Lichtasenland Edition 1/2021

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E d i t i o n N o . 1 A p r i l 2 0 2 1<br />


LAND<br />

A L O V I N G G R E E T I N G<br />

In this <strong>Edition</strong>:<br />


Beautiful walks and<br />

day touring by foot<br />



Between fairytale world<br />

and reality<br />




Water bubbles, murmurs and<br />

rushes in the Lichtasenthal<br />

SO IS LIFE<br />

Creative force and loving<br />

construction inside Lichtasenthal<br />


A view into history of the region

Lichtasen<br />

Land<br />

Country walks<br />

Along the ponds and the little stream<br />

From the Waldschlösschen simply walk along the Lichtasenthal. See<br />

the reflecting light on the water, listen to the stream and the birds.<br />

Breathe in the fresh forest air and perceive the energy of the<br />

surroundings. This is how a wonderful visit to the <strong>Lichtasenland</strong><br />

begins, full of energy and joy.<br />

Circular trail to the Questenstein with a view, approx.5 km, 2 hours<br />

From the Waldschlösschen follow the path westwards with the<br />

markings yellow bar on a white field, towards Kleefleck. At Kleefleck<br />

turn right into the "Breitunger Rennweg" with many border stones<br />

towards Questenstein (marked green/yellow/red). Be watchful, there<br />

are several rustic beeches, worth mentioning. After another 600m you<br />

will see the turn-off to Questenstein on the left (from the crossroads<br />

approx. 300m). Return to this junction and follow the signs to the car<br />

park at "Unterer Beerberg". At the car park, go slightly downhill to<br />

Lichtasenthal. In the valley, keep right along the stream towards<br />

Waldschlösschen.<br />

Walk with a view over Brotterode approximately 4km 1 hour<br />

From Waldschlösschen follow the valley up to the turning with the<br />

bridge to "Brotterode" (yellow bar on white). Continue up the valley<br />

following the markings. At the end of the valley (after approx. 700m)<br />

turn right and walk slightly uphill. After approx. 200m turn right<br />

(Nordic Walking route blue) and follow the path around the hill in an<br />

anti-clockwise direction. After almost 2km you will come to a<br />

wonderful viewpoint over the spa town of Brotterode. Continue on the<br />

path around the hill once completely and back to Lichtasenthal.<br />

country walks 06

The waterfall<br />

Water is mobile and wonderfully reflects the spirit thirsting for<br />

knowledge. It flows and soaks every gap, it penetrates the smallest nooks<br />

and crannies to emerge discerning after the experience. The desire for<br />

this project arose because of the beauty of the rocks.<br />

In 1865 the waterfall was created by Trusetal miners under the<br />

supervision of Baurat Specht. A dam diverts the water from the Truse<br />

below Brotterode. At first, the 3.5 km long, constructed waterfall ditch<br />

winds along the edge of the forest and then approaches the actual river<br />

valley again. At Öhmigshauk, the Trusetal waterfall first falls over two<br />

smaller falls and then over the granite rock from a height of 50m into a<br />

collecting basin. The water then flows back into the Truse.<br />

The Trusetal Waterfall is only in operation from Easter to the end of<br />

October each year. A circular walk, starting at the waterfall with 228<br />

steps, brings us closer to the water and lets us see rainbows.<br />

Accompanying festival events are the annual waterfall festival in July<br />

and a small summer market.<br />

Hike on page 13: From Waldschlösschen 4km to the waterfall. Walking<br />

around the waterfall and back the same way is about 9km.<br />


A refreshing-senses day tour<br />




Castle & Park Altenstein<br />

Altenstein Castle is an excursion<br />

destination with a park and court<br />

marshal's facilities (also an Inn). The<br />

landscape park is considered a baroque<br />

jewel with a variety of park architecture.<br />

These include The Chinese Tea House,<br />

the Flower Basket, Boniface Rock and<br />

