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A weekend in Saale-Unstrut with Smaracuja


Saale-Unstrut - let's go


07.10. 2020, Nina Hüpen-Bestendonk

II'm Nina Hüpen-Bestendonk from the travel blog Smaracuja in Berlin. On the occasion of the Handmade.Saale-Unstrut campaign, I took a look around the region and tell you about my trip here.

Already from the train Saale-Unstrut surprised me: Beautiful vineyards, now and then a castle or palace and some picturesque places slowly pass by in front of the window of the Regional Express. This is my first time in the region and I had no idea what to expect. And what can I say: the name "Tuscany of the North" does not come from nowhere. For me, Saale-Unstrut offers exactly the right package for a small weekend trip full of culture, art and culinary delights, and that completely away from the tourist masses.

Friday in Naumburg: Herb Hiking and the Naumburg Cathedral


After my arrival, I went directly from the station to the Naumburg Cathedral. I definitely recommend taking a guided tour of the building - if possible with a climb up the tower. You learn a lot about the stylistic means of the Naumburg master, the historical background and the historical value of the cathedral, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

My second stop in Naumburg is the enchanting garden of the Herb Witch Jenny. Among other things, she offers herb walks along the Saale, where you learn a lot about the individual herbs and their benefits, how best to harvest and process them. We stay in Jenny's garden this afternoon and prepare a wild herb pesto with nettles together. So delicious!

In the evening I go to my accommodation in Weißenfels: The Parkhotel Güldene Bergewhere you can also have a wonderful dinner. My secret tip: the courgette and nettle pancakes with the wild herb pesto! 

Saturday: Culture in Weißenfels and Freyburg


I spend the first morning in Weißenfels. On a walk through the town, I immediately fall in love with the small town on the Saale. Even the poet Novalis was inspired here, and for me, too, the small colourful streets, the partly dilapidated houses and faded signs are a little wonderland. The Castle Neu-Augustusburg is only half renovated and thus offers an exciting contrast. From up here you have a great view of the city. On the way down, I pass a large work of art in the windows of an old empty inn, and directly opposite is the Geleitshaus, which now houses a nice pub. Finally, I visit the Heinrich Schütz HouseI learn a bit about the life of the German composer and also get to practise composing myself.

In the afternoon I go to Freyburg. The small winegrowing village is best known for the Rotkäppchen Champagne WineryBut it is also well worth strolling through the alleys - the vineyards are always in sight. Above the town lies Neuenburg Castle. Here there are not only great views, but also a Distillery. I recommend: (S)passion fruit brandy.

On the terrace of the Vineyard Hotel Edelacker I end the day with a glass of wine from the region. From here you have the best sunset view of the vineyards of the region and the Unstrut valley down to Freyburg. 

Sunday: Mythen in Merseburg and recreation at the Geiseltalsee


On the last day I visit Merseburg. With the castle and the cathedral, the city has two particularly historic places around which many myths and legends about thieving ravens, hungry princesses and mysterious magic spells entwine. Here, too, I definitely recommend a guided tour. It is also worth taking a detour to the palace garden salon, where you can currently watch the artist Antoinette at work on her "Altar of Europe".

Before I head back to Berlin, I make a side trip to the Lake Geiseltalsee. Once a huge lignite mining area, thanks to several years of flooding it is now Germany's largest artificial lake and a real recreational area. Stand-up paddling, sailing, boat tours and spending the night in a houseboat are just a few of the leisure activities on offer. I let the wind blow around my nose on the endless jetty until I get back on the train.

It was great in Saale-Unstrut. And one thing I know for sure: I will come back to the land of wine and stone, because there is still a lot to see.

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