This MUSIC and mountain town, the former residence of the Schwarzburg special houses of princes in the region South Harz/Kyffhäuser offers culture, discoveries and active recreation.
Experiencing music is the main focus of the city, as demonstrated by events in historical spaces, underground in the mine, and at the annual highlight – the Thuringian Castle Festival Sondershausen – in the castle courtyard.
The historic city center, the surrounding forests, and the Unstrut-Werra cycle path invite you to leisurely stroll along or get more exercise, depending on your mood.
The former residence palace (13th-20th century) of the Schwarzburg-Sondershausen princes with its palace park, baroque octagonal house and stables (seat of the Sondershausen State Music Academy), is one of the most beautiful castles in Thuringia. Visiting it is like taking a journey through time, through the centuries of building epochs from Romanesque to Historicism.
In approximately 2,400 square meters of exhibition space, you will discover a lot of interesting facts about court culture, the history of Sondershausen and its music, and the history of the region. The highlight is the Golden Carriage – a splendid French carriage of the early 18th century, unique in Germany.
The oldest accessible potash mine in the world is a magnet for visitors. In addition to a museum that explores 100 years of potash mining, there are unusual attractions 700 meters underground, such as boat rides, a salt slide with a 40% gradient, sporting events, special events, and concerts in the deepest concert hall in the world.
The church was consecrated in 1691, and it continues to serve today as a gathering place for the Christian community and for concerts. The restored Hey organ with its baroque organ façade, the royal balcony and the pulpit, as well as the royal burial chapel built in 1890/91, are the most worthwhile sights.
The historic buildings around the modern market square reflect the history of the royal residence town of Sondershausen: the old princely guardhouse, the former prince's palace, the "Zum Schwan" House, the town hall, and the old post office.
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The recreation park with the former princely hunting lodge (now a restaurant), riding and playing facilities, animal enclosures and a bungalow village is located 6 km from Sondershausen on the Hainleite ridge. It is surrounded by meadows and beech-tree forests. Built in 1781, the octagonal timber-framed tower, the highest (44.8 m) of its kind in Germany, is a popular observation tower.
This Jewish ritual bath from around 1300 was discovered during archaeological excavations in 1999, and is the oldest testimony to Jewish life in Sondershausen. The archaeological findings of the mikveh have been preserved, made into a museum and can be visited on a guided tour on request.
The oldest part of the cemetery comprises gravestones from the first half of the 18th century to the middle of the 19th century. In 1884, the cemetery was extended and in 1939 the last burial took place. The graves of the two parts of the cemetery clearly show the changes in the Jewish burial culture. Guided tours are possible on request.
The church ruins are the oldest building remains (1392) in Sondershausen. Thanks to the commitment of the Cruciskirche e. V. association, a civic center has been created from the old ruins, integrating the historic buildings into modern ones. On request, the renovated church tower with its modern glass and steel dome can be climbed during a guided tour.
The abandoned Petersenschacht with its monument-protected shaft tower can be seen from as far away as the B 4 local bypass. The 44 m high steel structure spanning the shaft building was erected in 1909/10 and is modelled after the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
"PETERSENSCHACHT" SHAFT TOWER
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The castle of the former Landgraves of Thuringia (around 1322) later belonged to the Lords of Wurmb (around 1719), and is now once again owned privately. It has already been renovated with great care in most areas, and offers, among other things, holiday apartments and the "Junker-Schänke" restaurant.
The windmill, built as the so-called "Steinerner Holländer" (Stone Dutchman) in 1859, comprises three floors - the ground floor, the grinding floor and the stone floor. The entire drive equipment is located directly under the conical, rotating hood. The monument was reconstructed and is maintained by the Immenröder Heimat- und Mühlenverein.
TOWER WINDMILL IMMENRODE
The Wildlife Park and the Speedride summer toboggan run on the Straussberg offer fun for the whole family. On the 4-hectare large open-air enclosure you will find Barbary macaques, ring-tailed and black and white ruffed lemurs, as well as Bennett's wallabies. The summer toboggan run offers a downhill trip of 760 meters, including five sharp curves and 44 meters’ difference in altitude for those who enjoy a speedy ride.