Knight's Chapel. The castle ruins (directly<br />

behind the castle with its witch's tower)<br />

bear witness to its origins around 1120<br />

under the knightly dynasty "von Stein".<br />

The hiking trail (yellow bar on white)<br />

starts at Waldschlösschen following up<br />

the valley, then towards Unterer<br />

Beerberg parking, Kratzersrasen and on<br />

to Steinbach. In Steinbach (west side) the<br />

trail starts through the hilly park at the<br />

Pakplatz in Glasbachstrasse at the<br />

information board. There one follows the<br />

signpost to the "Rotunde". From there it<br />

is easy to continue to the "Morgentor"<br />

Rock (signpost) and later the Chinese<br />

house (picnic area inside and outside!)<br />

and further on to the Flower Basket Rock<br />

(a typical 1800 phenomenon). From there<br />

it is just a shor walk through the<br />

secluded beech forest to Altenstein<br />

Castle. The colourful baroque flowerbeds<br />

are worth seeing and the castle invites us<br />

with a beautiful view.<br />

view to the Rhön mountains<br />

knot flower beds at the castle<br />

Chinese house<br />

Hiking 08

Beautiful essential beings landscape<br />

gardens, embedded baroque<br />

architecture, panoramic views, fresh<br />

forest air, places of contemplation,<br />

fairy meadows, flower splendour and<br />

a redwood baby tree.<br />

You can walk through the entire park and<br />

admire the baroque flowerbeds, tree<br />

monuments and the knight's chapel.<br />

From here you can either take the bus<br />

back to Brotterode or hike back.<br />

The way back leads via the Altenstein<br />

cave (past Glücksbrunn Castle) to<br />

Steinbach, then via Schindgasse to the<br />

Hohle car park (information board). From<br />

there, follow the "green bar on white"<br />

markings in the direction of Atterode<br />

(also to the former Arminius mine).<br />

Follow the stream uphill towards<br />

Judenkopf, but in the direction of<br />

Kleefleck and back to Waldschlösschen.<br />

fairy gardens at the castle<br />

Wonderful impressions of nature and<br />

views of the surrounding area. The<br />

extensive Altenstein Landscape Park is<br />

a gem with peaceful squares,<br />

mythological figures and park<br />

architecture adapted to the natural<br />

forms. Exploring the park alone is<br />

worth the trip, even by car.<br />

www.schloss-altenstein.org<br />

Altenstein Castle<br />

A special feature of Altenstein Castle<br />

is its extensive and magnificent park.<br />

A castle existed from as early as 700<br />

and had a chequered history until<br />

1630, when the dukes of Saxe-<br />

Meiningen took over the castle.<br />

When the building was destroyed by<br />

fire in 1733, Duke Anton Ulrich of<br />

Saxe-Meiningen and his son<br />

converted the castle into a hunting<br />

lodge and then a summer residence.<br />

The cavalier buildings and gardens<br />

were built from about 1800 onwards,<br />

and the parks were extended and<br />

slowly shaped to their present<br />

beauty. You will find small quiet<br />

places with secluded spots, beautiful<br />

views, artistic flower arrangements<br />

and proud botany with trees from<br />

distant countries.<br />


A half day´s hike<br />

9km hike with Trusetal waterfall mining trail,<br />

visit to the sound trail with wildly romantic<br />

path in Truse valley.l<br />

Beginn des Wasserfallgrabens, ca. 1,8km oberhalb des Parkplatzes<br />

The Waterfall & the Truse<br />

The Truse has been mentioned in<br />

documents since 930 AD and was once an<br />

important mill river. Today it murmurs<br />

through the valley, telling stories...<br />

We start at the Waldschlösschen in the<br />

direction of Kleefleck (1km) and turn left<br />

there in the direction of Laudenbach<br />

(marked with a green bar). After approx.<br />

1km keep left (direction Brotterode) and<br />

then turn right after approx. 200m,<br />

through the weavers' meadows to<br />

Laudenbach. In Laudenbach you will<br />

come across the mining trail (2 crossed<br />

hammers), which leads us to the Trusetal<br />

