Ladenburg Things to Do

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    by christine.j
  • Foundations of basilica marked in pavement
    Foundations of basilica marked in...
    by Kathrin_E
  • Things to Do
    by Kathrin_E

Best Rated Things to Do in Ladenburg

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    Carl Benz lived - and parked - here!

    by christine.j Written Jan 31, 2006

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    Carl Benz, the inventor of the automobile - the car - moved to Ladenburg and parked his car in the world's first garage. That's something people here are very proud of, so there is a Benz Museum.If you're interested in oldtimers, you'll enjoy watching the Berta Benz Memorial Drive. She was his wife and really liked the idea of a carriage without horses. While he was still trying to improve his invention, she was convinced that it worked. So she took her two sons, took the car and left a note for her husband: "The boys and I took the car and are on our way to see my mother". Her mother lived about 100 km away, but they made it. (I don't know if their marriage made it, but divorce was really frowned upon back then.)
    So the first long-distance drive was done by a woman! In her memory there is a drive every two years, oldtimers, people wearing the costumes from back then, the leather caps etc. It's fun watching. The last drive was in 2005, so the next one will be in 2007, probably in August.

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    St Gallus Church

    by christine.j Written Jan 31, 2006

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    The Ladenburg Window

    The church is right behind the market square. It is built on the site where the Romans had started to build one of the first Christian churches, but weren't able to finish it. The church is a mixture of old and new, there is a Romanesque crypt - very much worth seeing, but unfortunately only when booking an official city tour. The door is from the 19th century, the windows are from the 1960s. One window is special, it doesn't show any religious subject but a historical one. It is called the Ladenburg window, since it shows the three layers of history, the Roman rule, the bishops' rule and modern Ladenburg.

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    The Witches' Tower

    by christine.j Written Jan 31, 2006

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    The Witches' Tower

    Walking along the old wall you come to another old watch tower, this one still standing. It was built around 1200 as a watch tower, but was later used as a prison for "witches", women who were thought to be witches. This name stuck and it is now called the witches' tower. When you're there, look for windows, you won't find any. Just tiny openings in the wall, barely enough to let in some rays of light.What a horrible place this must have been as a prison!

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    Roman and medieval ruins

    by christine.j Written Jan 31, 2006

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    The Priest's Tower

    Ladenburg's high time is very much in the past, when it was a Roman state capital and the bishops' summer residence. On several places throughout the town you can see ruins from these times, around 200 AD left from the Romans and around 1200 AD fom the Middle Ages.The picture shows what's left of one of the watch towers from 1200, the so-called priest's-tower.

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    The Protestant Church in Ladenburg

    by christine.j Written Oct 29, 2006

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    This church is a lot younger than the catholic St Gallus, from 1876. It's also smaller and the windows aren't as colourful. But it has a special feature, the ceiling is made out of wood and painted with floral motives, very pretty.
    The church is next to St Gallus. You walk through a small garden to get to the entrance door.
    On your left in the garden there is a biblical garden, the plants which are growing there have all been mentioned in the bible. Signs are telling you what kind of plants they are.

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    The Four-Gods-Stone

    by christine.j Written Jan 31, 2006

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    Jupiter striking his lightning

    Because of the rich past, digging in your garden can be very surprising in Ladenburg.A few years ago a woman found human bones when planting tulip bulbs. It was not the scene of a murder, as she had thought at first, but her garden turned out to be on the site of an old cemetery.(She didn't have any tulips the following spring)
    In another garden a man found an old Roman fountain and in it a Roman Four-Gods-Stone with Jupiter on top.A proof, that among the Romans living there were some praying to the old Roman gods. The original of the statue is in the museum, but a reproduction can be seen outside.

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    Martin's Gate

    by christine.j Written Jan 31, 2006

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    This was the main gate in the old wall to go into the town.A statue of St.Martin near the top gave it its name. You can still see the holes made by cannon balls in the year 1622, when the town was besieged in the 30 years' war.

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    The historic market square

    by christine.j Written Jan 31, 2006

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    The center of town
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    The center of the town is the old market square, surrounded by half-timbered houses, some as old as late 15th century.This is where the farmers' market is held, where the festivities start for the party in the old town - second weekend in September - and where the Christmas market is held each December.

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    The Bishops' Palace

    by christine.j Written Jan 31, 2006

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    The former bishops' palace
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    The former bishops' palace now houses the museum of Ladenburg. It's only open on weekends - 11:00 to 5:00 pm - and tells people more about the Roman times. A plate with the Persian sun -god can be seen there. This plate was found in Ladenburg, a sign, that among the Roman soldiers stationed here must have been some from Persia.

