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The Circle of Goseck - discover the Saale-Unstrut region with an interactive web app

Guest article by kommwirmachendaseinfach

We are Bolle and Marco from the travel blog "Come on, let's just do it" and we were allowed to visit a few days ago. weeks to explore the multifaceted Saale-Unstrut region and use the interactive web app "Kreis von Goseck" through its paces. Where this app has taken us and what we have learned in the In the following guest article, we reveal everything we have experienced in the region. 
Have fun browsing!

The "Circle of Goseck" web app

It was a different way of travelling for us this time, as we explored the region with the help of a very special app. It reminded us of a "scavenger hunt", because we had to solve various puzzles in very different places. There are a total of 30 stations, each with 3 to 5 tasks, which can be discovered in any order. So there is no specific starting point, you can start wherever you like. The web app "Circle of Goseck" can be used to free of charge can be used on any internet-enabled smartphone in the browser. To do this, we have simply opened the page www.kreis-von-goseck.de and entered our mobile phone number. We were then sent a password by text message, could log in with it and get started straight away.

Marco shows the web app Circle of Goseck (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach
Marco shows the web app Circle of Goseck (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach

In the menu overview, we chose a first station and activated it. The likeable narrator Moritz accompanied us through this varied region and sent us various pictures, voice and text messages. So we always had the feeling of being in direct exchange with him, which was kind of cool.
During our journey through the Saale-Unstrut region, we were able to visit 5 stations of the app and solve 20 of the 22 tasks. In this way, we also discovered lesser-known places that we probably would have overlooked or not even had on our radar without the web app. For us, it was a completely new way to explore a region and has definitely made a difference.
case also aroused our ambition.

Station 1 - Merseburg Cathedral

Armed with the web app, we started our journey in Merseburg. The storyteller Moritz guided us through the Merseburg Cathedral and directly had 5 tasks for us in his luggage. We quickly realised that our "scavenger hunt" was mainly about the smaller details. Sometimes Moritz asked us for the number of candles to be found in the bishop's chapel and sometimes we had to find out what the "Merseburg magic spells" were all about.

View of the west façade of Merseburg Cathedral (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach
View of the west façade of Merseburg Cathedral (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach

Our ambition was naturally aroused and so we kept a lookout for the solutions. In the end, we were able to solve all 5 tasks and learn more about the history of the cathedral in a playful way. We especially liked the impressive Ladegast organwhich was installed with an incredible 5687 pipes. It must be a great experience to hear the sound of these
Experience the organ live.

Westlettner in Naumburg Cathedral (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach
Westlettner in Naumburg Cathedral (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach

TipBy the way, the King's Staircase leads to the impressive roof truss of the cathedral.
From the viewing platform of the south-west tower you can then enjoy a fantastic view over the cathedral and the city (more here).

Station 2 - Naumburg Cathedral

The next day we went to Naumburg, a small town in the south of Saxony-Anhalt. We started the station and waited for first instructions. Fortunately, Moritz led us directly into the Naumburg Cathedralwhich was a great help to us with all the constant rain. Even before the trip, of course, we researched on the net and stumbled over and over again
again about Naumburg Cathedral, which is by far one of the top sights in the region. In 2018, it was even named UNESCO World Heritage Site and thus joins the list of a total of 1,154 cultural monuments and natural sites.

We were excited about our upcoming tasks and were looking forward to finally being able to explore Naumburg Cathedral. The three-nave basilica with its 4 towers, a cloister and cathedral garden was built from 1213 to about 1250 and stretches over a total length of more than 100 metres. As soon as we entered the cathedral, we were struck by the many
The church's interior is characterised by small details, be it imaginative figures on the staircase, colourful stained glass windows, the crucifix in the crypt, the world-famous twelve founder figures in the west choir or the medieval choir stalls.

