The town Quedlinburg is something very different from the normal places we have visited thus far. You might remember how fascinated I was by the historic Old Town of Prague but Quedlinburg is on another level. Not that this city is bigger than Prague or more Grand (rather the opposite with only 24.000 inhabitants) but Quedlinburg has its own charm which makes it appear like a town from a fairytale. In 1994 the castle, church and old town were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In the beginning of the 90’s I was once in Quedlinburg with my family. I do not remember too much except that I was amazed by all the old buildings and also sad that so many were falling apart. You see after WWII Quedlinburg (nearly nothing was damaged during the war) belonged to East Germany and there were little to no efforts to restore the old buildings. There were even plans to destroy the entire old town and build there the wonderful East German apartment blocks instead. Thankfully there was not enough money so barely anything was torn down during those decades.
After the Reunification the city was slowly restored and by now there are barely any buildings left in poor condition. The city has over 1300 half-timbered houses with the oldest was being built around 1300 A.D. and towering over it all is the Burgberg (Castle Mountain). On the Burgberg you can find the Abbesses’ Palace and the St. Servatius church. The construction of the church started back in 1070 and was finished in 1129. It is said that Henry the Fowler was offered the German Crown in Quedlingburg in 919 and he is also buried there. His widow Matilda founded the Quedlinburg Abbey and the city was basically ruled by women after that for 800 years till the French invasion under Napoleon who also disbanded the abbey.
We stayed in a holiday apartment right in the Old Town. Of course that building was also one of the many historical buildings in the town. Walking around the town gives you a very strange feeling as everything around you is from another time. Wherever you look you see historical buildings and I really had to hold back with my camera there. We had bad luck on our visit as it was raining but it didn’t stop us going around the entire day to discover as much as possible. Nathan was so amazed, especially by the Burgberg as it really looks like a medieval castle. For lunch we went to the Münzenberger Klause, a wonderful traditional German restaurant which just fits perfectly the historical surroundings. Sadly we had no chance to try the famous Quedlinburger Cheesecake as we had lunch a bit too late and by the time we had some room in our stomachs all the bakeries were closed already.
Besides the bad weather during our stay we had also the (bad) luck of having the guild festival starting on our visit. Usually I have nothing against some events like that but too many places were just covered by music stages and food stalls. Interesting is that there are barely any tourists from outside Europe. Somehow Quedlinburg is still something like a hidden gem and despite the guild fest it was nowhere crowded unlike Prague. I must say that we planned way too less time in Quedlinburg by staying there only one night and leaving early morning to our next destination. At least two or three nights are really needed to see as much as possible in the city and of course in the surroundings. Perhaps next year we might go there again as two dear friends are getting married next summer in Weimar which is not “that far” from Quedlinburg and more or less even on the way.
Do you know some “hidden gems” when it comes to places to visit?
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17 thoughts on “Amazing Quedlinburg”
Great pictures! I’ve never heard of this town, and so hidden gem, indeed.
My wife asked some of her friends in China and and only two had heard of the town before as it is mentioned in some guides regarding visiting “Old Cities”
Wow Germany seems to be full of these pretty half-timbered towns! So charming. Nathan seems to be growing fast. I just checked how far the town is from me, and it’s 644 kms, a bit too far for a weekend trip Great photos! Seems like an ideal weekend break.
It is always interesting to find such places. For us we had a 3 hour car ride to Quedlinburg so it is still okayish.
The buildings at Quedlinburg do look like they are from another time. It did sound like you had to stop yourself from just taking photos 😛 With so many historical buildings, I wonder if any photography was banned, outside or inside…I know some places like museums might be a bit sensitive of people taking photos of artifacts and exhibitions, and the same can sometimes be said about buildings.
I think it’s not often you stumble across hidden gems. One time I was looking for a nice spot near my place, not too far, to see a good view of the city. Turns out there was a spot not too far away…but it was very windy lol. Sometimes you don’t even know if what you found is good until you spend some time there.
The only place where photography was banned were the treasure rooms of the church and then also a room with tapestries from the 13th century. Otherwise everything was allowed.
I just had to pace myself as I realized after the first 30min that I hadn’t put my camera down at all…
To find some hidden places is always great fun. I remember still two years ago when I took the family out for a little tour around the city and we found some really amazing places (I passed by some of them before through my bicycle tours going off the normal road)
Lol 30 minutes of camera shooting is quite a lot. You also will probably run out of battery fast that way 😀
Sometimes to discover those places you just have to wander around and take your time. They will appear like magic.
I didn’t know this place (very pretty btw) but I can bring you to some unknown gems in Spain if you go 😛 Locals always know better!
Indeed, it is always best to ask locals for advice but then again many Germans don’t even know this town we visited!
Gorgeous city (gorgeous boots).
The boots are shiny new as his old pair was too small and he needed them for kindergarten 🙂
Beautiful place never been would love to go. This summer haven’t travelled further than Brighton and Scotland. Perhaps in the autumn I will be lucky to go further afield. 🙂
It is certainly a wonderful place. Going to East Germany might be the furthest we manage this year in case my parents don’t get better soon for the hopeful Poland mini trip
I’ve never heard of this town at all in Germany. Seems like gem off the beaten tourist route. Thanks for highlighting it, CCF.
It is really a wonderful city and part of the Romanesque Road which might be also an interesting bicycle tour idea
Wow! Quedlinburg is truly picturesque and charming. I am adding it to my bucket list right away. When’s the best time of the year to visit it?
Hey, Quedlingburg is really a wonderful little town. It is actually hard to say which is the best time as it probably depends on the personal preferences. In summer you have the best chances of good weather and with it also the opportunity to do sightseeing in the surrounding area. Then in autumn the surrounding forests will turn into a wonderful yellow-reddish wonderland. Winter is also great as the area is known for skiing + the Christmas market in Quedlingburg and the other towns are famous in Germany. Spring now that is something I actually have hard time now to think of anything positive 😮