Market square is the heart of the little town. Unfortunately the Christmas market was already finished when I visited but three big woodcarved figures were still there.
The triangular square (huh?) points towards the baroque church (which was closed).
Parish website in German
Next to it, the museum is located in a former manor. It presents history and nature of the region. A focus is set on local arts and crafts.
Museum website in German
By coincidence I discovered this impressive art nouveau building on the bank of Flöha river. The "Tivoli" serves, or served, as theatre and concert hall and ball room. No chance to get in on an ordinary Monday morning but I assume the interior might also be originally preserved.
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Olbernhau is a transport 'hub' for the central Ore Mountains. It is the end of the train line. To reach places further up, for example Seiffen, you have to change to buses, either at Olbernhau Bahnhof or Olbernhau-Grünthal which is a different station. The Saxony Ticket is valid on the buses, too.
In theory, this works well. However, there are a few warnings to include.
1. Check and recheck connections both on www.bahn.de and on www.vms.de, the page of the regional Verkehrsverbund. Timetable information is not always updated immediately.
2. Bus and train timetables are not interconnected very well due to lack of communication between German Railway and bus companies (according to my bus driver). There are gaps and longer waiting times.
3. Some buses depart at the train station ("Am Bahnhof") and some depart from the bus station ("Busbahnhof") in Olbernhau but none from both. The bus station is in Gessingplatz, two blocks downhill from the train station (the stairway opposite the station building is the shortest way).
4. I have never figured out where exactly the bus to Seiffen, stop "Am Bahnhof", is actually supposed to stop at Olbernhau train station. There is a bus stop in front of the station which has the "H" sign but neither timetables nor line numbers and the bus never showed up there. There is no staff at the train station who could help. This remained an unsolved mystery to me.
If I ever go to Seiffen again I'll choose a connection with a direct bus from Freiberg instead of going via Olbernhau.
Train Timetable 2010
Bus timetable information
Olbernhau is part of the Erzgebirge woodcarving country. Everyone talks about Seiffen but all the other places in the area also have their workshops of toy-makers and woodcarvers.
Olbernhau's woodcarvers have created three traditional figures which are typical for this place: Nussknacker (Nutcracker), Reiterlein (Little Rider) and Pfefferkurchenfrau (Gingerbread Woman). You'll find them everywhere in the arts&crafts shops. During Advent and Christmas oversized versions are put up in market square. Nutcracker and Rider are toy soldiers in colourful uniforms while the Woman refers to gingerbread pastry.