The capital Rudolstadt

In 776 the name Rudolstadt first appeared in a deed of donation from Charlemagne to Hersfeld Monastery. It was once a Franconian-Sorbian-Thuringian settlement and came into the possession of the Counts of Schwarzbug around 1340. Rudolstadt has been a town since 1326 and around 1571 the beautiful residential town became the headquarters of the Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt line.
In the years that followed, this city developed into one of the most culturally and politically important centres. The name is inconceivably linked to German art and intellectual history.

One can say that it is a city full of life and charm. It is also an ideal starting point for excursions into beautiful surroundings.

The tourist information is only a few minutes walk away. There you will receive further tips and brochures for planning your tours in our beautiful Rudolstadt!

Das Wetter in Rudolstadt

Dec 12, 2018 - Wed
Rudolstadt, DE
light rain and snow
light rain and snow
2 m/s, NE
767.32 mmHg
wed12/12 thu12/13 fri12/14 sat12/15 sun12/16
light snow
light snow
light snow
clear sky
Rudolstadt - Thüringenkarte mit Städtepunkten

The Heidecksburg

The Heidecksburg

Heidecksburg Castle – correct: Heidecksburg Castle – is a landmark of the city of Rudolstadt in Thuringia. It is a magnificent baroque castle from the second half of the 18th century, built on the site of a 13th century castle. In the following centuries several successor buildings, including castles and palaces, were built as a result of war damage, fires etc.

Today Heidecksburg Castle is a popular tourist attraction and a highly frequented excursion destination, thanks both to its imposing exterior and the valuable architectural and cultural-historical treasures inside the building. Among other things, the princely living and festival rooms, an extensive weapons collection and the painting gallery can be visited in the castle. Heidecksburg Castle also contains a historical library and a unique collection of decorative porcelain. Constantly changing exhibitions complement the sights and attract visitors from near and far.

Furthermore, the castle is the seat of the Foundation of Thuringian Palaces and Gardens and the Thuringian State Museum.

Schloss Heidecksburg mit Blick über Rudolstadt

The history of Heidecksburg

Already in the 13th century a castle of the Count of Orlamünde was situated on the grounds of today’s castle. This was acquired by the Count of Schwarzburg in 1334 and subsequently expanded. But only ten years later, in the course of the Thuringian count’s war, the castle was completely destroyed. Today, there are no visible remains of this “original development” of the site.

After the end of the war, a successor building was erected on the same site, but somewhat offset. This was located between the present centre of the Schlossplatz and the open-air stage. The new building, a relatively simple castle, lasted until 1573, before a devastating fire destroyed most of it. Today it is assumed that the round tower integrated into the royal stables still originates from the second castle.

From the remains left over from the fire, a renaissance castle with three wings was finally built, the size and location of which largely corresponded to the present building. But even this building was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1735. Thus, in 1737, the construction of a new baroque residence castle began, into which only the old guard building, parts of the south wing and the ribbed vault on the ground floor could be integrated. The result was a baroque representative building that lived up to the claim of the Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt family, who were elected princes in 1710.

The attractions of Heidecksburg Castle

Heidecksburg Castle is (and has always been) used for many purposes. The most important parts of the building themselves can be visited, but also the permanent exhibitions and temporary themed exhibitions. Here are some of the most important attractions in detail:

The Weapon Collection

With more than 4000 exhibits from the 15th to 19th centuries, the weapons collection housed at Heidecksburg Castle is one of the most extensive in Germany. It belongs to the Thuringian State Museum and was exhibited in the late Gothic vaulted hall of Heidecksburg Castle in recent years. However, the weapons collection is currently undergoing restoration, but is to be made accessible to the public again in 2017.

The Collection of Paintings

Heidecksburg Castle contains a collection of paintings by the counts and later princes of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. The foundation stone for this collection of paintings was laid as early as the 17th century, after which it was constantly expanded.

The “Rocco en miniature” exhibition

The fascinating world of the Rococo in small format, more precisely on a scale of 1:50. This interesting permanent exhibition is also located at Heidecksburg Castle. It consists of a fantasy world of two kingdoms, including several miniature castles including furnishings and inhabitants. This exhibition has been housed in the former princely court kitchen of the castle since 2007.

The Museum of Natural History

Already in the 18th century, the establishment of a princely cabinet of natural objects began at Heidecksburg Castle. The exhibition, which is now housed in a room on the upper floor of the north wing, reconstructs this natural collection and shows a collection from all three classical natural kingdoms, i.e. the kingdoms of stone, plants and animals.

As you can see, Heidecksburg Castle is well worth a visit today. Bring the necessary time with you, because there is a lot to experience! Within the framework of various guided tours and combined offers, everyone can see as much of Schloss Heidecksburg as they like.

The State Theatre

The Theatre in Rudolstadt – A stage of superlatives

This theatre has a rich tradition. At the end of the 18th century Johann Wolfgang von Goethe managed his artistic fortunes and provided sophisticated entertainment. Today the stage has only 260 seats and is one of the best theatres in Thuringia. It is much more than just an insider tip.

The rich offer, which ranges from drama, opera, operetta to musical and ballet, is highly appreciated by the many visitors. The “Schminkkasten”, the smaller venue with hospitality next to the big house, invites to convivial evenings with mostly comedic pieces and musical-literary programs. In June/July you can admire the summer theatre in front of the enchanting scenery of the Heidecksburg. This is a wonderful experience for young and old. The theatre also has its own orchestra: the Thuringian Symphony Saalfeld-Rudolstadt. Their regular concerts enrich the cultural life of the region immensely.

Night after night the stage becomes the scene of perfectly staged sensory noise. When the curtain rises, a firework of sophisticated choreographies, breathtaking drama and unique stage technique is ignited.

Don’t miss Rudolstadt’s big visitor magnet!

Logo - Theater in Rudolstadt
Ausflugsziel Thüringer Landestheater

The SaaleMaxx fun pool

The ultimate bathing fun between Saalfeld and Rudolstadt

The SAALEMAXX – a fun bath of a special kind

The leisure and adventure pool Saale Maxx offers visitors a maximum of sport, fun and relaxing peace and quiet. It is divided into the sub-areas – sports pool, adventure pool, sauna and wellness. The colourful and spacious leisure facility is located on a slope above the Rudolstadt arch of the Saalebogen. This offers a fantastic view of the Heidecksburg.

Here parents and children discover a variety of water attractions. The children can drift through the flow channel or allow themselves a cooling under the waterfall mushroom.

The wave pool gives you a feeling of the sea. The children are carried up by the waves while their parents relax in the surf. Furthermore, there is a sports pool, whirlpools and solariums to discover in the leisure and adventure pool Saale Maxx.

Splashing makes you hungry. In the catering area families can enjoy a snack or a little refreshment.

Mädchen mit Brille im Saale MAXX
Saale Maxx - Badespaß in Saalfeld - Übernachten nebenan im Hotel Rudolstadt

hours of operation

adventure pool

Monday-Saturday: 10:00 – 22:00 o’clock
Sunday: 10:00 – 20:00 o’clock

Sports bath, sauna world, bathhouse

Monday-Sunday: 10:00 – 22:00 o’clock
Friday: 10:00 – 23.00 o’clock

The Schiller House

The Schiller House with Garden

History of the house

The Schiller House in Rudolstadt is one of the few authentic Schiller sites in Germany that did not fall victim to the bombs of the Second World War. It was once the former living quarters of the von Lengefeld and von Beulwitz families. During the restoration from 2005 to 2009, numerous restoration findings enabled a realistic reconstruction of the room structures and wall frames at the end of the 18th century.

On December 6, 1787 Friedrich Schiller spent the evening in the house of the Lengefeld-Beulwitz family and was impressed by the open-minded spiritual atmosphere. In the summer of 1788, during his first longer stay, his passion for Caroline and the still unmarried Charlotte von Lengefeld was awakened. From this passion developed a love for Charlotte, which led to her marriage in 1790.

This time inspired him to work as a writer and also gave him courage and confidence. The first personal meeting with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe also took place in this historic house on 7 December 1788.

The Rudolstadt Schiller Museum focuses precisely on that period in Schiller’s life. The physical well-being of the visitors is also well taken care of. The Restaurant & Cafe “Schiller!” radiates a modern flair. Here you will be provided with fresh, light cuisine and selected wines. The beer garden is a green oasis in the middle of the historic old town and invites you to stay for a while – no matter what time of day.

Schillerhaus Rudolstadt - historischer und schöner Ausflug

hours of operation

Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00 o’clock

Monday: closed
(open on legal holidays)

Admission: 5,- EUR
reduced: 3,- EUR

The Old Town

The historical old town of Rudolstadt

The old town of Rudolstadt lies below Heidecksburg and invites you to linger with its winding alleys, churches and Renaissance bourgeois houses.


The oldest settlement centre of Rudolstadt is the village settlement Altstadt. This area was originally inhabited by Slavic farmers and fishermen. It stretched in the east of today’s city approximately between Ludwigstraße, Pörze, Glockenstraße and Oststraße. Schönfeldt’sche Hof was the most important dairy in the old town. The Ludwigsburg is now located in its area.

It was an independent and political community, but had a close relationship with the city of Rudolstadt. On 20 September 1830 the village was incorporated into a residence.

Altstadt Rudolstadt - historische schöne Eindrücke

The Craftsmen’s Yard

The Craftsmen’s Yard

A successful combination of historical building substance and contemporary shopping and experience culture in Rudolstadt is the Handwerkerhof in the former Bernhardinerstift.

Here craftsmen from various trades have transformed a ruin into a wonderful ensemble of master craftsmanship. The craftsman’s yard offers a beautiful experience for all senses and is equipped for the disabled.

Ein Einblick in den Handwerkerhof in Rudolstadt
handwerkliche Meisterkunst im Handwerkerhof in Rudolstadt
Der Handwerkerhof ein Erlebnis für alle Sinne

Photo studio Lösche

Photo exhibition at the Handwerkerhof

In 1851 the photo studio Lösche was founded in Rudolstadt and is still family-owned today. Thus it is the oldest still existing studio for portrait photography in Germany.
Historical city views, portraits of well-known personalities and exhibits on the development of photographic technology, can be viewed in the exhibition opened in June 2014.

Opening hours:

Tuesday to Sunday and public holidays
14:00 until 17:00 o’clock

Shops in the craftsmen’s yard


For you and your home, tailor’s shop, home textiles and gifts

Owner: Karin Weide
Phone: 03672 – 312886

Handicraft in the craftsmen’s yard

Hairdressing salon “EVY”

Fashionable hairstyles and colour design for men, women and children

Owner: Evelyn Krause
Phone: 03672 – 422276

Beauty studio Jeanette Hensel

Facial and body treatment, consultation and sales, nail studio

Owner: Jeanette Hensel
Phone: 03672 – 412283

overnight accommodations

The Handwerkerhof offers overnight accommodation for journeymen.

Three small rooms, a kitchen, WC and shower are available.

You can register under: 03672 – 410377

The open-air museum

The open-air museum in Heinrich-Heine-Park

Visitors to the romantic Heinrich-Heine-Park on the banks of the Saale River can gain an insight into the rural life of the past. The “Thuringian farmhouses” located there are considered to be the oldest open-air museum in Germany.

Visitors can admire and enjoy a picturesque courtyard landscape consisting of several buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1914/1915 the half-timbered buildings in the surrounding villages were demolished. Thanks to the “Marie Richter Foundation”, it is thanks to the nature-loving citizens of Rudolstadt that these houses were rebuilt in Heinrich Heine Park with great attention to detail.

hours of operation

April to October

daily from 11:00 to 18:00 o’clock
(admission until 17:30)

Prices Museum

Adults: 2,50 €

reduced rate
(Children, pupils, students, unemployed, severely disabled, owners of the Thür. Forest Card): 1,50 €

– from 20 persons: 1,50 € per person
– School classes from 20 pupils: 0,50 € per person

extended combination ticket
valid for Schillerhaus, Thüringer Landesmuseum Heidecksburg incl. exhibition “Rococo en miniature” and the open-air museum Thüringer Bauernhäuser: € 9.00

Alte Fachwerkbauten im Heinrich-Heine-Park
Thüriner Bauernhäuser im Freilichtmuseum Rudolstadt
Fachwerkbauten im Heinrich-Heine-Park

In the museum the rural life in the Thuringian region is illustrated by original furniture and utensils. The furnishings date from the 17th to the middle of the 19th century and impress with their beauty of form and practicality. The very personal relationship to the objects and furniture is shown by the paintings and the often humorous inscriptions.