waterfall (approx. 1km). We stay at the<br />

ditch of the waterfall and reach the<br />

falling water from atop, following the<br />

stairs down, you can walk around the<br />

spectacle and go straight back or<br />

additionally visit the "sound path". The<br />

sound path begins 300m behind the ice<br />

cream café, past the "Zwergen-land" car<br />

park (cross the Trusenbrücke bridge) on<br />

Laudenbacher Strasse (signposted path<br />

to own car park). The circular route is<br />

approx. 700m long. In hot weather the<br />

path back through the Truse valley is<br />

cool and shady, but the last 2km are on<br />

the road. You can return to Laudenbach<br />

by following the waterfall ditch in front<br />

of the ice cream café and then return<br />

along the familiar mining trail.<br />

Truse and a possible derivation of the name<br />

Open from April - November<br />

Entrance free<br />

from 9 o´clock until dawn<br />

(guided tours possible)<br />

© www.klangpfad-trusepark.de<br />

In Norse mythology, Thrud is - goddess of vegetation,<br />

power and strength. She is the goddess of trees, flowers,<br />

grass and willows, as well as the protective goddess of all<br />

nature beings. She is said to live high in the trees, in her<br />

Thruden's nest, the mistletoe, which is also considered a<br />

magic herb. As one of the Valkyries, Thrud is also<br />

responsible for storms and clouds. Therefore, the rune<br />

Thurisaz, assigned to this goddess, stands for (female)<br />

power and strength, for protection and defence, as well<br />

as for storms. The parents of the Norse Thrud are the<br />

harvest goddess Siff and the thunder god Thor. The root<br />

of her name goes back to the Old Norse "Throta", the<br />

Middle High German "Trute" or the Gothic "Trudan". On<br />

the one hand, it means strength or power, on the other<br />

hand, it also means to press, stomp or push. -just ike a<br />

little river would do.<br />

www.artedea.net<br />


Poetry for the hike<br />

In the middle of the water<br />

The oak rose like a hermitage,<br />

Majestic princely seal<br />

To such green forest foliage;<br />

Watching itself at its feet,<br />

Seeing the sky in the flood:<br />

So to enjoy slow life´s beat<br />

Solitude is highest good.<br />

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe<br />

(world literat, Naturalist)<br />

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread,<br />

places to play in and pray in,<br />

where Nature may heal and cheer<br />

and give strength to body and soul alike.”<br />

John Muir (Preserver of Yosemite valley, never visited Thuringia)<br />

Strive for tranquillity, but through balance,<br />

not by the standstill of its activity.<br />

– Friedrich von Schiller<br />

Those who contemplate nature are captivated<br />

by the mystery of life.<br />

– Albert Schweitzer<br />

(Theologian, doctor, writer, pacifist)<br />

Poetry 14

Art & Nature<br />

Nature and Art still shun each other’s sight,<br />

Yet mate as fellows, ere one wotteth well.<br />

My stubborn mood hath long since left me quite;<br />

So, which most draweth me I scarce may tell.<br />

There needs must be a strait and true endeavor:<br />

But, the full doe once paid—of life we owe,<br />

Bound mind and will as thralls of Art forever,<br />

Fiercely at heart as erst may Nature glow!<br />

Like token market every high emprise.<br />

All spirits undisciplined strove in vain to stand<br />

Where heights of pure perfection reach the skies.<br />

Who great things would, shall hold his soul in<br />

hand.<br />

Only self-mastered may man master be,<br />

And law fulfilled, alone can speak us free!<br />

Who else but nature<br />

can we ask to know<br />

how we should live,<br />

to live well?<br />

Christoph Martin Wieland<br />

(poet of the enlightenment)<br />

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe<br />

translation by Robyn Lowrie (www.frenchquest.com)<br />

Solitude, seclusion from people,<br />

outer quietness around me and<br />

