Thuringian Forest: art flourishes in Germany′s ′green heart′ | DW Travel | DW | 08.02.2011
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Thuringian Forest: art flourishes in Germany's 'green heart'

From amateurs to extreme athletes, the Thuringian Forest offers the perfect outdoor terrain for any one who likes to test their body outdoors. But the region has an artsy side, too.

Vessertal reserve in the Thuringian Forest

Go outdoors in Thuringia!

The Thuringian Forest is known as the "green heart" of Germany. In the summer, it's a popular destination for hikers, and in the winter it's a snowy paradise for ideal for skiiers. More than 1,800 kilometers of ski trails wind through the mountainous region. But the area boasts other attractions as well - from castles to charming small towns and culinary specialties, like roasted bratwurst and dumplings.

Oberhof is the most famous winter sports resort in the Thuringian Forest. Thev world championships for biathlon, bobsledding and ski touring are held there and the ski slopes are a draw for vacationers and amateur winter sports fans. Biathlon courses for beginners are on offer, as are nighttime hikes by torchlight.

In the picturesque Schwarzatal, tourists can learn how to pan for gold. The area is also home to a technical milestone - the Oberweissbach mountain railway, built in 1923. With a grade of more than 25 percent, it's the steepest funicular railway in the world.

In the small town of Meiningen in Thuringia, you'll find traditional half-timbered homes, the magnificent Elisabethenburg Castle, and an historical theater. Duke of Saxe-Meiningen Georg II and his ensemble revolutionized European theater there in the 19th century. A museum offers plenty of information about the theater's history.

Click on the video below to join porcelain artist Kati Zorn on a tour through the Thuringian Forest. She shares her three personal tips for the region, including the Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes, the Heidecksburg Palace in Rudolstadt and the Lauscha glassmaking company.

Text: DW-TV

Editor: Kate Bowen

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