Thuringia says “Bonjour”

French charm

From sun-kissed vineyards to architecturally fascinating châteaux with parks: we share with you our day-trip destinations that exude French charm. We also invite you to indulge in a little savoir-vivre – the art of enjoying life. Here are our tips for that holiday feeling à la France.

Belvedere palace and orangery

Belvedere palace, the baroque summer residence of the Sachsen-Weimar and Eisenach family, sits on an elevation in the midst of an expansive park with its own orangery. The palace houses a museum of 18th century arts and crafts. The museum is also home to exquisite porcelain from the collection of the Weimar ducal house. While the palace and orangery are French in style, the park has been laid out according to English landscaping traditions. Also to be discovered: a Russian garden complete with maze. The then duke had it built for his wife Maria Pavlovna, modelled on her garden in St. Petersburg.

Dornburger palaces with vineyard

The Dornburger palaces sit high above the Saale valley with a view over the picturesque region as far as the eye can see. The ensemble comprises three palaces. On outward appearances alone, the rococo palace is the most splendid and charms with its baroque architecture. Build as a pleasure palace, it was used as a holiday residence. That’s something you can still get a feel for today – while strolling through the geometrically landscaped garden, the rose arbour or the vines of the historic terraced vineyard.

Tip: A fine wine made from the palace’s own grapes is available for purchase from the museum shop.


The charming town of Schmalkalden in the middle of the Thuringian Forest exudes French spirit. The town centre is peppered with mediaeval half-timbered houses and reminds of cities like Strasbourg or Colmar. Our tip: Stroll through the sleepy alleyways – you’re guaranteed to find your next Instagram shot! Also interesting is a guided tour of the town, during which you will learn more about the town’s half-timbered architecture.

Orangery and Veit-Ludwig-von-Seckendorff park

In Meuselwitz in the north of the Altenburger Land, a palace park in the French-Dutch style awaits you and invites you to take a stroll. The baroque orangery is the last surviving building of the palace complex and could well be a star in hiding: it’s said that it served as a model for the first phase of construction of the Sanssouci palace in Potsdam.

Rococo en miniature

Exhibition in Rudolstadt

Splendour swathed in all things rococo awaits you at Heidecksburg palace. Marvel at the magnificently designed rooms in the palace as well as courtly life in miniature – but impressive – form: the “Rococo en miniature” permanent exhibition displays the baroque and rococo court culture of fantasy kingdoms.


Title image: ©Jens Hauspurg, Thüringer Tourismusverband Jena-Saale-Holzland

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