This is the Scheuergasse.
Scheuer is a barn and during the 18. century the barns were build as a special part of the city away from the house. This should avoid fires.
The Scheuergasse is unique in south Hessen.
Now you find there some shops and restaurant. Also a holiday appartment could be rented.
I know I had said I wouldn't write any tips about Darmstadt, as there are excellent pages about this city on VT, but since I haven't seen any tip about this museum I decided to write one.
More than 100 years ago, Darmstadt was the site of the Art Noveau scene in Germany. The last ruling Arch Duke had invited many artists to come and build homes and workplaces. They formed the artists' colony Mathildenhöhe.
Today there is the magnificent Russian Chapel, the Wedding Tower, a museum which regularly houses special exhibitions and the smaller, relatively unknown museum about the artists' colony itself, the Museum Künstlerkolonie.
I have been there three times so far, and have never seen any other visitor. It shows items from daily use of the artists, their ideas and plans, and gives some inside information about the colony.
My absolute favourite there is the large window created by Hugh Mackay Baillie Scott. It was originally in a mansion in Mannheim, but was then brought to Darmstadt to the museum.
Entrance fee was 5 Euro an adult for this museum only, if you also want to visit the main exhibition in the other museum, it is 8 Euro according to the website or 9 Euro, which is what I paid the last time.
When you walk up from the small train station in Viernheim, you'll see a very colourful dragon sitting on the roof of a garage near the bank. Because of the vicinity to the places connected with the legend of the Nibelungen, which involves a fight with a dragon, the local bank decided to have a dragon put up on this roof. The schoolchildren got the job of painting it, and it seems their favourite colour was violet.
So, when the dragon was about to be named, most people decided on the name Violetta - making it a dragon girl.
One of my favourite walks in Schriesheim is along the small creek, the Kanzelbach. The water is coming down from the hills with enough power to have driven an oil mill. The wheel is still to be seen, and even the mill - certainly from 1623, probably from the end of 14th century - could still be used. The family who owns it today keeps it in good shape and occasionally turns it on.
But even without the mill, this is just a very nice walk along the water and the old houses.
In the centre of Schriesheim the old city hall built in 1684 is still standing. It was put up at the market square and the open hall on ground floor level was very convenient for storage, in case of rain. Next to it the old pillory from 1540 can be seen, a reminder that market days were also jurisdiction days.I like the old post box, still in use and so much prettier than the modern ones.
Behind the old city hall there is one of the few houses which survived the destruction in 1674. It was a priest's house and it is said, that he asked the church for a new house , but grew impatient because it took so long for the money to be granted. Not much has changed, has it? The priest decided to build his house with his own money and was finished in 1662. It doesn't say anywhere if he was able to get reimbursed later.
This half-timbered house is ornamented by inscriptions in German, Greek and Hebrew.
On the way from Darmstadt to Heidelberg you pass through Schriesheim. This is a small town, with lots of vineyards on the hills, above them the ruin of a castle, the Strahlenburg. Strahl means ray, and this is the reason the crest of Schriesheim shows two crossed rays. They look like arrows, and I suppose this is what most people imagine them to be, but they are rays.
The castle is from 1235. In 1500 it burned down, while most of the town was destroyed by French troups in 1674. Just a few buildings are older than late 17th century.
Today Schriesheim is mostly known for its very good red wine, also for the Mathaisemarkt, the first wine festival of the year, in early March.You won't find Schriesheim wine in the supermarkets, but at a good wine merchant's. And of course in Schriesheim itself, there are quite a lot of small shops.
On the castle grounds there is a very good restaurant, you can go up there by car for most of the way, but a glass of wine is so much better when you think you deserved it by walking up the hill. On a sunny day,the view across the Rhine valley is breathtaking.
This small village along the B3, the Bergstrasse, boasts of having the ruins of a large Roman mansion in its fields, the Villa Rustica.
That is, the village council may be boasting, the villagers don't seem to care very much. In fact the farmers used to be very angry about these Roman places, as it meant lots of stones, bricks and broken pieces of pots in the ground of their fields.These fields were called walled fields, and were considered to be a nuisance. But in the 1980s the university of Heidelberg did some excavations there and saved what was left of the villa. However, there is no sign from the B3 towards the ruins.
We turned into the main road of Großsachsen, still no sign.
When we asked someone we were told we had to walk there, as it's in the fields.
So we walked through the fields, passed gardens and orchards, kept getting closer and closer to the A5 , until we suddenly saw the ruins. There are some boards there with explanations how the villa looked in the first centuries A.D..
It must have been a important family who lived there, as the villa was quite large. It was also
a very modern building, with floor heating, an extra bath house, even a fish pond, either for
looking at the fish or for having fresh fish on the table. They had separate rooms for the toilets, a cellar for storage and their own small temple for worship.
When we were there, three families had met there for a picnic and the children were
playing hide and seek and yelling and laughing at each other.
It was a very peaceful scene, but I was wondering what would the Roman family say if they
saw this.Would they be happy that even after many centuries their old home was still the scene of family fun? Or would they be annoyed? Would they prefer the silence of a museum?
