One rainy December afternoon, just before Christmas, we started our trip from Belgium back to our hometown in Lithuania. Since the road is quite long we had to stop somewhere in the middle to rest for the night. And for that somewhere we chose the place which we planned to visit for a long time – a city of Quedlinburg in Germany.
Year 1009: The Annals of Quedlinburg
I first saw the name of Quedlinburg in my fifth grade’s history book, and it was the name of the city that all of us students memorized for a long time. When in the fifth grade we acknowledge that the name of our home country – Lithuania – was first mentioned in the Annals of Quedlinburg in 1009. Well, the news which were written there weren’t such a cheerful ones, but still mentioning is mentioning. It was written that in the year 1008 Saint Bruno, a sainted missionary bishop and martyr, was killed near the border of Kievan Rus and Lithuania while trying to spread Christianity in Eastern Europe. Well, my pagan ancestors were a bit too stubborn, I think..
Nonetheless, the name of Lithuania was firstly mentioned there, in the abbey of Quedlinburg. And as I love historically significant destinations, when I found out that Quedlinburg is almost on our way home, I became very intrigued to visit this city. Though two road trips through Germany were unsuccessful to achieve this goal, finally, before the Christmas we managed to reach it.
Anyway, the thing about the Annals, probably, doesn’t make any sense to you, Dear Reader. So, in addition to this, I can tell you some other intriguing things about Quedlinburg. For starters, it is located in the shelter of Harz mountains, which, to be fair, aren’t very high, but they are still mountains. Furthermore, Quedlinburg’s timber-framed old town is UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its beautiful castle is rich in significant medieval Europe’s history. All in all, Quedlinburg was the town of great significance in the early Medieval Times and that spirit is perfectly preserved and felt nowadays.
Wandering Around Timber-Framed Houses
I have to admit, Dear Reader, that idea of visiting Quedlinburg was kind a stuck in my mind for more than a month. P. even mocked me that I am behaving in a way like I had lost a treasure, or something of great significance there. And, well, now I have to admit that there wasn’t any treasure of mine in Quedlinburg.
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We entered the city in the rainy Sunday evening, hungry and willing to find a cozy Christmas market in the town center where we could have a cup of hot chocolate and something to eat. Though we did find a very nice market, but it wasn’t working, as, by the way, every bar and restaurant around. Town looked very nice, but our hunger and rain made us go back to the car and drive to the nearest McDonald’s1. The emptiness of the city made us go to sleep with a bit of disappointment, but with the hope about upcoming day.
Monday morning came with a better weather and the better mood. We got up early and spent half of the day just wandering around the streets filled with cherished timber-framed houses. Though, sadly, Christmas market was still closed, but the charm and coziness of the city redeemed that.
The part of the city that we enjoyed the most was streets that led us to the castle – Schlossberg. Quedlinburg Castle stands on a hill above the city, so these narrow streets are a bit steepy too. They all combine into one which ends-up at a green square with a picturesque city panorama. Though the castle of the city isn’t big, but the whole castle hill looks really spectacular from the distance. As, by the way, looks the city from the castle hill.
What is more, houses around the castle hill looks even more cool than those around the market square. Yes, they are all timber-framed, but these around the castle are charmingly and creatively decorated with flowers, plants and hand-made decorations. And the gift shops here are so authentic that we couldn’t resist to buy several beautiful German-style Christmas tree decorations for our mothers.
After such a peaceful and nice morning stroll around this authentic German town, and the tasty breakfast in one of the town’s bakeries, we were ready to move forward towards the country that was first mentioned here. And though I haven’t find any treasure there, but Quedlinburg was a really nice place to stop to rest during our road trip. I am completely sure that the charm of the timber-framed houses and the beauty of the castle where my country’s name was first written will stay with me for a long time.
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Anyway, what do you think, Dear Reader? Would Quedlinburg be the destination which you would like to visit when in Germany? Or have you already walked through the timber-framed streets of this city? As always, I am waiting for you in the comments!