Fun things to do in Land Hessen

  • Kaiserdom from my balcony, Frankfurt
    Kaiserdom from my balcony, Frankfurt
    by antistar
  • Frankfurt on the Main
    Frankfurt on the Main
    by antistar
  • Alte Opera, Frankfurt
    Alte Opera, Frankfurt
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Land Hessen

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    Frankfurt Skyline Countdown, the future # 7

    by Nemorino Updated Feb 3, 2014

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    Construction is well underway, as of 2013, for the future headquarters building of the European Central Bank (ECB). The location is on the Sonnemannstraße in the East End of Frankfurt, on the site of the former wholesale produce market. It is next door to Dr. Hoch’s Conservatory and diagonally across from the Frankfurt Adult Education Center (VHS).

    The new ECB building has already been topped out, as they say in the building trades, at 185 meters. When it is completed, it will be the seventh tallest building in Frankfurt.

    The official “Topping Out” Ceremony was held on September 20, 2012.

    Originally they were planning to have a helipad on the roof, but this idea has apparently been dropped. There will be a sloping roof instead.

    The building will have 45 floors above ground level (instead of 47 as originally planned).

    Related tips/reviews:
    European Central Bank
    Future site of the European Central Bank
    Former Großmarkthalle, future ECB headquarters
    Occupy Frankfurt

    >> Next: # 6, Trianon

    Future ECB headquarters
    Related to:
    • Architecture

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    Kranichstein’s Hunting Castle

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    Located only 10 km northeast of Darmstadt, Kranichstein Hunting Castle is a very popular spot for the locals on weekends. Darmstadt’s landgraves were passionate hunters and have expanded a former farm house as a castle in 16th century and had made it their summer residence and hunting ground. It is a three winged baroque castle which houses a museum today and is used for specific events, especially for concerts in summer. The big former arsenal house, 110 m long, has been transformed to an educational centre for biodiversity and is called Bioversum.

    It is a lovely spot indeed, especially for walking tours through the thick forest nearby, formerly the hunting grounds. Educational paths with boards explaining all about hunting in 16th – 18th century lead through the forest, along the former fishpond. The museum is interesting as well. It shows the history of hunting, from the pure necessity to have something to eat to the absurd hunting just for the pleasure of hunting. Of course the latter is only my personal opinion; the museum administrators won’t see it that way. In addition to hunting arms also the rooms of the castle are included in the museum tour. It still lets the former spirit be alive, especially in the little tower room, where a rose compass at the ceiling gave the hunters an idea about the wind and the hunting conditions.

    Opening hours of the castle and museum:
    April – October: Wed-Sat: 13:00 – 18:00, Sun/festive days: 10:00 – 18:00
    Nov – March: Wed-Sat: 14:00 – 17:00, Sun/festive days: 10:00 – 17:00
    Entrance fee: adults 3 €, kids 1 €.

    Opening hours of the Bioversum:
    Tue-Sat: 11:00 – 17:00, Sun/festive days: 10:00 – 18:00
    Entrance fee: adults 3 €, kids 2 €.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Region: near Darmstadt
    Nearest airport: Frankfurt International (code FRA).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Jagdschloß Kranichstein (K. Hunting Castle) on Google Maps.

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

    Hunting Castle Kranichstein Hunting Castle Kranichstein, crossbow Hunting Castle Kranichstein, one of the rooms Hunting Castle Kranichstein, the tower Hunting Castle Kranichstein, wind rose inside
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits

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    Lovely train museum, Kranichstein

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    Near Darmstadt is an extra special museum which should be a must for all lovers of old trains. It is located in Kranichstein, a suburb of Darmstadt, next to the (suburb’s) train station. The half private society takes care of the old trains, and part is being funded by Deutsche Bahn, although I have heard that it is not that much anymore. The more it is amazing how affectionately the society is taking care of the museum and trains. The museum is open to visitors without guided tours but the trains can be visited only with a guide. I loved to walk around between these old huge black trains. They have an amazing collection of old locomotives and they are also still in use for special days organised by the museum society. It must be a lot of fun, given the high popularity it has here. The part where the trains are being kept also has special exhibits of how train traffic worked in the past, like a station where water was fetched or where coal was loaded on the train.
    Highly recommendable, even if it is not open daily.

