Location: Erzgebirge\Sachsen (Saxony)
Stuart Phelan, 23, from Charleston, South Carolina
I found Schwarzenberg to be a spot of particular interest. Besides the fairytale castle and setting, nestled in the Erzgebirge only minutes from the Czech border, the little town also offers charm and a fascinating history. A tiny community of Schwarzenberg was an independent country for a few months following World War II. Both the United States and USSR “forgot” about the little village when drawing up the division zones for occupation. The townspeople took advantage of the situation and drew up their own constitution, establishing their own republic. This city-state was short lived, however, and the Soviet Union moved in several months later to claim the territory, incorporating it into the DDR. The hotel in the town is very clean, well furnished, and charming.