Three palaces in one city – who else can offer anything like that?
Greiz – once the capital of Germany’s smallest principality, the Principality of the Reuss Elder line used to be a centre of manufacturing and commerce for textiles and a centre for paper manufacturers. Greiz was the home town and birth place of numerous world famous personalities from culture, research and industry. Well-known people associated with Greiz include Dr Ulf Merbold (astronaut), Oskar Sala (composer), Hans Beck (inventor of the playmobil figures), Gunther von Hagens (doctor), Bernhard Stavenhagen (composer), Hansgeorg Stengel (journalist and author), Reiner Kunze (writer), Elly-Viola Nahmmacher (sculptor), Brunhilde Einenkel (doll maker), Princess Hermine Reuss Elder Line, the second wife of the last of the German emperors ... and so on. The theoretical concept behind the construction of an aeroplane was presented in Greiz by Melchior Bauer in 1765.
The city looks back over 800 years of chequered history. Floods and conflagrations could not restrain the citizens from developing the city of Greiz into a true pearl with commerce and production, brewing of beer and the manufacture of liqueurs, as also a railway line connecting Greiz with Gera through a tunnel in the castle rock. Numerous villas dating from the economic upswing of the “Gründerzeit” and lordly architecture leave no doubt about the prosperity which the citizens enjoyed in earlier times.
The three palaces are unique to Greiz. These together with prestige and residential buildings were developed over centuries by the ruling monarchy. The Upper Castle towers high over the city where it can be seen from afar. Originally built as a stately home, it later became the home of the State Archives and the municipal centre for the palace. Today visitors can enjoy a museum with a display area of over 1000 m² where an exhibition showing the development of the region from the time of the Land of the Vogts through to the era of the Reuss principality is vividly presented.
The Lower Palace used to be the residence of the Elder Line until the principality came to an end. Guests are invited to view the Beletage where they can admire private rooms of the princely family which have been faithfully restored to their former glory. Special exhibitions on interesting aspects of the history of Greiz complete the excursions to the museums.
Aspects of national relevance include the princely Greizer Park and its Summer Palace. It was originally built as the summer residence of Prince Heinrich XI and has been lovingly restored at considerable expense. Today it is a centre of attraction for art lovers and houses the public collection of books and copper engravings as also the SATIRICUM, a collection of caricatures spanning 6 centuries. Every three years the triennial of caricatures and comic art gives the Summer Palace special relevance extending far beyond the federal state of Thuringia.
Greiz is an ideal starting point for hiking and cycling fans to explore the Vogtland. Some recommendations for short and long hiking tours include the Vogtland panorama route (about 228 km), the Elster pearl route (about 72 km) or the Greiz round tour (about 70 km). These excursions are divided into stages so that visitors get to see all the sights of the city. Cyclists can explore the Vogtland on the demanding river Elster bicycle path featuring about 250 km of both flat land and hills. Those cyclists who would prefer shorter trips with a variety of different landscapes could choose the „Vogtland-Ferien-Route“ (Vogtland tour of about 50 km), the tour “Greiz – Werdauer forest – Göltzschtalbrücke” (to a railway bridge over the Göltzsch valley and about 35 km) or the “Burgenroute (castle route)“ (about 55 km).
Everyone who visits the city should be sure to take full advantage of the many excursions and lookouts all around the city and surrounding area. The location of the city, surrounded by hills in the valley of the White Elster river offers ideal conditions for a wonderful view of the city. The Sophienkreuz am Hirschstein, popularly known as the “Weißes Kreuz” or White Cross offers everyone who climbs it a breathtaking view over the Princely Park to the Upper Palace, and the “Powder Tower” on the “Roth” rewards visitors with a spectacular view. On the other side of the valley on the former Alexandrine Hill there is the Gasparinen Temple which was built in around 1822. From a height of 65 m you have a wonderful view over the old part of the city across to the Upper Palace. Located in the nature reserve in the Greiz-Werdau woods there is the animal sanctuary of the City of Greiz which is ideal for excursions and walks. Large animal enclosures, paths in the shade and green playgrounds invite you to look and linger. The former Princely Mausoleum in Waldhaus shows the historical significance of the village of Waldhaus. But the Vogtland has still more to offer: the Osterburg in Weida, the Göltzschtalbrücke near Netzschkau which is the largest brick bridge in the world, the dams in Poehl and Zeulenroda, the musical instruments in Klingenthal, the cultural routes of the Vogts, Bad Elster and Bad Brambach, “Plauener Spitze“ the unique Plauen lace and the Vogtland arena in Klingenthal.
Besides all this, what else is interesting in Greiz? There is the White Elster river which flows through the city and gives it life, unique Jugendstil ensembles, oases of green where you can relax and dream, almost 60 classified cultural buildings within the historical old town and an extensive offer of cultural events (please take a look in the entertainment guide “Veranstaltungskalender“ for Greiz), a visit to the Vogtlandhalle concert and events hall, friendly and open people, a wide choice of retail outlets and naturally an excellent range of hotels and dining which leave nothing to be desired.
With all this to offer we would like to invite you to visit the princely Vogtland city of Greiz.
Tourist information Greiz
Burgplatz 12 / Lower Palace
Telephone: +49 (0) 36 61 – 68 98 15 or +49 (0) 36 61 – 703 293
Fax.: + 49 (0) 36 61 – 70 32 91
Tuesdays – Fridays: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm
Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays: 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
- Tourist information about the City of Greiz, district around Greiz and the Vogtland
- Consultation and programmes of activities for a stay of one day and longer
- Organisation of accommodation and gastronomy
- Organisation and execution of tours of the city, palaces and parks. Tours for children and tours giving special information about the history of Greiz
- Ticket sales for the VOGTLANDHALLE Greiz and other events
- Sale of souvenirs, post cards, books, CDs, maps for hikers and cyclists and lots more
- Tickets for the museum in the Upper Palace and the museum in the Lower Palace
- Sale of the Museums Card
A 4 Dresden – Frankfurt/Main – exits: Ronneburg, Schmölln, Gera
A 9 Berlin – München – exits: Lederhose, Triptis, Dittersdorf, Schleiz
A 72 Hof – Chemnitz exits: Treuen, Reichenbach
State roads: B 92 / B 94
VBG: Gera – Wünschendorf – Greiz – Plauen (- Weischlitz)
RE: Elstertal-Express: Gera – Wünschendorf – Greiz – Plauen – Weischlitz – Adorf – Cheb