Germany: Arnstadt

Arnstadt is one of the oldest towns in Thuringia with a lot of historic architecture in the old-town center, several churches, and multiple squares lined up with medieval buildings. The town is known as the “gateway to the Thuringian Forest” which starts to the south of it (a UNESCO World Heritage area). Arnstadt was first mentioned in 704 AD. Main attractions include the central Markt square with an ornate renaissance Rathaus (town hall) from 1585, 13th century Liebfrauenkirche (Church of Our Lady), 17th century Bach church (when Johann Sebastian Bach worked as organist from 1703 to 1707, and 18th century Schloss Arnstadt with the Schlossruine Neideck tower. There was a POW camp here during WWII.