    Opening days and hours: open every Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and from April to September also on Wednesdays, 10a.m. - 4 p.m.
    Entrance fees: adults 5 €, kids 2,50 €.

    I have added the description of the museum on Wikipedia’s English version where the different train types are explained. The museum website is in German only.

    Special exhibitions and festivals:
    Kranichstein Steam Train Days: each year in May,
    Steam Train Festival: each year in September (Sept. 12+13, 2009)

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Region: near Darmstadt
    Nearest airport: Frankfurt International (code FRA).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Train Museum, Kranichstein, on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., June 2009 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Dieburg, half-timbered houses & carnival

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    Another lovely town at the Half-Timbered-Houses Scenic Road, in addition to Groß-Umstadt, is Dieburg. It is bigger in size than the former and has its origins back to the Bronze Age. Later it was inhabited by the Romans, rmains of a Mithras stone and a Jupiter column can be seen in the gardens and parks outside of the town wall. Inside the town, Zuckergasse (sugar street) is the one where many of these wonderful old half-timbered houses can be seen. It is a pedestrian street, so taking photos will not result in being rushed over by a car. There is an interesting hose among them an old bath house with a cute sign, which was indeed a bath house during the days before bathrooms in houses had been properly established.
    Another extra special feature is the carnival fountain (see photo). I was amazed to learn that Dieburg is not only an important centre of carnival festivities in eastern Hessen, but that carnival was held here since 1508, so they celebrated 500 years of carnival in 2008. Dieburg’s carnival society is even the biggest one among the German Carnival Society. This is amazing because I really would have thought that the biggest ones are in the cities famous for carnival such as Mainz, Düsseldorf and Köln. To mark themselves off from the famous carnivalists, Dieburg’s society does not scream Helau (as the ones in Mainz do), but Äla, which was a call way back in the old days to collect the geese. Their carnival parade is very famous throughoutthe region. The town is blocked for anyone except the ones who want to watch it. They are strict: being not a follower of the carnival movement, I once decided to visit Dieburg, but when I entered the town, policemen in costumes on horses were telling me that I should either park the car and watch the parade or make a big detour.

    Directions:
    Dieburg is easily accessible by bus and by train from Darmstadt:
    Bus no. 672 leaves every hour from outside of Darmstadt’s main train station via Luisenplatz (Darmstadt’s main square) to Dieburg, approx. 40 min,
    Trains no. 75 leave every two hours from Darmstadt’s main train station to Dieburg, approx. 15 min.

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    Region: North of Odenwald, region Darmstadt-Dieburg
    Nearest airport: Frankfurt International (code FRA).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Dieburg on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., June 2009 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Gross Umstadt, full of half-timbered houses

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    The German Half-Timbered House (Framework) scenic road has a section “From Rhein (river) to Main (river) and Odenwald (forest)” where several really beautiful villages are located at. Groß-Umstadt is one of them and it is definitely worth a visit. It is located east of Darmstadt, at the slopes of Odenwald hills and called “Weininsel”, which means wine island. That’s why I have made the vinyard photo my main photo in this tip, although it has nothing to do with the half-timbered houses. I was a bit amazed about this, because the region is not at all known for wine, but local colleagues told me that the wine is not that bad. I will give it a try this summer. The village is quite old, already Romans settled here in 2nd century AC. During Medieval times, it was reigned by dukes, who built several noble courts, some of which are still intact today. The beautiful Renaissance City Hall (see photos) was built in 1596 and has been restored very beautiful. Around the market square, some lovely half timbered houses are grouped, among them one which hosts a local bank. I found the sign so cute, as it has a memory to our good old Deutsche Mark days – a Pfenning is hanging over the bank icon (the S).
    Groß Umstadt’s website shows where all of the half timbered houses are located, and I can tell you that they are all beautiful and worth a walk around in town. It must be quirky and fun in summer, when all the restaurants (there are many) have their tables and chairs outside.

