Quedlinburg, which enjoys an idyllic location on the Romanesque Route, was an important royal and imperial town in the Middle Ages. With its historical layout and over 1,300 timber-framed houses from a period spanning six centuries, Quedlinburg is a fine example of a beautifully preserved medieval town. It also boasts a wealth of art nouveau architecture.
The Collegiate Church of St. Servatius, burial site of the first German king, Henry the Fowler, and his wife Mathilde, is an architectural masterpiece of the Romanesque and houses one of Germany's foremost collections of ecclesiastical treasure. The triple-naved basilica, built between 1070 and 1129, was once the church for the local Damenstift, or chapter of unmarried noblewomen. Today, the church is a tourist attraction and performance venue for the Quedlinburg Summer of Music. High up on Castle Hill, it is the town's most prominent – in both senses of the word – building and just one of the many that have made Quedlinburg, which lies in the Harz region of Saxony-Anhalt, a multifaceted medieval townscape. For a walk, you could start at the market square with its impressive Renaissance town hall and Roland statue. Then make your way to Münzenberg hill with its Romanesque Church of St. Mary, through the historical abbey garden and into Brühl Park. All these first-rate attractions are part of the UNESCO World Heritage site. But it's at Christmas time that Quedlinburg is especially alluring. The Christmas market in front of the Rathaus lures shoppers with its festive wares, and the inner courtyards that for the rest of the year lie hidden, like Sleeping Beauty, behind thick stone walls, are thrown open to create a Christmas wonderland. If you prefer to spend Christmas at home, then for the rest of the year Harz's narrow-gauge railway offers excursions into Quedlinburg's beautiful surroundings – to Mount Brocken, for example, or the pretty little town of Wernigerode.
Guided tours daily at 2pm
Further information www.quedlinburg.de
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UNESCO World Heritage sites: