Weissenfels, Germany

Weissenfels is a lovely little town at the Saale River in Saxen-Anhalt in Germany. Today the town is hardly noticed by the drivers going past on the A9 highway or along the flight corridor above. This is part of what they are missing.

The town of Weissenfels seen from the castle

Between 1656 and 1746 Weissenfels was the residential town of the dukedom of Sachsen-Weissenfels, in effect the capital of a sovereign state. The castle Neu-Augustusburg was the residence of the ruler, and the Marienkirche was its cathedral.

The Weissenfels Castle

The Neu-Augustusburg Castle towers above Weissenfels but is remarkably easy to reach by foot via a footpath between the houses of the old town up to the plateau. The castle houses, the castle museum and a cafe and there is a great view of Weissenfels from the walls. The castle walls below the tower still bear marks of the battle between US and German forces in April 1945, during the last days of World War II. There are still numerous bulletholes from the battle in the walls today.

The Weissenfels City Hall

The baroque City Hall of Weissenfels is a beautiful architectural landmark, and one of the buildings which have been restaurated recently to bring it back to its former glory. Notice the little black-and-golden ball just below the upper clock? That is a display of the current moon phase.

The Marienkirche in Weissenfels seen from the Market Square

The Marienkirche is yet to be renovated. It is a shame what has been allowed to happen to the figurines and decorations that used to adorn the back of this late gothic style church towards the Market Square.

The inside of the Marienkirche with its famous organ

The church was begun being built in 1428, and the remarkable tower is from 1718, after a townwide fire. The organ in the Marienkirche was built by the renowned organbuilder Friedrich Ladegast between 1862 and 1864.

The Marienkirche church tower

The tower is a powerful town landmark, even though it has suffered some of the same decay as the rest of the church during communist rule as part of the former East Germany. The political ideology denounced religion, but you yourself can help bring the church back to its former glory by your donation in the church collect.

A watchtower on the old city wall of Weissenfels

The town is still in part surrounded by the town wall. This tower is seen from the side that potential attackers would see upon reaching Weissenfels. Today the wall and tower is part of the town park.

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