Mackenrode - idyllic village in “Eichsfeld Switzerland”
In the “crooked (hilly) world” of south-western Eichsfeld, the community of Mackenrode offers an attractive scene: beneath the heights of the Katzenstein and Brandholz hills – in the middle of a scenically impressive region, frequently called “Eichsfeld Switzerland” – in the valley of the calmly rippling watercourse of the Beek River, lies the settlement with its architecturally noteworthy church, numerous half-timbered houses and a much-noted fairytale park.
Mackenrode for friends of fairy tales
Since 2009, a fairytale park draws young and old friends of fairy tales to the village of Mackenrode with its population of 265. After entering through the great park gate, you encounter embodiments of the fairy tales “Hansel and Gretel”, “The Wolf and the seven kids”, “Frog king” and much more. From an observation hill, you have a splendid view over the small village and its unique half-timbered church. There is a great baking oven in the centre of the park that can be fired up and produces fresh and fragrant breads, cakes and flatbread.
Children can additionally let off steam on a nearby playground. Directly next door is the restaurant “Am Brandholz”, welcoming you for a visit.
The access ways are barrier-free. Children can play and run about undisturbed, since no main road separates the fairytale park from the playground or restaurant.
The township Mackenrode also includes the Kronenmühle (“Crown Mill”) that is shrouded in legend. It is almost 500 years old and still produces flour today. Legend reports how the mill came to its name: “The owner of the mill once ploughed in the vicinity of the mill. He suddenly bumped into a hard object, took a look, and behold, a luminous, precious crown appeared. Hardly had he seized the crown, when an ugly snake slithered out of the hole in the earth. Aghast, the miller swung himself onto his anxiously snorting horse and fled to the mill, hissingly pursued by the monster snake. Luckily he reached the courtyard gate in time, and quickly slammed it shut behind him, smashing the angry snake’s head. But he held the crown in high esteem.”
Mackenrode for holiday tourists and day visitors
The village lies in an idyllic valley whose nearby heights can be explored with extended hikes. Not far off is the village of Fürstenhagen, where the nature park centre of the “Nature Park Eichsfeld-Hainich Werra Valley” is located, with numerous opportunities for experiencing nature first-hand.
In the village itself, the Catholic St. Martins Church is one of the touristic highlights. The house of worship in Mackenrode contrasts from the customary image of churches in Eichsfelde. The steeple surges upwards from the middle of the nave. In addition, two half-timbered gables are attached to both sides of the nave, providing a distinctive external visual appearance. The church is almost completely covered with wild grape vines. An altar decorates the interior, which was once a part of the “Bavarian Baroque Route”. Probably no village church of Eichsfeld is as often photographed as this one.
Additional landmarks are the Maria Grotto and the connecting outdoor Stations of the Cross through the “Hegeholz”. Both are places of devotion for the Catholic population of Eichsfeld – the largest "island" of Catholics in the new federal states of Germany.