The romantic medieval town of Schmalkalden in Thuringia has a important place in 16th century European history. In 1531 Protestant princes and representatives of free imperial cities met here to join forces against the Catholic emperor, Charles V.
Their alliance, the Schmalkaldic League, made the town a meeting place for European rulers. The historical town hall and the late-Gothic Church of St. George, where Luther and other supporters of the Reformation preached before these leading figures, bear witness to this great era. An exhibition at the wonderful Renaissance palace of Wilhelmsburg offers information on the Reformation. On display at the Luther House, a half-timbered building in the old quarter where Luther stayed, is a stucco panel from 1687 bearing an inscription and the Lutheran symbol of a swan.
Half-timbered buildings dominate the townscape of Schmalkalden. If you visit the Fachwerk-Erlebnishaus, a medieval house of discovery, you can learn about this historical building and the everyday life of those who lived there in the Middle Ages. The Neue Hütte Technical Museum, a late neo-classical blast furnace from 1835, presents the industrial heritage of the region. In contrast, the state-of-the-art Viba Nougat World invites visitors to experience the art of making confectionery at close hand.
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