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    Region: North of Odenwald, region Darmstadt-Dieburg
    Nearest airport: Frankfurt International (code FRA).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Groß-Umstadt on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., July 2009 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Cute and beautiful Alsbach Castle

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    Auerbach Castle (see previous tip) might be the more famous and the more frequented castle along Bergstraße, but my favourite is Alsbach Castle. This is a bit north of Auerbach castle, smaller but in hands of the local conservation society which helds festivals, has a little restaurant, café and beer garden on the premises and looks after a herbal garden based on the teachings of Hildegard of Bingen.
    The castle was built mid 13th century and belonged to robber knights for quite some time, which have been chased away mid 15th century. It was rebuilt after being burned but fell into decay again. The tower is still there, as are the walls. From the tower you can have magnificent views over the lowlands of Rhein river. What I found most fascinating was that several little villages are visible from here which have the typical (German) village structure: a church in the centre, houses around and an existing or long gone village wall. Even if the walls are gone, their location can be imagined given the village structure.
    The castle is opened daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., entrance free.
    The beer garden is open Wednesday to Sunday from 2 p.m. (Wed-Fri) or 10 a.m. (weekends) until 7 p.m.
    No entrance fee for the castle and premises, only 0,50 € to climb up the tower (highly recommended!).

    Highly recommended also their handicraft market at Pentecost/Whitsunday. They show old handicraft skills of carpenters, blacksmiths, baking, tailoring.

    Directions:
    It is easily accessible from either Bergstrasse (road B3) or A5 motorway. Get off at Zwingenberg and drive north to Alsbach. From the town centre, follow the signs to the castle (Schloß Auerbach). Local trains and streetcars stop in Alsbach.

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    Region: Bergstrasse
    Nearest airport: Frankfurt International (code FRA).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Alsbach Castle on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., July 2009 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Don’t miss Otzberg fortress and cute museum

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    I am amazed and ashamed that I didn’t visit this gem of a fortress earlier, because I live only 20 km away from it. Shame on me....
    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 very prominently sitting on the former volcano and can be seen from far away, a beautiful sight, by the way. And 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).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Otzberg Castle on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., July 2009 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Lovely Auerbach Castle at Bergstraße

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    If you drive from Frankfurt to Basel or vice versa via train or car, you will notice the many castles, fortresses and ruins on the eastern hilltops. The hilltops are the western ridge of Odenwald (forest) and were most naturally places where defensive castles were built. The views are amazing! Auerbach Castle is said to be the most important one along Bergstrasse (the road leading from Darmstadt to Heidelberg, translates into “mountain road”). It was built by the counts of Katzenelnbogen, a very prominent count family in the region of middle Rhein river. When I was a kid, I learned about them and found the name quite funny, it translates into cat’s ellbow. But later (= now while I explore my surroundings) I realised that they have left their marks almost everywhere along the states of Rheinland-Pfalz and southern Hessen. Their coat of arms is also funny, it should be a lion, but the one at Auerbach Castle looks more like… a cat.
    The castle was built mid 13th century, extended afterwards, destroyed and only partly renovated or rebuilt since. Only some parts can be visited, but while walking up and down on the stairs you can get very good views into the buildings even if only some walls are left. It gives a good idea of how big the castle was once. Christine(j) has an extended description of the castle on her Bergstraße page where she also has a photo of the legendary 300 year old pine tree that sits on top of a walkway on one of the walls. While the upper parts of the castle are mostly ruins, the buildings at its foot have been renovated and are now restaurant and brewery. They held Medieval festivals and offer knight meals. Must be a lot of fun, but from what I’ve read, it can be crowded. The parking lot surely is big enough for many busses.