The furnishing of an old village pharmacy is particularly worth seeing. With the available laboratory equipment, medicine bottles and mortars, it points to a special feature of the upper Black Valley: the oil trade. The so-called “hunchback pharmacists” earned their living with it. These oils are nowadays produced according to original recipes and some of them are available in the museum shop.

Museum mit originalen Möbeln und Gebrauchsgegenständen

others highlights:

Guided tour with the hunchback pharmacist

“Crooks, horrors and ghosts”

Author: Frank Ash
Production: theater-spiel-laden

On this tour you will learn eerie, erotic, curious and delightful things from the tiny country from a humpback pharmacist from the Principality of Schwarzburg – Rudolstadt.
He tells secrets about everyday life and talks about the unique medical and oil trade in the green heart of Germany.

Meeting point is the courtyard of the Thuringian farmhouses.

Dates of the current season

Additional dates for groups of 10 persons or more are possible by arrangement with the Tourist Information (Tel.: 03672/486440).


Adults: 7,00 €

Children from 7 years / pupils and groups from 20 persons: 6,00 €

Culinary guided tour

“Stomped, stirred, shaken – fun and interesting facts from the farmer’s kitchen”

This entertaining tour focuses on the kitchens and herb garden of the Thuringian farmhouses. As a visitor, you will learn that modern kitchen technology is based on very solid principles and that many practical kitchen appliances have their origins in the farmer’s kitchen.
In the wonderful herb garden you will learn everything about old useful and ornamental plants, as well as about some healthy herbs. At the end of the tour your hunger for knowledge will hopefully be satisfied and flat cakes will be made and eaten according to the original recipe.

Dates of the current season

Additional dates for groups of 10 persons or more are possible by arrangement with the Tourist Information (Tel.: 03672/486440).


Adults: 7,00 €

Children from 7 years / pupils and groups from 20 persons: 6,00 €

Thuringia’s farmhouses are particularly popular in the summer months for open-air events of all kinds. The spectrum ranges from concerts with Dixieland and folklore to open-air cinema and summer theatre.

The Church of St. Andrew

The Rudolstadt town church St. Andreas is a protestant, three-nave late Gothic hall church. It was built between 1463 and 1475 from a 12th century church. From 1634 to 1636 the church was rebuilt again and received an early baroque interior.

Places of interest in the church

Particularly impressive are the family tree of Count Albrecht VII of Schwarzburg and the “Schönfeldsche Epitaph”, which are depicted as high as a wall.

In the choir a tomb slab reminds of Countess Katharina von Schwarzburg.

The church also contains a two-roomed princely tomb, which has been in use since 1605. Here are still some coffins of the princes of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt. Unfortunately, these coffins are badly damaged because the tomb suffered a series of burglaries.

In 1882 a Ladegast organ was installed. 2003-2005 it was restored by Hermann Eule Orgelbau.

The Bells

In the upper belfry of the tower hangs the late Gothic bell Osanna. It was cast in 1499 by Kurt Kerstan and weighs 2,300 kilograms. “Vivos voco, Mortuos plango, Fulgura frango.” “(“I cry out to the living, I lament for the dead, I break lightning.”)

The “Big Bell” weighs 5000 kilograms and is the heaviest free-swinging bell of a Protestant church in Thuringia. It was cast in 1635 by the foundry brothers Möhringk from Erfurt in the middle of the Thirty Years’ War.

The Marienglocke or also child training bell is a highly gothic work of art and is with 460 kilograms the lightest in the ringing. It dates from the 14th century.


Hotel Thüringer Hof
Bahnhofsgasse 3
07407 Rudolstadt

Owner: Carsten Lauterbach


Phone: 0 36 72 / 41 24 22
Fax: 0 36 72 / 41 24 23



Mo - Sa:
from 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Wed - Sat: 11:00 to 22:00 o'clock

Sun/holidays: 11:00 to 16:00 o'clock

Monday and Tuesday rest day