Crypt of Naumburg Cathedral with Romanesque crucifix (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach
Crypt of Naumburg Cathedral with Romanesque crucifix (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach

Moritz had 5 tasks for us again this day, whereby one or the other task was a bit tricky. In the east choir, for example, we discovered small holes in the floor, whereupon Moritz asked us the following question: "Into the mouth of which animal do they lead underground?" We looked at the map to find out which room was below us and made our way into the crypt. Here we took a look up into the vaulted ceiling and discovered a figure there. After initial difficulties (darkness etc.) we logged the correct answer.

TipEspecially in the lower rooms of the cathedral, it is sometimes difficult to get reception and you no longer receive messages from Moritz. It is best to always pay attention to the reception and only enter the solutions when you are connected to the internet. Otherwise you will wait in vain for a response from Moritz, the game leader.
must reload the app.

Westlettner in Naumburg Cathedral (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach
Westlettner in Naumburg Cathedral (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach

Our exploration tour ended with a walk through the almost one hectare large cathedral garden. We were able to solve all 5 tasks and then strolled through the pretty old town of Naumburg. But in order not to just spend the entire time on the smartphone, we pushed the mobile aside for that moment.

Station 3 - Explore Jena

The day was not over yet, however, because Moritz still had a few tasks in Jena for us.
Von Naumburg aus machten wir uns auf den Weg in die rund 45 Minuten entfernte Universitätsstadt Jena, welche mit rund 111.000 Einwohnern die zweitgrößte Stadt Thüringens ist. Wir aktivierten die Station „Jena“ in der Web-App „Kreis von Goseck“  und folgten den Anweisungen von Moritz. Insgesamt warteten 5 Aufgaben aus uns, welche wir ohne Probleme lösen konnten.

Marco looks over Jena from the JenTower (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach
Marco looks over Jena from the JenTower (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach

Among other things, he took us to the so-called JenTower, an office building about 160 metres high with a viewing platform on the 28th floor. The view from up there was really gigantic, as we could look over the entire city and enjoy the sunset. 

From there, our exploration tour continued to the world's oldest serving planetarium, namely the Zeiss Planetarium. Among other things, fixed stars and planets are impressively projected onto the inside of the white dome. We were able to attend a wonderful demonstration and take a journey through our universe.

After this trip we visited the Botanical Gardenwhich is right next door. Here, in the second oldest garden in Germany, about 10,000 plants from all climate zones of the world awaited us. We strolled through the various greenhouses and were amazed by the countless beautiful tropical plants. One of Moritz's tasks was: "Go to a body of water in the Caribbean and listen carefully: Whose whistle can you hear?" We were able to log in the correct answer and continue our journey....

Botanical garden in jena (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach
Botanical garden in jena (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach

After this little scavenger hunt through Jena, we let ourselves drift a bit and passed the Johannistor, Schiller's garden house, the Phyletisches Museum and the German Optical Museum, among others. We spent the evening in the trendy Wagnergasse and treated ourselves to a delicious dinner at Café Stilbruch.

Station 4 - School Pforta

The third day was already in the starting blocks and we set off to School Pforta. Here we wanted to see the former Cistercian monastery Schulpforta explore, which today is known as Provincial school for around 300 gifted pupils serves. The former monastery was founded as early as 1137, and from 1543 it served as a special
The school functioned as an educational institution. We were amazed at how many famous graduates the school produced. For example, Nietzsche, Klopstock and Fichte.

Schoolpforta (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach
Schoolpforta (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach

Mit einer Umgebungskarte gewappnet (erhältlich in der Information) starteten wir unseren Rundgang und aktivierten die Station in der Web-App „Kreis von Goseck“. Schon beim Betreten des noch von alten Klostermauern eingeschlossenen Schulkomplexes spürten wir eine ganz besondere Atmosphäre.
We discovered, among other things, a church with a cloister, an old mill and barn, a former princely house, a gymnasium, the third largest tree in Germany, a cemetery, teachers' gardens, an observatory, a former hospice, a historic school library with about 80,000 volumes and a beautiful park.
Moritz wanted to know, among other things, what words were on the gravestone of Adolph Gottlob Lange (last Rector of the school) or what the name of the huge tree in the school garden was. The first time we had problems solving all the tasks. For example, we could no longer decipher all the words on the grave slab because too much moss had already grown over it. Moritz gives us new clues every now and then, but even these were not enough to find the right solutions.

