Wernigerode Things to Do Tips by german_eagle Top 5 Page for this destination

Wernigerode Things to Do: 20 reviews and 46 photos

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Harz museum - Wernigerode

Harz museum

Harz museum

If you want to get an overview of the history of Wernigerde and/or the nature around the town including the Harz mountains then go and visit this museum. It is located a few steps behind the town hall, next door to the hotel where I stayed in a townhouse from 1821. After thorough renovation it was reopened in 2001.

The permanent exhibit is clearly split in two different parts: One deals with the history of Wernigerode, which goes back to the 9th century. They have a nice exhibit on craft from the area. Also, tourism is a topic in the museum. Quite interesting.

What I thought was even better done was the other section of the museum: the exhibit on the nature, the geology, flora and fauna, mining. It made me want to head out to the Harz mountains right away and explore. No time for that, too bad!

Opening hours:
Mon-Sat 10-17 h
Admission fee: 2 Euro

Address: Klint 10, 38855 Wernigerode

Directions: Behind the town hall.

Other Contact: slisowski@stadt-wernigerode.de

Phone: (0 39 43) 65 44 54

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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castle garden - Wernigerode

castle garden

Castle - the garden(s)

There are actually two gardens that belong(ed) to the castle: One, called 'Lustgarten' and located at the foot of the castle hill close to the town, was created in the 16th century, then re-designed as a formal Baroque garden in the early 18th century but in 1752 it was re-designed in English style (financial reasons). The two remaining buildings from previous centuries are: The Orangerie (built 1713-19) that served as a greenhouse for tropical plants until 1787 but was used as library of the Counts of Wernigerode from 1826 on. It was severely damaged in 1944 and houses now the town's archive. The other building is the Marstall, once stables and garage for the carriages.

The other garden is the small but beautiful formal garden that stretches over a couple of terraces below the entrance to the castle and the restaurant Schlossterrassen. It is a very pleasant place to escape the crowds and enjoy the views of the Harz mountains while listening to the gurgling fountain.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 17, 2010
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chapel, the choir - Wernigerode

chapel, the choir

Castle - the chapel

One of the more intriguing rooms in the castle was the chapel. You see it twice - once right upon starting the tour on the ground floor, the other time during the second floor tour - this time you walk along the balconies and have a good view from above.

The chapel was consecrated in 1880, built during the reconstruction in neo-styles. It is done in pure neo-Gothic architecture and decoration. The craftmanship is amazing but again, it felt somehow odd. The chapel lacks the authenticity of a really medieval chapel.

Directions: in the castle

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 16, 2010
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castle entrance - Wernigerode

castle entrance

The castle

The castle is located on a hill above Wernigerode, visible from almost any place in town and first thing you see when approaching the town by car or train. It is *the* landmark and top sight of Wernigerode. Sort of the 'Neuschwanstein' of the Harz mountains :-)

A castle at this place was first mentioned in the 12th century. Except for some cellars nothing is left of this early castle. About the year 1500 the castle was reconstructed, sort of 'modernized', especially the fortifications. But alas, again not much is left of that one - just the so called Hausmann tower, the one you see at the terrace in front of the main entrance (under which you walked through the long and dark passageway to get there).

After the 30years war the counts of Stolberg-Wernigerode gave up on the castle since it was clear it couldn't withstand a siege. Lack of water was probably the main reason. In the Baroque era the castle was redesigned as a Baroque palace - but in the shape of a medieval castle - and saw some construction works again. However, 1862 85 another major reconstruction was done which changed the character of the castle completely. Back to medieval appearance but with modern comfort of the 19th century. Just like it suited the owner, vice-chancellor under Bismarck.

I must admit I am not really a fan of the 'Neo' styles (called Historism in Germany). Thus the castle didn't do much for me. Too dark, too massive, overly ornate. And if you have a closer look you can see that sort of mass production of the decorative details in sandstone. Not that the craftmanship wasn't admireable, though.

The one room I really liked was the porcelain room, in a sunny corner with view of the Brocken and the town. See my pictures.

For opening hours and admission fees please see their website (link below). The good thing is they are not closed on Mondays in summer. Admission fee is fair IMO.

To get there either take one of the mini trains (see transportation tip) or walk. As I visited on a rather cool and cloudy day I chose the mini train.

Address: Am Schloß 1, 38855 Wernigerode

Phone: 03943 5530-30

Website: http://www.schloss-wernigerode.de

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 16, 2010
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Breite Strasse - Wernigerode

Breite Strasse

Breite Strasse

The pedestrian zone (since end of the 1970s) in Wernigerode stretches from the Market square to the west, east and north. The main shopping street and the one where the most beautiful townhouses are located is the Breite Strasse that leads east from Market square.

