Geo- and Pleasure Trail „From Beer to Bratwurst“

GeoRoute 17

The envy of the Saurians

They would have been quite envious: the Tambach lovers, the Ruhla bryozoa and the Giant Mayfly of Bad Tabarz. Little is known of the dining culture of these ancient creatures. It is however, common knowledge today that beer and bratwurst are an essential part of Thuringian dining culture. The Geo-and Pleasure Trail “From Bratwurst to Beer” is quite different from the other 16 GeoTours. Here the emphasis lies not so much in the geological development of our Earth, but rather focuses on what the soil produces. For example hops and barley. This is where geology meets pleasure albeit with a little tongue in cheek. The soil is the link between geology and the enjoyable products. As such it plays the main part on the Geo-and Pleasure Trail. Several large sculptures by the artist Christoph Hodgson from Arnstadt have been installed along the trail to give beer and bratwurst the spatial dimension they desrve.

The enjoyable trail starts at the Town brewery (Stadtbrauerei) in Arnstadt. It was here in 1617 that the first wheat beer was brewed outside of Bavaria. However, the first offical records of brewing in Arnstadt date from 1407. Bratwurst was mentioned for the first time anywhere here in Arnstadt in 1404. This can be seen on a wood relief in Arstadt Abbey. As if there were not enough “firsts” here, the musical genius Johann Sebastian Bach married for the first time in the small village church in Dornheim (near Arnstadt). In 1707 he exchanged wedding vows with Maria Barbara, a second grade cousin. When she died in 1720, Bach married the soprano Anna Magdalena in Köthen.

PS: There is even a saurian which has been named after the tasty Thuringian bratwurst: Tambachia trogallas (literally: “the sausage eating saurian”). A reconstruction of this little animal can be seen along the Saurian Discovery Trail (GeoRoute 6).

  • Distance/category: approx. 16 km, Circular trail
  • Elevation: approx. 270 – 430 m above sea-level
  • Difficulty: easy – moderate
  • Trail characteristics: field roads, sandy gravel roads, paved footpaths in the towns, some asphalted sections
  • Geological stations: 11 discovery stations with giant sculptures, 4 different 3-D soil profiles, Gravel Pit Haarhausen, Wachsenburg Graben, gypsum quarries at the Kalkberg, vineyard with old grape vines and a small new wine-growing area
  • Touristic stations: Arnstadt: Bach Church, Castle Museum, Zoo Fasanerie and water castle ruin Neideck, Holzhausen: Castle Wachsenburg, Otto-Knöpfer-House
  • Service: Audioguide with 15 listening stations
  • Information: Tourist Information and GeoInfocentre „Kulturscheune“ and Tourist Information Arnstadt

Text: Bettina Aschenbrenner (PhD), Tourismusverband Thüringer Wald Gothaer Land e.V.

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