10 places to see in Quedlinburg, Germany

Quedlinburg. Attractions of the city center

Sights of Kvedlinburg. What to see in Kvedlinburg. Reviews about Quedlinburg.

Every fan of half-timbered cities simply must visit Quedlinburg. There are more than 1,200 half-timbered houses – the largest number of half-timbered houses of any city in Germany. It is in Quedlinburg is one of the oldest German half-timbered houses. Looking ahead, I would say that Quedlinburg has fully justified its title as a half-timbered paradise. But apart from these crooked multi-colored houses there is also a lot to see here: a castle, an abbey and churches. On the plus side of the city is its rich history, important in the context of the whole country. We arrived in Quedlinburg in the evening. But before dark we had time to run through the city. So the first walk will be an overview of the very center of the city.

Again. The first story is an easy overview walk through the center immediately after arrival. Over the next two days we walked around Quedlinburg more thoroughly. So I recommend checking out my other stories about the sights of Quedlinburg. They are more thorough: Quedlinburg. From Market Square to the Klopstock House of Quedlinburg. Castle Mountain Quedlinburg. Münzenberg and the New Town of Quedlinburg. What else to see

My first exposure to half-timbered architecture was in 2013 in Normandy in Rouen. I was going to Rouen for the Gothic cathedrals and churches, but I ended up in the most half-timbered place in all of Europe. Rouen has more than 2,000 half-timbered houses, or as they say in France, colombages. By comparison, there are 1,200 such houses in Quedlinburg. At the time, the subject literally struck me so much that on subsequent trips I became a dedicated half-timbered house hunter.

A year after Rouen, I visited the Franconian town of Rothenburg an der Tauber. And there I was again strengthened in my love for this style. For a long time, Rothenburg became the model of an ideal city in my taste. I also came to like Germany. For some reason I felt very comfortable in this country. When I came across half-timbered photos of Quedlinburg, then I was struck by the idea to go there. And so I was able to make my dream come true.

Quedlinburg sights on the map:

After a short introduction, it’s time to take a walk around Quedlinburg. Already on the way to the hotel, I immediately put myself in a positive mood when the first half-timbered streets began to appear. As you understand, I also booked the hotel out of the principle that it was necessarily in half-timbered. I had already lived in Auburn in Alsace in such a house and knew all its disadvantages (creaky floors, musty smells, uncomfortable bath and toilet), but decided to repeat this attraction.

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Quedlinburg sights

The hotel in Quedlinburg was called Himmel & Hölle. I am a total ignoramus in German. But somehow I got the translation by accident. So it is called in Russian. Heaven and Hell. And the hotel is on the street Hölle, i.e. Hell.

Quedlinburg sights

Well, in terms of interior the hotel is disappointing. We are disappointed with the interior design. But some things were nice all the same. For example, these chic beams! By the way, I wrote here that I recently did repairs. So I did the same on the ceiling. So I’m not kidding when I say I’m a fan of half-timbered, I now have 120kg of reminder hanging over my head.

Quedlinburg sights

The room was two stories. The second floor is useless little more than at all. But the views from its window are gorgeous.

Quedlinburg in one day

It’s an ordinary street in Quedlinburg, if anything, not a tourist center at all. But it’s no big deal.

Quedlinburg sights

This is the view, I call it. I promise that in the next stories we will definitely get to this castle and church on the mountain.

Quedlinburg photos

And here is the view of our dwelling in Quedlinburg. The last two floors under the roof are at our disposal for two nights. The hotel, as I understand it, is relatively new. Originally there was a restaurant Himmel & Hölle, which is very rating according to the reviews on Tripadvisor.

I went to read the history of this half-timbered house. Turns out it was built in 1614. We are sleeping in a house that is four centuries old! Moreover, Jews lived compactly in this part of Quedlinburg. Again, we find ourselves in a ghetto, as we did a month ago in Syracuse. For almost a hundred years, this house had been the site of a Jewish prayer house. At the beginning of the 20th century, the house became dilapidated and the Jews sold the house. The current appearance is the result of a renovation in 2005, when these beautiful showcases on the first floor appeared.

