[ source: Wikipedia ]

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Popular Points of Interest in and near Blankenburg (Harz)

  • Michaelstein Abbey
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Michaelstein Abbey

    Michaelstein Abbey (Kloster Michaelstein) is a former Cistercian monastery, now the home of the Stiftung Kloster Michaelstein - Musikinstitut für Aufführungspraxis ("Michaelstein Abbey Foundation - Music Institute for Performance"), near the town of Blankenburg in the Harz in Sachsen-Anhalt, Germany.

    In the external wall of the Baroque church created in the west wing of the surviving monastery precinct, are immured the remains of Beatrice of Gandersheim (d. 1061), daughter of Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor, and abbess of Gandersheim and Quedlinburg. Formerly buried at Quedlinburg Abbey, Beatrice's remains were displaced after the church there burnt down in 1070, and were apparently finally laid to rest in Michaelstein in the 1160s.

    The nearby Mönchemühle ("monks' mill") on the Goldbach brook was once the monastery's oil mill.

  • Gegensteine
    [ source: Wikipedia ]


    The Gegensteine are crags near the town of Ballenstedt on the northern edge of the Harz Mountains in Germany. There are two: the Großer Gegenstein and Kleiner Gegenstein ("Great Gegenstein" and "Little Gegenstein"). They are striking, free-standing rock pinnacles and outliers of the Teufelsmauer. They lie within a nature reserve.

    The Großer Gegenstein ( WikiMiniAtlas51°44′12″N 11°13′33″E) can be ascended by means of ladders and steps carved out of the rock. A cross was erected on its summit in 1863 by order of the Prince of Anhalt; it was replaced in 1993. From the summit there are extensive views over the Harz Mountains and its northern foreland.

    Near the Kleiner Gegenstein ( WikiMiniAtlas51°44′10″N 11°13′11″E) there used to be a site used for driver training purposes by the Gesellschaft für Sport und Technik during East German times.

  • Regenstein Castle
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Regenstein Castle

    Regenstein Castle (German: Burg Regenstein) is a ruined castle that lies three kilometres north of Blankenburg in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. It is a popular tourist destination where, each year, a knight's tournament and a garrison festival are held.

    Of this once relatively impregnable castle, which was built in the early and high Middle Ages on a 294 metre high sandstone rock towering over the surrounding area, only ruins are visible today. Several internal rooms, carved into the rock, have survived, as have the ruins of the keep. The castle is surrounded by remnants of a more recent fortress. Regenstein Castle is No. 80 in the system of checkpoints on the Harzer Wandernadel hiking trail network.

  • Regenstein Mill
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Regenstein Mill

    The Regenstein Mill (German: Regensteinmühle) was a water-powered corn and oil mill below Regenstein Castle north of the town of Blankenburg (Harz) in the county of Harz (Saxony-Anhalt).


    Regenstein is the only mill in the Harzer Wandernadel hiking network and is checkpoint no. 82. A few metres away from the replica mill wheels is a hiker's refuge hut.

  • Sandhöhlen
    [ source: Wikipedia ]


    The Sandhöhlen are a natural monument in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. They are two sand caves known individually as the Große Sandhöhle and Kleine Sandhöhle ("Great Sand Cave" and "Small Sand Cave"). The caves are located in a wooded area called im Heers below the fortress and crags of Regenstein north of the town of Blankenburg (Harz). It is surmised that a Germanic thingstead was held here in protohistoric times. On the Große Sandhöhle is a checkpoint (no. 81) in the Harzer Wandernadel hiking network which was voted by hikers as the most beautiful checkpoint of the year in 2009.

  • Wilhelm Raabe Tower
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Wilhelm Raabe Tower

    The Wilhelm Raabe Tower (German: Wilhelm-Raabe-Warte) is one of the few surviving Kaiser towers (Kaiserwarten). It is located on the Eichenberg hill near Blankenburg on the edge of the Harz Mountains of central Germany. It is owned by the Harz Club branch in Blankenburg.

    History of the tower

    The first idea for building this observation tower emerged in November 1894. At the end of 1895 the decision was made to go ahead and the foundation stone was laid on 22 March of the following year. The ceremonial opening of the imperial tower took place on 9 September 1896.

    In 1921 extensive repairs were carried out on the tower. In addition a wooden hut was built for providing food and refreshments. However between 1922 and 1950 there was only a minimal service which was interrupted from time to time. After the Second World War further repairs to the tower were undertaken on the initiative of the Blankenburg's Harz Club members. In 1950 it was renamed the "Wilhelm Raabe Tower" in honour of the writer Wilhelm Raabe. As the wooden shack had been destroyed, the firm of Karl Hildebrandt (architects in Blankenburg) took on the construction of a solid wooden hut to act as a restaurant. This was opened on 10 July 1954. In the course of the construction of the Wilhelm-Raabe-Warte' restaurant a further renovation of the observation tower ensued in 1976. The restaurant was operated from 1978 to 1992.

