The large church in the Altstadt is St. Peter’s, a catholic church that is often referred to as “the cathedral of the Bergstraße” because of its size. Early parts of this church were built in between 1100-1200, remains of this earlier structure can be found in the north tower (although records indicate a church in Heppenheim as early at 755 AD). However, the bulk of the current Gothic style church is more recent, having been completed in 1904. Outside the church is a stone crucifixion statue grouping by Anton Wermerskirch which dates back to 1705.
The interior of the church is beautiful, although there are much more impressive churches and cathedrals in Germany. However, if you are touring Heppenheim, St. Peter’s is well worth a visit inside if there is not a service going on at the time.
If you look closely at the lamps in Heppenheim, you see they have unique white with black designs on them. Look even closer and you’ll find a corresponding card on the lamp posts and some words in German. This is a special feature in Heppenheim – more than 150 of these silhousettes depicting many tales and legends from the German Hessen region. The cards on the posts describe the legend that the picture shows. Some lamps have two or three pictures, one on each side of the lantern.
Sadly, the descriptions are only in German and difficult to understand unless you know the language. Typically I will take a photo and use it to translate the legend once I am home. The Tourist Information Center can help you with more information about the legends and the “Lantern Way” - walk the takes visitors past the various lamps in Heppenheim. The office also sells a book about the legends shown on the lamps (in German only) if you are interested in more of the stories.
The lamps were designed by the artist Albert Völkl in 2004 and are a “bright” spot in Heppenheim leading nighttime visitors to the Altstadt.
The main reason we bring people to Heppenheim is to show them (in my opinion) one of the best German villages with half-timbered buildings that was not destroyed in the war and rebuilt. And there is no better place to see the beauty of Heppenheim than in its Old Town, or Altstadt. The small marketplace is circled by these gorgeous buildings, with the Rathaus (Town Hall) standing higher than any others, identified by its clock tower. There are a number of restaurants with outside tables so you can sit and just enjoy the area on a nice day. The Tourist Information Center is also in this area. And in the center of the square is the requisite fountain that each small town seems to have.
To find this beautiful section of Heppenheim, you need to climb of the slight hill that leads from the parking area and through the pedestrian zone, along the cobbled streets and into the square. Try to go on a sunny day to fully appreciate the colors of the buildings. In the summer, some of these buildings are framed with ivy and other greenery growing up the front of the buildings.
Next to St. Peter’s Church is a wonderful little museum related to firefighters located in a beautiful half-timbered building. Admittedly, I’ve never been inside because it is only open through appointment. But the outside is so much fun that we always stop by here with our guests. In the front yard of the museum is a wonderful small world with a miniature railroad with all kinds of emergency services vehicles and people doing many things such as putting out a fire, scaling a wall, helping with vehicle emergencies on the road, and lots of other things to see.
The founder of the museum is part of a line of firefighters in his family and has gathered many artifacts from around the world and, according to their website, the inside of the museum displays many hats, helmets, uniforms, tools, model cars, and other paraphernalia related to the fire department. To see the inside, you can contact the museum directly to schedule an appointment (April through October only).
But if you are walking through the Altstadt of Heppenheim, be sure to walk past the church on the left side to view the model railway display with all its miniature treasures. It is easy to spot with a raised platform for better viewing. It is free to look at, however, there is a collection box should you feel inclined to make a donation.
Garmany Wine growing regions, here in Hessische Bergstrasse,
There is little volium of production and the local wine is not
exported so abroad.
Let's go to the Winery for visit ! listen to explanation of the wine and the
sampling in possible, too.
Those wines are reasonable price. not expensive.
The most beautiful thing in Heppenheim is the old town. The heart of it is the market place. Stroll around through small little streets and enjoy the half timbered houses. Due to the Hessentag (see my General Tip) some of the old house have been renovated.
The jewish philosopher Martin Buber lifed in this house from 1916 till 1938. Due to the cruel nazi regime in these times he had to left Germany. Martin Buber was born in Vienna on 8 February 1878 and died in Jerusalem on 13 June 1965. The house is now the place of the "International Council of Christians and Jews" The library is opened daily. Lectures take place each month. To learn more about him you can visit www.buber.de/en
The open-air-theater was build in 1955 due to the 1200 years celebration of the city. The open-air-theater is a natural stage.
Several concerts have already taken place. Each year the theater is one of the stages for the "Gassensensationen" (please see my separate tip on this) It is a great scenary with the Starkenburg-castle in the back.
... yes, as you can see from the picture the town hall is also one of the houses which are currently restored ...
The Town Halls of Heppenheim and Lorsch look very similar. I still have to place a picture ...