On the bicycle to Heinrich Schütz
That's only with us! You can even discover Heinrich Schütz in Saale-Unstrut by bike.
For the autumn of the Schütz-Novalis festival year 2022, we present three relaxed cycle tours on which you will meet the composer at the authentic places where he lived and worked. Along the way, you will get to know interesting stages of the Elsterradweg and the Saaleradweg. The Castle Tour connects the residential towns of Zeitz, Weißenfels and Merseburg. When are you planning your first musical bike tour?
Why you should explore Heinrich Schütz in Saale-Unstrut in autumn 2022...
Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) is considered the most important German composer of the 17th century. The 350th anniversary of the death of the "father of modern music" is coming up in 2022. Fascinating cultural highlights are planned for the autumn months. The annual Heinrich Schütz Music Festival in October and the Merseburg Organ Days in September are known beyond the region. But special exhibitions and other concert highlights also take up the theme of Heinrich Schütz in Saale-Unstrut. In addition, the desire for activity can be combined with musical enjoyment in the region: during the day you can cycle along the well-developed cycle paths, and in the evening you can treat yourself to a treat for the ears.
Whoever tries out this unusual offer of cultural bike tours through Saale-Unstrut can expect an idyllic river landscape to important places where the early Baroque composer lived and worked in Bad Köstritz, Zeitz, Weißenfels and Merseburg.
Elsterradweg: from the birthplace in Bad Köstritz to the place of work in Zeitz
Every one of you has certainly read Bad Köstritz, e.g. in the beer section of the supermarket, because the small town in the Elster Valley is known above all for its Black beer is known beyond the region. Heinrich Schütz was born here on 8 October 1585. But the city also sees itself as a city of flowers. A visit is worthwhile for its Parks and the Dahlia Centre. There is even a dahlia queen there!
Although Heinrich Schütz only spent the first five years of his life in Bad Köstritz, the town keeps his legacy alive to this day. The permanent exhibition in the Heinrich Schütz House tells of the composer's life and work and introduces the curious instruments of the time, such as the hurdy-gurdy, the Gemshorn or the sausage bassoon.
In the former royal seat, Heinrich Schütz supported Duke Moritz of Saxony-Zeitz in building up his court music. For example, he suggested two organ galleries opposite each other for multi-choir music-making in the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. Until 6 November, the Museum Moritzburg Castle in its special exhibition "Lemons for Zeitz - how Heinrich Schütz shaped the music of the Residenz" recalls the composer's work on site. At Castle Park visitors dive on a Sound path into the world of the musician. Via QR codes you can call up exciting stories and musical contributions with your smartphone.
Zeitz and Bad Köstritz are locations of the renowned Heinrich Schütz Music Festival. From 7 to 16 October, they invite you to musical museum rounds, small sacred and large festival concerts as well as special guided tours.
The cycle tour we would like to recommend to you has a length of around 23 kilometres. It leads from Bad Köstritz along the Elster cycle path to Zeitz, where Schütz worked as a chapel master in his old age.
After a visit to the Heinrich Schütz House, you drive for the most part along the banks of the White Elster via Crossen to Wetterzeube. Don't hesitate to make a detour to the HaynsburgIts tower offers a fantastic view over the Elster valley. Burgenland specialities are served in the castle tavern. The tour continues past vineyards to Zeitz.
On the Castle Cycle Tour from Zeitz to Heinrich Schütz's Retirement Home in Weißenfels
Weißenfels an der Saale is closely associated with Heinrich Schütz. The virtuoso spent his childhood here. After living in Dresden, Venice and Copenhagen, his path led him back here at the end of his life. We dare say that Weißenfels was already a place worth living in back then.
The Heinrich Schütz House in Weißenfels is the only original residence of the composer that has been preserved. He composed his highly esteemed works of old here. Today, a modern and detailed exhibition lets all guests participate in the life of the musician in fictional audio plays. The restored composer's room is not to be missed. It is the highlight of the museum tour with two fragments of music written by Schütz himself.
In autumn 2022, the Heinrich Schütz House and the city of Weißenfels invite you to special cultural events. These include a benefit concert on 10 September 2022, a musical-scenic evening on 12 September 2022 as well as special tours and concerts during the Heinrich Schütz Music Festival in October.
A real treat for all those who want to enjoy Heinrich Schütz in Saale-Unstrut is the world premiere of the choral symphonic work "From the Life of Heinrich Schütz" on 6 November 2022 at the Kulturhaus in the Saale city.
Castle bike tour... it sounds so romantic. When the Residence castles of the ducal lines of Saxe-Weißenfels, Saxe-Zeitz and Saxe-Merseburg, it was probably a very convivial time. The baroque palaces still bear witness to this period and the palace bike tour is a special tip to trace the time of the dukes in Saale-Unstrut.
Zeitz is the starting point for the 50-kilometre stage to Weißenfels. First, the route goes slightly uphill to Droyßig, which also invites you to stop off with a castle and a bear enclosure. If you are cycling with your family, you might want to take time to visit the Bärentatzenweg but that's just a tip by the way. From Osterfeld, the route continues through the quiet Wethautal valley to the Saale. The last section finally follows the Saaleradweg. Here you can almost see Heinrich Schütz in Weißenfels.
Now it's getting romantic after all: On the Saale Cycle Path to the Organ Days in Merseburg
The destination of this tour from Weißenfels is the university town of Merseburg with its thousand-year-old Imperial Cathedral. The imposing cathedral-castle ensemble towers over the Saale from afar as you approach the city on the Saale Cycle Route. The most precious treasures of the 1000-year-old imperial cathedral are the world-famous Merseburg spellswhich already inspired the Brothers Grimm. But in the cathedral, the "queen of instruments" also awaits you - namely the largest and most powerful organ of the Romantic era - the Ladegast organ. Did you know that it dominated the closing image in the Hollywood blockbuster Monuments Men with acting star George Clooney? Perhaps you will look at the instrument with completely different eyes during a concert.
The Ladegast organ is the focus of the Merseburg Organ Days every September. In autumn 2022, they will run from 10 to 18 September. They also offer a musical encounter with Heinrich Schütz in Saale-Unstrut. On three evenings, renowned ensembles such as the Collegium Vocale Leipzig, the Lautten Compagney Berlin and La Capella Ducale, will perform Schütz's Musikalische Exequien, the Schwanengesang as well as psalms and motets.
The 25-kilometre tour starts in Weißenfels on the Saale Cycle Path to Merseburg, which is celebrating the Heinrich Schütz anniversary in mid-September. At the wine villages Castle advertising and Kriechau the route first leads to Bad Dürrenberg with Germany's longest continuous and still functioning graduation works. After a thorough renovation, it will become the National Garden Show 2024 will be able to be experienced again in its entirety. Until then, we recommend a detour to the Borlach-Schacht Museum (open Saturday and Sunday), which focuses on salt production and the history of the city.