Nature, Activity, Recreation: Romanticism in Germany – Anhalt-Wittenberg


Tourismusverband Anhalt-Wittenberg e.V.
Albrechtstraße 127
06844 Dessau
Tel.: +49 (0)340 2301218
Fax: +49 (0)340-2301225
[email protected]


The innovative region of Anhalt-Wittenberg is easily accessible from anywhere in Germany. The region has excellent links by rail to the rest of the country. The Wörlitz railway, which is more than 100 years old, runs from Dessau’s main railway station to the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz. The region can also be reached by air via the nearby Halle-Leipzig airport. Anhalt-Wittenberg also has good road links.

Anhalt-Wittenberg – small place, big impact

Anhalt-Wittenberg is located in the heart of eastern Germany. It has a wealth of natural and historical monuments covering a wide range of styles and periods, all of which are of importance to mankind in their own way. Anhalt-Wittenberg has been renowned for centuries as a home of innovation. Few other regions in Germany have such a wealth of UNESCO-listed natural and cultural attractions.

Combining beauty with practicality – the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz
The Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz was created by Prince Leopold III Friedrich Franz von Anhalt-Dessau, who implemented the new ideas of the Enlightenment in the English style. In addition to dealing with agricultural, conomic and aesthetic aspects, it was also designed to educate. You can judge for yourself whether the prince was able to successfully realise his vision of combining beauty with practicality. One of the foremost cultivated landscapes in Europe, it covers an area of 142 square metres between Dessau and Wittenberg and includes several palaces with parks and churches such as Georgium Palace, which houses the Anhalt Picture Gallery, Oranienbaum Palace, built in the Dutch baroque style, and Wörlitz House, the first neo-classical building in Germany.

Dessau – birthplace of the famous Bauhaus movement
Dessau has two UNESCO World Heritage sites – the Bauhaus and Bauhaus master houses and the Garden Kingdom of Dessau- Wörlitz. The Bauhaus is Germany’s most famous school of classical modernist art, design and architecture (1919 to 1933). It was built based on plans by the famous architect Walter Gropius in 1925-26. Its design concepts united art and technology and broke new ground in a modern industrial culture.

Wittenberg – where the spirit of Luther is still very much alive
The main figures of the Reformation – Philipp Melanchthon, Lucas Cranach and, above all, Martin Luther, certainly left their mark in Wittenberg. Martin Luther, who lived and worked here, nailed his 95 theses against the selling of indulgences to the door of the castle church in Wittenberg on 31 October 1517. The Luther memorials – Luther’s House, the municipal church and the castle church – have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites since 1996 and are always worth a visit.

Join in the celebrations at the “Luther’s Wedding” festival, which commemorates the marriage between Martin Luther and the nun Katharina von Bora on 13 June 1525. Almost 100,000 people flock to this town on the banks of the River Elbe every year for the event. Held every June, the three-day Luther’s Wedding festival is one of Germany’s ten most beautiful town festivals and is staged at venues associated with the Reformation. Join in the “500 years of Luther” celebrations, which will be held in style in Wittenberg in 2017.

Ferropolis – the “iron town”
Set on a peninsula in the middle of Lake Gremmin near Dessau, Ferropolis consists of 7,000 tonnes of industrial heritage. Five giant rotary bucket and bucket-wheel excavators await your visit. Up until 1991, this was a centre for open-cast lignite mining. Former miners and visionaries saved the colossal machines from the scrapyard and grouped the 130-metre long and 30-metre wide excavators together to form an impressive ensemble. The vibrant museum now has a playground for children and adults as well as a fantastic programme of cultural events.

Highbrow culture and 1,000 years of architecture
Johann Sebastian Bach was the Court Director of Music at the royal court in Köthen for six years. It was during this time that he composed most of his secular music, including the famous Brandenburg Concertos. The Ludwigsbau building at Köthen castle, in which you can visit the hall of mirrors and castle chapel, also houses the Local History Museum and a Bach commemorative site. In the towns of Anhalt-Wittenberg you will find many churches and abbeys dating from the Middle Ages, which was a period of great construction in the region.

From asparagus to modern creations – the cuisine of Anhalt-Wittenberg
Asparagus has been grown in Fläming for as long as anyone can remember. The best time to enjoy this fine vegetable is during the Zerbst asparagus festival at the beginning of May when it is served in many local restaurants. Another popular speciality in the region is the Klump or dumpling, which consists of boiled meat encased in a yeast or potato dough. The people of Anhalt also enjoy sweet and sour dishes. If you fancy something really unusual, try an epicurean delight from the Dessau region – rice pudding with sugar, cinnamon and bratwurst sausage!


Tradition and history

  • Wittenberg
  • Roland statue and Francisceum, Zerbst
  • Bernburg Castle
  • Rosslau moated castle
  • Water level tower and Bitterfeld Arch
  • Gröbzig Synagogue
  • Museum of Technology, Dessau
  • First German book village, Mühlbeck-Friedersdorf
  • Kurt Weill Festival, Dessau
  • Köthen cow festival Katharina Museum, Zerbst

Hospitality and gastronomy

  • Bollenmarkt market, Zerbst
  • Bitterbier, a speciality top-fermented beer
  • Brägenwurst, a speciality sausage from Zerbst
  • Schusterpfanne, pork & pear casserole from Köthen
  • Beef & raisin stew from Anhalt
  • Jessen wine

Romanticism and charm

  • Weddings in the Garden Kingdom of Dessau-Wörlitz
  • Idyllic scenery in the biosphere reserve and nature reserves
  • Luther Route in Saxony-Anhalt
  • Garden Dreams Route
  • Romanic Road
  • German Avenues Route

Countryside and scenery

  • Middle Elbe biosphere reserve
  • Fläming nature reserve
  • Düben Heath nature reserve
  • Lower Saale Valley nature reserve
  • Elbe Cycle Day (start of the season on the Elbe Cycle Route)
  • Goitzsche Marathon
  • Ferrous peat spa in Bad Schiedeberg with a wide range of wellness treatments