The romantic town is known for its wine and sparkling wine, and also as the town where Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, often referred to as the “father of gymnastics”, lived and died. It is set in an idyllic landscape of gentle hills, woods, fields and water meadows in a region characterised by the terraces of the vineyards.
The Schweigenberg in Freyburg, with its ensemble of dry stone walls, steps and typical vineyard huts, is one of the most striking testaments to the work of winegrowers and grape-growing culture in Germany. In 2010 it was included on the exclusive list of “Highlights of wine culture” produced by the German Wine Institute. Both here and along the Ehrauberge to the south of Freyburg, a series of wine restaurants and taverns invite you to stop for a while and sample what they have to offer.
But it is not just its location that makes Freyburg the “wine capital” of this growing region. Here you will also find the Rotkäppchen sparkling wine makers – the German market leader, by the way – and the Winzervereinigung Freyburg winegrowers’ association, which is the largest wine producer in eastern Germany. The area is also shaped by numerous vineyards in and around Freyburg.
Every year on the second weekend in September, the market in Freyburg is transformed into a wine village for the largest winegrowing festival in central Germany. Numerous vineyards from the region offer their wines, merchants fill the streets with bustling activity, and people celebrate, dance and laugh on the town’s festival grounds.
The Freyburg Spring Wine Fair on 1 May along the terraced vineyards is also well worth a visit.
High above the town towers the largest castle of the landgraves of Thuringia, a sister to the Wartburg and the intermittent place of residence of such great names as Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa, the poet Heinrich von Veldeke or Saint Elisabeth. Neuenburg Castle was built in around 1090 by the Thuringian Count Ludwig the Springer, the founder of one of the most influential dynasties of princes in the Holy Roman Empire.
Today Neuenburg Castle houses an attractive modern museum, with exhibitions of its heyday in the High Middle Ages, a wine museum and varying special exhibitions. The youngest visitors can dip into times gone by in the “Kinderkemenate” or “children’s chambers”.
Why not also visit “montalbâne” – the international medieval music Festival?
The home of Rotkäppchen – an insiders’ tip not just for lovers of sparkling wine
“Rotkäppchen” (literally “Little Red Riding Hood”) is a popular sparkling wine which takes its name from its red cap. It has been produced here in Freyburg for over 150 years.
If you have ever wanted to know how exactly the bubbles get into your glass of sparkling wine, you can be initiated into the mysteries of its production on a guided tour of the historic Rotkäppchen cellars.
The doors of the historic sparkling wine producers are open for visitors every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Individual guided tours (which do not need to be booked in advance) start at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. every day, and also at 12.30 and 3.30 p.m. at weekends and on public holidays.
Naturally you can also buy sparkling wines during your visit to the Rotkäppchen cellars. In the winery’s lovingly organised sparkling wine shop, visitors will find all varieties of this famous sparkling wine along with suitable gifts for enjoying it in style.
Winzervereinigung Freyburg-Unstrut eG
The town of Freyburg lies in the heart of the most northerly winegrowing area for Qualitätswein in Europe, and is also home to the Winzervereinigung Freyburg-Unstrut winegrowers’ association. The wine gallery is open daily and offers around 50 different still and sparkling wines.
As well as tastings, the association also offers guided tours of one of the largest and most attractive wine cellars using wooden casks in Germany. More than three million bottles leave the bottling plant every year. The winegrowers’ association was founded in 1934 by 27 eminent winegrowers from the region in order to save the winegrowing industry of Saale and Unstrut.
Friedrich Ludwig Jahn/ FRIEDRICH-LUDWIG-JAHN-MUSEUM
Though it might not be obvious, the people of Freyburg are not only devoted to culinary delights, but also to physical training. After all, Germany’s father of gymnastics lived here for a long time.
The house on the Schlossberg where he once lived now houses the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Museum. A permanent exhibition tells of Jahn’s eventful life and of how he was so much more than just the “father of gymnastics” …
And if you feel like some physical activity after this intellectual sustenance, that won’t be a problem, because naturally a Jahn museum has to have gymnastic equipment! In the outdoor areas you can try out Jahn’s gymnastic exercises to your heart’s content.
Parish church of St. Mary
The parish church of St. Mary was built in around 1225 as a late Romanesque triple-naved basilica. The construction of the church was ordered by the Thuringian landgrave Ludwig IV and his wife Elisabeth, who was later canonised. From the original Romanesque construction the crossing tower still remains with its transept and square chancel, as well as the twin-towered west front with the vestibule, on whose rear wall the Romanesque archivolted portal is located. Mary, the patron saint of the church, is enthroned in the doorway arch. The interior fittings include an altar to St Mary dating from around 1500 and a baptismal font from the year 1592.
• The ducal vineyard
• Zeddenbach Mill
• Zscheiplitz abbey church
• Freyburg open-air swimming pool