You will find signs "Heimatmuseum" often around Germany. It means that it's a museum about the local life.
This museum here in Finsterbergen is along the main street (Hauptstrasse, also known as Rennsteigstrasse), directly next to Hotel Zur Linde.
It is open on Thursdays between 9 and 16 hrs and costs 2 euro entrance.
We had a tour of the small museum and learned a lot about the history of Finsterbergen.
In a short summary: the men worked as 'Vorleute', essentially traveling 6 months a year as far as Moscow and Istanbul to transport goods. With the coming of the railroad, poverty set in and from halfway the 1800s, people started making buttons and dolls and trading those. Slowly, they discovered that Finsterbergen had possibilities to become a Spa town and so tourism was developed.
The grandmother of the current king of Sweden, Queen Victoria Elisabeth, used to stay in Finsterbergen and she said: you should have a museum. That is how this museum came about!
Apart from the already mentioned shops such as butcher, bakery, there is also a drugstore, a small postoffice, a supermarket, a liquor store (under the supermarket), a snackbar of sorts (which is called an Imbiss in German). Although not next to each other, the shops are all at walkable distance from each other.
Oschmann has been around as a butcher in Finsterbergen for more than 100 years and won many prizes and awards for its products.
What to buy: Authentic Thüringer Wurst (sausage) with that distinct but not overbearing kummel taste. Or potted meats as local specialities like cooked mincemeat, Rotwurst (black pudding), Fleischsülze or Leberwurst at less than € 2 per jar. Or a lovely cured sausages to drink with your beer.
What to pay: A kilo Thüringer Wurst (= 8 sausages) costs € 6,60.
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Favorite thing: The Rennsteig is a walking route of 169 Km long. people who love nature and hiking should do this famous German route. A lot of nice towns and villages on the way to stay the night.