Regions and Cities of Germany
- Lower Saxony
- North Rhine Westphalia
- Frisian Islands
- Harz Mountains
The Free State of Thuringia has an area of 16,171 km² and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states. Situated in Germany 's geographic centre, the state's capital is the city of Erfurt, also called "the city of flowers". It is home to an interesting cultural heritage, made up of palace houses, churches and convents. But the region's most well known city is Weimar, where Goethe wrote part of his work and where the poet Schiller and the composer Liszt lived. In 1919 the city watched as the Bauhaus artistic and architectural tendency came to life.
The small federal state, that derives its name from the Thuringii tribe who occupied it in 300 A.D., came under the Soviet occupation zone following the Second World War. In 1952, the German Democratic Republic replaces the federal states by smaller districts and divided Thuringia into the three districts of Erfurt, Gera and Suhl. The State of Thuringia was restored with slightly altered borders in the course of the German reunification in 1990.
Thuringia borders on the German states of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Bavaria and Hesse. Thuringia 's wilderness is made up of a combination of forests, meadows, narrow mountain passes, springs and rivers. It has several hiking trails, 170 marshes ideal for water sports and a considerable network of health resorts. The so-called "Road of Classics" a stretch of 300 km passes through the State of Thuringia and is a perfect direction to take in order to go sightseeing and visit the region's main monuments. The state consists of a lowland basin that is nearly surrounded by the ridges of the Harz Mountains, the Rhön Mountains and the Thuringian Forest.
The Thuringian Forest is a mountain chain in the southwest, separated from the volcanic Rhön Mountains by the Werra River. It is about 120 km long and 35 km wide. The highest elevation is called Großer Beerberg (982 m). The Thuringian Forest is famous for its hiking path "Rennsteig", an ancient path following its summits along the main ridge. The "Rennsteig" marks the traditional boundary between Thuringia and Franconia, two German regions with strongly different dialects and traditional customs and costumes.
Another popular tourist destination is the Wartburg Castle outside Eisenach. It was this castle where Martin Luther hid in exile and translated parts of the Bible into German. Eisenach is also the birthplace of the famous composer Johann Sebastian Bach.