Gotha Travel Guide

  • view on Hauptmarkt
    view on Hauptmarkt
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  • interior
    interior
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  • entrance
    entrance
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Gotha Things to Do

  • Natural History Museum

    The Natural History Museum in Gotha is the largest of its kind in Thuringia. It is located in a Neo Renaissance building to the south of the Schloss Friedenstein palace complex. It has a number of special exhibitions on the nature and landscape of Thuringia, such as the forest in the area and these change on a regular basis. Informative displays...

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  • Augustinerkirche

    The Augustinerkirche was part of the monastery of the Augustinian heremit order. There is a Gothic cloister dating back to 1366. The interior of the church is Baroque style from 1675-80. Martin Luther held a few services in this church and his friend, the reformer Friedrich Myconius, is buried here.The church was under renovation in August 2008 and...

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  • Kasematten

    If you want to visit the casemates then you need to book the tour at the Schlosskasse for 1 or 2 pm. They take a maximum of 10 people at anyone time. If you are already a group of 10, then you can book an additional time at the tourist office.The casemates are around 350 years old and used to be 2,5 km long. They are a defensive systems on several...

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  • Innungshalle (guild hall)

    E.W. Arnoldi opened in this building the first German commercial school. In 1820 he bought the building for the candler's guild.

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  • Hospital Mariae Magdalenae

    The hospital with its own church was Gotha's oldest social institution. It was donated in 1223 by the later holy Elisabeth and her husband Landgraf Ludwig IV. of Thuringa.The building was modified from 1716-19 and was used as an old people's home until 1974. In the early 1990 it underwent renovations and has since been used for administration...

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  • Museum of Nature

    The museum of nature was built from 1864 till 1879 as a museum under Herzog Ernst II. Most collections from the castle were moved to the museum. Only after WWII a lot of these were returned to the castle.Outside the museum on the car park there is a public toilet but it takes 3x 10 cents only.It has the same opening times as the castle.

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  • Schloss Friedenstein

    The castle has been built on top of an earlier fortress by the name of Grimmenstein. The castle has been built from 1643 until 1656 by Herzog Ernst I. der Fromme. The castle is situated above the old town of Gotha. The castle parks are a fair size and have a big pond where you can feed the ducks. In the park there is also a small tea time castle....

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  • Rathaus

    What is today used as town hall, was originally built in 1567 as a shopping center. On the same spot there used to be a wooden shopping center. Some of the building materials are from castle Grimmenstein and from the previous shopping center.The north side with its Renaissance style portal is one of the most beautiful in Germany. From 1641-46 the...

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  • Water Art

    The Leina canal was built in the 14th century. 500 years later for its jubilee the water arts were created at the Schlossberg. There are several pond-like fountains that carry the water down.

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  • Cranach House

    The Cranach House is from Baroque times. Cranach's wife was born here. By the entrance to the courtyard you two coats of arms. Cranach's is the one with the winged snake and his son-in-law's a bag.Today the building houses the pumping system for the Water art outside in the street.

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  • Gothardusbrunnen

    At the Hauptmarkt you will find the fountain of the holy Godehard or Gotthard of Hildesheim (960-1038). The man later became bishop of Hildesheim under Kaiser Heinrich II. Gotthard became very famous from Scandinavia down to Croatia. The famous Swiss mountain pass St. Gotthard is also named after him.

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  • Margarethenkirche

    The Margarethenkirche is originally dating back to 1064. In 1494 and 1543 it was changed from a Roman style church to a Gotic one. From 1524 onwards it was a protestant church.Fires destroyed the interior twice in the 17th century but it was rebuilt. In the 18th century it was turned into a Baroque style church. From 1675 on it was used as the...

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  • Orangerie

    East of the castle lies the Orangerie. This garden was constructed from 1747 onwards. The concept was made by Gottfried Heinrich Krohne but the Orangerie wasn't finished until after his death.The entrance is free of charge.

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  • The Orangerie

    The Orangerie was erected in the grounds of Schloss Friedenstein in 1742 and its gardens were laid out in 1770. Trees were placed outside in the summer and brought inside the buildings during the winter to protect them from the excesses of the weather. The buildings are now used as a café and the local library.

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  • Schloss Friedenstrin Park

    To the south of the Schloss Friedenstein is the oldest English Landscaped Gardens on the Continent. There is a lake in the centre of the park with a small island where the last Dukes of Saxe-Gotha are buried.

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Gotha Hotels

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Gotha Transportation

  • By train

    I arrived by train in Gotha. Gotha is served by IC and regional trains. The railway station is quite small. There is a small bakery shop though. For drinks etc. there is a well selected small shop by the tram terminus. And behind the tram terminus you will find a supermarket.If you just need a single journey within Germany search the DB website for...

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  • Thueringer Waldbahn

    The Thueringer Waldbahn is actually a tramway that takes you from Gotha railway station to the Kurort of Tabarz in the Thuringa forest. It's line number 4 and the journey takes about one hourI bought a "Touristenticket" for Euro 7.30 which allows you to use all the trams in Gotha and the Waldbahn for one calendar day. Attached are some discount...

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  • By Tramway

    There are several tram lines in Gotha. You can buy a ticket from the driver. A few lines start at the railway station. Some tram lines circle more or less around the old town.You could easily walk from the railway station to the old town. But if you prefer to take a tram, you get off at the 5th stop for the tourist office in the old town.On the...

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Gotha Shopping

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    by yumyum Written Aug 31, 2008

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    In Gotha I discovered a chocolate shop from the Viba company. I learnt that this small company produces its goodies like chocolate, mazipan etc. about 30 km from Gotha in Thuringa. They carry other brands as well. You can buy gift wrapped packets or put them together yourself or just a single candy bar. Sorry, but I forgot to take a picture of the shop.

    The shop is open from Monday-Friday from 9 am till 6 pm and on Saturday from 9 am till 1 pm.

    Viba goodies

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Gotha Local Customs

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    by yumyum Updated Aug 31, 2008

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    The Thuringian sausage (Thueringer Bratwurst) is very famous and tasty. But here in Gotha I tried a Thuringian roast sausage (Thueringer Rostbratwurst). The roast sausage is inside much coarser than the traditional "Thueringer Bratwurst".

    You can buy one from a stand at the Neumarkt.

    Rostbratwurst price in August 2008

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Gotha Favorites

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  • Old buildings

    I strongly recommend that you walk up and down the old town to look at the various old buildings. You can get a folded leaflet at the tourist office at Hauptmarkt 33 with a map and the sights in German. I don't know whether they have the same in English.What I noticed in various tourist offices around Thuringa is that you have to pay for brochures...

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  • Ernst Wilhelm Arnoldi

    The Gothaer Arnoldi (1778-1841) was a merchant and politician of commerce. He founded the first German fireinsurance bank in 1820 and later the first life insurance. Both his birth house and living house are at the Hauptmarkt. You will encounter his name all over Gotha.There is also a square named after him.

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  • Thuringia Bratwurst

    The original German ‘Bratwurst’ comes from Thuringia where the first mention of it was in 1404. The sausage contains pork, beef and sometimes veal. The sausage is usually eaten with a hot or sweet German mustard or sliced and eaten as Currywurst. Sometimes it is served with French mustard and is almost always served with a hard German roll and...

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Gotha Rathaus
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Schloss Friedenstein
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