• Photo: (c) fotoknips | Dreamstime.com


Stepping off the train in the sleepy town of Freyburg, it is not difficult to see why locals call the area "the Tuscany of the North." With clean, wandering streets, whitewashed buildings, and a huge castle perched on a vine-terraced hill, Freyburg is a little out of place. The town owes its existence to Schloss Neuenburg, which was built by the same Thuringian count who built the Wartburg. Although most visitors head straight for the wine, the historic Old Town and castle certainly warrant a visit.

Freyburg is surrounded by a ¾-mile-long, almost completely intact city wall. The Ekstädter Tor was the most important gate into the city and dates from the 14th century. The gate is dominated by one of the few remaining barbicans in central Germany.

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