplace of Europe’s high nobility attracts thousands of guests to its museums, parks and gardens every year. But Gotha has far more to offer than this: the historic Old Town with its three markets full of life, cafés, restaurants and great places to shop, a green belt with cycle- and hiking trails and the Thuringian forest railway. Since 1929, this interurban tramway has run 21.7 km over the Boxberg, Waltershausen, Friedrichroda as far as Tabarz at the foot of the great Inselsberg.

Thanks to its tradition-steeped spa and health resorts in the Thuringian Forest, Gotha County is Thuringia’s main holiday region, attracting tens of thousands of holidaymakers every year. In the spa town of Friedrichroda, the reservoir town of Tambach-Dietharz, the Kneipp spa resort of Tabarz, the idyllic Emsetal, in Georgenthal, Luisenthal or in Crawinkel, there are plenty of sport, leisure and relaxation activities. An excellently constructed network of cycle trails and hiking trails, modern spas and waterparks, springs, climbing walls, dams, ski and sled slopes, stables, campsites and, of course, friendly hosts, all guarantee that your holiday will be full of variety all year round.

Highly rewarding experiences include excursions to Waltershausen, the city of dolls (Tenneberg Castle, the Gleisdreieck leisure centre featuring an open-air swimming pool and an ice rink, and the philanthropic educational and sporting environment in Schnepfenthal) or Bach’s small town of Ohrdruf. This is where the great musician worked as an organist, where the first monastery in Thuringia was founded and where the rocking horse was “invented”.

A landscape like no other spans the area between Gotha and Erfurt: the region of the Drei Gleichen. It is not easy to miss these three impressive castles – the Mühlburg, Gleichen Castle and Wachsenburg Castle. The new “Bach Cycling Experience Route” cycle trail runs directly past them.

Fahner Hoehe
Fahner Hoehe
Discover the new Bach Cycling Experience Route!

A cycling tour full of experiences. That’s precisely what awaits you on the new Bach Cycling Experience Route. It leads through places and landscapes which shaped the childhood and youth of one of the greatest musicians of all time.

Spanning 7 km from Wechmar to Mühlberg, the Bach route runs right along the Thuringia Town Chain Cycle Trail.  Length: 60 km, 54 km of which is a circular cycle trail and a 6 km branch from Arnstadt – Dornheim – Arnstadt

Route: Günthersleben-Wechmar, Mühlberg, Haarhausen, Holzhausen, Bachstadt Arnstadt, Dornheim, Espenfeld, Gossel, Crawinkel, Luisenthal, Bachstadt Ohrdruf, Schwabhausen, Günthersleben-Wechmar

Signage:
blue square with image of the head of J. S. Bach

Track conditions: predominantly asphalt surface, some sandy gravel surfaces and forest tracks

Altitude difference: approx. 250 m to approx. 500 m above sea level

Difficulty level: easy to medium

Bach’s ancestral home, Wechmar

Wechmar is the place of origin of the Thuringian branch of the Bach musical dynasty, whose greatest offspring is, of course, Johann Sebastian. His great-great-grandfather, Veit, settled here during the late sixteenth century as a miller. Wechmar erected a monument to the Thuringian Bach family, “Bach’s ancestral home”, which opened in 1994. The house is an internationally recognised Bach memorial and has also been the Museum of Thuringian musicians and instrument makers since 1997. www.wechmar-bach.de

Address

Bach’s ancestral home, Wechmar
Bachstr. 4
99869 Günthersleben-Wechmar
Phone: +49 36256 / 22680
www: www.bach-stammhaus-wechmar.de

Bach’s town of Ohrdruf: Ehrenstein Castle and the Tobiashammer Museum Complex

The Ehrenstein is one of the most beautiful Renaissance castles in Thuringia. Its museum houses major exhibitions relating to the region’s history, including Johann Sebastian Bach and the Ohrdruf toy makers, as this is where the rocking horse and many types of doll were “invented”. The “Tobiashammer” technical monument works on a whole different scale. In the middle of this landscape of museums and experiences is one of the largest steam engines in the world. www.ohrdruf.de

Address

Bach’s town of Ohrdruf: Ehrenstein Castle and the Tobiashammer Museum Complex
Suhler Straße 5c
99885 Ohrdruf
Phone: +49 3624 / 317949
www: www.ohrdruf.de

Drei Gleichen Thuringian castle landscape

The Thuringian Drei Gleichen castle landscape is surrounded by myths and legends. The Mühlburg, Gleichen Castle (castle ruins) Wachsenburg Castle (hotel), the Menantes memorial, Otto Knöpfer’s House and the German Fried Sausage Museum are all worth a visit.

