The town of Wernigerode is located on the northern edge of the Harz Mountains and is known throughout the region for its colourful half-timbered houses and historic town centre. Year after year, the town exerts an almost magical attraction, which is why countless holidaymakers and tourists spend their holidays in Wernigerode and the surrounding area. The half-timbered town sees itself as the key to the Harz Mountains, as numerous trips and excursions to the entire Harz region are possible from here. Wernigerode was first described as a "colourful town" by the German journalist and writer Hermann Löns towards the end of the 19th century. From culture lovers and families to hikers and tourists, everyone gets their money's worth here, as the half-timbered idyll has plenty to offer in addition to sights such as the smallest house, the town hall and, last but not least, Wernigerode Castle.
The castle, which was originally a medieval fortress, was converted into a Renaissance fortress in the course of the 16th century, badly devastated in the Thirty Years' War and rebuilt into a romantic residential castle in the course of the 17th century. Today, the castle towers majestically over the town and offers visitors insights into the long history of the counts and princes of Wernigerode on guided tours. Equally worth seeing are the former town fortifications and the castle gardens, which are part of the state's Garden Spaces project.
A stroll through the idyllic and narrow alleyways gives visitors a flavour of the Middle Ages that is typical of Wernigerode. The famous Wernigerode town hall in particular is a marvellous example of medieval architecture. The town hall is open to locals, holidaymakers and tourists for both guided tours and visits.
Several highlights in the national park can be discovered from Wernigerode, which is why numerous hiking trails and cycle routes start here. The Wernigerode Fairytale Trail, for example, starts at the Hasserode Holiday Park and leads up to the Kaiserturm tower on the Armeleuteberg mountain over a distance of approx. 2.5 km.
Go on a discovery tour with Harzspots and experience numerous highlights in and around Wernigerode. Whether it's suitable hiking trails, cycle routes, events or tips for the nearest restaurant - we always have the right answer for you!
|240m above sea level
|32,181 (Dec. 2020)
|38855, 38875, 38879
|HZ, HBS, QLB, WR
Wernigerode was originally a clearing settlement and was first mentioned in documents in 1121 as the seat of the county of Wernigerode. Around the year 1200, Wernigerode was granted the right to mint coins, which was followed by the official town charter in 1229. The original old town centre was located in the area to the south-west of the town hall and was extended in 1270 by new buildings on the northern edge of the old town, forming the new town. The historical heyday of the town was achieved in the 14th and 15th centuries through the trade in beer, brandy and cloth.
After the subsequent decline caused by plague epidemics and the Thirty Years' War, the town experienced a new economic boom in the 18th century thanks to the production of fabrics and linen. In the middle of the 19th century, machinery, toolmaking, timber and food companies in particular settled in the midst of the industrial revolution. Around the same time, another economic mainstay of the town emerged in the form of increasing tourism.
At the end of the Second World War, Wernigerode surrendered to US troops without a fight, which is why the town was spared destruction. In 2004, the anniversary of the granting of the town charter 775 years ago was celebrated here.