The scenic Harz mountains, a popular recreation area with fascinating rock formations and pleasant walks, are the best-known attraction of Saxony-Anhalt. Yet this state also boasts a number of interesting towns, such as Lutherstadt Wittenberg and Magdeburg, steeped in history and blessed with magnificent historic remains, which range from Romanesque churches and abbeys to medieval castles.
POINTS OF INTEREST
THE HARZ MOUNTAIN TRAIL
The tourist trail across the Harz Mountains leads through charming historic towns and villages, as well as past the other attractions of the region including some fascinating caves and unusual rock formations.
The impressive Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Naumburg is one of the finest Gothic structures in Germany. The present cathedral is the second to be built on the same site; only a section of the eastern crypt survived of the earlier Romanesque church. Construction started before 1213, with the earliest parts including the late-Romanesque east choir, the transept, and the main body. The early-Gothic west choir was built in the mid-13th century, the newer Gothic east choir around 1330. The northeast towers date from the 15th century, the southwest towers from 1894.
Wörlitz is a charming, English-style landscaped garden, the first of its kind in continental Europe. It was established in stages, commencing in 1764, for Prince Leopold III, Frederick Franz of Anhalt-Dessau. Many famous gardeners worked in Wörlitz, including Johann Christian Neumark and Johann Leopold Ludwig Schoch, as well as the architect Friedrich Wilhelm von Erdmannsdorff. The country house (1769–1773), the first building in the Classical style in Germany, houses a valuable collection of sculptures, furniture, and paintings. Another interesting collection, including Swiss glass pictures, can be admired in the Gotisches Haus.