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.
The first place we visited was Naumburg. Hardly arrived in the center of the city at the market, the impressive old city hall catches the eye, built at the end of the 15th century and rebuilt after the great city fire in 1517 in nine years. There we first ate in the oldest restaurant of the city, the Ratskeller. By the way, there is also a wheelchair accessible toilet at the town hall, which can be opened at any time with the Eurokey (fits all public toilets for people with disabilities).
After the refreshment we went to the landmark of the city, the Naumburg Cathedral, which is a World Heritage Site since 2018. It was largely built in the 13th century. However, first parts date back to the first half of the 11th century. At that time, people did not yet 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.
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 to be in another world and time. Also here, almost all parts of the cathedral can be easily walked on, even if, as usual, on cobblestones. But if you arrive by car and have a permit, you can park for free right in front of the entrance.
Since both the Naumburg and the Merseburg cathedrals are administered and maintained by a foundation, a small fee in the form of a few talers is required at the entrance. What is to be got over, if one considers how much money the preservation of such buildings devours. For people with handicap and accompaniment there are reduced prices after presentation of the severely handicapped ID.
We got a tip for a nice winery along the vineyards and castles. We arrived at the "Herzoglicher Weinberg 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 can be reached barrier-free. Just the thing for an epicurean like me. I could have stayed here forever.
Another destination was, among others, the Nebra Ark. The building, in which also regularly special exhibitions are to be seen, kidnaps one first of all into the modern age. A large, modern, imposing building that seems to be chiseled into the mountain. The story behind it, however, takes you back 3,600 years, to the time when the Nebra Sky Disk was created and a vanished European culture. The core of the 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, you can't avoid a trip to the Wiehe model railway. Here, everything that makes the model railroader's heart beat faster is presented on 12,000 square meters. From Europe, China, USA and much more, you can marvel at everything here in different scales. A great and absolutely barrier-free experience.
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 Geiseltalsee, which you can get on, but as a wheelchair user has no access to the decks. Here I would like to see an improvement.
Conclusion: A realization through my many trips is that there are still some weaknesses in the area of accessibility in Germany in an international comparison, but 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 easy reach?
Go to the detailed report on the blog this way along.