inner occupation are the only state<br />

in which I still thrive.<br />

Friedrich Schiller<br />

Come forth, young man, into the open field, and mark:<br />

the most ancient, most glorious revelation of God<br />

appears to me every morning as fact,<br />

the great work of God in nature.<br />

Johann Gottfried von Herder (cultural philosopher)<br />


Otherworld Crossing<br />



In the old town of Ruhla, for centuries, in early summer, as soon as the forest was green again,<br />

young people and children would go out into the forest and tie one of their boys completely in<br />

green branches so that only his shoes were visible. A slit was left for the eyes, but the branches<br />

protruded above the head and were tied together to form a point. Then the "little leaf man", still<br />

draped with colourful ribbons and scarves, was led into the town amidst singing and joy. A kind of<br />

spring festival with dancing and special old folk songs then took place under the lime tree or at the<br />

market.<br />

The "foliage man" is the personified spring itself or the old Germanic god of light "Baldur", who, dead<br />

in winter, was now awakened to new life. This custom was common in the Thuringian Forest until<br />

around 1840.<br />


Since ancient times, a powerful mountain spirit has lived in the mountains and forests of Ruhla.<br />

Even at the time when no humans inhabited the Ruhla valley, he was the lord of the mountains. He<br />

had power all the way to the tops of the trees and down into the depths where precious ores and<br />

wonderful treasures lay. In his subterranean kingdom, which has a centre in the Ringberg, it shines<br />

with precious metals and stones. Dwarves and gnomes, later called hats by the inhabitants of Ruhla,<br />

were in his service. They collected the treasures, extracted and worked ores, and were active here<br />

and there in the woods and fields. Later they were also sent out to help the hard-working people in<br />

the Ruhl, the miners, smelters and blacksmiths.<br />

The Ringberg is also the actual residence of the mountain and forest spirits. It is said to be large<br />

rooms similar to a palace. From a pulpit on the unwooded height of the mountain, the area in which<br />

the mountain spirit can exercise his power can be easily overlooked. In his realm above the earth,<br />

he was the guardian of the landscape. He cared for the animals, the trees of the forest, the plants<br />

and flowers in the fields and groves. He also played with them, as well as with the waters and the<br />

rocks of the mountains.<br />

When the people came to the land, he was not hostile to them, but always felt like observing and<br />

getting to know them in their activities. He watched the miner, the charcoal burner and the forest<br />

smith at their work. He accompanied the hunter on his hunt for game, helped the woodcutter with<br />

his hard work, and the cattle farmer with cutting grass and making hay on the barren mountain<br />

meadows. He drove the herd to the forest pasture with the shepherd, hiked or drove over stony<br />

paths with the merchant, pushed the cart or helped to brake.<br />

He could take on many different guises and was often invisibly present. Sometimes he did people<br />

good, but he also teased and frightened them. Evil-doers, cheats and hard-hearted people were<br />

treated bitterly.<br />

People soon noticed the existence of the mountain spirit. When they thought they would meet him<br />

or thought he was nearby, their hearts beat faster with excitement or fear, bubbled more violently -<br />

they said it was worth it.<br />

But the spirit also made it a point to make the wicked fearful by will-o'-the-wisps or sudden rushes<br />

and gusts of wind, even thunderous blows - to bogey them.<br />

That is why they gave him the name Wuwwerbözer - which was meant to express timidity and awe of<br />

him. He can be recognised by his oversized figure. He is dressed in a wide-brimmed hat, a dark<br />

reddish shimmering cape and a gnarled branch as a mountain stick. If he appears in another form, he<br />

