Yet another totally useless pub guide. As you may have guessed, it's as much laziness as nostalgia driving this series.
Dolores's mum lived in Eiseanch and we got married there, so I knew the town pretty well.
Like many places in the DDR, the town centre is short on pubs (one of the few, the Marktschanke on the marketplace is closed for an unspecified period of renovation). But don't let this make you despair - just 5 minutes away from the centre there are plenty, if you know where to look.
Starting on one of the main squares in town, Platz Deutsch-Sowjetische-Freundschaft (which may well have changed its name by the time you read this) is the hotel Thuringer Hof. When it was built in the days of the German Empire, it must have been modern, fashionable and luxurious. Now its faded opulence is a good backdrop for anyone wishing to play out their Grand Hotel fantasies. The restaurant is still impressive enough, with its oak-panelling and crystal chandeliers, and is an eminently suitable place for those wanting to dine in style without paying accordingly stylish prices. The prices are, however, towards the upper end of the DDR scale. In keeping with it's upmarket image, it sells Apoldaer Classic instead of usual Eisenacher Pils, of which you'll soon have had more than enough.
Carrying on up Frauenberg after another small square (which also contains the Bach house) is Rittergasse, on which is Gasthaus Harmonie (10 - 18, Tue Wed closed), selling Eisenacher Hell. It's a typical down-to-earth DDR boozer, of the type which seems to act as a substitute factory/school canteen. At lunchtime it's full of schoolkids presenting their school dinner tickets and factory workers tucking into incredibly cheap food served on plastic trays. If you prefer to do your drinking without the company of the local brats, turning up after 13:00 is probably a good idea. Whatever the clientele, the single plain room is always cheerful, friendly and very good value.
Now continue along Friedrich-Engels Straße, an extension of Frauenberg, and in an ornate turn of the century building is Drachenschlucht which sells, as almost everywhere else here, Eisenacher Pils. The name, meaning 'dragon's gorge', comes from a glacial feature close by in the Thuringer Wald and there's a beautifully tacky painting of it (complete with dragon, maiden and St. George type) on the wall inside. There are also a couple of barrel ends and jokey cartoons, of the sort beloved by pub decorators the world over, to brighten the place up. Otherwise, it's a fairly middle of the table sort of HO establishment with the usual low, low prices. Thankfully, it doesn't attract the usual big, big crowds of thirsty drinkers.
Two of the places mentioned above still exist:
Steigenberger Hotel Thüringer Hof
Tel: +49 3691 280
Tel: +49 3691 203053
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