Eye on the World: Thuringia, Germany

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Thuringia is both the green heart of Germany and the old stomping ground of some of Germany’s greatest minds. It has survived wars, internal conflicts and foreign occupation, and in the end has come out on the other side a proud and resilient state, rich both in tradition and culture. Europe-bound travelers would be wise not to overlook this central German state as its cultural landmarks are as prolific as the German Christmas markets in December. The city of Weimar alone boasts 16 World UNESCO Heritage Sites and the names of Thuringia’s notable residents speak for themselves, but it’s not all about Goethe, Bach and Schiller. There’s also bratwurst, and plenty of it, at the German Bratwurst Museum, and more than 5,000 toys dating back to ancient civilization on display at the German Toy Museum. And then there was my favorite experience—an interactive porcelain exhibit at Leuchtenburg Castle; at the end of the exhibit, guests write a wish on a porcelain plate and throw it over the edge of a skywalk overlooking the town of Kahla since Germans believe “broken shards bring you luck.” Believe me, there’s so much more to see and do than expected in this quaint agricultural region. Take a look for yourself in this flip book of my recent press trip to Thuringia, where I visited several towns, including Eisenach, Neuhaus am Rennweg, Schmalkalden and Sonneberg, and two cities, Weimar and Erfurt.