Altenburg is also a town of seven towers, four of which are open to the public and provide excellent views towards Leipzig. The town is known for its cultural programme with over 400 events every year. The former Royal Theatre provides a selection of events from puppets to ballet whilst the castle often hosts music festivals and organ recitals. Altenburg is still a hidden gem of architecture and art. A most astounding variety of buildings from over 1000 years of history compose the lovely old town. The "Rote Spitzen" abbey was founded by Germany’s favourite Emperor Barbarossa in 1182 and built by Italian monks as the first brick towers in Germany! Martin Luther preached in the St. Bartholomew church and Bach played the precious baroque organ in the castle church. The town has Thurgia’s largest tennis centre, zoo and lake. With lots of local colour there is always plenty to do day or night. Shopping and sightseeing are both popular and in the evening there is nothing better than stopping for a beer and have something to eat at one of the many inns in the town. Known for its charm and character the town is very popular with younger and older travellers. Strolling through the old town with its many places and parks is a perfect way of passing a morning or afternoon.