Sights around Jena

Tourist attractions in the surrounding country of Jena

 

Not only the city itself offers various sights but also the direct vicinity in all four cardinal directions, from Naumburg in the north to Saalfeld in the south and from Weimar in the west to Gera in the east. All can be reached during a relaxed day trip partly even by bike. Perfect when staying for several days.
Be open to contact our team when needing any help with organization of your discovery tour.

Sights west of Jena: Apolda, Weimar and counting

 

The district Cospeda is located in the west of Jena and perfectly reachable by bike or foot. There you can find the eminent battle fields of Jena and Auerstedt with associated museum. Further north, Apolda – also called the city of bells – will open its doors.

 

Surrounding of Jena: ‘the city of bells’ – Apolda

The casting of bells has a centuries-old tradition. Approximately over 200.000 bells are originally made in the Thuringian city. Those bells can be found in multiple church buildings on almost all continents. The bells of the Cologne Cathedral, the palace of the Argentine National Congress in Buenos Aires or the Dresden church if the Holy Cross originally come from Apolda. You can inform about this extremely interesting history in the bell and municipal museum near the train station. The chime at the town hall plays three times a day in memento of the glorious time of bell foundry. Besides you can visit the house of art, numerous churches such as the Lutheran or Boniface church or the newly designed town square.
When driving westwards you can go on a detour to the water castle in Kapellendorf. It’s one of the best preserved and largest castle complexes in Central Germany.

The cultural highlight west of Jena: Weimar

When hailing from Jena you can pay a visit to the castle Tiefurt at the gates of the culture town Weimar. Once being the summer residence of the duchess Anna Amalia, it now is accessible as a museum. The small but pretty château park is perfect for a little walk. In Weimar itself you can find sights with international reputation. The European Capital of Culture of 1999 has countless attractions to offer – following only naming the most important ones: the Bauhaus museum, the residence of Goethe and Schiller with their graves in the ‘Fürstengruft’ on the historic peace courtyard, the national theatre with the monument of Schiller and Goethe, the parks at the Ilm, the Liszt house, the library of Anna-Amalia, the town square with historic town hall, the Herder house near the municipal church of St. Peter, the City Palace and out-of-town the Belvedere Palace and the concentration camp memorial of Buchenwald.

On top, multiple cultural events such as the ‘Zwiebelmarkt’ take part throughout the year.

Deutsches Nationaltheater in Weimar

German National Theater with Goethe-Schiller Monument in Weimar

Sehenswürdigkeiten um Jena: Theater in Gera

Theater of Gera

Sights east of Jena: Eisenberg, Gera and counting

 

Hidden gem: Eisenberg

The former residential city with the castle “Christiansburg” is located east of Jena in the ‘Saale-Holzland’. Besides you can visit the charming historic city with its Renaissance building, the ‘Fabrikantenvilla Kretschmann’ and the church St. Trimitatis, which is also known as the prettiest Baroque church in Thuringia.

 

Beauty at second glance: Gera

To be honest, Gera, the former district capital of the eponymous borough in the GDR, isn’t a natural beauty. Interesting attractions are revealed only on closer inspection. Those include the gorgeous theatre, the massive city hall tower with a tremendous view as well as the majestic church of Our Saviour. Also a visit in the kitchen garden is worthwhile. The Federal Garden show took place exactly here in 2007. It’s arranged as a pleasure garden with associated orangery. The ‘Geraer Höhler’ are definitely the most extraordinary highlight the city has to offer – it’s a labyrinth located 10 meters underneath the historic city. Originally, it has been arranged as a subcellar for storage of beer. Therefore, they have a charm that reminds of an oubliette or a catacomb. You can get to know more during a guided tour which we gladly arrange when interested.