    Entrance to the castle is free of charge.
    Opening hours and directions are given on their website, so no need to repeat these.

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    Region: Bergstraße
    Nearest airport: Frankfurt International (code FRA) or Karlsruhe (FKB, for Ryanair)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Auerbach Castle on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., June 2009 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Eltville, picturesque wine village, Rheingau

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    I have already mentioned Eltville as a perfect alternative to Rüdesheim’s Drosselgasse because it is a much more pleasant and not crammed with masses village and only a stone throw away from this tourist trap. In addition, Eltville’s centre, old town and riverside are actually riverside and not separated by either main road or train tracks, which makes it even more relaxing to walk around and see the sights.
    Eltville has fame among the wine villages in Rheingau (Hessen’s region north of Rhein river and west of Wiesbaden) as the Rose Town because of the many rose trees and bushes growing. It is fantastic during early summer when thuosands of roses emit their infatuating perfume. The most famous festival in Eltville is surely the Rosentage (festival of the roses) early June, where the roses are celebrated. Another famous and picturesque festival is the Sekt & Biedermeierfest (sparkling wine and Biedermeier festival) early July where the Biedermeier Verein will show their colourful costumes (click on “Vor” to see the other photos).
    Kurfürstliche Burg is a lovely sight and also to visit at the river promenade, there is a nice little kiosk nearby which is called Weinprobierstand (see photo) where you can sample local wine and enjoy that magnificent river view. The town has countless lovely and cosy restaurants, I can recommend Rosenstübchen (was there 2006) and Hotel Gockenhof (was there October 2008) which are having both reasonable prices and excellent food. Hotel Gockenhof is also famous for its Rosentörtchen, a special creation of sweet cake with rose water and marsipan. It is devoted to the rose “Schöne of Eltville” (beauty of Eltville) which once was a gift of Japanese rose grower Tagoshira to the town of Eltville.

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    Region: Rheinhessen
    Nearest airport: Frankfurt International (code FRA).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Eltville on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., June 2009 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Einhard Basilica: Carolingian masterpiece

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    Einhard Basilica is being considered to be one of the rare masterpieces of Carolingian times (times of Carolus Magnus, Charlemange, 8-9th century). Its founder, Einhard, was a powerful man of his times, teacher and consultant to Charlemange and he also wrote a biography about the emperor: Vita Karoli Magni. He received the region around Steinbach as a gift and built the church early 9th century. To make sure that the church would be considered important, he even went to Rome and stole relics of Roman martyrs Petrus and Marcellinus. But only shortly after that he lost interest in this church and resettled to Seligenstadt. He took the relics with him and the church fell into decay until it was renovated in 12th century by the abbot of Lorsch as a home to Benedictine monks. During the times of reformation it fell again into decay, was used as a hospital later until it went into property of the institution of state of Hessen. The administration of state castles and gardens takes care of it now and it is open to visitors.

    We came here on a sunny day in very early spring of 2011 and were amazed of its size. The interior is quite plain, not much is left of course. But it has a special feeling, especially when the sun shines through the windows. Some of the paintings are left on the walls, but it is very hard to find them since they are fading. Some tomb stones are also inside, remains of the former monastery.

    Entrance fee: 3,50 Euro
    Opening hours: December – March: 12:00 – 16:00; April – November 10:00 – 17:00; closed on Mondays.

    Directions:
    Steinbach is located northwest of Michelstadt. Leave road 45 northwest of Michelstadt to the west, into road 47. Watch for the small brown sign “Einhard Basilika”. Turn off north (to the right) into the second street “Einhardsweg”, cross the next street and then watch for the parking on the right side.