is not recognisable to people.<br />

(Source: legends of Ruhla and area)<br />

Otherworld crossing<br />


Legends & fairytales<br />




In the fertile Saale valley between Ruhla and Wilhelmsdorf, Perchta, the<br />

queen of the brownies, had taken up residence, and her invisible<br />

proximity spread happiness, prosperity and cheerfulness over the whole<br />

area. The inhabitants of the valley were such good friends with the<br />

brownies, that they took pleasure in the little ones' games and teasing,<br />

in their sudden appearances and disappearances during their work in<br />

the fields. It was a joyful activity and everyone was diligent in their daily<br />

work.<br />

Thus, the people lived a happy, joyful life for a long time. Mrs. Perchta was known for her kindness<br />

and severity. She had two faces, so to speak. Sometimes mild like the young spring and sometimes<br />

severe like the cold winter, depending on how the people rejoiced or just wanted to complain.<br />

But then discord arose between the people and Perchta. The reason was as follows: a long time ago,<br />

a greying man came from a foreign land and warned the people that Perchta was not to be trusted.<br />

He said, the little ones she ruled over were little human children who had died before being<br />

baptised and had thus fallen prey to Perchta. Once a year, on the night before the Feast of the<br />

Epiphany, she was given the power to work her wiles on people. Such talk made people suspicious,<br />

for they knew the seemingly dark face of the Perchta as well as the friendly one. Over a long period<br />

of time they began to fear Mrs. Perchta and her brownies more and more, and everything bad that<br />

happened in the valley was attributed to her; they avoided her fearfully and locked the children up<br />

in their homes. The joy of the people became less, they looked around more and more suspiciously.<br />

Bad harvests came and the people now put all the blame on Frau Perchta.<br />

One "Perchta" evening (the night before Epiphany), the ferryman from the village was ordered to<br />

cross the river late at night, at about the twelfth hour. When he came to the bank of the river Saale,<br />

he saw a stately woman surrounded by a large crowd of weepers who looked like children. Startled,<br />

the man remembered that it was "Perchten- night" and wanted to hurry back to his flat. But the<br />

woman threateningly demanded to cross the river. She stepped into the vehicle, the brownies<br />

followed and dragged a plough and a lot of other equipment into the barge. As they did so, they<br />

complained loudly that they had to leave the beautiful area.<br />

The skipper pushed off, and when Perchta had reached the other shore, she ordered him to sail<br />

again and to fetch all the littl ones who had stayed behind. This too was done. In the meantime<br />

Perchta had been whittling at the plough, pointed to the large heap of wood chips and said to the<br />

ferryman: "Here take this, this is the reward for your toil!" Grumpily, the man<br />

pocketed some of the shavings, threw them on the window sill at home and<br />

went to bed. The next morning there were three golden pennies in the<br />

place where he had put the wood chips. He ran off at once, but on the<br />

whole river-bank the ferryman could not find any more no matter<br />

how diligently he searched. It is said that Mrs. Perchta had moved<br />

to the direction of the Werrathal and had found a new home<br />

for herself and her little helpers, where people appreciated her<br />

doings.<br />

Source: Legends of Thuringia<br />


C R E A T I V E F O R C E<br />

Projects<br />

at Lichtasenthal<br />

The animals inside<br />

the valley<br />


The white stag pleases the eye anew every day.<br />

The group of deer looks over to visitors and are<br />

also interested in people. Sometimes they are a<br />

little shy, but this passes after a few minutes.<br />

They are the typical representatives of the game<br />

in the Thuringian Forest. They enliven the<br />

meadows with their noble gait and upright<br />

heads. When the stags shed their antlers, they<br />

can be used for buttons, decorative carvings and<br />

many other things. The stag itself gets new<br />

antlers, which become larger than the previous<br />

ones. The white stag is also a mystical deer.<br />


They work diligently at "mowing" (= "mähen" -<br />

like the sound of a sheep in German) and<br />

keeping the meadows in the nature reserve in<br />

order. In spring around Easter there were lambs<br />

to greet. The woolly helpers can be noisy at any<br />

age. They enrich the soil organisms. With them<br />

come the dung beetle and help to create good<br />

soil.<br />


The "Indian runners" in a colourful troop are now<br />

waiting to be used as assistant gardeners. They<br />

are good snail eaters and help to make the salad<br />

and vegetable harvest bigger. They love a pond<br />

to splash around in and are otherwise very<br />

independent in their search for food.<br />

"But everything he had seen strengthened his conviction: That man - on the<br />

one hand related to the beasts of the field, on the other to the higher beings<br />

