- the Gateway to the Harz mountains

12.02.2022 - A place on the edge of the Harz Mountains, not far from Thale and Harzgerode.

This time we started at the St. Petri cyclists' church, which is on the eastern edge of Ballenstadt. Then we went to the Bismarck Tower, which we could even climb. From the top we had a great view of the city and its castle, which shone yellow in the sun and which we set our sights on next. To the stamp collectors among you: Yes, it's in the "Castles and Palaces" booklet. :)

Well, hello there, pretty ones.

Arriving at the Schlossplatz, we were overcome by a holiday feeling, we had not expected such a magnificent place here. We felt as if we were not in the Harz mountains at all. In the pictures you can see the castle theatre on the left and the city museum on the right.

We followed the road up to the inner courtyard of the castle, where we were greeted by a bronze figure of Albrecht I, also known as Albrecht the Bear. He was Count of Ballenstedt and is considered the founder of the Mark Brandenburg and the Principality of Anhalt. Since 2019, he has been standing there looking out over the city:

Denkmal für Albrecht den Bären wurde in Ballenstedt enthüllt: Der Graf als Mensch auf Augenhöhe (

There are several sculptures to be discovered in the palace garden, including this one by Julius Franz, which shows a shepherd with a dog fighting a panther .Datei:Schwerin Schloss Schaefergruppe.jpg (

We would have liked to stay here longer, but a few stamp posts were still planned. We enjoyed the sun and the view, then we went on.

At the foot of the castle we passed a model of Anhalt Castle, where we also found the stamp.

We continued to the "Forstmeister Tannen" aboretum, a forest plantation with alien tree species dating from 1766.

Stempelstelle 181 / Forstmeister Tannen | Harzer Wandernadel (

We took a break, crossed a road and suddenly found ourselves on a steep slope, which we scrambled down to get to the Kleiner Siebersteinteich. Franz thought there was a stamp site there, but we had to go a little further.

A few minutes later we arrived at the main destination of the hike, the "Harzer Grauwacke" quarry. We had our video drone with us, which we simply had to let fly there - the view was breathtaking.

Slowly, the sun set and bathed the scenery in a warm light, while the shadows grew longer and longer. Slowly, it was time to head back.