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Pedestrian zone in Heilbad Heiligenstadt shines in new light

reading time - 5 min

The redesign of the pedestrian zone in the beautiful Heilbad Heiligenstadt in Thuringia took about two years. Great value was placed on the citizens' ideas on the one hand, and on the thoughts of the business owners on the other hand, during the holistic planning. The intention was to make the lovingly named "Wilhelm" in the heart of the spa town an attraction for visitors and locals alike.

Increasing the quality of life and more sustainable thinking

Furthermore, a renewal of the aging underground pipelines stood on the agenda – after all, recurrent flooding was to be avoided in the future. In order to make a sustainable contribution for future generations and to increase the quality of life, the electricity and district heating lines were also renewed.


Opening Heilbad Heiligenstadt Wilhelmstraße

Many actors, one common goal


In addition to new attractive seating, a lot of attention was paid to the lighting of the town centre. The lamps, which are almost reminiscent of “hairdresser’s bonnets” according to the design language, also contain a modern sound system, which can also be used for events and during the Christmas season.


The multi-coloured granite stone used creates a pleasant atmosphere and – as defined as one of the goals – invites people to spend more time there. A level surface enables even parents with a pram or wheelchair users to stroll barrier-free in Heilbad Heiligenstadt’s centre.


Another significant point was the implementation of the construction measures. Care was always taken to allow access to all shops. Closures due to construction never lasted longer than half an hour. Temporary bridges and crossings allowed access to every business located on the site at almost any time. Dedicated marketing measures, such as red carpets in front of the shops, were intended to convey the message that despite the redevelopment of the Wilhelm, nothing stood in the way of a shopping spree.


The ceremonial opening with three scissors cuts.

In the early afternoon of the 10th of November 2021, the time had come: the new Wilhelm was ceremoniously opened by Mayor Thomas Spielmann. Guests included the Minister for Infrastructure and Agriculture of the Free State of Thuringia, Ms Susanna Karawanskij, representatives of the construction company TWE Tief-, Wasser- und Erdbau Uder GmbH, landscape architects from the schöne aussichten architecture firm, as well as the company AGC Göttingen GmbH, the water supply and wastewater disposal association and other stakeholders. Following the ceremonial opening by the mayor and the blessing of the pedestrian zone by Provost Hartmut Gremler, the Wilhelm was officially inaugurated by three scissor cuts. This was followed by speeches by those involved and the presentation of a CO² neutrality certificate, which certifies that the transport emissions of the natural stones that were used here were offset as part of a cooperation with myclimate – another step towards sustainable planning for the future.


Delivery of the CO² neutrality certificate


Particularly noteworthy in this project is the supportive interaction of the individual parties, the clear and quick decision-making processes and the cordial cooperation to overcome hurdles together and achieve the collective goal quickly and efficiently. The costs of around 10 million euros could also be covered by urban development funding. After all, you do not just invest in a stone, said the Minister on site, the cooperation of the people and the design of the living space for future generations are in the centre of attention.

As a finale to this successful project, visitors and locals celebrated their Wilhelm over three days with musical accompaniment by several bands – a pedestrian zone with charm, natural stone and sustainability.


project information

Heilbad Heiligenstadt | Wilhelmstrasse

  • Wilhelmstraße, 37308 Heilbad Heiligenstadt

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