Only 90 kilometres as the crow flies from Bayreuth is the Thuringian residence town, Rudolstadt, which at the time of their first contact were still separated by the iron curtain. Since 1990 there has been exchange on all levels. The magnificent baroque palace, Heidecksburg, the famous Schwarzburg arsenal and the Schiller memorial are all worth visiting, as is the international dance and folk festival which is held on the first weekend in July.
The former princely residence of Rudolstadt is situated in Thuringia. Embedded in the Saale valley surrounded by forests, the town forms an arc along the river. The first mention of the town was as "Rudolfestat" in a document in 776, and it received its town charter in 1326. In about 1340, the Counts of Schwarzburg took possession of the town.
Between the 18th and 19th century it had, as capital and royal seat of the later principality of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, its spiritual heyday in the cultural triangle with Weimar and Jena.
The activities of famous poets and scientists like Schiller and Goethe, Fichte, Humboldt and Schopenhauer, of the musicians Richard Wagner, Franz Liszt and Paganini, and the educationalist Friedrich Fröbel are closely connected to the town and its region. Apart from the porcelain industry, which was in existence from the middle of the 18th Century, industrialisation came late to the town.
Rudolstadt remained an agricultural town for a long time. In 1874 it was connected to the railroad network. One of the companies which was subsequently founded here, Richter, made Rudolstadt known worldwide for its pharmaceutical articles and toys, including the famous building blocks with the ‘’Anker’’ brand. After the abdication of the last Schwarzburg prince in 1918, Rudolstadt became the capital town of the district in 1922. With the construction of a factory for synthetic fibres in1935 in the Schwarza region of the town, Rudolstadt became an important location for the chemical industry, which it has remained up until today.
Rudolstadt is also known for the cultivation of its rich cultural traditions, as "town of the dance festivals" as a theatre town and for the more than 275 year-old bird-shooting festival. With its landmark, the palace Heidecksburg, which rises in the North above the old town, Rudolstadt is renowned as a cultural gem in Thuringia.
Information about Bayreuth
Town of Bayreuth - General Office
P.O. box 10 10 52
Tel: +49 9 21/25 15 60
Information about Rudolstadt
Tourist information Centre
Tel/Fax: +49 36 72/42 45 43 and
Tel: +49 36 72/41 47 43