Time flows differently here
The spa town of Bad Düben - the gateway to Düben Heath - lies at the intersection of the cities of Leipzig, Lutherstadt Wittenberg and the Renaissance town of Torgau. It is framed by the heathland of the same name and the largely untouched natural riverine landscape of the Mulde, which meanders along the western outskirts of the city towards Goitzsche and Muldes reservoir. The Düben Heath nature reserve with its extensive woodlands stretches north and east of the town to Kemberg and Bad Schmiedeberg.
The history of the village can be traced back to 981, when a fortress named "Dibni" was mentioned in written sources. After frequent changes of ownership and complete destruction in the Saxon Brother War, Düben Castle became the administrative seat of the Düben administration in 1531, before it briefly became the headquarters of the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in the autumn of 1813.
Today, the renovated half-timbered building is home to the Düben Heath Landscape Museum, which acquaints visitors with many aspects of the history, flora and fauna of this unique heathland.
One of the last remaining ship mills in Germany can be visited in the castle garden as a special attraction. It was mentioned in 1686 and has been drawing its energy from the river ever since. The flour for the local bakers is still ground in the Düben town mill, one of the five mills in the city. It was built in 1538 as the electoral "Amtsschneidemühle" (official cutting mill) and in the past it was also exclusively powered by hydroelectric power. The mill yard of the "Obermühle" water mill, which was first mentioned in a document around 1434, today invites us to experience traditional craftsmanship. The Düben "Bockwindmühle" welcomes guests coming from the direction of Wittenberg and the "Bockwindmühle Sommerfeld" in Tiefensee is a popular destination on "Mühlentag", the largest fair in the region.
More than 100 years ago, a rich moor was the basis for the construction of a moor bath. The healing effect of the moorland is still appreciated today in the HEIDE SPA Hotel & Resort wellness centre. Immerse yourself in Saxony's great wellness world, let yourself be pampered from head to toe and enjoy bathing culture in a sophisticated atmosphere. From the new four-star wellness hotel, you can reach the individual wellness and experience areas directly via a bathrobe corridor. A tour of the moorland adventure garden offers a wealth of interesting facts about this natural remedy. Having arrived at the mud basin, you have to take off your socks and shoes and feel the stimulating effects for yourself.
A stroll in the adjoining spa park will take you on historic paths and allow you to enjoy tranquillity and nature. The spa park was built in 1848 as one of the first civic parks in Germany. With its fountains, flower and rhododendron plantations, small therapy facilities, barefoot path and the magnificent old tree population, it is an idyllic oasis of relaxation. It includes the Waldkrankenhaus (in English: forest hospital), an orthopaedic hospital and the rehab centre with its specialist clinics for cardiology, neurology and orthopaedics. Following the renovation of the Hotel & Restaurant Kurhaus, a traditional restaurant in the middle of the park invites you to linger and enjoy culinary delicacies and summer spa concerts.
The historic old town centre can be reached quickly via the Kur-Stadt-Weg ("wellness city path"). Lovingly renovated buildings with small, fine shops, cafés and restaurants with cosy outdoor seating guarantee enjoyment for the eye and palate.
The town hall on the market square, which was restored just a few years ago, is a delight with its amusing eye-catcher. Very much to the delight of guests, time literally works differently here: Under the town hall clock, two goats appear at the top of the hour to beat their heads together to the sound of the bell.
At the foot of the castle, the nature park house with various events and a modern permanent exhibition on topics such as "Climate Change" and "Wildlife Experience", has recently been opened for visitors.
From here, more than 500 km of signposted paths lead nature lovers and those seeking relaxation to the most attractive destinations in the region.
Additional interesting sights:
- St. Nikolai's Church with church hall (essential parts from the late Romanesque period, extensive hall reconstruction 1816/19 by Carlo Ignatio Pozzi);
- Catholic Church (1956/57, with unusual tower position);
- the three-part "Pesttor", or plague gate, was erected around 1577 as the entrance portal to the city cemetery;
- the Gustav Adolf stone in commemoration of a meeting between the Swedish monarch and Protestant princes in the immediate run-up to the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631), the "Blücherstein" is a reminder of the headquarters of the Silesian Army in October 1813;
- an iron-rich source: the legendary fountain of health;
ST Alaunwerk (alum plant)
- From 1557 to 1886, alum was mined here, and the leached earth was piled up in heaps. These have been covered with vegetation for a long time and form a unique hilly landscape. A special attraction is the panoramic view of the "Rote Ufer", or red shore, a steep slope of up to 15m in height on the bank of the Mulde.
- Schnaditz moated castle, a three-winged castle complex from the 14th to 19th centuries with a publicly accessible castle garden, was the former residence of the von Zaschnitz family, whose machinations Heinrich von Kleist described in his novella "Michael Kohlhaas";
- The layout of the church is based on a Saint Anthony's cross. The organ is located above the pulpit altar. The interior also contains the epitaph of the von Zaschnitz family, a 13th-century baptismal font and a funerary painting.
- The former Kohlhaasenkrug inn was the starting point for the "Kohlhaseschen Händel" (commerce of Kohlhaasen) in 1532. This event was initiated after the merchant Hans Kohlhase lost his possessions due to an arbitrary decision by the Zaschnitz Junker. Kohlhase declared war on the aristocrats, andHeagn sacking their properties and robbing them along with like-minded fellows. he was betrayed and executed in 1540.