    On 19 Februar 1996 the Blankenburg branch of the Harz Club decided to buy the site and the Wilhelm Raabe Tower itself. Almost 7 months later, on 15 September 1996, the tower was opened to the public.

  • Heinrichsberg Castle
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Heinrichsberg Castle

    Heinrichsberg Castle (German: Burg Heinrichsberg) is a ruin north of Mägdesprung in the borough of Harzgerode in central Germany. It is not far from the B 185 federal road in the district of Harz in the state of Saxony-Anhalt.

    It is supposed to have been built to guard the nearby smelting works by the Count and later Prince of Anhalt, whose family seat was located only about 3 km away in the Selke valley. From 1307 the counts of Stolberg were described as the Anhalt vassals of the Heinrichberg castle. The original protective function of the castle changed, however, under the Stolberg's occupation, for the fortress situated at the northeastern periphery of the comital estates was later used as a base for highwaymen on the Harz Road that ran past it. According to Cyriac Spangenberg's Mansfeld Chronicle, the castle was recaptured by the counts, Dietrich and Henry of Hohnstein, and their sons in 1344, and the highwaymen living there were executed.

    The Anhalt letter of enfeoffment (Lehnsbrief) for Heinrichsberg to the counts of Stolberg was renewed in 1377 and 1381. Thereafter, for decades, there was no written evidence of the castle, which became increasingly dilapidated and, by 1491 was referred to as an abandoned castle, that was a pledge held by the Frederick of Hoym. At that time the lords of Hoym also held the Anhalt fiefs of Bärenrode, Bolkendorf and half of the village of Dankerode. They pledged these estates to the counts of Stolberg, Prince Bernard VI of Anhalt-Bernburg giving his consent as overlord in 1452. In 1461 Henry, Count of Stolberg, paid a sum of 450 gold Rhenish guilders to Frederick the Elder, Frederick the Younger and Henry of Hoym for the purchase of two abandoned villages, Olvesfelde and Mußeberg, and half of the village of Dankerode.

    In 1514 the princes, Ernest and Wolfgang of Anhalt, renewed the enfeoffment of Stolberg and Heinrichsberg Castle together with its estates, the village of Breitenstein, the then already deserted village of Ammacht, the copse near Gräfen Pond (Gräfenteich), a field near Güntersberge and the field at Lingesbach, half the village of Dankerode and other rights. In the said letter of enfeoffment, the Stolberg claim to several estates in the Harz, in particular three abandoned settlements between Güntersberge and Harzgerode, whose vassals were the lords of Hoym at that time, are recorded and documented. Count Botho, however, was engaged in negotiations over their purchase with Lord (Ritter) Magnus of Hoym. The Stolberg prince had become financially strong enough to create a link between the towns of Güntersberge and Harzgerode, already in his possession by acquiring land, thereby extending Stolberg's sphere of influence in the northeast. Magnus of Hoym but died before the conclusion of the contract. He left his infant son, Frederick of Hoym, whose guardian concluded the inheritance agreement with Botho, Count of Stolberg in 1518. The purchase price for these fiefs that had belonged to the Hoym family since 1430 was 1550 guilders. After reaching the age of majority, Frederick of Hoym ratified the inheritance purchase in 1530 but raised the price of 900 gold guilders, because he said that the estates had been sold below their true value.

    The late-medieval deserted village of Bärenrode was made habitable again by the counts of Stolberg in the 16th century and the outwork there was turned into the administrative seat for an Amt. The castles of Erichsberg and Heinrichsberg, just a few kilometres away, which had fallen into insignificance as a result of their increasing decline, were now managed by the Amt of Bärenrode. Of the estates of the two castles, only the village of Breitenstein, which had originally belonged to Heinrichsberg Castle, and its extensive areas of forest subsequently had any great importance.

  • Ziegenkopf (Harz)
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Ziegenkopf (Harz)

    The Ziegenkopf is a hill, 400.7 m above sea level, near Blankenburg in the Harz mountains in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.

    Observation tower

    Over 100 years ago an observation tower, 30 metres high with a stone base and wooden upper storey, was erected on the summit of the Ziegenkopf, with good views over to the famous Brocken. Next to it is a hilltop restaurant.

  • Heimburg Castle
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Heimburg Castle

    Heimburg Castle (German: Burg Heimburg), also called the Altenburg or Alteburg, is a ruined castle on an oval hilltop about 330 metres above sea level (NN) which is located just north of the Harz Mountains in central Germany. The ruins of this hilltop castle stand above the village of Heimburg in the borough of Blankenburg in the district of Harz in the state of Saxony-Anhalt. It is checkpoint no. 84 in the Harzer Wandernadel hiking network.

