If you are not doing a Mosel River Cruise, then you may want to drive to the small town of Wolf.
This is another town, with plenty of interesting half-timbered building's.
Like the others, it also is an important wine producing town and area.
Located about 3kms away.
I had heard about this path over the hill and was expecting it to be more popular but I was wrong. We met only two french speaking elderly ladies on our way.
Normally it takes two hours to cross the hill but we got lost. We were told to take the path T8. In the first crossing with T6 there was no problem. The signs in the other crossing told that T8 goes both to the left and right so we had to choose. We chose the path that goes to right. We should have taken the left path uphill. The muddy one.
Well eventually after 3 hours we found our way back to Traben-Trarbach and decided to visit Bernkastel-Kues by boat. The scenery was nice and so was the weather. We listened the church bells and we got lots of exercise so no harm done. Just remember to take some sandwiches and plenty of water along. There is maps for hikers to sell so next time I might buy one..
In these tips I'll describe what I mentioned in my Things to Do Tip: The Jugendstil architectural walk in both Traben and Trarbach. The brochure can be bought for 2,50 Euro at the Tourist Office in Traben.
To save yourself some money, you could just save this tip with the map of the walk and the various points of interest and the following descriptive tips. Although to be honest, the brochure is very nice!
By far my most favourite spots are number 1,2,3,4,5 (Traben side) and number 8 (Trarbach side).
You may want to skip 10 and 11 because as I described them, they are quite far away from the others and don't offer much to see. It's also a pity that you can't go inside no. 1,4,9,10 and 11. Often Jugendstil features are most remarkable inside a building which you can't see from the outside!
But if you do go to 10 and 11, here are 5 photo's of what you can see on your way.
The whole walk took us 3.5 hours, without stopping but at a leisurely pace.
Kurhaus Wildstein is on the outside built in the traditional timber-framed style. It's actually the left extension that houses the Jugendstil elements. However, this is a Spa or wellness center and not accessible for passers-by. So this is also a bit of a Tourist Trap: it's nice but nothing to see in the way of Jugendstil!
I went inside to ask if we could have some coffee but no, that wasn't possible. But we were kindly invited into an empty salon where we could help ourselves to some tea. I then asked for some hotel information (just to make my visit a bit more acceptable!) and then ambled off to the toilets where I peaked in some other spaces which were typical of the very quiet and tranquil atmosphere that one would expect of a wellness center.
The 4th photo in this tip shows the extension that Bruno Moehring built with Jugendstil elements inside. Photo's 2 and 5 are of the park between the Trabacher Felsenquelle and Kurhaus Wildstein.
To find no. 10 and 11 of our Jugendstil walk, you need to know it is quite a brisk walk, slightly uphill towards Bad Wildstein. The map (see 1st tip in this series) shows them on the map but in reality the distance is much further. About 20 minute walk from no. 8 in the Jugendstil walk.
It's hidden in a little park (just be bold and open the gate to go inside and walk up the driveway), this white and blue asymmetrical building, that follows its equally asymmetrical foundation of rock on which it stands.
You will find yourself in a delightful park though and if you follow it, you'll find the next and last Jugendstil highlight of this walk.
Although the entrance is on Wolferweg no. 12, you can best appreciate the whole building (built 1906/1097) if you cross the B53 (road along the Mosel in front of the building) or even from the other side of the Mosel (photo 1).
It's a large derelict building and unfortunately not open to the public.
However, it didn't say so, so I climbed the stairs following the sign 'Dachterrasse' (Roof terrace, photo 5) where I found a party of people in the midst of a private wineparty (photo 5 in this tip).
Inside the courtyard you find Bacchus, smiling benignly (photo 2). Outside on the wall is an eagle, ultimate symbol of Germany, albeit in Jugendstil style (photo 3). The whole building reminds one of a medieval castle. I hope it will be renovated, because even if it is a Jugendstil highlight, according to the route description, it is a rather sad sight to see (photo 4).
This is a former butcher, but now a bakery. There was a kind woman who said it was ok to make photo's inside. We bought a lovely sweet snack off her (see shopping tips).
This former butcher is on the conrer of Brückenstrasse and Moselstrasse. Tucked right in a corner. I so enjoyed the tiles and lamp!
This was my favourite Jugendstil monument of the whole walk. It's hidden a bit, situated back from the Mosel promenade and on the other side reachable along a very ordinary road with a parking and two supermarkets. That's why I forgot to photograph one of the most remarkable aspects of this grand house: It is the extension in the roof which housed a theatre room.
The house was built for a puissant rich winegrower, Adolph Huesgen. His huge cellars used to be next to the house.
Also a very rich winegrower, Oskar Haussmann. His bronze grave cover, designed by Bruno Moehring's company is decorated richly with vines. The grave can be found in the well kept graveyard next to the Evangelische Kirche (evangelical church).
Interestingly, Traben-Trarbach was a protestant enclave in an otherwise very catholic country.
4 photo's in this tip!
After passing the Brueckentor on the Traben side of the Mosel river, you enter into a little shopping street called Trabener Brueckenstrasse. Now you have to look up if you are a typical architecture lover, because otherwise you'd miss this gem altogether. So remember not to look at the cheapish clothing shop downstairs. Look up !
From the church it's a straight street that lands you on the bridge to the other side which is Trarbach. The bridge itself was made in 1899 but destroyed during WWII and rebuilt again soon after the war. The Bruckentor (Brucken = bridge, Tor =gate) was spared however.
It was Bruno Moehring who landed the assignment to build the original bridge in 1899. He was only 35 at the time. The Bruckentor looks traditional but the new way of building using iron construction was a beginning of the later architectural methods that Eiffel incomparably demonstrated with the Eiffel Tower. Moehring was then assigned to build the German contribution to the World Exhibition 1900 in Paris where he built a winerestaurant.
The first photo in this tip shows how the room decoration follows the shape of the architecture. It is reminiscent of the green dining rooms of the Morris company in 1867 (now Victoria/Albert museum, London). The room is crammed with Jugenstil objects like clocks and lamps.
The hotel lobby was rather difficult to fotograph due to the very dark wood and the bright light coming in from the glass stained windows. I nevertheless gave it a try (photo's 2,3,5).
A beautiful stained glass window also in Restaurant Clauss Feist (4th photo).
A lantern post by Bruno Moehring at the entrance of Hotel Bellevue. The lantern post is special because it contains a large electric bulb that need not be hidden. After all, Traben-Trarbarch was so wealthy that it was the first in Germany to install electrical street lighting.
This hotel, formerly called Hotel Clauss Feist was built by Bruno Moehring in 1901, after his return from the World Exhibition in Paris. The original hotel was burned down and this newly built hotel was in the traditional standstone. But inside Moehring used many Jugendstil elements. The tower outside is in the shape of a Sekt bottle (sparkling wine), which was the fashionable drink of those days. It is also a hommag to the city and it's winetraders. The building symbolises the wealth of the tradesmen. On the outside traditional but also open to new developments, such as the interior shows.
The wall sculpture (5th photo in this tip) shows a text that obviously mocks people who do not drink wine:
O abstinenter arme Wurm zum Spott gemeizen in dem Turm
Weil du verschmähest Gottes Gaben, woran sich brave Menschen laben
O poor teetotalling worm, hacked in the tower as subject to mock,
While you scorn God's gifts that good people quench.