Quedlinburg sights

Since the hotel was located almost in front of the main square, there was immediate beauty from its doors. And immediately there was a problem. I had already become a tourist nuisance by then. And when was the house built, and who lived here? Is there any historical tale about this building? Just walking around like that hasn’t interested me for a long time. Here, why is there a pentagram on the red house on the right? Why is this street called Hell Street (Hölle)? So, let’s walk around and figure it out.

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Quedlinburg sights

The stone house at the end of the street is called the Hell House (Höllenhof). It is very old, the oldest part of it dates back to 1215. In the terminology of Russian history is pre-Mongolian period, from which we have not a lot. And here we have someone living in it. It used to be a residential house, then a monastic community, a brewery, and even a movie theater. There is an interesting legend connected with the house. But I will tell you it in the next part.

Quedlinburg sights

In fact, as cultural heritage sites, all houses are listed in Wikipedia by pedantic Germans. But it is, of course, a hell of a job: to recognize the address of a building, find it on Wiki, translate it from German. So there won’t be stories about every house, we’ll just walk around the city admiring the half-timbered streets.

Quedlinburg sights

Rose Street (Stieg). Ahead of us looms the facade of the City Hall.

Quedlinburg sights

Quedlinburg sights

One of the most spectacular corners of the old town of Quedlinburg. And the Roland Café in this beautiful house is also quite worthy.

Quedlinburg sights

We went to the main square of the medieval town. As is usual in such places, it was called Market (Marktplatz). At the front rises the town hall. Originally the town hall was Gothic, but then it was rebuilt in the Renaissance style, although the Gothic elements were preserved in some places or were restored later in the 19th century, when it became fashionable to return to the old times.

Quedlinburg sights

So, where are all the people? Well, there’s no one in Quedlinburg. If passing tour groups come here during the day, then in the evening everything dies out. I checked the statistics. In a year there are ten times fewer tourists in Quedlinburg than in Rothenburg. And I suspect that most of them are day-trippers.

Quedlinburg sights

But I only benefit from this lack of people. It adds to the atmosphere. The main thing is to keep the places open for dinner.

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Quedlinburg sights

Quedlinburg sights

See the lavish outhouse on the left? That’s the local rich merchant who built himself a crypt right in the center of town. In fact, there used to be a church here with a cemetery in the courtyard. Over time, the church was demolished and the cemetery was leveled, but the gorgeous baroque mausoleum miraculously survived. The townspeople were not too steamed by this neighborhood, and began building houses in the vicinity of the crypt.

Quedlinburg sights

About thirty years ago Quedlinburg was in a dilapidated state. I looked at photos from the GDR times, it was really very bad. But gradually the city is restored, although from time to time tourists come across abandoned and dilapidated corners.

Quedlinburg sights

But this street is clearly a street that was rebuilt recently.

Quedlinburg sights

In addition to the fact that the city absolutely dies out after 7 p.m., there’s another peculiarity. Quedlinburg is also very bad economically (bad compared to the rest of Germany, of course). Literally dying out every year a place with low incomes of the population. So you should not be surprised by a second-hand clothes store in a beautiful half-timbered house.

Quedlinburg sights

But the Gothic churches are great. For example the church of St. Benedict. Yes, it’s very late Gothic, but still. I won’t go into detail yet, we just have a sightseeing walk.

Quedlinburg sights

From this fountain you can study the history of Quedlinburg. See that dog? That’s the same dog Kwedel after whom (according to legend) Kwedlinburg was named.

But now it’s peacetime and the city no longer needs to be guarded, so Quedel leaves his post.

Quedlinburg sights

I promised no details, but I will tell you about the fountain nonetheless. To set you right, that Quedlinburg is by no means a hole, but one of the important centers of German history.

The three figures are Heinrich I Ptitzelov with his wife Matilde and his granddaughter, also Matilde, who became the first abbess of the local monastery. About Henry also I will tell a little later, I will only note that it is he who is usually considered the founder of the first German state. And all this history took place in Quedlinburg.

The second composition with female and male busts is dedicated to the sons and daughters of Quedlinburg (their names are embossed on different elements of the sculpture): the first woman doctor in Germany Dorothea Erxleben, the great German poet Klopstock, the founder of modern geography Karl Ritter, the first physical education teacher Johannes Guts-Muts. That’s how many great personalities in tiny Quedlinburg!

