A vibrant town with regal traditions

Set in some of the most beautiful countryside that Thuringia has to offer, this is a town full of life and charm with a wealth of historical attractions. Sitting in majestic splendour overlooking the town is Heidecksburg Palace, a reminder of the power once wielded by the royal house. Beneath it is the old quarter with its winding lanes, churches and Renaissance burghers' houses. The town's magnificent baroque palace is the finest example of its kind in the whole of Thuringia and houses an extensive collection of treasures of architectural, cultural and historical significance. Today, the town where writers Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller first met in 1788 is an ideal base for excursions along the River Saale and into the Thuringian Forest.

Highlights/Places of interest

Heidecksburg Palace

Formerly the seat of the princes of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, this is one of the most magnificent baroque palaces in Thuringia. The Thuringian Palaces and Gardens Foundation, the Thuringian State Museum and the Thuringian State Archive are all based here. The palace also houses the 'Rococo en miniature' exhibition, a porcelain collection, a weapons collection, a natural history collection and a picture gallery. There are hourly guided tours of the state rooms and residential apartments. Opening times: April-October: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm November-March: Tue-Sun 10am-5pm

Schiller's House

The widow Louise von Lengefeld lived in this house, built in 1720, with her daughters, Caroline and Charlotte, who later became Schiller's wife. This is also where Schiller first met Goethe, in 1788. The museum documents this occasion, which had such a momentous impact on the literary world, but main focus of the exhibition is on Schiller and the two young women. Opening times: April-October: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm November-March: Tue-Sun 10am-5pm

Thuringian Farmhouses

The Thuringian Farmhouses are the oldest open-air museum in Germany. At risk of dereliction, these half-timbered buildings were taken from several surrounding villages between 1914 and 1915 and relocated here. The museum features original furniture and all kinds of everyday objects that give an insight into rural life in Thuringia in a bygone era. Of particular interest is the authentic village pharmacy. Opening times: April-October: Mon-Sun 11am-6pm

St. Andrew's Church

The municipal church of St. Andrew is a triple-naved late-Gothic hall church that was converted from a 12th century church between 1463 and 1475. The Osanna bell in the upper belfry was cast in 1499. Its inscription is thought to have given Friedrich Schiller the inspiration for his 'Song of the Bell' when he climbed the tower in 1788.

Rudolstadt Theatre

It was initially built as a summer theatre from 1792 to 1793 at the behest of the royal court. From 1794 to 1805 Goethe was the artistic director of Rudolstadt Theatre and brought his company from Weimar to perform here as required. Today the theatre company has formed an association with the Thuringian Symphony Orchestra, who carry on the 350-year tradition of the court orchestra.

Municipal Library

The building dates back to 1609 and was originally a grammar school. The library has been located here since 1894 and was completely renovated in 1998. Theological works form the basis of the collection, which was later supplemented by the royal library.

Old Town Hall

The late-Gothic building from 1524 was subject to several alterations in the 18th century. The 'Rudolstadt ell' can be seen on one of the lower blocks of stone at the front of the building. It was the standard measure for cloth merchants at the market.

Craft centre

At the heart of the historical town centre is the Handwerkerhof craft centre, formerly a Bernhardine convent. From the 18th century until 1945 the convent provided unmarried noblewomen with suitable lodgings. Its little row of shops and picturesque inner courtyard make the craft centre a lovely place to stop and browse.

Ludwigsburg Palace

The palace was built between 1734 and 1741 for the brother of the prince. Later, it served as a royal school of art and further training college for craftsmen. Today the baroque, triple-winged building houses Thuringia's audit court.

Schiller's Mount

The Schiller memorial overlooking the river Saale is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. It was erected in 1830 at the suggestion of August Karl Friedrich Werlich, an ardent admirer of Schiller.

Blick auf Rudolstadt
Blick auf Rudolstadt


Tourist-Information Rudolstadt

Marktstr. 5
07407 Rudolstadt


Tel. +49 (0) 36 72 / 48 64 40
Fax +49 (0) 36 72 / 48 64 44