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The Duchy of Thuringia was an eastern frontier march of the Merovingian kingdom of Austrasia , established about 631 by King Dagobert I after his troops had been defeated by the forces of the Slavic confederation of Samo at the Battle of Wogastisburg . It was recreated in the Carolingian Empire and its dukes appointed by the king until it was absorbed by the Saxon dukes in 908. From about 1111/12 the territory was ruled by the Landgraves of Thuringia as Princes of the Holy Roman Empire .

The Thuringian realm was shattered: the territory north of the Harz mountain range was settled by Saxon tribes, while the Franks moved into the southern parts on the Main River. The estates east of the Saale River were beyond Frankish control and taken over by Polabian Slavs .

Thuringia ( German : Thüringen ) is a Bundesland of Germany . It lies in central Germany and has an area of 16,251  km 2 (6,274.5  sq mi ). This means Thuringia is the sixth smallest state in Germany by area . It has 2.45 million inhabitants, so it is the fifth smallest state in Germany by population . The capital is Erfurt .

Thuringia borders on the German states of Lower Saxony , Saxony-Anhalt , Saxony , Bavaria and Hesse . The most conspicuous geographical feature of Thuringia is the Thuringia Forest (Thüringer Wald). In the northwest Thuringia includes a small part of the Harz mountains. The Saale river runs through Jena . The biggest mountain in Thuringia is with 982m the Großer Beerberg in the Thuringia Forest .

The most common language in Thuringia is German with its slight regional accent. English proficiency has traditionally been lower than in the west, but is slowly getting better, especially among younger people. Other languages you might have luck with include (in decreasing order of likeliness) French, Russian, Spanish, Czech and Polish. As Thuringia is one of the few "Länder" with no international border there is less motivation for people and businesses to seek proficiency in a certain foreign language (such as Czech in parts of Saxony )

Thuringia is surprisingly well connected on the railway network and thanks to the quirky nature of German federalism the new Berlin-Munich high speed mainline will pass through Erfurt once it is finished in 2017, thus making a wide variety of connections in all cardinal directions available. For some smaller towns connections are not as good and you might find yourself in a bus after all if you do not own a car. The southern part of the state, around Sonneberg , is culturally Franconian and has better train services to Nuremberg and Erlangen than to Erfurt.

Long distance bus travel in Germany is a relatively new phenomenon as it was legalized only at the beginning of the 2010s and thus the market is still evolving. There are however a number of routes already available and prices routinely beat all other modes of transport, especially when booked well in advance. Comfort and speed of travel tend to be lacking, though.

As ever, the reason Thuringia punches far above its weight is historical. As the ruling Saxon House of Wettin bequeathed land equally between male heirs, an area that was far from large to begin with fragmented into a mosaic of small duchies – Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Gotha, for example, or Saxe-Coburg, better known in Britain as the House of Windsor. An upshot of these tin-pot fiefdoms was an arts race that saw the area’s dukes woo the finest musicians, painters, poets and philosophers to their courts as testament to their learning and magnificence.

Nowhere expresses this better than Weimar , a Thuringia-in-microcosm that lobbed the intellectual atom-bomb of the German Enlightenment, whose shockwaves were felt throughout Europe. Most cities would struggle to make such an impact, let alone a small, courtly town. Adjacent Jena has maintained its academic tradition and the student nightlife that goes with it, while Gotha and especially Eisenach have a cultural weight far above their modest size. The state capital is Erfurt , Luther’s university city and perhaps the most underrated capital in Germany thanks to its marriage of historic looks and university dynamism.

The Thuringian Forest to the south could not be more different. This is the state’s rural core, whose sleepy villages are tucked into the folds of an upland blessed by good walking and cycling trails. You can lose a happy week crisscrossing the area by bike on labelled routes or journey through its heart on the well-marked 168km Rennsteig , which traverses it. The state’s many green landscapes also include the Saale Valley at the eastern fringe of the forest region, and the Kyffhäuser uplands to the north, site of the sixteenth-century Peasants’ War sparked in the overlooked historic town of Mühlhausen .

The Duchy of Thuringia was an eastern frontier march of the Merovingian kingdom of Austrasia , established about 631 by King Dagobert I after his troops had been defeated by the forces of the Slavic confederation of Samo at the Battle of Wogastisburg . It was recreated in the Carolingian Empire and its dukes appointed by the king until it was absorbed by the Saxon dukes in 908. From about 1111/12 the territory was ruled by the Landgraves of Thuringia as Princes of the Holy Roman Empire .