Church and cemetery in Schulpforte (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach
Church and cemetery in Schulpforte (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach

And so we left the site with only 1 out of 3 possible points. Of course, this did not dampen our spirits any further, but we would have liked to know where we should have looked. Nevertheless, we can highly recommend a visit to this historic site.

Station 5 - Bad Sulza

During our tour through the Saale-Unstrut region, we also made a stop in the Spa and wine town Bad Sulza. Here, a wide variety of tasks awaited us again and lots of information about the settlement history of the village, which goes back about a thousand years. While in Bad Sulza While in the past it was mainly table salt that was boiled, today visitors come mainly for the health-promoting effect of the brine. Not without reason does the town bear the
spa town" and since 2004 has been officially designated as a Brine spa state-recognised.
Again we started the station in the web app and waited for a message from Moritz. He first sent us to the Louise graduation housewhich is about 1 kilometre away from the spa park. This plant was built in 1753 and served exclusively for industrial purposes at that time. Today, people flock to this place to inhale and exhale the beneficial briny air. The Gardierwerk is 142 metres long and has a walkway and an atomiser hall. By the way, the roofing makes a visit suitable even in bad weather.

Louise graduation house in Bad Sulza (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach
Louise graduation house in Bad Sulza (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach

It was totally crazy to go through the Atomiser hall to walk, because we could hardly see a metre away due to the dense brine fog. Step by step we walked around in a circle and were busy trying not to miss the other visitors. Here in the atomiser hall, the brine is constantly atomised so finely that the salt particles reach deep into the fine
Bronchen. Moritz didn't keep us waiting long and even here he had a task for us, which we could solve by looking through the window.
After learning more about the graduation works and being able to feel the beneficial effects of the brine for ourselves, we made our way to the English-style landscaped park. Spa gardens. Moritz had a few more tasks for us and we discovered the beautiful Swan Pond, the picturesque Birch Avenue, the historic Drinking Hall, the Carl Alexander Sophien Spring and also the former Inhalatorium, where the tourist information centre is now located. This tourist information centre is not to be missed, as it not only offers lots of exciting information but also wine tastings and handmade products from the region.

Trinkhalle in the spa gardens of Bad Sulza (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach
Trinkhalle in the spa gardens of Bad Sulza (c) kommwirmachendaseinfach

Our conclusion on the app and the region

Of course, we didn't just travel through the region with the app in hand. We also visited a few interesting places outside of our scavenger hunt, such as Bad Kösen, the surrounding vineyards near Bad Sulza, the Geiseltalsee lake and the beautiful wine farm of the Thürkind family. When we first searched the web, we had places like Jena, Naumburg and the vineyards on our minds. 

Without the app, we probably wouldn't have explored some places as thoroughly or even had them on our radar screen.such as Bad Sulza, Merseburg Cathedral or Schulpforta.

The app is great easy to use and you can find your way around very quickly. The menu is clear and sensibly structured, the individual stations very well prepared. Very sympathetic We also found the narrator Moritz, who guided us through the story and the stations. For us, the app was a great extension or addition to the Region on explore in a playful way.

The region itself is very diverse and varied. Particularly noteworthy are the numerous cultural-historical sites, monuments and sights as well as the many vineyards, steep terraces and vineyard cottages. Indeed, we learned during our trip that the region is Saale-Unstrut the northernmost quality wine-growing region in Germany and is also known as the "Tuscany of the North". So whether it's art and culture, wine and pleasure or nature and an active holiday - in our eyes, the Saale-Unstrut region offers the full range.

A detailed report on our time in Saale-Unstrut can be found on our blog
(
https://kommwirmachendaseinfach.de/saale-unstrut-sehenswuerdigkeiten) and in our
Story highlights on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/kommwirmachendaseinfach/).

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