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Early blossomers in Saale-Unstrut - winter bulbs and spring snowflakes entice you outdoors

Early bloomers in Saale-Unstrut - Winterlings (c) Heidi Heldt

Explore early bloomers in Saale-Unstrut - here is where to find them

The first rays of sunshine in spring are always the moment when we start looking for suitable destinations for a spring hike. Saale-Unstrut, as a nature-oriented travel region, has a few beautiful places to offer, where winter bulbs and mullein are in full bloom.

Did you know that... the first Winter Lilies came to came over the Alps to Central Europe as early as the 16th century?
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Winterling Days in Ostrava are celebrated every year

Harmoniously embedded in the cultural landscape of Saxony-Anhalt, to the north-east of Halle, lies the Baroque Castle Ostrava. The location and building are intercultural in their history: The palace was designed by the electoral Hanoverian court architect Louis Remy de la Fosse in the French-Italian style, on a Slavic settlement island of
The castle was built in the 9th century and is surrounded by one of the first English landscape gardens on German soil. The 14-hectare castle park is a paradise for dreamy walks and leisurely strolls.

Our tip: Winterling Days from mid-February to mid-March 2022

During the Winterling Days, visitors can expect cultural and culinary delights in addition to the impressive natural experience offered by the bright yellow early-flowering meadows in the park. The current programme is available at www.ostrau.de to find.

Early bloomers in Saale-Unstrut (c) Heidi Heldt
Early bloomers in Saale-Unstrut (c) Heidi Heldt
Winter flowers (c) Heidi Heldt
Winter flowers (c) Heidi Heldt
Early bloomers in Saale-Unstrut - Winterlings (c) Heidi Heldt
Early bloomers in Saale-Unstrut - Winterlings (c) Heidi Heldt

Near Jena there is a whole hiking trail to the Winterlings

In the Thuringian part of Saale-Unstrut, not far from Jena in the Rautal, numerous hikers enjoy the yellow blossoms of the winter butterfly every year. The unique occurrence of this early-flowering plant near Closewitz on this scale is extremely unusual. From Closewitz it is only about 700 metres to the sea of blossoms.

Presumably in the 17th century, the wintercreepers migrated with vines from southern Europe - lucky for today's people who are looking for early bloomers in Saale-Unstrut. The favourable climate of the Jena valley basin and the near-natural composition of the forest stand favour the natural spread of the winter bulbs.

Our tip: Winterlinge circular trail near Jena
At www.visit-jena.de you will find the most important information on the Winterlinge circular trail. There is also a short video to whet your appetite to go on the trail of the Winterlings.

Did you know that... about 300 flowers grow on one square metre? This means that there are about 1.6 million yellow-flowered plants growing in the entire area around Closewitz. It can be as many as 5 million.
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The Märzenbechertal valley near Landgrafroda

In the Ziegelroda forest, not far from Querfurt, southwest of the district of Landgrafroda lies the Märzenbecher Valley. The slopes of the Kerbtal are overgrown with beech and oak trees and offer the best conditions for the marchflowers. They have spread widely and form a refreshing sight after the long winter period during the flowering season between the end of February and the beginning of April.

Hikers experience a carpet of millions of the white, calyx-like flowers with the typical green dots. The Marzenbecher is a protected species and attracts numerous visitors from near and far to Saale-Unstrut every year. 

The Märzenbechertal valley near Landgrafroda has even been designated as an areal natural monument since 1989. 
Let's go there! Early blossoms in Saale-Unstrut couldn't be more fascinating.

Our tip: Hike through the Märzenbechertal valley
You can start in Landgrafenroda at the fire station. A short round trip is around 4 kilometres, but it is also possible to spend the day longer in the Ziegelroda forest.

Fairy-cup forest near Ossig in the Zeitz forest

Not far from Zeitz - between the Gutenborn municipality and Weather Station - the small village of Ossig lies in the middle of the Aga-Elster Valley and Zeitz Forest landscape conservation area in the extreme south of Saxony-Anhalt on the border to Thuringia. The characteristic hilly landscape, the highest point of which is the Grabeholzhöhe at 299 metres above sea level, encompasses the deep valleys of the White Elster and the Aga as well as the adjacent plateaus. The Zeitz Forest is the largest, relatively undeveloped forest area in southern Saxony-Anhalt.

Especially in spring - at the time of the early blossoms - the inhabitants of Ossig get more visitors than they are used to. Sun-seekers and spring excursionists are on their way to the mullein forest to find the small calyx flowers with the green dots.

It depends a little on the weather and precipitation when the snowflakes are in full bloom. Sometimes it can be as early as mid-February, in other years actually as late as March. Maybe you should just plan several trips so as not to miss the most beautiful moment.

Our tip: From Ossig along the Märzenbecherweg trail
If you follow the Aga from Ossig, you will soon come across a signpost that leads you through the Märzenbecherwald. If the excursion is not enough for you, take the path towards Breitenbach. Varied, romantic and beautiful.

The Ossiger Raststübl is a small refreshment stop. However, as there are only a few seats in the restaurant, the operators would be pleased if you could book in advance (Tel. 034423 22019).

With care and caution to the joys of spring!
An important note should be made here. The snowflake is a protected species and therefore worthy of protection. Please stay on the paths and ensure with your considerate behaviour that the joys of spring can give us pleasure for many years to come.

Marzenbecher near Neuengönna and Hirschroda

In the Erdengraben between Dornburg and Neuengönna, the Marzenbecher occurs over a larger area. Its habitat is the moist, loamy soil of floodplain and deciduous forests. As you have already read, Saale-Unstrut can enjoy several meadows and forests where the mullein occurs in abundance.

The small village of Neuengönna lies between the City of Light Jena and Dornburg-Camburg with its beautiful Dornburg Castles. From Dornburg in a northerly direction along the Saale, the route goes via Hirschroda to Camburg. 

Marchflower very close (c) Municipality of Gutenborn, Kinderfestverein Ossig e.V.
Marchflower very close (c) Municipality of Gutenborn, Kinderfestverein Ossig e.V.
Our tip: Take the public transport to the snowflakes

Neuengönna is very easy to reach by train - or rather: the places around it. Coming from Jena, you should get off at Porstendorf and then walk for about half an hour to Neuengönna. The second option is to get off in Dornburg-Camburg - this way you have the Dornburg castles above the vine-covered shell limestone rock right in front of you as another highlight of the hike. If you prefer to start from Dornburg in the direction of Camburg If you want to hike, that is also possible. Between Hirschroda and Wichmar, the snowflake also appears in large numbers.

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