The Thuringian realm was shattered: the territory north of the Harz mountain range was settled by Saxon tribes, while the Franks moved into the southern parts on the Main River. The estates east of the Saale River were beyond Frankish control and taken over by Polabian Slavs .

Thuringia ( German : Thüringen ) is a Bundesland of Germany . It lies in central Germany and has an area of 16,251  km 2 (6,274.5  sq mi ). This means Thuringia is the sixth smallest state in Germany by area . It has 2.45 million inhabitants, so it is the fifth smallest state in Germany by population . The capital is Erfurt .

Thuringia borders on the German states of Lower Saxony , Saxony-Anhalt , Saxony , Bavaria and Hesse . The most conspicuous geographical feature of Thuringia is the Thuringia Forest (Thüringer Wald). In the northwest Thuringia includes a small part of the Harz mountains. The Saale river runs through Jena . The biggest mountain in Thuringia is with 982m the Großer Beerberg in the Thuringia Forest .

The most common language in Thuringia is German with its slight regional accent. English proficiency has traditionally been lower than in the west, but is slowly getting better, especially among younger people. Other languages you might have luck with include (in decreasing order of likeliness) French, Russian, Spanish, Czech and Polish. As Thuringia is one of the few "Länder" with no international border there is less motivation for people and businesses to seek proficiency in a certain foreign language (such as Czech in parts of Saxony )

Thuringia is surprisingly well connected on the railway network and thanks to the quirky nature of German federalism the new Berlin-Munich high speed mainline will pass through Erfurt once it is finished in 2017, thus making a wide variety of connections in all cardinal directions available. For some smaller towns connections are not as good and you might find yourself in a bus after all if you do not own a car. The southern part of the state, around Sonneberg , is culturally Franconian and has better train services to Nuremberg and Erlangen than to Erfurt.

Long distance bus travel in Germany is a relatively new phenomenon as it was legalized only at the beginning of the 2010s and thus the market is still evolving. There are however a number of routes already available and prices routinely beat all other modes of transport, especially when booked well in advance. Comfort and speed of travel tend to be lacking, though.

The Duchy of Thuringia was an eastern frontier march of the Merovingian kingdom of Austrasia , established about 631 by King Dagobert I after his troops had been defeated by the forces of the Slavic confederation of Samo at the Battle of Wogastisburg . It was recreated in the Carolingian Empire and its dukes appointed by the king until it was absorbed by the Saxon dukes in 908. From about 1111/12 the territory was ruled by the Landgraves of Thuringia as Princes of the Holy Roman Empire .

The Thuringian realm was shattered: the territory north of the Harz mountain range was settled by Saxon tribes, while the Franks moved into the southern parts on the Main River. The estates east of the Saale River were beyond Frankish control and taken over by Polabian Slavs .

The Duchy of Thuringia was an eastern frontier march of the Merovingian kingdom of Austrasia , established about 631 by King Dagobert I after his troops had been defeated by the forces of the Slavic confederation of Samo at the Battle of Wogastisburg . It was recreated in the Carolingian Empire and its dukes appointed by the king until it was absorbed by the Saxon dukes in 908. From about 1111/12 the territory was ruled by the Landgraves of Thuringia as Princes of the Holy Roman Empire .

The Thuringian realm was shattered: the territory north of the Harz mountain range was settled by Saxon tribes, while the Franks moved into the southern parts on the Main River. The estates east of the Saale River were beyond Frankish control and taken over by Polabian Slavs .

Thuringia ( German : Thüringen ) is a Bundesland of Germany . It lies in central Germany and has an area of 16,251  km 2 (6,274.5  sq mi ). This means Thuringia is the sixth smallest state in Germany by area . It has 2.45 million inhabitants, so it is the fifth smallest state in Germany by population . The capital is Erfurt .

Thuringia borders on the German states of Lower Saxony , Saxony-Anhalt , Saxony , Bavaria and Hesse . The most conspicuous geographical feature of Thuringia is the Thuringia Forest (Thüringer Wald). In the northwest Thuringia includes a small part of the Harz mountains. The Saale river runs through Jena . The biggest mountain in Thuringia is with 982m the Großer Beerberg in the Thuringia Forest .


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