Oppenheim Things to Do
Just above the Katherinen church, at the top of a hillside vineyard, are the castle ruins of the Landskron, a once magnificent fortress castle. The castle was once the pride of the town, but after several occupations by foreign powers it was finally destroyed in the 16th century by the French. It has never since been restored to glory. Its location is excellent though, and there are great views over the town and the river below. It is said that on a clear day you can see all the way to Frankfurt.
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I came upon the Katharinenkirche somewhat by accident. I knew it was up the hill somewhere from the station, but couldn't see it because it was tucked away behind the buildings. I walked up some steep steps towards a tower, which I thought might have hope of being the church, but it proved to be some stone lookout called Ruperechtsturm. After wandering into what looked like be a private vineyard, and wondering if I should go back out again, I came across this view in the picture, and knew I was on the right path. I walked past some child's sandpit, down the steps and out of the gate, to find myself at the foot of this immense construction.
It's called a church, but it is very big. Despite its size it hides itself well, dug into a crevice in the hillside and hunkering down behind a circle of tall houses. Up close, however, it is very impressive. Too large to get into a picture without a wide angled lens. The church was built over two centuries, giving it a mix of styles, from the Romanesque towers to the Gothic nave. Inside are some fantastic stained glass windows, including the famous Openheimer Rose.
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Standing tall above the lower part of the town, this makes for a great landmark when attempting to navigate to and from the train station. It was built in the stead of the ruins of a much earlier clock tower in 1829. At its base is a tiny and peaceful little alcove in which to sit in its shade next to a pentagonal fountain.
Oppenheim is accessible by train, but is only on a regional line from Mainz to Mannheim. It's about equidistant from Mainz and Worms, about 20 minutes from either city and just over an hour from Mannheim.
Favorite thing: I saw this little beauty in the back streets of the city, and took a jealous picture. Reminded me of my old Alfa.
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Favorite thing: Oppenheim has a great collection of old timbered buildings built somewhat haphazardly up and down the hillside. The place has been relatively untouched by either bombs or progress, so there are plenty of original or restored buildings to admire. The streets are very old fashioned, and meander through the town and allow for plenty of good photographic material.
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