Old Watch Tower in Quedlinburg worth a visit
We’d heard about the Quedlinburg Old Watch Tower (“Altenburgwarte”) that was located approximately 0.5 miles (just under 750 meters) from the southwest edge of town, on a sandstone ridge overlooking the village below.
Craving exercise with our typical added dose of touring, we headed out from just below the Schlossmuseum (“Castle museum”) through a park and then along a picturesque lane (“Huttenweg”). We really had no idea where we’d end up. But we figured with any luck, we’d find our way along country lanes and footpaths (the signing in Germany for all walking paths is excellent) and we’d eventually arrive at the Altenburgwarte. And, well, if we didn’t, we’d still have an adventure with a few tales to tell.
We jogged past groups of German kids on their way to school, past farmers tending their orchards who waved hello despite our rather alien-to-the-area looks (think tech running gear), and then came upon a sign pointing toward, yes, the sought-after Altenburgwarte. We stopped to poach an apple and a few berries too. Ssssssh!
Into the forest we went, along a lovely, cool dirt road – feeling a little bit like Dorothy and her companions entering the dark woods in Wizard of Oz — making turns when the signs said to. Hard to get lost here!
The Watch Tower itself is a simple, albeit fun and somewhat quirky destination that you can still climb up – 51 steps through a dark narrow interior (a bit of an adventure sans flashlight which, of course, we forgot to bring). The Harz Club built the current 10-meter-high, restored tower in 1889. It was created from ruins of the original tower, which was five meters in diameter and built in the 14th or 15th century.
Trees blocked the view to town from the top. We’re guessing hundreds of years ago they could still see the bad guys coming to protect the town.
Harz Mountains - a land of fairy tales and witches
The Harz Mountains includes the magical towns of Quedlinburg and Wernigerode and features dark forests (hence the tales of witches) tumbling streams, timber houses and narrow cobblestone streets. Learn more about this region of fairy tales with Quedlinburg: An ubercute villate in Germany’s Harz mountains and Harz mountain Brockenbahn railway is a narrow gauge wonder.