Hainrode, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany

Hainrode with its 317 inhabitants is part of the municipality Südharz, Mansfeld-Südharz county, in the south-western part of Saxony-Anhalt. The village is located in the middle of the biosphere preserve “Karstlandschaft Südharz”. The surrounding landscape is characterised by karst beech forests, meadows and fields. A great part of the working spaces are provided by the local agricultural cooperative, further jobs can be found in handicraft and trade. However, commuters generally prevail.

The very vivid community is based on many clubs and associations. The homeland- and nature protection association Hainrode serves as main initiator of various activities and thus takes a lead role in the village community. It organises annual festivities and events, coordinates the work of other clubs and closely collaborates with the agricultural cooperative.

The base for development has for many years been the village renewal plan, which has been adapted and extended continuously and very professionally. Over the past years, Hainrode has been supported by a planning office.

Hainrode is especially characterized by its sensible handling of old building stock. The historic settlement structure of the location is well maintained. Extraordinary and successful measures are taken to avoid vacant properties and to repurpose old constructions. Old stables and barn complexes, for example, were turned into eight vacation homes – they provide residence for 24 visitors.

The repurposing of the old village school as a center for environment, youth and education, which provides 29 beds as well as two conference rooms for ca. 20-30 participants, is also an important factor in maintaining the characteristic building stock.

Also, the repurposing of an old tavern as “Villa zur Sonne” – an establishment for the reintroduction of addicts into society – even provides new jobs. The old forestry house became the “homeland house” and became main office for the village council. Another social hotspot is the baking house with its oven, constructed in 2010. Once a month and for festivities, bread and cakes are baked in the wooden oven.

The settlement of local broom-makers within the former blacksmith , which was purchased by the Homeland and Nature Club last year, secures the maintenance of the building as well as its utilisation and creates the conditions for a continuation of this highly respected craft.

To improve local supply, the Homeland and Nature Club created a small village store within the vacant building next to the old school. Within this establishment, also local products of the region are promoted and sold.

Many establishments for leisure time activities (BBQ station, soccer field, tennis court, table tennis, fitness trail) make for variation. For children and adults there are presentations, hikes and other events, often organised in collaboration with the biosphere preserve or private individuals, which are greatly accepted cross-regionally. They aim to give a better understanding of the uniqueness of nature.

The mellow tourism is fostered within the whole region – Hainrode with its central location serves as a great home base. The hiking paths surrounding the village are well-maintained and connected to cross-regional paths. To inform hikers, information boards were put in place to make them aware of the uniqueness of their surroundings. There are several options for overnight accommodations within the village.

Evaluated: 2012