Tourist Attractions in the Surrounding Area
On this page we present some of the tourist attractions in Wernigerode and the surrounding area.
At the moment, only the information on Harz Narrow Gauge Railways (Harzer Schmalspurbahnen) is ready. Further articles about the Harz Mountains, the Brockenhaus, the Aviation Museum, etc. are planed.
Harz Narrow Gauge Railways (Harzer Schmalspurbahnen)
Wernigerode is the headquarters of the Harz Narrow Gauge Railways (Harzer Schmalspurbahnen, or HSB) a metre-gauge railway network. In Wernigerode you can see:
- Wernigerode Main Station (connections to regional trains and buses)
- Wernigerode-Westerntor Station (the largest narrow-gauge railway station in Germany)
- Wernigerode-Hochschule Harz Station (the only Technical High School in Germany with its own railway stop)
- Wernigerode-Hasserode Station
- a large Operations Centre including engine sheds (at Wernigerode Main Station – Narrow Gauge)
- a workshop (adjacent to Wernigerode-Westerntor Station)
- the largest narrow gauge rolling stock hall in Germany (beside Wernigerode-Elmowerk Station)
The Harz Narrow Gauge Railways consist of the Brocken Railway, the Trans-Harz Railway and the Selke Valley Railway and form a route network of 140.4 kilometres. With 25 steam locomotives (built between 1897 and 1956), the narrow gauge railways in the Harz Mountains are one of the last great steam adventures in the world. The HSB also owns 12 diesel locomotives and 10 railcars together with rolling stock comprising 88 passenger coaches, 19 railway service cars and 30 freight cars.
The Brocken Railway
The Brocken Railway is an almost 19-kilometre narrow-gauge railway line between the Drei Annen Hohne Station on the Trans-Harz Railway and the Brocken Station in the Harz National Park. The Brocken Station, which is 1,125 metres above sea level, is the highest station of all the steam-powered narrow gauge railways in Germany and is located not far from the Brocken summit (1,141 metres above sea level). From 1961 until the Fall of the Brocken Wall on the 3rd December 1989, the Brocken summit was a closed Soviet military area.
The Brocken is the highest mountain in Northern Germany and, because the Brocken road is closed to public transport, it is only possible to reach it via various hiking routes, by bike or with the Brocken Railway. The Brocken is a place of extreme weather conditions and lies above the natural treeline.
A trip to the Brocken is highly recommended and trains leave from Wernigerode several times a day. To the timetables of HSB (opens a new browser window in German).
The Trans-Harz Railway
The 60.47-kilometre Trans-Harz Railway connects Wernigerode on the northern flank of the Harz, via Drei Annen Hohne and Eisfelder Talmühle with Nordhausen, in the State of Thuringia, on the south side. This railway line on the north-south axis of the Harz displays the interplay of all the beauty of this low mountain range.
As few timetabled trains operate along the full length of this route, it is best experienced with one of the HSB’s special trains (opens a new browser window in German).
The Selke Valley Railway
The 60.97 kilometre long Selke Valley Railway connects Eisfelder Talmühle Station on the Trans-Harz Railway with Quedlinburg (via Stiege and Alexisbad). The Selke Valley has retained its original landscape of rugged cliffs, open meadows, picturesque ponds and extensive beech and oak forests, but trains rarely travel on the whole railway line today.
To experience the Selke Valley Railway from Wernigerode, it is better to make a trip to Quedlinburg by regional train or by bus. A return trip in the afternoon with two changes (in Stiege and Eisfelder Talmühle) takes five hours.
Workshop tours in the Westerntor Motive Power Depot
Here in the imposing workshop built in 1926, adjacent to the Wernigerode-Westerntor Station, the entire technology (steam locomotives, diesel locomotives, railcars, passenger and freight cars and special vehicles) of the Harz narrow-gauge railways is maintained. The guided tours of the workshop usually take place on Friday (except on public holidays) at 1:45 pm (13:45). Additional tours are held on Wednesdays during the holiday periods of the states of Saxony-Anhalt, Lower Saxony and Thuringia.
These workshop tours are very popular, have a maximum of 25 participants and are carried out in the German language. An early booking is recommended.
Special tours are also possible. Find out more at HSB (opens a new browser window in German).
Steam locomotives in Wernigerode
If you do not have time for a train ride or a workshop visit, you can also experience steam locomotives in the town! Good viewing opportunities are possible from the viewing platform (please do not forget to put a small donation in the collection box) at the engine shed at the Wernigerode Main Station (HSB), at the Wernigerode-Westerntor Station, at the road/rail crossing of the B244 in front of the Western Gate (Westerntor) and on the very narrow Kirchstraße (to the West of Wernigerode-Hochschule Station), where the train runs along the street like a tram.