Höchst im Odenwald Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by Trekki
  • Things to Do
    by Trekki
  • Things to Do
    by Trekki

Höchst im Odenwald Things to Do

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    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    This little charming gorge or gulch southeast of Höchst is just too cute to leave it unnoticed. And it reflects the so typical community spirit of the locals of Odenwald, the region where Höchst is located in.

    I came across this little fairy tale path when I looked up hiking paths near where I live. The moment I saw these cute little buildings and monuments I knew that I had to find them and walk through that little gulch. It was difficult though because it is not well signposted in the nearby town of Höchst (im Odenwald). But with the help of a map I made it and... what can I say: despite it was already late afternoon and photo conditions not the best but it was almost like being transported into my childhood searching princesses and knights.
    I was amazed to find out that these little structures have been built already mid of last century, as an initiative of lovers of Odenwald, the region. Many of the little buildings are just fantasy houses but some are copies of existing monuments such as the Mouse Tower in Bingen. And since it was intended to be a fairy tale path, castles of Sleeping Beauty and other fairy tale figures are not missed. There are statues of Rübezahl and the Wild Hunter, a swan castle and several little churches with reference to the surroundings. A little mill is running with the help of Obrunn creek’s water. It is amazing how solid these little structures have been built, given the fact that they sit there without any protection during rainy and snowy days. But obviously a heavy storm back in 1953 destroyed some of the buildings and only a few have been restored afterwards.

    When I was there it was late afternoon in the middle of the week, but I assume that many families with kids come here on weekends. On the other side of the street, next to the entrance to this fairy tale path, is a rather large parking, but I doubt that busses will stop here. I didn’t see bus stop signs.

    The path itself is approx 3 km one way. And there is no entrance fee. I even didn't saw a box for donations! So much for devotion for this cute path by the locals.

    Directions:
    From the town of Höchst im Odenwald at the roundabout in the southern part of town turn left (east), direction Rimhorn. The number of the road should be L 3106 although I doubt that it is marked as such. Drive until you see a tiny sign for parking on the left hand side. The entrance is to the right, the sign very small.

    Obrunnschlucht on Google Maps

    Obrunnschlucht – more photos of the tiny structures: look at "Gallerie" and make sure you scroll down until it says "Historisch". These are the photos before the storm in 1953.

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    Region: Hessen
    Nearest airport: Frankfurt International (code FRA).
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    © Ingrid D., March 2011 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

    Sleeping Beauty's castle Swan Lake castle A little mill Typical half-timbered house And the Mice Tower of Bingen :-)
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Theme Park Trips

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    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    This little fortress sits on top of a former volcano and is visible already from far away with its thick round white watchtower. The region, Odenwald region is both a famous and mysterious regions, many legends and sagas come alive here. It is part of the Variscan mountains, which were in between where Gondwana and Laurasia crashed eons ago. Later, several volcanos erupted in Odenwald, one of them is (was) where this fortress has been built around mid 13th century. The correct German name is Veste Otzberg, where Veste is an old name for Festung = fortress. It is a lovely part of northern Odenwald, definitely worth a visit for its lovely setting, fantastic views as far as Frankfurt and Taunus mountains in the north, for the very much caring Tilly family who take care of the folklore museum and their home made cakes.
    The museum is fantastic!! It is located in one of the fortress buildings on two floors. One floor covers folklore dresses of (state of) Hessen, and they have a huge collection of dresses. In addition, they have a lot of local pottery and I was amazed to see that they also cover northern Hessen’s pottery styles, the ones that are characteristic for Marburg for example. The upper floor is devoted to life in the old days, with many little handicraft workshops such as carpenter, shoe maker and then there is an old pharmacy, a butcher and rooms of the houses like kitchen, living room and working rooms. It is put together in such a lovely way that you could spend hours inside to explore and look. The only downside for international visitors is that all explanations are in German only. Maybe I can convince them next time I go to add some English information as well. Entrance fee for the museum is 2,50 € per person, kids under 12 are free.
    There are two places to eat and drink inside. In the museum building they have a very cute old grocers’ shop from where they serve coffee and cake (see photo) at an incredible low prices (we paid 5 € for two cakes and two coffees) and then there is Burgschänke where you can have typical local dishes.

    They have countless little markets during the year, such as an Easter Market, which is very famous, a Christmas Market, a Handicraft Market and also a Romantic Night in the Museum (in 2009: Saturday, November 21) where they tell old stories and play old instruments.

    Directions:
    This is a bit tricky because there are no really frequent busses up there. Veste Otzberg is located on the hill near the village of Hering, southwest of Dieburg. Dieburg is located at B26, the Bundesstrasse between Darmstadt and Aschaffenburg.

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    Region: Odenwald
    Nearest airport: Frankfurt International (code FRA).
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    Otzberg Castle on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., March 2011 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    During the Roman settlements in what is Germany today, they have built a limes, Limes Germanicus to be precise, to defend their territory to the east. In that approx. 570 km long defensive “wall”, a tiny section of 70 km, leads down south from Main river approximately south of Aschaffenburg. It was called Odenwaldlimes, best seen on the map of Limes Germanicus and was the original section of the wall, until it was decided to expand to the east. Close to this, remains of many hundreds of villas have been found and this one, Villa Haselburg, was one of the biggest villae rusticae (countryside villas), the biggest in Hesse state to be precise. It had a big bathing house with several types of baths (different water temperature). A model of their very comfortable toilets has been put here and @leics, our avid Roman expert who went here with me, told me that they even had these in several sizes for the several butt sizes, haha. It never ceases to amaze me how elaborate the Romans were in every aspect of life and building expertise. They also had a fascinating method of floor heating and heating in general, by leading hot water or steam through clay tubes. Several of these can also be seen in the remains of this villa rustica. A bit in the distance of the villa buildings they also had a Jupiter temple, which shows that it must have been a wealthy family who lived here.

    The villa can be visited all year round, there is no fence, no entrance fee. They have a small model at the entrance of the ground and a very detailed leaflet to take, although in German only. It is nice to leave a small donation in the box because the work and caring of this fascinating Roman remains is all done on a honorary base.
    Oh, the name Haselburg derives from hazelnut trees which grow here.

    Update, August 2010:
    I came back with visitors and the little hut at the entrance was open. Inside is a huge collection of clay pots and plates which were found during the excavations and many maps, sketches and another little model explaining the significance of this villa in context to the other settlements.
    And leaflets are available now in English as well.

    Directions:
    This is also a bit tricky to visit, because no bus stops here. Villa Haselburg is located approx. 5 km west of the village of Höchst, southwest of Dieburg. Dieburg is located at B26, the Bundesstrasse between Darmstadt and Aschaffenburg.

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    Region: Odenwald
    Nearest airport: Frankfurt International (code FRA)
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    Villa Haselburg on google maps

    © Ingrid D., March 2011 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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