Neuhaus am Rennweg
Neuhaus am Rennweg is the biggest town along the Rennsteig hiking trail and a tourist centre for ramblers, surrounded by the beautiful landscape of the Thuringian Forest Natural Park, bordering the Thuringian slate mountains. The most widely known high altitude rambling trail in Germany, the Rennsteig, passes through the town for about 3km and its course was once the border between two Princedoms and Dukedoms until a change in the political map in the 19th century. In order to avoid confusion with the village of Neustadt am Rennsteig the town Neuhaus am Rennweg was granted the right of use for this variation of its name in 1866. It now advertises this name in its slogan: "Neuhaus am Rennweg - where the Rennsteig is called Rennweg" ('Steig' being an old word for 'Weg', which means trail or path.) The town is surrounded by large and healthy forests, with very extensive walking and rambling trails. It offers magnificent views across the mountains and is an ideal starting point for many days out in the hills and for visiting other attractive towns and sights. Its high altitude renders it a popular winter sports centre, especially for those who love cross-country skiing in crystal-clear wintry air. The town church is considered a gem, being one of the biggest and most beautiful timber built churches in Thuringia. Another highlight is the local Museum the "Geisslerhaus" in the Sonneberger Strasse 106. There is a huge programme of sports events the biggest of which is the GutsMuths-Rennsteiglauf Marathon, held every year in May, and the international dog sled competition, organised annually in January. Many club festivals and church concerts regularly enrich the cultural life of the town. The highlight of these events is the annual Church Anniversary Festival, held at the end of the summer season in the last weekend in August together with the Market Festival in the first weekend in September. Every year in the run-up to Christmas on the second and third weekend of Advent the market square and pedestrian area are decorated with beautiful lights, inviting everyone to take part in the traditional mountain Christmas celebration. Neuhaus am Rennweg celebrated its 400th anniversary in 2007.