Reinhardsbrunn Palace and its context

A truly bucolic idyll in the midst of unspoiled nature and surrounded by the relaxing rustle of the leaves of forest trees: Reinhardsbrunn Palace in the State of Thuringia with its adjacent parkland is a gem of a heritage site and cultural monument with an importance that resonates beyond the borders of the state itself. Architectural splendour and historic diversity come together on what is currently a largely deserted spot. This extensive venue is in the centre of the northwest corner of the Thuringian Forest, at the very core of Germany’s green heart. The elegant complex located near the picturesque spa town of Friedrichroda and close to the residential city of Gotha is also just 20 miles as the crow flies from the state capital Erfurt. This unique area has been dubbed the “Cradle of medieval Thuringia”, has a history reaching back more than 1000 years and has witnessed the changes wrought by the many epochs since 1085.

Deciding to adopt a procedure exceptional in Germany, the Free State of Thuringia expropriated this jewel, the structure of which was at risk due to ongoing neglect. The historic estate here has since been secured and renovated using state governments funds in such a way that its potential usage has yet to be specified. This applies to both the listed structures here and the expansive parkland that extends to nearly 37 acres.

The objective is to generate a sustainable development strategy for Reinhardsbrunn through a broad-based consultation process. The idea is to draft a suitable utilisation concept in active dialogue with various interested parties from a wide range of social groups and to implement this with effect from 2024.

Kickoff event

On Friday, 9 June 2023, some 60 invited experts and representatives of stakeholder groups met in the AHORN Berghotel in Friedrichroda. During the associated conference, the next stages of the utilisation definition process for Reinhardsbrunn Palace were discussed in detail, the results of the discourse between specialists were presented and a specific plan for the development strategy was approved. Following introductory addresses by Bodo Ramelow, the Minister-President of Thuringia, and Tina Beer, the Secretary of State for Culture, the LEG Thüringen project team provided a detailed report on the site. Frank Sonnabend, who had acquired the old defensive barracks in Erfurt, gave a talk on his development of this site as a recent best practice example.

More information

Project phases Overview of the utilisation definition process

  • PHASE 0 - Q1/2023

    Detailed review of the project and outline of the objectives

    Characterisation of tasks and process parameters for 2023 by the project team

  • Phase 1 - Q2/2023

    Kickoff event in Friedrichroda: conference of experts to discuss future utilisation

    Description of the site with tour, relationship of the location with the local region and the Free State of Thuringia, specialist talks by experts, podium discussion with local political representatives, outlining of future processes and mutual approval of the development strategy.

    More information on the event

  • PHASE 2 - Q4/2023

    The utilisation definition process

    Collection, compiling and evaluation of the various concepts for utilisation taking into account the special situation of the site and consultation with various interested parties from a wide range of social groups

    Major milestone dates:

    1 September 2023 - publication of the assignment white paper

    6 October 2023 - submission of ideas for utilisation

    18 October 2023 - jury session to select the concept

  • PHASE 3 - EARLY 2024

    Draft utilisation concept

    Preparation of an integrated concept for future utilisation with particular reference to sustainability

  • PHASE 4 - LATE 2024

    Finalisation of the utilisation concept

    Preparation of the substantiated groundwork necessary for the preparation and implementation of the next project phases

News Latest news on the topic

All citizens are invited to submit ideas for the future of Reinhardsbrunn Palace and Park until 6 October. The aim is to receive as many suggestions and impulses as possible from many parts of society.

Future for Reinhardsbrunn Palace and Park: Collection of ideas for new uses starts now

In a multi-stage process, the Free State is seeking new uses for the palace and park complex located in Reinhardsbrunn. From Friday, the 1st of September 2023, all citizens are invited to submit ideas for the future of the historic monument…

Saved from dereliction: what next for Reinhardsbrunn Palace?

Reinhardsbrunn Palace in the district of Gotha was being allowed to fall into disrepair over many years until it was expropriated by the State of Thuringia. But what is to happen with this historic structure in future is still unclear.


  • Dokumentation - Expertentagung am 09.06.2023

    Documentation - conference of experts on 9 June 2023

    (Dokument ist nicht barrierefrei)

    Download[pdf, 7 MB]
  • Kurzexposé - Perspektive Schloss Reinhardsbrunn

    Overview report - Reinhardsbrunn Palace and its context

    (Dokument ist nicht barrierefrei)

    Download[pdf, 4 MB]

Testimonials Comments on the utilisation definition process

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    A project of the Free State of Thuringia; project collaborators are:

    Project management by LEG Thüringen

    Andreas Jaeger

    Andreas Jaeger Project board

      Cathrin Kamilli

      Cathrin Kamilli Project board

        Janek Hickethier

        Janek Hickethier Project press releases


          Birgitt Wellsow

          Birgitt Wellsow Administrative office

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          99084 Erfurt/Germany

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          More on the topic

          The 45-minute documentary "“Schloss Reinhardsbrunn - Thüringens verlorenes Paradies” from the TV series “Der Osten - Entdecke wo du lebst” shot for the MDR Fernsehen television channel provides evocative images and insight into the history of Reinhardsbrunn Palace.

          View the video