Sights south of Jena: Kahla, Rudolstadt, Saalfeld

 

Queen of the ‘Saaletal’: Kahla along with the ‘Leuchtenburg’

South of Jena towards Rudolstadt the Saale continues streaming as far afield as Kahla, thereby passing by incorporated districts such as Lobeda with the ‘Lobdeburg’. Kahla is known for its porcelain factory and the ‘Leuchtenburg’, also called “queen of the Saaletal”. This medieval castle complex majestically thrones on a mountain ridge almost 400 meters high and nowadays houses the exhibition “Porzellanwelten Leuchtenburg”. On top you will get a far reaching panorama view above the Thuringia ‘Holzland’ and the ‘Saaletal’.

 

Hidden gem: Hummelshainer hunting château

A hidden gem that you shouldn’t be missing out on is located southeast of Kahla. Instead of following the federal highway 88 you turn off by Lobschütz and drive along the L1110. Then you’ll reach the little town Hummelshain with its hunting château which former was the dukes of Sachsen-Altenburgs gorgeous and architectural unique summer residence. Even the last german emperor Wilhelm II. was thrilled by Hummelshain and spent several summers there.

Heidecksburg in Rudolstadt

Heidecksburg in Rudolstadt

Rudolstadt with Heidecksburg

Further south you’ll cross Orlamünde and Uhlstädt-Kirchhasel and will arrive at Rudolstadt.
The former capital of the Principality Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt offers a picturesque Od Town, the Heidecksburg castle, one of the most beautiful Renaissance castles in Germany with its gorgeous view.

 

Saalfeld and Hohenwarte dam

The big county seat Saalfeld is located behind Rudolstadt and accessible by bike. You can marvel at the well-preserved historic city here too, which includes the Kitzerstein castle, the Patrician house, the Blankenburger gate and the Townhall square. The hidden gem of Saalfeld are the well-known Fairy Grottoes with multicolored dripstones and the beautiful ‘Märchendom’ ahead. More than 150.000 visitors from around the world are amazed by this year by year. Near Saalfeld you can relax on the banks of the Hohenwarte dam or go boating on the Thuringia sea how it is also called.

Märchendom in den Saalfelder Feengrotten

Fairy Kingdom (“Märchendon”) in the Saalfeld Feengrotten

Dornburger Renaissance-Schloss

Dornburg renaissance castle seen from the Saale valley

Sights north of Jena: Dornburger castles and the spa-triangle

 

Dornburger castles

Around 10 kilometers north of Jena the three Dornburger castles are located on a limestone shell mountain side. All three castles were designed in different styles and therefor even nowadays have an individual charm: Old castle, Rococo castle and Renaissance castle. Together with the connecting château parks they build up to an unique ensemble and unify 800 years of history.
Goethe often sent some time in Dornburg and normally slept in the Renaissance castle. In the early morning he got up and watched the sunrise in the foggy vineyards which inspired him to some of his lyric.

Weinberge im mittleren Saaletal

Vineyards in the middle Saale valley

Saaletal with vineyards and the spa-triangle

The Saaletal is perfect to explore by bike and offers numerous small towns or beautiful castles to discover.

 

Bad Sulza

When starting in Jena you first arrive at Bad Sulza, a officially recognized healing bath and spa town with a great medical center. The lovely arranged spa park is perfect for a long relaxing walk. Besides you can enjoy the magnificent view from the ‘Sonneburg’. Also the townlet is the gate to the ‘Saale-Unstrut’ region with its romantic vineyards. Snugly villages or small wineries allure to local wine testings.

 

Bad Kösen

Further north you reach Bad Kösen, the next saltwater and health spa north of Jena. The two castles ‘Rudelsburg’ and ‘Saaleck’ are perfect for hiking. You can inform yourself about the salt production in a graduation house or marvel at the ‘Alte Mühle am Wehr’.

 

Bad Bibra

Bad Bibra is located northwest of Bad Kösen. It is the third officially recognized healing bath of the sp-triangle. Vineyards line the scenery here, too. Not far from Bad Bibra you can find the medieval preserved Freyburg, the UNESCO World Heritage City Naumburg or Nebra, the provenance of the Nebra sky disk.

hotel schwarzer bär außen

As you can see, even around Jena are plenty of things to discover. That’s why a longer stay in our hotel definitely will be worth it.
We gladly help our guests with questions or when lacking in ideas of an individual or guided tour.

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