Sömmerda – Naumburg
This tour begins in the city of Sömmerda, a city in the middle of the Thuringia Basin (Thüringen Becken). It is important to note that Sömmerda is the most prominent and touristic point in this particular tour, and should be taken advantage of. Not only does the Unstrut River present an untouched and unspoiled landscape, Sömmerda also boasts a medieval layout with a town gate and six different lookout towers. Once more, Sömmerda is worth the time, so check out this charming medieval city.
Throughout the tour you will experience 2 – 7 “Pass-around Points” for which you will have to exit the river with your canoe, and re-enter a short distance down stream.
Once you begin your tour down the Saale River and surrounding forests, you may catch a glimpse of several native animals; the turquoise river kingfisher, various types of heron, cormorants and/or nutrias all in their natural habitat. If you are lucky, you may even see turtles and European Otters!
As you make your way from Sömmerda to Naumburg you will pass through by the city of Heldrungen located in Germany’s Kyffhäuser region.
You may want to make a stop in the next town of Artern , as it is most famous for its Solequelle (salt mine), a present given to the city by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia.
Continuing down stream from Artern, is the city of Roßleben. As you paddle your past Roßleben you will notice a giant stone cliff, known as Wendelstein. Perched high above the Unstrut, a top the Wendelstein cliffs rest the ruins of a Castle.
It is important to note that continuing from Roßleben small motorboats are permitted on the river and could cross your path.
The next village you will pass is situated around Kaiserpfalz Memleben, a former Monastery. It was here that the Emperor Otto I was coronated in 962.
As you peacefully paddle your way downstream you will pass the city of Wangen, where the Nebra Sky Disk was found. The Nebra Disk features the oldest concrete depiction of the Cosmos and is considered one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century. In 2013 it was added to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register.
The placidly flowing Unstrut will then take you to a lock in the city of Laucha. In earlier times Laucha was famous for producing bells. Further down the river you will pass the villages of Weischütz and Balgstädt. Then you will come to 2 locks, one shortly before Freyburg at the Zeddenbacher Mühle and one in Freyburg. At these locks/pass-around points you must exit the river with your canoe and re-enter a short walk down stream. The lock in Freyburg is the last lock of the tour.
Nearing Freyburg, wine vineyards become more common as you enter Germany’s Northern most wine-growing region. This wine-producing region is particularly famous for several different types of local wines including Müller-Thurgau, Silvaner and Riesling. Freyburg in particular is known for its wine vineyards and major sparkling wine producer Rotkäppchen. Additionally, you will pass by Neuenburg, Freyburg’s castle. The lock in Freyburg is the last lock of the tour.
The “Steinerne Bilderbuch”, or “Stone Storybook”, is a worthwhile resting place in the village of Großjena. It was created by villagers in 1722, and depicts red sandstone carvings of “wine-themed” scenes from the Bible.
Further down the Unstrut flows into the Saale, creating a striking scene.
Finally, the city of Naumburg will appear on the right side of the river, with its famous cathedral and Wenzel-Church, designed in the late gothic style. Here the Saale spreads into a wide riverbed as it continues its journey through the Saale River Valley.
You can find several inviting, peaceful camping-sites, vineyards, Wineries, quaint cafés, and restaurants scattered along both the Unstrut and the Saale. These places, along with the site-seeing opportunities listed above, will make your journey unforgettable.
At our station in Naumburg-Henne the tour ends; however, feel free to explore the quintessential German city of Naumburg and it’s picturesque architecture.