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Former East German town, Meiningen


Sep 21st, 2013, 10:02 AM
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Former East German town, Meiningen

I know that former East German areas don't get a lot of coverage here, but I just had to give a very positive report on the small town of Meiningen. What took us to this area was for historic research in the archives in Suhl/Meiningen.

We spent five nights at the charming small hotel, Alstadt an der Werra, in Meiningen. The hotel was really great! The proprietor was very helpful, and always remembered to speak in English when we approached him. Service was fantastic, breakfast ample, parking was a bit minimal (but free), but the internet was less than stellar. My smart phone, with German SIM card worked great though.

The town of Meiningen has a wealth of wonderful architecture, including some incredible houses that no doubt date back several hundred years. The old church on the town square dates back to 1000 AD. Lots of history here. The people are really lovely!! English is not common here, but we managed. We are familiar with enough German terms on a menu to order something that we know! The beer and Thuringer brats are FABULOUS here!!!

We were fortunate to have two German speaking friends that helped us in the archives. That was certainly a plus. We would not have even gotten in the door there, without a knowledge of the language!

Weather was quite chilly and very wet during our stay, mid-September, except for the last of our five nights, when we were able to walk from the hotel into the town square for dinner. I think I took about 2 dozen photos on that walk! The houses and buildings are truly marvelous. My photo of the town square church is now my "wallpaper" on my smart phone! Beautiful!

If you want to consider a trip into the former eastern part of Germany, be prepared for a pleasant experience in most areas. Some towns appear to be unchanged for the last 50-60 years! We decided that we prefer the smaller towns to the more "known" ones of Erfurt and Suhl, for selecting a charming hotel. Alstadt just happens to be the #1 rated Meiningen hotel on TA, and we can certainly see why. Our stay there was really charming in almost every way.
simpsonc510 is offline  
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Sep 21st, 2013, 11:13 AM
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I spent some time in May/June of this year in the former East Germany and really enjoyed it.

In addition to Berlin, I visited the better-known cities of Dresden, Leipzig, and Weirmar, plus the architecturally interesting smaller city of Wernigerode.

In 2009, I visited Quedlinburg and the Spreewald, both of which are fascinating. Especially impressive in Quedlinburg was the "Fachwerk Museum," which showed pictures of various houses as they were during the DDR time and as they are today. Amazing changes!
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Sep 21st, 2013, 01:15 PM
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I have been in the east before, both before and after the wall came down. we look forward to a return there next spring with stays in Berlin, Dresden and Gorlitz among other places.

we look forward to meeting up with Ingo again, the resident Dresden expert.
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Sep 21st, 2013, 02:15 PM
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Glad to hear you had such a great experience. Been to Meiningen years ago and liked it a lot. There are some other small towns in the area that are also VERY charming, like Schmalkalden, Wasungen ...

Looking forward to meeting you, Bob!
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 12:22 AM
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Wish we'd had more time for exploring. Will hopefully return for more work in the archives.
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Sep 22nd, 2013, 01:47 AM
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My wife was born in meiningen and several cousins still live there. Also school mates. I have visited meiningen many times but only since the wall came down Great place to visit and also towns around. john
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