A few steps from the Market square you'll see Cafe Wien with its very beautiful facade, a pastry shop since 1897, which is the oldest house in that street - built in 1529 right after a big fire.

Some steps ahead you'll get to the relatively large Nikolai square, at the northern side the former hospital from 1851, now a school.

Probably the most beautiful townhouse in Wernigerode is the so called Krummel's house, constructed in 1674 for a merchant from Berlin. The facade of the two upper floors is completely decorated with excellent woodcarving works from that time. Take some time and watch the details. When the house was restored in 1875 a shop was built on the ground floor and that part of the facade got a new decoration, similar to the upper floors.

Another house worth a look is Krell's blacksmith's shop. You cannot miss it - there's a carved horse's head on the facade and next to it a - smaller - horseshoe. There's still a blacksmith's working in that house. He creates wonderful pieces so if you're looking for a souvenir or something to decorate your home then that's the place to go.

Of course, there's more to see in that street. Don't hesitate to walk through the open doors and see the backyards of the houses - many of them are very beautiful and have more shops, cafes/restaurants.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 16, 2010
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Yours truly in front of the smallest house - Wernigerode

Yours truly in front of the smallest house

Smallest House

The smallest house of Wernigerode, a timber-framed (what else) house from the 18th century, is in the area east of Oberpfarrkirchhof, where Marktstrasse and Kochstrasse form a very beautiful ensemble. The width of the house is only 2.95 m, the largest room has only 10 square meters. The last person who lived there died in 1976. Since then the house is a museum.

Opening hours:
April - Oct, in February and Dec only during school holidays: daily 10 - 16 h
Nov, Jan, March: only on weekends 10 - 16 h

Admission fee is 1 Euro

Address: Kochstrasse 43

Phone: (0 39 43) 60 60 16

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 14, 2010
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Oberpfarrkirchhof - Wernigerode

Oberpfarrkirchhof

Oberpfarrkirchhof/Klint

The square where St. Sylvester church is located is one of the oldest settlement places in Wernigerode. And it is one of the most picturesque spots in the town. The timber-framed houses that go back to the 16th to 19th centuries are well preserved.

One of the most beautiful houses in Wernigerode is Haus Gadenstedt, Oberpfarrkirchhof 13, from 1582. The oriel window in Renaissance style is amazing. Have a closer look at the woodcarving works!

At house Oberpfarrkirchhof 11 you can see a little path that leads through the house to Westertor, a former city gate. In past times it was much frequented but due to the remote location people used it as a loo from time to time, thus it often smelled bad. The owners tried fighting the smell with rosemary - don't know if that helped, but thus the name: Rosemary alley. LOL

Other places of interest might be the house Oberpfarrkirchhof 6, a Baroque timber-framed house with a beautiful entrance, built for the superintendent. Also, the city archive which has a cute garden is there.

Directions: around St. Sylvester church

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 14, 2010
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steeple of St. Sylvester seen from my hotel - Wernigerode

steeple of St. Sylvester seen from my hotel

St. Sylvester church

St. Sylvester is the main parish church of Wernigerode. It was first mentioned in 1230. Shortly afterwards it was rebuilt as a burial place for the counts of Wernigerode in the shape of a Gothic basilica. Not really much of that church is preserved. From 1881 to 1886 it was reconstructed in neo-gothic style (which *looks* medieval, granted).

Highlight of the church is the amazing woodcarved altar, created in the second half of the 15th century, a Dutch or Flemish work. Also worth to see is a late-gothic crucifix.

They demand a small donation for admission to the church. No problem. However, when the lady asked for an additional fee for taking photos I declined. So no photos of the interior, sorry.

Address: Oberpfarrkirchhof

Directions: A few steps behind the town hall on a little hill.

Review Helpfulness: 4 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 14, 2010
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Town hall - Wernigerode

Town hall

Town Hall

The town hall is *the* landmark of Wernigerode's old town. It must be one of the most beautiful timber-framed buildings/town halls in Germany. The first structure on this ground was mentioned 1277, the present building dates back mostly to the construction works between 1480 and 1544. Architects were Thomas Sprengel, Thomas Hilleborch and his son Simon.

Remarkable are the 33 woodcarving works at the so called "Knaggen" (see pic #4) - they depict saints, musicians, jesters, drinkers and dancers with the May Queen. They were created in the 15th/16th centuries.

Please take a closer look at the sayings above the main entrance. The German "Einer acht's, der andre betracht's, der dritte verlacht's, was macht's" roughly translates to "One appreciates it, the other watches it, the third one laughs at it, who cares?"

Guided tours are possible and take place on a regular basis. Cost is Euro 6.30 which includes a welcome drink also. Check with the tourist office for dates.

Directions: Markt square

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 14, 2010
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