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Sachsen Classic 2012: To the Transparent Factory - 3rd stage

Manfred Lohse
Saxony Classic 2012
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Torgau - city of the Renaissance

D he former capital of Saxony attracts visitors with its 1000-year history. This is how treasures from history sparkle in Torgau. A stroll through the alleys reveals over 500 monuments from the late Gothic and Renaissance periods. The huge Renaissance town hall is a feast for the eyes on the market square. The valuable altarpiece 'The Fourteen Helpers in Need' by Lucas Cranach the Elder adorns the town church of St. Mary. Probably the most striking building in the cityscape is Hartenfels Castle with the 'Great Wendelstein'. The castle church was consecrated in 1544 by Martin Luther as the first Protestant church building in Germany.

Torgau is the most important Luther site in Saxony. Under the reigns of Frederick the Wise, John the Steadfast and John Frederick the Magnanimous, the city was the political center of the Reformation in Germany. There is evidence that Martin Luther stayed here 40 times. With Philipp Melanchthon, Justus Jonas and Johannes Bugenhagen he worked out the 'Torgauer Artikel' in 1530. The traces of the Reformation are omnipresent. They lead from the electoral chancellery via the first German superintendent to the grave of Luther's wife, Katharina von Bora, in the church of St. Marien. The origin of Protestant church music is also linked to the reformer: Original cantor Johann Walter, who founded the first choir in Torgau, composed many songs from the Protestant hymnbook published by Luther. And there is even a reference to Torgau beer: Luther liked to drink it - the Torgau residents and guests of the city have followed him to this day.

Freiberg -' Terra Mineralia 'is the world's largest mineral collection

5000 unique minerals and sparkling gemstones from five continents await you in Freiberg. They can be admired in the 'Terra Mineralia' exhibition in the renovated Freudenstein Castle. The treasures belong to the largest mineral collection in the world with 80,000 exhibits - compiled by the Saxony-born collector Erika Pohl-Ströher - a member of the founding family of the cosmetics brand 'Wella'. The majority of the mineral grades represent absolute world class, for the viewer an overwhelming variety of colors and shapes of the crystals.

The more than 800 year old mountain town has become rich from silver mining. Over 550Listed buildings and objects in the late medieval city center provide impressive evidence of this. This includes St. Mary's Cathedral with its golden gate, the first arched portal with figurative representation in the German-speaking area. Inside, the triumphal cross group, the miners' and the much-vaunted tulip pulpit are impressive. The city theater, which is considered the oldest in the world and is known as the “Little Semper Opera” because of its baroque interior design, also testifies to the wealth of Freiberg. The largest still preserved organ and the small organs by Gottfried Silbermann in the cathedral, in the Petri and Jacobi churches make the city attractive. Every two years the city honors its master organ builder with the Gottfried Silbermann Days.

Those who want to follow the traces of silver underground will find the most important visitor mine 'Reiche Zeche' on the outskirts of Saxony. It is the world's only teaching mine, operated by the oldest mining university in the world, the Bergakademie Freiberg. Guided tours take between two and a half to eight hours at a depth of 150 meters. Wheelchair users and children can also immerse themselves in the traditional mining history of Freiberg on an educational trail. The cultivation of mining customs culminates every year in the mountain parade in June and on the 2nd Advent in addition to miner's feast and layers of meat in the silver mine of the first forest botanical garden

Southwest of the art and culture city of Dresden is one of the most beautiful hiking areas in Saxony - the Tharandt Forest. If you want to escape from everyday life, discover new things and enjoy nature, this is the right place.

The region became famous through the forester Heinrich Cotta, who founded the world-famous forestry school (today a specialty of the TU Dresden) and the created the first forest botanical garden (today Landesaboretum with forest park). It is one of the most beautiful hiking areas in Saxony. Natural beauties can be discovered on around 200 km of well-marked hiking trails and cozy resting places invite you to linger and doze off. In addition to enjoying nature, you are also offered a lot of history and culture. The Saxon Elector August I drove his crickets (= worries) here while hunting.

The Tharandt Forest 'houses' the geographic center of Saxony in its south-western part and, with its more than 190 kilometers, forms a good place signposted hiking trails and cozy picnic and barbecue areas an Eldorado for hikers. Cycling is possible on almost all forest trails, with easy to demanding tours and rental bikes being offered. About 90 kilometers of bridle paths are available for 'happiness on earth' or for a fun carriage ride. A sleigh ride in the snow-covered Tharandt forest or a ride on one of the historic ones is particularly romanticStagecoaches.

Dresden - metropolis on the Elbe

Dresden is a highlight and at the same time the destination of the Sachsen Classic 2012 The metropolis spreads its world-famous charm as a baroque city, cultural city, Elbe city and music city. Its architectural treasures around the Theaterplatz with the Dresden Zwinger and the Semperoper, the Dresden Castle and the Brühl Terrace, the art treasures of the state art collections with the galleries of the Old and New Masters and the historical Green Vault give it a very special charm. A magical attraction is the Frauenkirche on the newly designed Dresden Neumarkt. From the Augustus Bridge you have the most beautiful view of the historic old town. You can experience the modern flair of the Saxon state capital outside of the baroque ensemble - for example, when you look into the “Transparent Factory” from Volkswagen, a stroll through the shopping streets in the Königsstraße with its exclusive boutiques and through the modern shopping palaces on the Dresden Altmarkt and along the Prague Street.

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