Regional Profile: Vogtland

Vogtland in Saxony

The Vogtland - a popular hiking destination

Located between Saxony, Thuringia, Bavaria and Bohemia, the Vogtland is a diverse region dominated by a cornucopia of castles. Beautiful small towns from Auerbach to Zeulenroda as well as an idyllic landscape with parks, valleys, rivers and nature reserves are waiting to be discovered.

The name "Vogtland" stems from the administration and leadership of the Vögte, or advocates, of Weida, Gera, Plauen and Greiz. The principal Reuss family also originates in the Vogtland. Aiming to preserve and revive the historical sites a new initiative, the "Kulturweg der Vögte" started in September 2016.

Things to see and do

Hiking, walking, cycling

Vogtland in Thuringia Enlarge image Vogtland in Thuringia (© picture alliance / dpa) The Vogtland is a place for lovers of nature as well as those of history and culture. You could either go hiking, cycling or just for a walk to one of the beautiful nature reserves like the Greiz-Werdauer Woods or the Elster valley and enjoy nature and discover charming spots and sights on foot or by bike. Or you can find out about the history of the Reuss family on the "Reußische Fürstenstraße" leading to small towns all through the Vogtland.

Greiz – pearl of the Vogtland

Lower Castle in Greiz Enlarge image Lower Castle in Greiz (© picture-alliance / DUMONT Bildar) The Residence of the Reuss family and therefore of the smallest principality of Germany, Greiz is a town in the east of Thuringia. Three castles and an English landscape garden together with the Weiße Elster river shape the townscape.

The Upper and the Lower Castle are both museums with a permanent exhibition about the Vogtland becoming the principality of the Reuss family. A Romanesque chapel adorns the Upper Castle, and a textile workshop is open to the public in the Lower Castle.

Sommerpalais in Greiz

Sommerpalais in Greiz Enlarge image Sommerpalais in Greiz (© picture alliance / dpa) The third castle located in Greiz, the Sommerpalais (summer palace) with a collection of books, copperplate engravings and caricatures is connected to the British royal family. Princess Elizabeth, third daughter of King George III of Great Britain and Ireland became Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg in 1818. Today, the part of her inheritance bestowed upon Greiz is the most valuable part of the collection of copperplate engravings with prints, scientific works and, most noteworthy, mezzotint engravings. The Sommerpalais is surrounded by an English landscape garden with rare species of trees, various kinds of birds and a picturesque lake that invites to linger or stroll through nature.

Castles, castles, and more castles

Mylau Castle Enlarge image Mylau Castle (© picture-alliance / DUMONT Bildar) Thuringia and Saxony are veritable "lands of castles and fortresses", and the Vogtland is studded with them. To name but a few, Leubnitz Castle and Mylau Castle are museums nowadays and one can still visit the rooms as they might have looked when they were inhabited.

The Royal Complex Bad Elster is especially noteworthy as it was the summer residence of the Saxon Royal Family and many buildings from that time still surround the city centre.

Göltzschtalbrücke

Mylau, Goeltzschtalbruecke Enlarge image Mylau, Goeltzschtalbruecke (© picture-alliance / akg-images / ) At 78 metres high and about half a kilometre long, Göltzschtalbrücke is the biggest bridge made of bricks in the world. It was finished in the mid-19th century after five years of kilning bricks and fitting them together. The bridge has served as a train connection between Leipzig and Nuremberg through the Göltzsch valley ever since and the impressive construction has become the landmark of the Vogtland.

Traditional arts and crafts workshops in Plauen

Plauen lace show workshop Enlarge image Plauen lace show workshop (© picture-alliance / DUMONT Bildar) Handcrafting has played an important part of everyday life for many people in the Vogtland, who have kept up the tradition until today. Some workshops for instruments, textiles or blacksmithing are still in use and open to the public. Particularly the "Plauener Spitze" (Plauen lace embroidery) workshop with original machines and a museum is worth a visit for all ages. Plauen is also the Vogtland’s largest city.

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Upper Castle in Greiz

Upper Castle in Greiz

Royal Complex Bad Elster

Royal Complex Bad Elster

City Profile: Nuremberg

Heilig-Geist-Spital in Nuremberg

Founded in 1050, Nuremberg is situated in the Bavarian region of Franconia, in southern Germany. With a population of around 510,000, it is Bavaria's second largest city after Munich. World-famous for its rich history and local specialities such as its Bratwurst (sausage), in recent times Nuremberg has become a vibrant and modern city with much to offer.

City Profile: Dresden

view of Dresden at dusk

Often referred to as the “Florence on the Elbe”, Dresden is well known for a seemingly inexhaustible number of architecturally significant buildings, major art collections and picturesque landscapes. In addition to that, the capital of Saxony has earned a reputation for being one of the most hip and vibrant cities in the East of Germany.

City Profile: Leipzig

Old town hall on the market square in Leipzig

The largest city in Saxony, Leipzig has earned a reputation of being an important centre for culture and business in Germany. Goethe called Leipzig "a little Paris" when he came to study law at its university. Leipzig has a long and well-known history, including the Battle of the Nations in 1813 and mass demonstrations against the GDR regime which contributed to the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.

World Heritage sites

Castle Falkenlust interior

Here is a chronological overview of all UNESCO World Heritage sites in Germany. You can find a brief description and links to their websites below.