and the Godhead itself - was just as incapable of being a mere animal as a<br />

mere spirit; but that he only lived according to his nature when he always<br />

rose upwards. "<br />

Christoph Martin Wieland<br />

(from "Stories of Agathon")<br />

Projects 20

C R E A T I V E F O R C E<br />

The dry stone wall<br />

The pair of swans<br />

The new dry stone wall at the Waldschlösschen<br />

will offer a variety of habitats.<br />

Those stone monuments have been built for<br />

thousands of years and are a typical landscape<br />

element everywhere. They exist as retaining<br />

walls or as free-standing walls, at houses and in<br />

gardens in a variety of designs all over the world,<br />

made of the rock available in each case.<br />

The cracks in the wall provide habitats for<br />

beautiful plants and various small animals. It is<br />

nice when lizards and slow-worms come to visit<br />

and have food and a place in the sun. The rock<br />

stores heat and releases it to the surrounding<br />

area, which also benefits what is planted in front<br />

of it.<br />

In permaculture, open masonry provides a<br />

home for a variety of animals and insects and<br />

increases the health and diversity of a garden or<br />

landscape. The more diverse the natural<br />

inhabitants of a garden, the better the biological<br />

balance.<br />

Building a dry stone wall requires patience,<br />

strength and an eye for stones that fit together.<br />

Such an element connects the earth with the air,<br />

stores moisture and can be warming - similar to<br />

a fire.<br />

In July we have a pair of swans to welcome at the<br />

Waldschlösschen. The swan with its nature stands<br />

for grace, beauty and mercy. This is easy to<br />

understand when you watch how these wonderful<br />

birds behave. According to animal symbol expert<br />

Regula Meyer, it is not about outer beauty but inner<br />

beauty and grace. It is about awakening the light in<br />

us. The swan inspires our perception to rise to the<br />

highest levels, to open our light eyes and find<br />

spiritual experiences. "Plant a light in your inner<br />

heart and marvel at the growth and inner strength<br />

and beauty". This experience can make us bow our<br />

heads - just like a swan: experiencing, ennobling,<br />

graceful and humble, it makes our appearance<br />

outwardly, through inner experience, graceful and<br />

beautiful.<br />

It is said that a swan flew into the light up to the<br />

steps of God's throne. This experience made his<br />

feathers pure white and through this blissful<br />

sensation in his heart he always bowed his head in<br />

noble humility about this experience from then on.<br />

(inspired by the book "Tierisch gut" by Regula Meyer)<br />

"Create for yourself within yourself;<br />

this creating,<br />

by giving you to yourself,<br />

gives you to the world."<br />

Wilhelm von Humboldt<br />

21<br />



LAND<br />

"So there that blood also ran cold<br />

That once was accustomed to flow,<br />

So the nerves, too, quivered to rest,<br />

And night was all to the senses.<br />

And heart and brain must be still:<br />

You are dust and lifeless clay alone.<br />

Ah eternity-longing, thou wondrous!<br />

There is but dust, a deed and a name.<br />

For every good thought<br />

Dieth no more so long,<br />

Till from its germ<br />

A better one sprang up.<br />

Light across the land.<br />

Light across the land, -<br />

That's what we want."<br />

Jens Peter Jacobsen<br />

(danish poet)<br />

E d i t i o n N o . 1 A p r i l 2 0 2 1

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