    Location of Einhard Basilica on Google Maps

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

    Einhard Basilica Einhard Basilica, inside Einhard Basilica, inside Einhard Basilica, inside Einhard Basilica, inside, the paintings
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Photography
    • Budget Travel

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    Lorsch and the King’s Hall (UNESCO heritage)

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    Lorsch is a tiny town in southern Hessen and most probably overlooked by many German and foreign tourists alike. At least I don’t see many tourists when I am here from time to time. But it is definitely worth a little detour,because it is home to one of the oldest remains of an abbey of early Medieval “Germany” (well, where today’s Germany was part of).
    Lorsch Abbey was founded in 764 and soon became cultural and spiritual centre in the Carolingan empire. Today not much is left of the abbey but the beautiful King’s Hall (or entrance hall) is still there. Every source describes it as “the oldest and most beautiful monument of Franconian Romanesque” (this quote is from Wikipedia). I cannot judge, as I am not a history expert, but this building is really most magnificent. One can wander through the premises of the former abbey (excavations are still ongoing) and admire the old herbal gardens. Of course they are not left from the old days, but they have been replanted according to the monks’ descriptions.
    Lorsch should not only be visited for this King’s Hall (which is UNESCO listed) but also for its excellent museum next to the gate. It is three museums to be precise:
    Tobacco museum:
    which explains the role, this region played and is still playing in tobacco industry with many very old exhibits related to tobacco and smoking and a very good explanatory section about tobacco, harvesting and cigar making.
    Abbey History Museum:
    this museum explains the meaning of Lorsch Abbey during the Carolingan Empire and has some very interesting and cute dioramas of how the life was during these days. Emphasis is given to life at a river, which I personally always find most interesting.
    Museum for local folklore:
    this part of the museum is dedicated to the past life of the region, with emphasis to traditional handicraft professions. Many beautiful carved wood objects are displayed as are replicas of houses interiors.

    As I didn’t write about Lorsch yet, please check Joan’s page (@scottishvisitor) for more information (see website link below).

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    Region: west of Bergstraße
    Nearest airport: Frankfurt International (code FRA) or Karlsruhe (FKB, for Ryanair)
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    King’s Hall, Lorsch, on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., June 2009 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

    .

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    Marburg, half-timbered houses galore

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    If you like to spend a day or two - or even more - in a beautiful relaxing atmosphere, dive into history and wonderful half-timbered house architecture to the fullest, and go and see Marburg. The lively university town (which is the oldest protestant university in Europe, founded 1527) offers a lot of scenic walks through town, its hills or along the picturesque Lahn river bank. The Lahn also invites for romantic boat tours. For cyclists - it is a very bicycle friendly town - separate bike lanes along all streets, and has the special bike street signs as well, leading to all major attractions. Helpful tourist information can also provide you with suggestions for trips into the surroundings. On the opposite riverside of the castle hill, Lahnberge are located, where University Hospital and science institutes are filled with students' life, and the (new) botanical garden invites for relaxing and strolling. From "Spiegelslust" (name of the Lahnberge hill next to town), you can climb up on Kaiser-Wilhelm tower to get magnificent views of the city and the castle.

    The most important sight and landmark, apart from the countless half-timbered and well preserved houses, is the Landgrave Castle, not only with splendid views to the old town, but also with a very good museum, displaying some great archaeological findings of Marburg's surroundings (as far back as median stone age), religious art, objects from the Landgraves' days, and an interesting exhibition about traditions (costumes, furniture, daily life) of the rural villages in the area.
    Elisabeth Church is another landmark, a protestant church devoted to St. Elisabeth of Thuringia, who, early widowed, devoted her life to the poor and ill.

    I wrote a separate page about this beautiful town. I am biased of course because I spent more than 10 years there during my studies at University of Chemistry. Recently I came back and stayed for several days, blessed with marvellous weather and I did a lot of walks up and down to rediscover my lovely former home.

    Oh, and of course, to feed the appetite after the strolls - Marburg offers a huge selection of all kinds of restaurants and cosy cafes, of course, most in beautiful old houses.

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    Region: Lahntal (Lahn Valley)
    Nearest airport: Frankfurt International (code FRA).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Marburg on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., June 2009 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

    .

