Kyffhäuserweg Trail - In the footsteps of Emperor Barbarossa

The Kyffhäuserweg Trail is ideal for exploring the myth-enshrouded Kyffhäuser hills in Thuringia. GeoBlicke and HörErlebnis points help walkers get to know the features of this region.

GeoBlicke are vantage points where information boards have been set up to explain what you are looking at. At each Kyffhäuser HörErlebnis point, you can use your mobile phone to call a special number and listen to a different short story about the region. QR codes enable smartphone users to access photos, information and, in some cases, short videos. Less modern but all the more mysterious for it is the mighty Kyffhäuser monument, which towers above the hills where Emperor Barbarossa lies sleeping according to legend. The 81m-high monument, which is accessible to visitors, stands on the remains of Kyffhausen Imperial Castle. Today, the ruins of the lower castle and the world’s deepest castle well (176m) are reminders of the powerful past of one of the largest and most formidable medieval castles in Germany. Other cultural and historical treasures along the Kyffhäuserweg Trail are the Königspfalz in Tilleda and the Panorama Museum near Bad Frankenhausen. The trail also explores the natural beauty of the Kyffhäuser hills nature park with its grassy plains in the south and shady beech woodland on the northern foothills.

Tip: Barbarossa’s Cave

Situated in the southern fringes of the Kyffhäuser hills, Barbarossa’s Cave is the biggest gypsum/anhydrite cave in Europe that is open to the public. Caverns spanning up to 42 metres, strange rock formations on the cave roof and crystal-clear pools can be seen in these fabled grottoes.

At a glance:

  • Starts/ends: Bad Frankenhausen
  • Length: 37km
  • Number of stages: 3
  • Altitude variation: ascent 1,800m, descent 1,800m
  • Terrain: 55% unmade, 13% asphalt, 32% other, e.g. farm tracks

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