Address

Drei Gleichen Thuringian castle landscape
Thomas-Müntzer-Str. 4
99869 Drei Gleichen OT Mühlberg
Phone: +49 36256 / 22864
www: www.drei-gleichen.de

Gotha-Boxberg racecourse

Horse races have been taking place on the Boxberg since 1842. Horse-lover Duke Ernest II of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha established the Central German horse-racing club at this former parade ground in 1878. That same year, he had the magnificent wooden stand built in the Victorian style. It is an impressive backdrop, and not just on race days, which still exude an almost royal atmosphere. The racecourse itself is almost 3 km long, making it one of the longest in Germany. www.eventpark-boxberg.de

Address

Gotha-Boxberg racecourse
99867 Gotha-Boxberg
Phone: +49 3622 / 200932
www: www.galopprennbahnboxberg. de

Lohmühle Museum, Georgenthal

The Lohmühle Museum is part of a large leisure facility with a water playground, a barefoot park, sheep pens and a children’s playground. The original old craft workshops can still be seen in the former mill building. There is an exhibition dedicated to the ancient saurians, after the largest discovery of these outside of the USA was made on the neighbouring Bromacker. And for railway enthusiasts, the presentation of old locomotives and wagons on the tracks next to the museum is sure to be a great surprise. www.lohmuehle.org

Address

Lohmühle Museum, Georgenthal
Lohmühle 1-5
99897 Tambach-Dietharz
Phone: +49 36252 / 46000

Tenneberg Castle, Waltershausen

Tenneberg Castle looms above the town on the northern edge of the Thuringia Forest. The former medieval castle was constantly rebuilt until it eventually gained the countenance of a small Baroque castle. In 1929 the Waltershausen local history museum was established in its ballroom, which now houses a fine collection of unique exhibits from the Waltershausen doll makers from the 19th and 20th centuries, amongst other things. www.waltershausen.de

Address

Tenneberg Castle, Waltershausen
Tennenbergstraße
99880 Waltershausen
Phone: +49 3622 / 69170
www: www.waltershausen.de

The Marienglashöhle Cave, Friedrichroda

The Marienglashöhle Cave is one of the largest and most beautiful gypsum crystal caves in Europe. The cave, whose crystals were once used to adorn pictures of the Virgin Mary, was discovered by miners in 1778. This is where the name “Marienglas” comes from. In 1848, the cave was placed under protection, and removing the crystals, some of which have a length of almost one metre, was forbidden. The Marienglashöhle mine exhibit is open all year round. www.friedrichroda.de

Address

The Marienglashöhle Cave, Friedrichroda
An der B 88
99894 Friedrichroda
Phone: +49 3623 / 311667
www: www.marienglashoehle.de

Tobiashammer Museum Complex

The Tobiashammer was constructed in about 1480 as an iron, wire and sickle hammer, and was opened in 1983 as an historical exhibition. In the middle of this landscape of museums and experiences is one of the largest steam engines in the world.

Address

Tobiashammer Museum Complex
Suhler Str. 34
99885 Ohrdruf
Phone: +49 3624 / 402792
www: www.tobiashammer.de

Drei Gleichen
Drei Gleichen

Informationen

Tourismusverband Thüringer Wald/Gothaer Land e. V.

Hauptmarkt 33
99867 Gotha
Germany

Phone +49 3621 / 363111
Fax +49 3621 / 363113

E-mail: info@gast-im-thueringer-wald.de
Web: www.tourismus-thueringer-wald.de

Towns & region