This colorful corner of Quedlinburg, Germany, is only steps from the town's main market square. Complete with a small stream, flower boxes and half-timbered buildings, it is one of many picture-perfect sites in Quedlinburg. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
While the city hall dominates one end of Quedlinburg's old town market square, the opposite end of the square features the Münzenberg Musicians sculpture. The artwork pays tribute to the popular musicians from Münzenberg, a former monastery and settlement near Quedlinburg. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Modern cafes and restaurants around the old town square in Quedlinburg offer customers a view of the past in a relaxing setting of half-timbered architecture. ()
The market square in the old town of Quedlinburg, Germany, gets busy in the afternoon, as residents and tourists alike gather to relax at an outdoor cafe or stroll amid the medieval architecture that borders the huge square. Dominating one side of the square is the vine-covered city hall. In the background is the Church of St. Benedikt. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Colorful, half-timbered cafes, restaurants and other businesses border Quedlinburg's main square. The square is a popular place for visitors and local residents to congregate in the afternoons. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Among the hundreds of half-timbered buildings in Quedlinburg is this rather plain structure, built around 1320, which the city says is the oldest half-timbered house in Germany. Today it houses a museum that showcases the different types of half-timbered styles. Half-timbering is a distinctive decorative style using exposed wood framing. The spaces between the wooden timbers are filled with plaster, brick or stone. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
This intricately decorated building sits nears the cobbled entranceway to Quedlinburg's castle. It is just one of hundreds of half-timbered buildings in Quedlinburg, whose old town has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
The hotel Vorhof zur Hölle, in a narrow alley off the main market square, is made up of a row of rooms that served as cobblers' workshops and houses in the Middle Ages. The hotel gets its name, which loosely translates to 'Entranceway to Hell,' from the fact that the name of the street directly behind the hotel translates as 'Hell.' (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Past and present come together in this 'advertising tree' found on a small square in Quedlinburg. Modern advertising runs down the center of the pole while shields dangling from the crossbars depict skills and trades from the town's past. Among the trades the shields advertise are: a stone mason (Steinmetz), carpenter (Zimmerei), roofer (Dachdecker) and cobbler (Schuhmacher). (Pary Smith/Stars and Stripes)
Quedlinburg has everything visitors look for when they want to experience Old Europe — a castle with an outdoor cafe; cobbled, narrow streets; an array of church spires; countless red tile rooftops; and hundreds of half-timbered buildings that earned Quedlinburg’s old town a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list. I toured the town in summer, when colorful flower boxes were abundant and in full bloom, which added to the European experience.
Stroll around cozy streets and you’ll see various styles of half-timbered businesses and residences. The oldest among the structures, built in about 1320, is now a small museum that focuses on the numerous styles of half-timbered architecture. Relax and people-watch at one of the sidewalk cafes in the old town’s huge market square, dominated by pastel, half-timbered buildings, a fountain and an ivy-covered city hall. Or for something different, look for remnants of Quedlinburg’s communist past. For example, a few street lamps left from the days when the town was part of East Germany are still in use.
For more information on the city, see www.quedlinburg.de.