Ilmenau and its adjoining communities
Since 1994, the town of Ilmenau with its University and Goethe connections has also included five of the surrounding communities. Each offers rest, recreation and active enjoyment of the natural world.
Distance from Ilmenau town centre: 6 km to the north
Joined Ilmenau: 1994
The name of the village reflects its situation "on the heath (Heide)" and appears first in a charter of 1351. Its reservoir and the paths circling it are an attraction for local excursions. The reservoir is about 1.2 km from the village itself, has an area of 100 hectares and a volume of about 5.4 million m³ and is a paradise for many species of water-loving birds.
Distance from Ilmenau town centre: about 5 km to the south-west
Joined Ilmenau: 1994
Manebach, a straggling village along the valley roads, is not only a place to relax but offers its hard-coal mining history, its renowned fossils, its glass-blowing and porcelain manufacture , plus a long reputation as "the Prince of the Carnival's workshop". Visit the local history room in the "Haus des Gastes" (Visitor Centre) to learn about all of these.
Above the village in the sides of the valley there are distinctive cliffs which gave inspiration to Goethe himself. Come to Manebach if you are a lover of nature. Enjoy the Goethe Trail (Goethewanderweg), which is one of Germany's Quality Paths, the Obere Berggraben Path along the "miners' water channel", the cycle path through the valley of the Ilm, Nordic walking circuits and many circular walks. In winter there are specially prepared cross-country skiing trails which lead all the way to the Schmücke.
Distance from Ilmenau town centre: 2.2 km to the north
Joined Ilmenau: 1993
Oberpörlitz is first mentioned in a charter of 1351. It had long been part of the parish of Ilmenau. Oberpörlitz is unusual in this region for being a village with neither church nor cemetery of its own. It invites the walker to its circular paths and to its section of the Quality Path "from Bach to Goethe" which links Ilmenau and Arnstadt. Oberpörlitz is also home to a riding school with an indoor hall and many attractive events.
Distance from Ilmenau town centre: about 2 km to the north-west
Joined Ilmenau: 1939
Roda, first mentioned in a charter of 1351, used to be closely identified with mining, which was an Ilmenau industry probably going back as far as the year 1200. At that early time the copper-bearing slate and leached sandstone were being quarried from the surface around Roda and on the Sturmheide. The two ponds called the Pfaffenteiche above Roda owe their origin to the miners' system of water management.
Roda has its own station and is directly on the cycle path linking Ilmenau to the Gera Cycle Path. A well-constructed network of local paths with magnificent views awaits those who love walking.
Distance from Ilmenau town centre: 2 km to the north
Joined Ilmenau: 1981
Like its neighbours, Unterpörlitz first appears in a charter of 1351. When Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited Ilmenau, he frequently stayed at the ducal estate in Unterpörlitz. It was to this address that he brought Mrs von Stein on 6th August, 1776, when she first visited him in Ilmenau. Later he sent her a drawing, inscribed thus: "Here for you is the outlook from the point where we stood together." Today the Goetheblick (Goethe's View) is to be found at that point, near the church and behind the buildings and gardens which ones used to be the ducal estate. The view looks across to the valley where the Wipfra flows.