A travelogue for wheelchair users
23.07.2020, Jürgen Klug (shortened version)
Jürgen Klug reports on his blog about travelling with a handicap. On behalf of the Saale-Unstrut-Tourismus e.V. he was on the road with his wife and son in Saale-Unstrut to test the region.
Explore Naumburg by wheelchair
Our first place we travelled to was Naumburg. As soon as we arrived in the town centre at the market, the impressive old town hall caught our eye, built at the end of the 15th century and rebuilt in nine years after the great town fire in 1517. There we first dined in the oldest restaurant in town, the Ratskeller. By the way, there is also a wheelchair-accessible toilet at the town hall that can be opened at any time with the Eurokey (fits all public toilets for people with disabilities).
After refreshments, we went to the town's landmark, the Naumburg Cathedralwhich has been a World Heritage Site since 2018. It was largely built in the 13th century. However, the first parts date back to the first half of the 11th century. At that time, people did not think about accessibility. Today, in the 21st century, things are different. Most of the rooms and buildings of the cathedral are easily accessible even with a wheelchair. For the buildings and parts of the building that are not easily accessible, further possibilities are to be examined. However, some things are difficult to implement because of the protection of historical monuments.
Overall, the city of Naumburg has a lot of charm and not only because of the cathedral and the town hall. But one reason I felt like a knight was the cobblestones in all facets, sometimes coarser, sometimes finer, which are ubiquitous in most historical, medieval towns. I'm used to such cobblestones from my Hemat, but after a lengthy tour of the city, I felt every bone in my body.
Merseburg's advantages and disadvantages with a wheelchair
We also visited the City of Merseburg and its landmark, the Merseburg Cathedral. Here, too, the city impresses with its old, well-preserved and partly restored buildings. The cathedral itself, situated on a slight hill, towers over the city and seems self-contained. All the more I had the feeling of being in another world and time. Here, too, almost all parts of the cathedral are easy to walk on, albeit over cobblestones as usual. On the other hand, if you arrive by car and have a permit, you can park directly in front of the entrance free of charge.
Since both the Naumburg and the Merseburg cathedrals have a Foundation are managed and maintained, a small fee in the form of a few talers is demanded at the entrance. This is acceptable, considering how much money it costs to maintain such buildings. There are reduced prices for handicapped persons and their companions upon presentation of a disabled person's pass.
We got a tip for a nice winery along the vineyards and castles. We arrived at the "Duchy Vineyard Freyburg". There we were very kindly welcomed by the landlady, who not only served us a great wine, but also told us everything about the art of viticulture and wine culture during a nice get-together. The vineyard is accessible without barriers. Just the thing for an epicurean like me. I could have stayed here forever.
Wangen (Unstrut) - by wheelchair to the Nebra Sky Disk
Another goal was, among others, the Nebra Ark. The building, which also regularly hosts special exhibitions, first takes you into the modern era. A large, modern, imposing building that seems to have been chiselled into the mountain. But the story behind it takes you back 3,600 years, to the time when the Nebra Sky Disk was created and a vanished European culture. The core of Nebra Ark is the planetarium, which is also wheelchair accessible and where you can immerse yourself in the world of astronomy and the sky disc.
If you want to immerse yourself in a completely different world and experience fun for the whole family, a trip to the Model railway Wiehe cannot do without it. Everything that makes the model railway enthusiast's heart beat faster is presented here on 12,000 square metres. From Europe, China, the USA and much more, you can marvel at everything here in different scales. A great and absolutely barrier-free experience.
Geiseltalsee - Restrictions for wheelchair users
The Geiseltalsee invites you to linger at the Marina Mücheln. There are plenty of leisure activities on the water, but they are not barrier-free or only partially barrier-free. Like a trip on the MS GeiseltalseeYou can get to them, but as a wheelchair user you have no access to the decks. I would like to see improvements here.
One thing I have learned from my many trips is that, although there are still some weaknesses in the area of accessibility in Germany in international comparison, more and more regions are catching up and making great efforts to compensate for this. I also think this is extremely important, because as my trip to the Saale-Unstrut region showed, there are beautiful regions that are absolutely worth visiting. Who needs a vineyard in the south of France when there is an equally beautiful one within reach?
Go to the detailed report on the blog this way along.