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    Handschuhsheimer Hof

    by Kathrin_E Written Jun 16, 2009

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    Handschuhsheimer Hof
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    The impressive part stone, part half-timbered building belonged to the noble family of Handschuhsheim (Handschuhsheim is now a suburb of Heidelberg). Such a name (Handschuh = glove) requires a 'speaking' family crest which shows, of course, the glove.

    The house dates from the late 15th century and was enlarged and redecorated in renaissance style a century later. The year 1561 is written above the portal.
    Ground floor and first floor received a design with diamond-shaped stones which were popular in those times and often used on palaces and other reresentative buildings. However, these here are not real but a painted imitation.

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    Catholic Church of St Gallus

    by Kathrin_E Updated Jun 20, 2009

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    St Gallus church, steeple seen from market square
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    The catholic church, the old parish church of the town, was first mentioned in 787. Around 1000 a second church was built which uses the remnants of the ancient Roman basilica as foundations.
    The oldest part of the church is the Romanesque crypt underneath the choir. The Roman foundation walls are visible from inside.

    In the 13th century the choir and the northern steeple were built, a bit later the nave. The second steeple was added in the 15th century.
    In 1859 - 1867 the church was renovated and enlarged to the west and the neogothic facade with the main portal was added.

    The church is open in the daytime. Access from Kirchenstraße through the western portal.

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    The Stumble Stones

    by christine.j Written Feb 26, 2008

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    Many places in Germany have started to put down some "Stumble Stones" - "Stolpersteine". You're supposed to stumble, not literally of course, but in your thoughts. These golden bricks are put down on the pavement in front of a building in which a victim of the Nazis used to live.
    Mostly they're done for Jewish families, but also for homosexuals or political opponents.

    In Ladenburg they are two of these stones on the main street. They are the same size as the other cobble stones and just want to tell the passer-by to start thinking what had happened here some 70 years ago.

    Some cities by the way are against these stones, Heidelberg for example, as the city council there argues by stepping on these stones the victims' dignity is taken away once more.

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    Marktplatz - Market Square

    by Kathrin_E Updated Jun 16, 2009

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    Marktplatz and fountain
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    Marktplatz is the heart of the old town. I think the photos speak for themselves - the architecture around the square is amazing. Pick up your dropped jaw, then walk over the square and see it from all angles. Take photos, then climb up the stairs of the fountain in the middle of the square, take more photos from there (best viewpoint!), then sit down in one of the cafes...

    The southern side is the most remarkable example of medieval town planning - a gap between the two half-timbered houses provides a view to the steeple of St Gallus church. Interesting perspective.

    The best light for photos is early in the morning and in the late afternoon.

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    The Bishop's Palace

    by Kathrin_E Updated Jun 20, 2009

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    Bishop's palace
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    The palace of the Bishops of Worms has a medieval core. In times of the renaissance it was enlarged to its present size and shape, except some changes in the mid-18th century when the building was turned into offices for the Palatinate administration and the half-timbered upper floor of the northern wing taken down.

    The painted architecture of the facades is a reconstruction. In 1960 remains of the original paintings were found underneath younger plaster and paint and the renaissance decoration repainted according to the finds.

    Excavations next to the palace have unearthed the foundations of the first medieval fortification of the town.

    The palace contains the Lobdengaumuseum, a museum which presents the history of the town and the ancient Roman history of the region. Unfortunately it was already closed when I arrived, but this is one entry on my 'things to see next time' list.

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    The Jupiter Column

    by Kathrin_E Written Jun 20, 2009

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    Jupiter column in front of the bishop's palace
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    Traces of Ladenburg's history are present underground and sometimes people find strange things when digging in their garden.

    Maybe the most remarkable ancient Roman piece that was found in Ladenburg is the Jupiter Column and Four Gods Stone. The sculpture was made in the 2nd century A.D. and ended up in a well not much later when the germanic Alemannen took power and abandoned the Roman gods. There it survived the centuries in excellent state of conservation. The original is inside the Lobdengau-Museum in the Bishop's palace. A copy has been put up outside the palace.

    A statue of Jupiter the giant rider, ready to throw a thunderbolt, can be admired on top of the column. The piedestal, the Four-Gods-Stone, depicts Juno, Minerva, Mercury and Hercules.

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