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A third sculpture with two women, young and old, symbolizes nature, spring and fall, and hints that modern Quedlinburg is the most important center for seed production.

Quedlinburg sights

Quedlinburg sights

Quedlinburg sights

Quedlinburg sights

Another Gothic church of St. Matilda . Okay, okay, experts will immediately see that there is only a hint of Gothic, which was very much in love in the mid-19th century. Judging by the description, the church has an interesting interior, so you can go in if it’s open.

The Church of St. Matilda was built in the mid-19th century and was designed by a famous Viennese architect. Among his most notable works are his participation in the construction of the Cologne Cathedral and Vienna City Hall, as well as the restoration of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.

The church was consecrated in honor of Queen Mathilde, wife of Henry I. His second wife Matilda of Westphalia was known for her good works: she was actively engaged in charity, founding monasteries and various godly institutions. The most important was the convent in Quedlinburg, where St. Matilda was buried after her death. During the Saxon dynasty, the monastery of Quedlinburg was an important spiritual and educational center in Germany.

One of the church’s relics is the Gothic Pieta, created in the early 15th century by an unknown master. A few years ago, the Pieta was moved to St. Matilda’s Church from St. Wigbert’s Church. The main altar of the church is painted with images of Saint Matilda surrounded by angels and saints. In the center is St. Matilda with her hand raised for blessing, on the side wings of the altar – St. Matilda is depicted as queen and founder of the monastic congregation, as the patroness of the church and the popular benefactress. In the chancel are three interesting stained glass windows with images of the saints.

Quedlinburg sights

Alas, the city walls of Quedlinbrugh have hardly survived. But several defensive towers survived. Sternkiekerturm – the tower of Star-Spangled Banner is one of them. I read that all these towers were added in romantic 19th century, but nevertheless the basis of the tower is quite medieval. The most important thing is that on Sternkiekerturm is the highest (42 m) observation deck in Quedlinburg.

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Quedlinburg sights

Quedlinburg sights

We went back to Market Square again, because I was eager to buy a guidebook to Kvedlinburg from the tourist office. It was scheduled to open at 8pm, to recruit a group for the evening tour. Of course, I never waited for the opening.

Quedlinburg sights

Quedlinburg sights

One of Quedlinburg’s neighborhoods is located on the high Münzenberger hill. Once upon a time there was a convent on the mountain (which is called Coin Mountain). The inhabitants of the mountain are considered by the rest of the Quedlinburgers to be eccentrics and make up jokes about them. For some reason, according to local stereotypes, all Munzenbergers are either thieves or musicians. The monument, exactly, depicts Münzenberger musicians.

Quedlinburg sights

Quedlinburg sights

The small river Mühlgraben flows through the center.

Quedlinburg sights

What is that strange tower inside the Fleischhof complex? It turns out that this is an old dovecote. From the name of the complex, it is clear that there was a farm and yard of butchers.

Quedlinburg sights

Quedlinburg sights

And right next door is the oldest half-timbered house in all of Germany! Well, okay, that’s not really accurate. But for sure it’s one of the oldest buildings in Quedlinburg. The Ständerbau house dates back to 1346. See how primitive it still is? Wooden posts give its white facade a vertical structure, hence the name “Stenderbau”, from Ständer, a beam, support.

Quedlinburg sights

Inside the house there is a Fachwerk Museum. A little later we will visit it.

Quedlinburg sights

It was time to sum up the results of the first walk. Well, I think you already understood from my enthusiastic comments that Quedlinburg did not disappoint. By that time on my account were half-timbered gems of Normandy, Burgundy, Alsace, Brittany and Bavaria, and what’s more, I was in England, specially sought out the half-timbered York and visited it. But even with that experience, I was not disappointed. The value of Quedlinburg is in its continuity. There are not surviving islands of antiquity here, but simply the entire city is transported entirely from the Middle Ages.

Quedlinburg sights

At this point we decided, although the towers of Quedlinburg Castle loomed ahead, to end the sightseeing walk and indulge in the embrace of German cuisine. Early May is asparagus season in Saxony, mmm. Can’t miss that.

The next day we planned to examine the city more thoroughly. Which I will tell you about in the new series: Kvedlinburg. From Market Square to Klopstockhaus.

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