Bad Hersfeld – The Salzburg Of The North
Location: At the heart of Germany
Bad Hersfeld is located near the former West-East German border, roughly 50 km south-east of Kassel. With its prime location in the centre of Germany, it has excellent railway and motorway connections from all directions. However, the closest airport is Frankfurt International Airport, 116 kilometres away, which is quickly reachable by train.
Culture: Historical monuments
The town has a cultural atmosphere that is obvious right from the start. In the Old Town, 216 buildings remain under monumental protection, but the blend of the beautifully ornate gardens gives the place a much younger feel. The Catherine Tower is home to Lullusglocke, Germany’s oldest dated bell, cast in 1038 AD. There are signs of the old fortifications, including the Klausturm, a watchtower and prison. The two Nordschulteiche (“north school ponds”) are remnants of the moat. Eichhof Castle is yet another building of the abbey, situated about three kilometres from the historical centre.
Activities: Summer theatre
The Bad Hersfeld Theatre Festival takes place in mid-June, and attracts many tourists for the theatrical pieces and musicals performed on the 1,400-square metre stages in the Stiftsruine. The mobile roof above the monastery auditorium makes performances possible in all weather conditions. Comedy plays however are typically performed outdoors on the courtyard stage of the Eichhof Castle. A member from the audience receives a ring as a prize, showing the Schwurhand of Charlemagne against the abbey ruins in the background. Visitors to Bad Hersfeld should not miss the opportunity to visit one of the health and wellness baths for which the town is named for–Bad meaning bath in German.