In cooperation with the World Heritage Region Wartburg Hainich
A cozy, very old small town is located in the northwest of Thuringia. Bad Langensalza is over 1,100 years old and has collected many epithets over time: Rose City, for instance, Spa City and also Europe's most flourishing city. We add "place of pleasure", because the spa at the Hainich National Park offers the most beautiful opportunities to ground yourself, to come to rest and to reconnect with yourself and nature. But see for yourself.
Bad Langensalza was not made easy on its long way to becoming a sulfur brine spa. During its more than 1,100-year history, the town was hotly contested and large parts of it were destroyed several times. But then it was always rebuilt, each time more beautiful than before. The large old town with its baroque buildings and colorful half-timbered houses, for example, received its present form after the devastating town fire of 1711, as did the magnificent town hall in the middle of the Neumarkt, which is much younger than the Gothic tower around which it was built.
Those who want to explore the history of the small town can do so wonderfully on a walk. An atmospheric starting point is the Arboretum northwest of the old town. There is not only one of the ten city gardens, but also a part of the former city wall. Of the then 30 watchtowers and seven gates, 16 towers, the Lamentation Gate and the Schwibbogen are still preserved today. These mighty protective structures were more than necessary, because the small town had achieved some prosperity through the trade in indigo and the mining of travertine, among other things.
The next stop is the City Museum. The impressive building was built partly on the remains of the Augustinian hermit monastery founded in 1280. From the tower of the former monastery church you have a great view over the city center and the monastery area. The tour then continues via the car-free Marktstraße into the heart of the old town. The Marktstraße leads along the free-standing town hall, whose bells can play more than 16 melodies, and ends at the Marktkirche, whose steeple is the second highest in Thuringia. Behind it is the pretty Friederikenschlösschen, built in rococo style in 1751 and named after its builder, Friederike von Sachsen-Weißenfels. The duchess had the estate built as a widow's residence and designed the Schlösschenpark, another famous garden of Bad Langensalza.
If you want to relax in nature in the beautiful spa town, all you have to do is get out of the house. That's because Bad Langensalza - which, by the way, was the outdoor location for the BUGA in 2021 - is considered one of the most flourishing cities in Europe. A total of ten Parks and facilities line up like a green belt around the pretty old town: the Japanese Garden, for example, the versatile Natur!Garten right next door, and the Arboretum, where the Hanover Monument commemorates the Battle of Langensalza.
One of the most famous parks of Bad Langesalzas is the Rose Garden, which is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. From June to October, more than 450 rose species bloom here, 91 of which were even bred in Bad Langensalza itself. This is thanks to Anni Berger, Germany's only female rose breeder, who lived in the spa town for many years.
Sulphur springs, brine and drinking medicinal water - no other place in Thuringia has this combination of natural remedies. The town's sulfur springs, i.e. springs with sulfurous water, were discovered over 200 years ago. Then in 1812 the first sulfur bath was opened. However, it took another 140 years before the town was officially declared a spa. At first only as a sulfur spa, because the brine and medicinal water springs were discovered only shortly before the turn of the millennium.
Today the Friederiken Spa The heart of the spa. Here, visitors can really enjoy themselves while soaking in the brine-containing water at 32 degrees Celsius, sweating in the sauna and steam bath, or having massages and beauty treatments. In addition, highly mineralized drinking water bubbles from a well in the thermal center, which opened in 1999, and health-promoting spa treatments are administered. The full relaxation program is available to those who check into the wellness hotel next to the spa. Visitors can walk straight out of bed into the brine bath via the bathrobe corridor. (Some areas of the spa are currently undergoing a comprehensive facelift. From summer 2022, all of the spa's facilities will be usable again).
At the gates of the city extends with the Hainich National Park a real primeval forest. In this UNESCO World Heritage Site, colorful orchids grow undisturbed in the shade of tall trees, wildcats scurry through the undergrowth and people stroll through the treetops. The Bad Langensalza-operated Treetop path is a real highlight and not only for people who like to be above things. Starting in June, regular yoga classes with sound journeys and gong meditations will be held in the evening in the billowing sea of leaves. But even a normal visit is good for body, mind and soul: the 540-meter-long path leads up to above the treetops and culminates in the 44-meter-high observation tower - wonderful for coming to rest and enjoying the expansive view. However, if you want to get closer to the forest, you don't necessarily have to climb onto its roof. The biking and hiking trails, such as the 1.2-kilometer-long forest promenade, on which the forest can be experienced at eleven stations, also offer the most beautiful opportunities.
Much worth knowing about the national park and the forest can also be found in the National Park Center Thiemsburg experience. There are two exciting adventure worlds where the secrets of the Hainich and forest life below the earth's surface can be discovered. With the "Realm of Fagati", a dream world for children has also been created: On the large nature playground with climbing frames and slides, kids can join the mythical creatures of the forest in looking for ways to better protect our beautiful world.
By train comfortably and without traffic jams to Bad Langensalza: Plan arrival.
Cover photo: Bad Langensalza at sunset © Julia Noack
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