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    Eberbach Monastery- contemplation and beauty

    by Trekki Updated Aug 12, 2013

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    Eberbach Monastery is quite well-known by the Germans who live close by, but because it is no UNESCO heritage site, it does not always get attention like Cologne and Berlin by (non-German) travellers. It is however located in one of the most beautiful parts of Germany, the region around Rhein river and only a stone’s throw away from famous Rüdesheim….

    The monastery is one of the first ones of Cistercian Order which have been built in the “Germany” of 12th century. It was even founded by one of the most important and famous Cistercians - Bernhard of Clairvaux. The monastery foundation is quite famous for their vineyards; it is said they are the biggest wine-growing estate of Germany. Wine auctions are held twice a year, offering old and good wine.
    And then the monastery and the buildings are indeed beautiful, they provide a certain aura of quietness and contemplation. It can get crowded over weekends, but if you walk around in between the tour groups, you can have the rooms and church all for you alone.
    And - last but not least - it was setting for the famous movie The Name of the Rose with Sean Connery (1986), and trust me, you will recognize the rooms you see, if you watch the movie after your visit.

    And: it is not far away from Frankfurt, just half an hours drive and easy to reach by train and bus.

    For those who would like to know where the outside plots have been filmed: this was Rocca di Calascio, Abruzzi, Italy.

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    Region: Rheinhessen
    Nearest airport: Frankfurt International (code FRA).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Eberbach Monastery on Google Maps

    © Ingrid D., June 2009 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Frankfurt Skyline Countdown, # 7

    by Nemorino Updated Jun 6, 2013

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    The Opern Turm, so called because it is across the street from the Old Opera, was opened at the beginning of 2010. It is located at Bockenheimer Landstraße 2-4. With a height of 170 meters, it is currently the seventh tallest building in Frankfurt am Main – but not for long, because a taller one is nearing completion.

    Turm means tower, by the way.

    The letters UBS on the building stand for Union Bank of Switzerland, which was what this organization used to be called before it was merged with the Swiss Bank Corporation in 1998. They still use the initials but not the name.

    If you have read about the UBS organization in the news, it was probably because they were accused of helping their wealthy clients evade taxes in the United States; or because they took huge losses in the recent financial crisis and had to be bailed out by the Swiss government; or because they were accused of speculating against the Swiss franc; or because of alleged fraudulent trading by one of their employees.

    On the other hand, the German branch of UBS has been known to do some useful sponsoring. In 2011, for instance, they sponsored a new production of the opera Otello by Giuseppe Verdi at the Frankfurt Opera. (Opera in Frankfurt is not just for rich people, but for everybody. The very rich don’t even go there any more, because it isn’t posh enough for them.)

    >> Next: the future # 7, ECB headquarters

    Opern Turm Opern Turm from Goethe Platz Opern Turm from the south Opern Turm Opern Turm with the Old Opera
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    • Architecture

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    Frankfurt Skyline Countdown, Roof of # 5

    by Nemorino Updated Apr 21, 2013

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    The Main Tower is two hundred meters tall, which makes it the fifth tallest building in Frankfurt am Main.

    Chicagoans will of course be unimpressed, since their Sears Tower is over twice as tall, and I don't even want to know what the Kuala Lumpurians think about it, not to mention the folks in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei or Dubai.

    But we like the Main Tower and will probably take you up if the weather is good, so please try not to be too condescending, it's the best we can do.

    Second photo: Looking north from the roof of the Main Tower, we can see the Farben/Abrams/Poelzig Building in the middle of the photo. It is now the main building of the new Westend Campus of the Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe University. Behind that and a bit off to the left is the German Federal Bank. And we can see the Taunus Hills in the distance.

    Third photo: Looking north, a broader view.

    Fourth photo: Looking northeast.

    >> Next tip!


    People on the Main Tower observation deck Looking north from the roof of the Main Tower Looking north, a broader view Looking northeast from the Main Tower
    Related to:
    • Architecture

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