The thousand-year-old town of Nordhausen is the Thuringian gateway to the Harz Mountains. The Harz Tourist Association has awarded Nordhausen the titles: Kinder Harz, Junger Harz and Kultur Harz (Transl. note: “Harz” is very similar to the German word “Herz”, meaning heart. These titles literally translate to “Children’s Harz”, “Young Harz” and “Culture Harz”). The new town center, the beautiful surrounding countryside, the wide range of leisure activities, and the variety of art and culture give the town its own special charm. But also, fun, new experiences and adventures do not come up short. You can dare to take the winding trip to the Brocken with a steam locomotive, treat your palate to a tasting of authentic “Doppelkorn” (grain schnapps), or climb around in the high ropes course.
Nordhausen is the ideal starting point for a ride on the Harz narrow-gauge railway into the scenic Harz mountains, up to the legendary Brocken mountain – at an altitude of 1142 meters, it is the highest peak in northern Germany.
The rich repertoire of Nordhausen’s theater includes operas, operettas, plays, ballets and symphony concerts, cabaret and musicals. Making theater attractive to children and young people is an important priority, and special performances for these age groups are featured here.
Originally, the Zwinger, as part of the city fortifications, was a round tower almost 19 meters in diameter with walls that were 2.50 meters thick, including 5 large shooting slits, which enabled soldiers to fire on the former moat in order to defend against enemy attackers.
The Nordhausen Kunsthaus Meyenburg has become a center for art and culture in northern Thuringia and the Harz Mountains. The temporary exhibitions of regional and national importance attract an increasing amount of attention. Renowned artists such as Barlach, Hundertwasser and Dali, whose works were presented in temporary exhibitions, have attracted visitors from well beyond the borders of Thuringia.
The former tobacco warehouse dating from the 18th century now houses exhibitions on crafts, trade, industry and archaeology in Nordhausen. Interactive areas about telecommunications technology, for example, or the historical cinema hall are places where visitors can actively participate.
The FLOHBURG is one of the oldest half-timbered houses in Nordhausen. In the 12th century, the "Haus Barte", as the FLOHBURG was formerly called, was mentioned for the first time. It has been a private dwelling, a brewery house, a theatre, a “poorhouse” and a children's library. With the opening of the FLOHBURG as the Nordhausen Museum in 2012, the valuable Nordhausen collections were given a worthy home. On 1,000 square meters, the institution presents exhibitions on urban history, geology, archaeology, and natural history, all under one roof.
In the last preserved traditional, lovingly restored distillery in Nordhausen, visitors learn about the history and technology of grain distillation during a guided tour. This is followed by a tasting of the distillery's own products, which, like many gifts, can be purchased in the new “Erlebnisshop”.
Visitors marvel at more than 50 objects that have been authentically restored and are on display here, all of which having been manufactured during the 90-year history of the IFA Motor Works in Nordhausen. Among them are mining locomotives and field tractors, complete cutaway models of the Famulus tractor and the diesel engines of the 14.5 and 13.5 series.
From January 1944, the "wonder weapons" V1 and V2, propagated by Goebbels, were produced in the underground tunnel system of Mittelbau Dora. About 20,000 prisoners of the concentration camp lost their lives in the process. The memorial site includes the grounds of the former concentration camp, preserved buildings, a museum building and parts of the tunnel system.
The cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Particularly worth seeing are the Gothic nave with the Romanesque crypt (around 1300), and the choir stalls with the figures of the founders carved in wood (around 1400).
The Blasii Church is the largest Protestant church in town and was first mentioned in a document in 1234. The epitaph by Lucas Cranach the Younger, the pulpit with the founder figures and the narrative choir windows are very worth seeing.
In the middle of Petersberg Hill, where the State Garden Show once took place, stands the 62-metre high Petri Tower, which has a stairway inside. It is the dominant feature of the Nordhausen cityscape and the landmark of the city center.