Charming Gross-Umstadt to the east
Earlier I already mentioned that Darmstadt was heavily bombed in the last days of WW II, which is why the once beautiful old town was destroyed. Only in some town districts half timbered-houses are still left.
But because Darmstadt is located close to one of the German scenic roads, the German Half-Timbered House Road, it is only a 20 minutes drive by car or bus to visit Dieburg or Gross-Umstadt, both located which are located on the Southern Hesse part of this road.
Gross-Umstadt is located east of Darmstadt, almost where Odenwald starts. It is being called “Weininsel”, which means Wine Island. I was a bit amazed about this, because the region is not at all known for wine, but recently I could sample the local wine and it is not that bad. White wine, by the way.
The village is quite old; already the Romans settled here in 2nd century B.C. During Medieval times, it was ruled by dukes, who had several noble courts built, some of which are still intact today. The beautiful Renaissance City Hall (main photo and details in photo 5) was built in 1596 and has been restored very beautifully. Around the market square, some lovely half timbered houses are located, among them one which hosts a local bank. I found the sign (photo 4) so cute, because it is a memory to our good old days of Deutsche Mark (currency before Euro): a Pfenning is hanging above the bank icon (which is the S).
Groß-Umstadt’s website shows where all of the half timbered houses are located (check the part "Virtueller Stadtrundgang"), and I can tell you that they are all beautiful and worth a walk around. It must be quirky and fun in summer, when all the restaurants (there are many) have their tables and chairs outside.
According to the URL the website should be in English, but at the moment (Oct. 2013) it is only in German. Maybe they are working on the English version at the moment.
Location of Groß-Umstadt on Google Maps
© Ingrid D.: 2008; update October 2013: wording only.
- Road Trip
- Historical Travel
Magnificent Art Nouveau House - Moosbergstrasse
As already mentioned in the to-do section, Darmstadt was famous for Art Nouveau end of 19th/early 20th century. Mathildenhöhe is the part of town featuring the majority of Art Nouveau houses.
However, also in Bessungen, the old district south of the city centre, some superb buildings are located. It simply needs some walking away from the main streets and a strong willing to "get lost in Bessungen" :-) I did that on a beautiful crisp and cold sunny winter day some time ago. And I was really surprised to find some gems in this part of the city :-)
This specific building featuring in my photos is located in Moosbergstrasse No. 60, which is to the east of Heidelberger Landstrasse. It is said to be the only fully preserved Art Nouveau façade in Darmstadt, built in 1905. The artwork details are magnificent, the roses at the lintels for example and the large mosaic of swans or peacocks.
Photography is best around midday because the street is rather narrow and the sun might be elsewhere in mornings and afternoons.
Location of Art Noveau house, Moosbergstrasse, on Google Maps
© Ingrid D.: 2006; update October 2013: wording only.
- Road Trip
- Arts and Culture
Adult Education Center (VHS)
The Adult Education Center in Darmstadt shares this building, the Justus-Liebig-Haus, with the city library and the city art gallery.
In front of the building there are two sculptures, one of a slim naked ballerina and one of a book-seller.
Second photo: The ballerina.
Third photo: The book-seller.
Justus-Liebig-Haus, Große Bachgasse 2, Darmstadt
49°52'17.90" North; 8°39'27.32" East
- Arts and Culture
Langen is an "innovative, open-minded and tolerant city" (according to their mayor) with more than 36,000 inhabitants, located halfway between Frankfurt am Main and Darmstadt, with good train connections to both.
I know two couples who live in Langen, and both for the same reason. Either he works in Frankfurt and she works in Darmstadt, or visa-versa, so they live in the middle.
The first photo shows a sign in Darmstadt pointing the way to Langen via the bicycle routes 17 and R8.
Route 17 zig-zags through the woods and is currently my favorite route from Frankfurt to Darmstadt.
The R8 is one of the nine regional cycling routes in Land Hessen. It starts near Heppenheim and goes north through Darmstadt, Frankfurt-Höchst, Limburg and Dillenburg, ending in Frankenberg (Eder) in the northern part of Hessen.
I have also mentioned the R1 and the R3 on some of my other VirtualTourist pages.
Second photo: Roofed-over bicycle stands at the station in Langen.
49°59'36.84" North; 8°39'24.68" East
Prince George's Garden and Palace
This corner of the Castle Gardens, next to the Technical University, is called Prinz-Georgs-Garten. It is a rococo garden which was laid out on a geometrical ground-plan in 1764.
The small palace at the far end of the garden houses a Porcelain Museum that was founded in 1907 by the Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig (1868-1937) when he decided to put his private porcelain collection on display.
49°52'44.21" North; 8°39'19.56" East
- Arts and Culture
- Castles and Palaces
At the begining of the Odenwald Mountains
lies Burg Frankenstein. Click on the photos to read the history. This place is about a 20 minute drive from downtown Darmstadt. besides being historical it is ideal for nature hikes. On Sundays the restaurant has a great buffet. The $20.00 price tag which includes a most marvellous view is well worth it.
- Historical Travel
I love a lot walking over old cimetaries. There is a wonderful atmosphere. This is even better in the early evening of a cold day in winter: the calme, the snow, the cold, the stones, the smell int he air .... We nearly had to run here, because it was almost 5pm, when the cimetary closes in winter time. And we were looking for the grave of Flotow, a german componist, who died 1883 in Darmstadt. We had no idea where to go, but we found it!!!!! Vt girls and their guides don't need a plan, they just know where to go.....
- Arts and Culture
Frankenstein's Castle. Oh yes,...
Frankenstein's Castle. Oh yes, the original where people called Frankenstein really lived! It's a bit ruiness now but hte views over Darmstadt, Eberstadt and towards Frankfurt are very good.
The resurant up there is very good, but they take ages to serve and service isn't good anyway. Food is good though :)
you have to go up here on Haloween week! Great fun!
LorschIt is a small town, but...
It is a small town, but it is really worth a little stop, if you are interested in history. There is a building, called 'hall of the kings' (Koenigshalle). It was built in 774 and belongs since 1992 to the World Heritage List of the Unesco. The hall had two purposes: The first was to have a big room for the audiences of Karl der Große, a german emperor, the other was to have a representative entrance for the church, but the monastery doesn't exist any more. Just on the other site of the street, in the museum, there is a model of it.
Auerbacher SchlossIt dates...
It dates from the medieval time.
Typical for that castle are 3 big wallsfor the protection . It was almost impossible to conquer it, but as it happened always, it was destroyed... And now, you can visit these ruins. In summer time, there is an open air theatre and they offer excellent meals there.
Auerbacher Schloss I visited...
I visited the ruin of the castle in winter time, so we had no good view. But my firend wanted to see it. You can drive there or make a walk through the forest.
Have you seen the tree? It grows on the castle.
European Space Agency (Control)
I just figure it out from the news that the European Space Agency Control is located in Darmstadt, I guess that we can now use here in Europe the term Darmstadt we have a problem. LOL
If you want to buy any...
If you want to buy any British stuff - jam, books, cookies, chocolate,
barbour jackets, or whiskey at reasonable prices, check out the
'British Shop', Alexanderstr. 26 (www.britishshop.de)
Strahlenburg belongs to Schriesheim, a nice wine village on the Bergstraße. In summer time I like to sit on the balcony of the restaurant. Or climbing up the stairs of the tower.
In Lorsch are some nice...
In Lorsch are some nice houses, like the Rathaus from the 16th century. In summer time, there are chairs and tables from the restaurants.
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