    The hill castle was probably built in the 10th century to defend the important Harz mining region and the route to the imperial hunting base of Bodfeld in the central Harz from Saxon princes. It was first mentioned as a possession of Emperor Henry IV in 1073. It was destroyed by the Saxons after the Battle of Welserholz in 1123. In 1143 the castle must have been rebuilt as it was entrusted to a ministerialis, Anno of Heimburg, by Henry the Lion. After losing a feud between Heimburg and Regenstein that had lasted for several generations, Heimburg conceded the castle to Count Ulrich I of Regenstein. One line of these counts thenceforth called themselves Regenstein-Heimburg. In the 16th century the castle was enfeoffed repeatedly but after its destruction in the Thirty Years' War it was not restored. The castle fell into ruins and was used as a source of stone for building materials. After the Regensteins died out in 1599 the fief was returned to its feudal lord, the Duke of Brunswick. Excavations were carried out on the site from 1891 to 1894 and, in 1990, the site was refurbished and opened to the public.

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Travel Insider Tips for Blankenburg (Harz)

Blankenburg (Harz) Overview

The town of Blankenburg (Harz) lies on the northern edge of the Harz mountains at a height of about 234 metres. It is located west of Quedlinburg (Quedlinburg vacation rentals | Quedlinburg travel guide), south of Halberstadt and east of Wernigerode (Wernigerode vacation rentals | Wernigerode travel guide). The stream known as the Goldbach flows the district of Oesig northwest of the town centre.

Things to See in Blankenburg (Harz)

Above the town to the south on the hill of Blankenstein (334 m) is Blankenburg Castle

The Little Castle (Kleine Schloss) with its baroque gardens belongs to the network of Saxony-Anhalt Garden Dreams

The town hall stems from the renaissance period (internally older, later converted)

Above the town hall is the medieval parish church of St. Bartholomew. In the tower and the chancel of the church there are late romanesque section of wall from around 1200. The statues of benefactors in the chancel, probably around 1300, belong to the other successors of the Naumburg (Naumburg vacation rentals | Naumburg travel guide) benefactors statues.

The town of Blankenburg (Harz) has picturesque villas from the turn of the 20th century

Also worth seeing are the historic gardens (baroque garden, castle park, pheasant garden, animal park)

On the edge of the town lies the former robber baron castle of Regenstein. Below the Regenstein is a Germanic cult site thingstead and, not far away, the so-called Regenstein Mill.

The Teufelsmauer (Devil's Wall) is a bizarre sandstone rock formation and geological natural monument


Remains of the Luisenburg castle

The sand caves (Sandhöhlen) in Heers

The town museum for Blankenburg (Harz) is in the Little Castle, the former ducal Lustschloss

Unique in Germany is the hostel museum. It contains a large collection of items, as well as a library of craft work.

In addition there is Michaelstein Abbey with its herb garden and instrument museum.

Michaelstein Abbey

Ruins of Regenstein Castle

Wilhelm Raabe Tower west of Blankenburg (Harz) on the Eichenberg

[ source: wikipedia ]

More about the History of Blankenburg (Harz)

The first traces of settlement date to the Old Stone Age, but the first recorded mention of Blankenburg goes back to 1123. The Saxon duke, Lothair of Supplinburg installed Poppo, a nephew of the Bishop, Reinhard of Halberstadt, as count at the castle, which stood on a bare limestone rock on the site of the present castle. The name of the town derives from this castle.

Count Poppo I of Blankenburg very probably came from the Frankish noble family of Reginbodonen. His descendants were also subject to the nearby Regenstein Castle. This was a fief from the Bishopric of Halberstadt like the County of Blankenburg, also called the Hartingau. In 1180/82 Frederick Barbarossa had Blankenburg devastated because it had pledged "sole allegiance" to the Welf, Henry the Lion. In 1386 Blankenburg suffered heavy destruction again.

Following the death of the last count of Regenstein, John Ernest, the county went in 1599 as an agreed enfeoffment (erledigtes Lehen) back to the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg. During the Thirty Years' War Blankenburg was hard pressed by Wallenstein and was occupied in 1625. Nine cannonballs embedded in the walls of the town hall recall this difficult time.

The dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg turned the place into a secondary residence in the 17th century and it enjoyed its heyday under Duke Louis Rudolf (1690–1731), the second son of Anthony Ulrich of Wolfenbüttel. Rudolf was given Blankenburg in 1707 as a paragium. At the same time the County of Blankenburg was elevated to the status of an imperial principality (Reichsfürstentum) which was ruled independently until 1731, but then, because Louis Rudolf became a duke, was reunited with Brunswick where it remained. The present-day Little Castle with its terraced garden and baroque pleasure garden stems from that period. From 1807 to 1813 Blankenburg belonged to the Kingdom of Westphalia.

In the Seven Years' War the absolute neutrality of the town made it a safe refuge for the Brunswick court. Louis XVIII also stayed in Blankenburg under the name of Count of Lille from 24 August 1796 to 10 February 1798, after his escape from Dillingen.

[ source: wikipedia ]

Blankenburg (Harz) is a town and health resort in the district of Harz, in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, at the north foot of the Harz Mountains, 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Halberstadt.

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