The region between the moated castle, the Rennsteig trail and the river Saale

In the spring the Green Belt stands out, with its deciduous trees and bushes, as a bright green strip in the middle of spruce forests.

In the spring the Green Belt stands out, with its deciduous trees and bushes, as a bright green strip in the middle of spruce forests.

The Thuringian-Franconian section of the Green Belt between Mitwitz and Mödlareuth stretches almost to the Czech Republic border. Mitwitz - known for its romantic moated castle - is considered by many to be the birthplace of the idea of protecting the Green Belt as a national nature heritage. The once divided village of Mödlareuth, on the other hand, also known as "Little Berlin", today demonstrates, almost as well as its big brother, what political and personal repercussions were involved in the inner German border.

Delightful low mountain landscape with a rich history
The densely wooded low mountain landscape ranges in altitude from 300 to nearly 800 m above sea-level, and as the Thuringian-Franconian Slate Mountains, forms a geological unit that has always crossed boundaries. Valleys carved deep into the hills, densely wooded slopes and panoramic high plains form a landscape of fascinating natural beauty. Ridges stretch as far as the Upper Main hill country in the west, and to the Vogtland in the east. The Rennsteig ridge and the river Saale form delineations that are linguistic, religious, climatic and regional, in an area that was territorially split up well into the 19th century. Even today, historic boundary stones, and more recently, watchtowers and remains of the wall, testify to the 20th century division of Germany that has been overcome.

Things worth seeing everywhere you look
The Thuringian-Franconian region is rich in things to see, culture and interesting places. The most well-known cities in the direct vicinity of the Green Belt are the Lucas-Cranach city, Kronach, the toy town of Sonneberg, the fairy grotto town of Saalfeld, the health resorts and spa towns of Bad Lobenstein and Bad Steben, and Hof, with its polytechnic.

Adventures from canoes to dumplings
The region is an El Dorado for nature and sports enthusiasts, and for those interested in culture and regional cuisine. At the point where three nature parks meet, there are no limits to what hikers, cyclists, winter and water sports enthusiasts can do. Mediaeval castles and impressive Bauhaus architecture entice you into making cultural discoveries; customs and traditional craftsmanship are lovingly preserved. Culinary delights range from beer, bratwurst and dumplings to the finest filled chocolates. The Thuringian-Franconian health resorts are true centres of wellness, offering a wide range of remedies and treatments.

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