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Regional Profile: Vogtland

Located between Saxony, Thuringia, Bavaria and Bohemia, the Vogtland is a diverse region dominated by a cornucopia of castles. Beautiful small towns from Auerbach to Zeulenroda as well as an idyllic landscape with parks, valleys, rivers and nature reserves are waiting to be discovered.

The name "Vogtland" stems from the administration and leadership of the Vögte, or advocates, of Weida, Gera, Plauen and Greiz. The principal Reuss family also originates in the Vogtland. Aiming to preserve and revive the historical sites a new initiative, the "Kulturweg der Vögte" started in September 2016.

Things to see and do

Hiking, walking, cycling

Vogtland in Thuringia
Radfahrer fahren am 27.06.2016 in Gera (Th�ringen) auf der Untermh�user Br�cke �ber die Wei�e Elster. Th�ringens Ministerpr�sident und die Umweltministerin informieren sich am selben Tag bei einer "Hochwasserschutztour" �ber die Umsetzung des Landesprogramms f�r besseren Hochwasserschutz. Im Fr�hsommer 2013 waren in Th�ringen vielerorts B�che und Fl�sse �ber die Ufer getreten. Die Sch�den des Hochwassers wurden auf rund 450 Millionen Euro beziffert. Foto: Martin Schutt/dpa | Verwendung weltweit© picture alliance / dpa
The Vogtland is a place for lovers of nature as well as those of history and culture. You could either go hiking, cycling or just for a walk to one of the beautiful nature reserves like the Greiz-Werdauer Woods or the Elster valley and enjoy nature and discover charming spots and sights on foot or by bike. Or you can find out about the history of the Reuss family on the "Reußische Fürstenstraße" leading to small towns all through the Vogtland.

Greiz – pearl of the Vogtland

Deutschland: Vogtland - Unteres Schloss in Greiz
Deutschland: Vogtland - Unteres Schloss in Greiz | Verwendung weltweit© picture-alliance / DUMONT Bildar

The Residence of the Reuss family and therefore of the smallest principality of Germany, Greiz is a town in the east of Thuringia. Three castles and an English landscape garden together with the Weiße Elster river shape the townscape.

The Upper and the Lower Castle are both museums with a permanent exhibition about the Vogtland becoming the principality of the Reuss family. A Romanesque chapel adorns the Upper Castle, and a textile workshop is open to the public in the Lower Castle.

Sommerpalais in Greiz

Sommerpalais im Greizer Park
Die Staatliche B�cher- und Kupferstichsammlung im Sommerpalais im Greizer Park, aufgenommen am 02.06.2015 in Greiz (Th�ringen). Vom 06. Juni bis 04. Oktober 2015 findet im Sommerpalais die Ausstellung �Alles unter Kontrolle - 8. Triennale der Karikatur� sowie das 40-j�hrige Jubil�um des Satiricums statt. Foto: Sebastian Kahnert/dpa | Verwendung weltweit© picture alliance / dpa
The third castle located in Greiz, the Sommerpalais (summer palace) with a collection of books, copperplate engravings and caricatures is connected to the British royal family. Princess Elizabeth, third daughter of King George III of Great Britain and Ireland became Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg in 1818. Today, the part of her inheritance bestowed upon Greiz is the most valuable part of the collection of copperplate engravings with prints, scientific works and, most noteworthy, mezzotint engravings. The Sommerpalais is surrounded by an English landscape garden with rare species of trees, various kinds of birds and a picturesque lake that invites to linger or stroll through nature.

Castles, castles, and more castles

Deutschland: Mylau - Blick auf Burg Mylau
Malerischer Blick auf Burg Mylau in Mylau im Vogtland im Bundesland Sachsen. Die Burg liegt auf einem H�gel oberhalb der M�ndung des Raumbaches in die G�ltzsch. Die mittelalterliche Burg wurde 1180 erbaut und ist die besterhaltenste Burg des s�chsischen Vogtlandes. In der Burg befindet sich heute ein Naturkunde- und Heimatmuseum. Das Vogtland liegt beiderseits der oberen Saale und oberen Wei�en Elster. Es ist ein �berwiegend bewaldetes Berg- und H�gelland zwischen Frankenwald, Erzgebirge und Fichtelgebirge. Das s�chsische Vogtland geh�rt in seinem s�d-�stlichen Teil dem Naturpark Erzgebirge/Vogtland an. Die Bezeichnung Vogtland geht auf die im 11. bis zum 13. Jahrhundert hier herrschenden V�gte von Weida, Gera und Plauen zur�ck. (Undatierte Aufnahme) | Verwendung weltweit© picture-alliance / DUMONT Bildar
Thuringia and Saxony are veritable "lands of castles and fortresses", and the Vogtland is studded with them. To name but a few, Leubnitz Castle and Mylau Castle are museums nowadays and one can still visit the rooms as they might have looked when they were inhabited.

The Royal Complex Bad Elster is especially noteworthy as it was the summer residence of the Saxon Royal Family and many buildings from that time still surround the city centre.

Göltzschtalbrücke

Mylau, Goeltzschtalbruecke
Mylau, Goeltzschtalbruecke / Foto Mylau (Sachsen), Goeltzschtalbruecke (Eisenbahnviadukt der Linie Leipzig- Hof, erbaut 1845-51). - Teilansicht von Osten. - Foto, 2009. |© picture-alliance / akg-images /
At 78 metres high and about half a kilometre long, Göltzschtalbrücke is the biggest bridge made of bricks in the world. It was finished in the mid-19th century after five years of kilning bricks and fitting them together. The bridge has served as a train connection between Leipzig and Nuremberg through the Göltzsch valley ever since and the impressive construction has become the landmark of the Vogtland.

Traditional arts and crafts workshops in Plauen

Deutschland: Vogtland - Schaustickerei in Plauen
Deutschland: Vogtland - Schaustickerei in Plauen | Verwendung weltweit© picture-alliance / DUMONT Bildar

Handcrafting has played an important part of everyday life for many people in the Vogtland, who have kept up the tradition until today. Some workshops for instruments, textiles or blacksmithing are still in use and open to the public. Particularly the "Plauener Spitze" (Plauen lace embroidery) workshop with original machines and a museum is worth a visit for all ages. Plauen is also the Vogtland’s largest city.

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