Situated on the sunny side of the Thuringian Forest, this lovingly restored half-timbered town is a destination for those interested in history, art and nature. The small picturesque squares and alleys, colorfully restored half-timbered houses are historical witnesses of the past, just like the market place with the Stone Bowers, the late gothic hall church St. George’s, and the Luther House, where Martin Luther presented the Schmalkald Articles – and they all invite you to linger. Discover Wilhelmsburg Palace – a Renaissance pearl – towering imposingly over the picturesque Old Town, as well as the confectionery Viba Nougat-World to satisfy those with a sweet tooth.
Built between 1585 and 1590 as a secondary residence of the Hessian landgraves, the castle is considered a unique jewel among the Renaissance castles in Germany due to its almost completely preserved exterior, its original room layout inside, and its magnificent wall paintings and stucco work.
The middle building is one of the five remaining "Stone Bowers". This is where the Schmalkaldic League was founded in 1530, and it remained its most important meeting place until 1534. The vestibule of the town hall is decorated with the coats of arms of the members of the League, a mural showing Schmalkalden in the 16th century, and a bust of Martin Luther by Wieland Förster.
Lovingly restored, boasting a wealth of original buildings from the 14th-18th century, this idyllic small town is one of the most valuable testimonies of Central European urban development. Authentic sites of the Thuringian and Hessian Landgraves, Saint Elisabeth and the Reformer Luther are waiting to be discovered.
HISTORICAL OLD TOWN - HALF-TIMBERED ROMANTICISM
Öffentliche Stadtführungen ab der Tourist-Information findest von April-Oktober montags, mittwochs und samstags um 11:00 Uhr statt, 4,00 € pro Person.
Dr. Martin Luther lived in this half-timbered house, which was built around 1520, from February 7th to 26th 1537, during the most important meeting of the Schmalkaldic League. He published his famous Schmalkald Articles, which made their way into the world as the creed of the Lutheran Church.
+49 (0) 3683 / 60 97 580
This church, which dominates the Old Town and was erected between 1437 and 1509, is one of the most beautiful Gothic hall churches in Thuringia. In 1537 the most renowned Protestant theologians, including Dr. Martin Luther, preached here. The watchman’s chamber offers a panoramic view of the entire city from May to October.
In the bright and colorful Castle Church of Wilhelmsburg Palace, the altar, pulpit and organ are arranged in one axis, one above the other. The valuable wooden pipe organ is one of the oldest organs in Europe still in operation. Internationally renowned organists enjoy performing here every year.
The success story of the Viba brand began in 1893 in a small family-run café called "Viebahn" in the center of Schmalkalden. Since 2012, the Viba Nougat-World has become a must-see attraction in Schmalkalden. A large exhibition, the interactive confectionery, a shop, and the restaurant with an outdoor terrace and a large playground make nougat and chocolate-lovers' hearts beat faster.
Iron and manganese dioxide were mined here until 1934. On 350 meters of developed mine ground, geological outcrops, uniquely colorful fluorescent minerals, and mining equipment through the ages can be seen.
FINSTERTAL VISITORS’ MINE
+49 (0) 3683 / 48 80 37
One of the last testimonies of its kind in Europe to the extraction of charcoal-based iron ore, with an exhibition on the history and technology of the ironworks, mining, smelting and iron craftsmanship, as well as a working wood drill and nail forge, the reconstruction of the water supply, water wheel and turbine system.
TECHNICAL MUSEUM AND "NEUE HÜTTE”
Neue Hütte 1
+49 (0) 3683 / 40 30 18
The museum features temporary exhibitions of superior works of classical modernism. In the heart of the Old Town, the 15th century Gothic half-timbered house with original barrel vaulting provides an architecturally charming setting.
The building also houses the art bookstore "Bookmarks" and offers a small but tempting selection of food and drinks.
This attractive half-timbered house is one of the five oldest of its kind in Thuringia and the oldest half-timbered house in Schmalkalden. It has been open to the public since 2013. On the ground floor of the house a small gallery offers space for regional artists to show their works and exhibits.
In a historical half-timbered house, visitors can embark on a time-journey through the history of mankind in a space of 300 m². Thousands of miniature pewter figures and true-to-scale buildings make history come alive. One of the largest private collections of its kind with over 10,000 pewter figurines is accessible to the public.
Directly opposite the train and bus stations is the large Westendpark (Westendstraße) with sweeping meadows, perennials, grasses and shrubs. Six small garden chambers interpret the changes of the city in the course of time. The sculptural group portraying Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon and Saint Elisabeth by the artist Klaus Metz shows how closely Schmalkalden's history is interwoven with the Thuringian landgraves and the Reformation. A stairway with sitting steps leads to the south bank of the river Schmalkalde. The Mommelstein cycle path runs along the river that once gave the town its name. Nestled into the blossoming perimeter, the Westendpark motorhome parking facility offers space for eight motorhomes.
In a vaulted cellar of the half-timbered building Hoffnung 38, a cellar mikveh was discovered during a rescue excavation. The mikveh is excellently conceived and well preserved, and the quality workmanship of the sandstone and reused building stones is striking. The most salient part of the facility is the immersion bath. The mikveh is open to visitors.
MIKVEH JEWISH RITUAL BATH