We welcome you warmhearted in our town and like to invite you on a tour, according to our Slogan "Discover Zerbst - sympathetic, hospitabel and 1000 years old."
May we suggest to start the tour from the Tourist-Information (1) at the "Schloßfreiheit"?
When you turn to the right, after a few yards, you come to the castle garden. Already now you are on historic soil. Here was the residence of the former dynasty Anhalt-Zerbst. The most significant personality from this dynasty was Princess Sophie Auguste Friederike from Anhalt-Zerbst, who later became Czarina "Katharina the Great" from Russia. From the palace only the ruins of the Eastwing (2) have survived. It was the most valuable part of the castle and only completed in 1745.
A little further the former princely Riding - now Town Hall (3) is used for various events. The hall is situated in the castle garden which messures 153,000 m2. Going back to the "Schloßfreiheit" you fmd two beautiful Noblemen's Houses (4). In 1707 they were reconstructed . in Baroque style, and served as dwellings for high ranking civil servants. Today the Tourist-Information, a School, Administration and the Museum "Katharina II." occupy the buildings. On the opposite side of the square is the old Castle Guardhouse (5) and at the back the Municipaliy (6) formerly a freemason's lodge. At the front of the "Schloßfreiheit" is the St. Bartholomäi Church (7) with its separate Belltower (8) popularly called "Thick Tower". Already in 1215 the church was collegiate church and now serves the evangelical parish. It contains the graveslab of Prince Wolfgang from Anhalt, and a painting by Lucas Cranach the Younger. In a hidden corner of the church yard is the cosy "Rosenwinkel" (9) with the last gas latem in Zerbst. In the picturesque corner you sense the beauty of old Zerbst. The town was for no reason almost completely destroyed in the last days of April 1945.
From the "Rosenwinkel" you walk down a few steps into Fritz Brandt Street and turn right and are soon at the townwal1. Direct at the little bridge over the river.Nuthe on your left side, you find a little Guardhouse (10). Here used to be one of five town-gates in the town-wall, called the Aken gate, and a bit on, on either side of the street is on your left the old Postoffice and the Districts Admin. Building (11) on your right.
Both buildings in art nouvean style - are still in use. Now you turn into Puschkinpromenade and walk a while along the town-wall With the Nuthe in front of the wall the town had doubble security against inwaders. You will now go through the Mariengate (12) and tumright.
From here you get a good impression of the 1430-1434 built bulwark and powdertowers. You are now at the small monastery yard. The small and next to it, the large yard, formerly housed the living quarters for the "Zisterzienser" nuns. The remains of the monastery itself are today utilized as Vocational School (13). Into that building complex as it appears today is incorporated one of the five town-gates - the "Womans"gate. The arcades remind of the importance of that old building. On the opposite side of the street you again see the town-wall (Which in fact is approx. 4.2 km long).
You now follow the wall along "Weinberg" andjust before it runs into the B 184 you see 3 Stone crosses (14) incorporated into the wall. Plenty of stories are told about these crosses, but it is most likely that they are expiation marks. You will cross the main street B 184 when you follow "Weinberg" and arrive at Francisceum (15). It was the first monastery in Zerbst, founded in 1235 by Franciscan Friars and is perfectly preserved. Today it houses a Secondary School, the Town Museum and a Historical Library with precious pieces from before the invention of book printing. In the year 1582 was the first and only university of Anhalt the "Gymnasium illustre Anhaltinum" installed here. Beautiful cloister and vaults deserve a closer view.
Leaving the Francisceum and turning right, passing through a little iron gate, you now follow the wall again. Until after a few minutes you come to the well know town-gate - the Heidetor (16). The "Heidetor" was reconstructed at the turn of the century, but the actual gate in the tower is still visible. The gate is in very good repair. Moving to the core of Zerbst, you arrive at the Trinitatis Church (17). This stylish Baroque church was erected 1683-1696 according to plans by Dutch architect Ryckwaert, in 1945 destroyed and in 1953 rebuild. On market square the Roland (18), - symbol of freedom of the city - and the Golden "Butterjungfer" (19) on a high pole watch over the Zerbst market plain. Behind the block of flats on the northern side of the square, the ruins of the St. Nicolai Church (20) are visible.
Once the largest romanesque churchhall in Anhalt, was also destroyed on April l6, 1945, but in the northern steeple, Anhalt's largest churchbell the "Gloriosa" with a weight of 5 tons is still ringing. The St. Nicolai Promotion Society attemps to somehow utilize the remains of the church once more. Of the historical houses at market square, only a few still exist, but they nevertheless give an idea of the forgotten harmony of the Townfolks Houses (21).
When you turn right from market square you are on Broadstreet. Walking straight ahead brings you to the last of the three town-gates left. It is named Broadstreet Gate. When you once more follow the wall parallel to the right you come across the former Augustinian Monastery (22).
It was here that Martin Luther preached in 1522 and established reformatory ideas in Zerbst, the second town after Wittenberg. Walking back into Broadstreet, at the corner Broadstreet - "Alte Brücke" you turn right and get to Small Market Plain, with its fountein Zerbster Wasserjette (23). This fountain is in memory of Henriette Schulze, a Zerbst original. When you, at the end of "Alte Brücke" turn left, you pass the Guild House (24) and another turn left brings you to a gem - "Mühlenbrücke 60" (25). Its portal was carved in 1667 and is very well preserved. Now walking back, passing Guildhouse again, a small park pn your left invites you to rest a while after this tour.
Here in the park the "Red Garden" you find a sandstone plastic "Faces" (26) by Lithuanian Eimantas Pivoriunas. It is one of 7 further plastics which were created a few years back at an international sculptor's convention, held in Zerbst.
While casting a last glance at some beautiful half-timbered houses, some dating back to Martin Luther's days, the tour has fmaly ended.
We hope you have enjoyed it, and like you to keep Zerbst in good memory.
See you again, Fare well.
Publisher: Fremdenverkebrsbüro Stadt Zerbst
Fotos: WoIfgang Kirchhoff, BildjoumaIist, Jütrichau
Text: Viola TiepeImann, Fremdenverkehrsbüro
Map: Steffi Heger, Dipl.-Designerin, Zerbst
Production: Druckerei Lewerenz, Coswig/Anhalt