No other location in Germany boasts as many preserved monuments and artefacts bearing witness to more than 1000 years of German and European history as the area that is now home to the German federal state of Saxony-Anhalt. Visitors to this part of Germany can look forward to a number of internationally renowned cultural treasures. In fact, Saxony-Anhalt is home to not one, but four UNESCO World Heritage Sites all located in close proximity to each other – the half-timbered town of Quedlinburg, the Luther sites in Eisleben and Wittenberg, the Bauhaus and Masters’ Houses in Dessau and the Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Kingdom.
A rendezvous with culture
The “Romanesque Route”, which is the only trail of its kind in Germany, connects a total of 80 Romanesque churches, cathedrals, castles, palaces (Pfalzen), and monasteries.
The cathedral treasures in Merseburg, Quedlinburg, Halberstadt and Naumburg are just a few examples of its many highlights. Saxony-Anhalt is also home to 43 lovingly restored and well-maintained “Garden Dreams” that are ideal destinations for fans of historic parks and gardens, for example the Dessau-Wörlitz Garden Kingdom, the Europa-Rosarium rose garden in Sangerhausen and the Klosterbergegarten by the river Elbe in Magdeburg. Archaeology lovers should definitely make a note of the “Sky Paths” route, on which they can explore the State Museum of Prehistory in Halle (Saale) and its Nebra Sky Disk, the oldest concrete depiction of the cosmos in the world, and visit the world’s oldest solar observatory in Goseck.
As the cradle of the Reformation, the area covered by Saxony-Anhalt is additionally home to a multitude of original sites that breathe life into the history of the Reformation movement, not only in the Lutherstädte, the ‘Luther towns’, of Wittenberg, Eisleben and Mansfeld, but also in many other locations.
On their journey through the gentle landscape of southern Saxony-Anhalt, visitors to the Saale-Unstrut wine region can look forward to a mixture of medieval castles and churches, while the Altmark region offers its guests old Hanseatic routes leading to eight historic Hanseatic towns. Another top recommendation, as a city-hopping adventure for city tourists in particular, is a visit to the seven “Stadtsprung” towns and cities of Magdeburg, Halle (Saale), Naumburg, Wernigerode, Quedlinburg, Halberstadt and Dessau-Roßlau.
Get in touch with your green side – experience the joy of nature
A cultural holiday in Saxony-Anhalt can be perfectly combined with a wide variety of activities close to nature. Unique landscapes and a well-developed network of routes for hikers, cyclists, watersports enthusiasts and horse riders make Saxony-Anhalt an excellent destination for active holidaymakers and nature lovers alike.
Anyone wanting to enjoy a cycling holiday can make the most of the 18 national cycle routes and nearly 3000 kilometres of regional trails that pass through Saxony-Anhalt. One of the main family-friendly cycle trails is the Elbe Cycle Route, which is considered Germany’s most popular long-distance cycle path.
The ideal location for fans of hiking is the Harz region, which is home to a dense network of hiking trails containing highlights such as the 94-kilometre-long Harzer-Hexen-Stieg (Harz Witches Trail) and the Selketal-Stieg (Selke Valley Trail). Saxony-Anhalt also offers two pilgrimage routes in the form of the Way of St. James and the Luther Trail between the ‘Luther towns’ of Eisleben, Mansfeld and Wittenberg.
Those who prefer travelling by canoe or kayak, on the other hand, will love to follow the courses of the Elbe, Saale, Unstrut and Havel rivers, which have remained virtually unchanged over time. Alongside its rivers, Saxony-Anhalt also contains many lakes that are ideal for both watersports enthusiasts and anyone looking for an ideal location for relaxation and recreation.
With around 1600 kilometres of well-signposted bridle paths and excellent services for horses and their riders, the Altmark region in the north of Saxony-Anhalt is a popular destination for horse lovers. Visitors who want to observe nature at its best should also definitely make a note of the state’s protected areas, which include the Harz National Park and the Middle Elbe Biosphere Reserve.