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TOURIST ATTRACTIONS - SURROUNDING AREA
COLDITZ CASTLE Colditz Castle Website
A trip that I highly recommend, this tremendous Castle is situated approximately an hours drive away from Leipzig South East of the City
Centre. The castle overlooks the small town of Colditz although its size is very understated, with an unconfirmed amount of rooms said
to be over 700 the scale of the castle is immense. I highly recommend getting yourself on an English speaking guided tour as much of
the castle has yet to be restored. Obviously the main reason for many people going is to learn more about the castle's use during WW2
when the castle became a POW camp for all the prisoners that had previously escaped from other POW camps. For more information
on Colditz click on the Website link above or scroll down.
DRESDEN Dresden City Website
Dresden is situated approximately 100km south east of Leipzig about and hour and a half journey on the train. Dresden is the capital
city of the German Federal Free State of Saxony and is situated in a valley on the River Elbe. Dresden has a long history as the capital
and royal residence for the Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendor. The controversial
bombing of Dresden in World War II, plus 40 years in the Soviet bloc state of East Germany, changed the face of the city dramatically.
Since German reunification in 1990, Dresden has emerged as a cultural, political, and economic centre in the eastern part of Germany.
Dresden was both an important garrison as well as a centre of military industry during the Second World War. The bombing of Dresden
by the Royal Air Force and by the United States Army Air Force between February 13 and February 15, 1945, remains one of the more
controversial Allied actions of that war. The inner city of Dresden was heavily destroyed during what proved to be the final weeks of war
After the Second World War, Dresden became a major industrial centre in communist East Germany with a great deal of research
infrastructure. Many important historic buildings were rebuilt, although the communist leaders of the city chose to reconstruct large
areas of the city in a "socialist modern" style, partly for economic reasons but also in order to break away from the city's past as the royal
capital of Saxony and a stronghold of the German bourgeoisie. However, some of the bombed-out ruins of churches were razed by the
Soviet authorities in the 1960s instead of being repaired. From 1985 to 1990 the KGB stationed Vladimir Putin, the future present
President of Russia, in Dresden. For more information on Dresden and its fabulous history click on the Website link above.
HALLE Halle Website
Many of us will fly into Leipzig/Halle without even thinking about the town of Halle, whilst not being able to offer hours of entertainment it
is well worth a wander if you have a few hours to spare and have the transport to make it a viable trip.
Halle (also called Halle an der Saale (literally "Halle on the Saale", and in some historic references is not uncommonly called Saale
after the river) in order to distinguish it from Halle in North Rhine-Westphalia) is the largest city in the German State of Saxony-Anhalt.
Halle's early history is connected with harvesting of salt. The name Halle might derive from a proto-germanic word for salt. Also the
name of the river Saale contains the Germanic root for salt. Salt-harvesting has taken place in Halle at least since the Bronze Age.
The town was first mentioned in 806. It became a part of the bishopric principality of Magdeburg in the 10th century and remained so
until 1680, when Brandenburg annexed it together with Magdeburg. As a tourist you want to head to Giebichenstein Castle, first
mentioned in 961, west of the city centre on a hill above the Saale river as well as Moritzburg, a newer castle, built in 1503; residence of
the bishops of Magdeburg; destroyed in the Thirty Years' War, then a ruin for centuries, rebuilt in 1904; today an Art Gallery. There is also
the Cathedral, a steeple less building, originally a church within a Dominican monastery (1271).
OFFICIAL WGT WEBSITE OFFICIAL WGT FORUM
COLDITZ CASTLE - A GREAT DAY OUT
Go to the Official Colditz Castle website for an extensive history of the castle, or try the Wikipedia version.
Below are the pictures that I took of Colditz on the 31st May 2006, a truly wonderful castle with 700+ rooms. Located only 27 miles from
Leipzig its quite easy to reach either by bus, train or taxi. In its 1000 year historic past, the castle has witnessed a diverse range of use:
from a Royal Hunting Lodge to a psychiatric hospital. Yet, the castle is more famously known as the notorious German military prison
Oflag IVC which held Allied Prisoners of War Officers and Allied prisoners who held significant status during World War 2.
At Colditz Castle you can see the actual escape artefacts and uniforms produced by the ingenious POWs in our Oflag IVC Escape
Museum. Guided tours are provided in English, French and German detailing the legendary escapes made by Allied POWs imprisoned
here at the castle from 1940 to 1945 - a prison considered by the German military authorities at the time to be escape-proof. The castle
also offers a World War 2 display dedicated to Poland, a souvenir shop selling books, postcards, pens and t-shirts and a ceramic
Opening times: April – October, 10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Prices: guided tour through the castle from 6,00 Euro
FROM LEIPZIG TO SCHLOSS COLDITZ
There are two ways to get from Leipzig to Colditz: a bus direct to Colditz, or a train to Grossbothen, then a bus to Colditz.
Train service into Colditz was eliminated a few years ago, but there is excellent bus service from Leipzig. I think the easiest way for
those without a car is to travel via the main train station (Hauptbahnhof) in Leipzig and take the bus from there directly to Colditz.
By Bus from Leipzig
Once you are in the Leipzig Hauptbahnhof (an interesting sight in itself - one of the largest train stations in Europe) you can buy a ticket
for the Colditz bus #690 (€6). The bus to Colditz runs only on weekdays, and leaves roughly every hour or so between 6:30 a.m. and 6:
45 p.m., but not necessarily on the hour. Just to give you an idea, it's now running at 6:30, 7:20, 8:15, 9:15, 11:45, 13:55, 14:55, 15:55,
16:40, 17:15, and 18:45. This could change, of course, so please check the schedule. On weekends, you'll need to do the train/bus
combo described below.
The bus stop is pretty easy to find. Go out the main entrance (towards the city) and as soon as you pass the doors, go left and about 10
yards away you should see a bus stop (a post with a yellow circle on top). The bus schedule is attached to the post. The ride to Colditz
ambles through a number of little towns and gives you a good view of the surrounding countryside. It is very comfortable and air-
conditioned: a big plus when I was there and it was in the 90's in the shade! Aside from the express ICE trains, most of the trains are
not air-conditioned, I found to my surprise. Although in fairness, it is rarely that hot in Germany in the summer so air-conditioning isn't
usually that important. The bus ride takes 1 hour and 22 minutes and you don't have to change.
Don't get off at the first stop (Leipzigerstrasse) in Colditz; you'll be on the wrong side of the river. Get off at the next stop next to a playing
field (Sportplatz is the name of the stop) which is just outside the old part of town. Ask the driver to be sure (ask for "Colditz Sportplatz").
Cross the street and head into the town on Nicolaistrasse. Go about two blocks until the street ends, then go left, then immediately right
onto Untermarkt and you will be in the old town center with its market square and, of course, the castle above it. (See map of Colditz
The bus back to Leipzig leaves from the Sportplatz at 7:20, 9:15, 11:15, 12:45, 13:40, 15:05, 15:45, and the last one at 16:50.
By Train and Bus from Leipzig
Another possibility is to take the train from Leipzig to Grossbothen, then from Grossbothen, the #619 bus to Colditz. I haven't tried this
route so I can't tell you which is easier. The Grossbothen route is a little faster, just over an hour, but you do have to make a change. On
weekends, you'll have to choose this route, since the direct bus isn't available.
The train to Grossbothen runs every day, roughly every two hours, starting at 6:15 am (6:15 am, 8:15am, etc, until the last one at 8:15
|Colditz is approx half way between Leipzig and Dresden