I like to watch ships going through a lock. When we were there we were lucky, first a long barge went through and then , on the second lock, three rowing boats.
Both had very distinctive problems. The long barge had to be very careful going into the lock, as there was no much space left and right. It was a strange feeling standing on the bridge , watching this huge ship coming closer and closer! Then, when the water went down, the man working on deck had to tie and untie the rope a couple of times, to prevent the ship being drawn by the gush of water.
The much smaller rowing boats didn't have to worry about bumping on the walls, but they had a hard time not getting drawn out by the water. The oarsmen had to stick their oars into the little nooks in the wall. Very hard work for them! People cheered to them when they finally went through the lock and rowed away.
Dossenheim - Schwabenheimer Hof
Before locks and the canal, the Neckar was a dangerous river. Almost each year there were huge floods. If you go to the Old Bridge in Heidelberg, you can see the high water marks there.
In Schwabenheimer Hof you can see a large stone which was found in the river. It had been used by the Romans for a tombstone in second or third century.
Close to the place where it was found in the Neckar the remains of the castle Schwabeck were also found. This castle was first mentioned in 1320 ,but was completely destroyed by a flood in 1527. What a strong flood this must have been!
Nothing definite is known, but it's quite possible that the knights had used the Roman stones when building the castle.
On the stone you can see the coat of arms of the knights, who used to live in Schwabeck.
Dossenheim is a small town a few kilometers from Heidelberg. Many people working or studying in Heidelberg live here.
In the centre of the the town there is statue of a man with a sort of an oar. It looks a bit like someone trying to steer a boat. But it's not, it's a statue of someone working in a quarry. These people were called the "rock breakers", as it was their job to break off the rocks in the quarry. A very hard job, I'm sure!
For almost two centuries these rock breakers did their job in Dossenheim, from 1760 on to the 20th century. When you look up towards the hills, you can still see the quarries.
Leutershausen is proud of having many fountains, in fact it used to be called the "fountain village".
One of the newer fountains is at the (very small) market square, right next to a sculpture of the town crier. This fountain is from 2001. This is also the stop for the Ruftaxi, a taxi you can call when there is no public transport to your destination. You only pay the ticket price for a streetcar.
I thought at first the statue was related to the Ruftaxi, like you ring a bell to call the taxi.
But of course not, the market square was the place where the latest official news were proclaimed by the town crier.He probably needed to ring his bell to get the attention of all the gossiping people at market days.
The second picture shows one of the old fountains.
Most probably you've never heard of this small town between Weinheim and Heidelberg,
unless you're Catholic.Then it's possible that you've read about the "Black Madonna" in
This is a statue of Mary holding baby Jesus, carved in black wood. Since 1737 it has been
the destination of many pilgrimages. In this year the count living in Leutershauses had a
chapel put up close to his castle. There are records proving that the Black Madonna was
in this chapel from the very beginning.
It is possible that it had been in the town before that date, maybe even during the 30-years-war,but there are no records.
Today the statue is in the Catholic church. This church is not very old, roughly about 100 years. Apart from pilgrimages and processions, many people come here regurlarly to pray. You can see many small plates, saying "Mary had helped".
The altar is not just a table, but sits on a large carving of the last supper. Again quite new,
it was carved in 1990 .
Driving down the Bergstrasse you can still see some fields on which tobacco is grown.
The tobacco was used to make cigars and for many years a lot of families were earning some money from tobacco.The leaves were hung and dried in tobacco barns. There are a few old tobacco barns still in Viernheim,about 100 years old.
Since there is no longer any tobacco industry in Viernheim, the barns were turned into some private homes, the public library and a meeting hall for talks,concerts etc.
The attics of the barn had many small openings, slits. Today this causes a problem, as the pidgeons just love to fly into the barns. So all these slits had to be closed, but at least in the public library you can always hear the pidgeons coo. For a minute or two this sounds nice, but it drives the librabrians working there crazy!
The centre of Viernheim is dominated by the Apostelkirche, the church of St Aposteln. It was
built in the end of 19th century and finished in 1899. In the 1950s and 1970s some renovation
work was done, which mostly resulted in old paintings being painted over. Currently the church is being renovated again, this time the attempt is made to recover all the original work. The old attic proved to be a treasure, as some of the original tapestries and wooden beams were found there, stored away in a dusty corner.
I will try to add some pictures of the beautiful inside of the church later, but it was locked when I last tried to go in.
Occasionally there are guided tours,when you can climb the tower, 70 meters tall. From up there you can see all of Viernheim.
In the forest between Viernheim and Hüttenfeld there is a stone cross, very withered already, even though it's not too old.It is the early 19th century reproduction of a much older stone cross from 13th century, which is in the museum now. People here call it the repentance cross.
There are several possible explanations for this name. The only certain fact seems to be
that a knight died on this spot in 13th century.
One story says two brothers were in love with the same woman and during a fight,
one of them killed the other. He then felt so sorry, that he had this cross put up.
A more elaborate legend : A knight from near-by Weinheim named von Reich fell in love with a young girl. He himself was married and the girl was engaged. So he sent her fiancé to a crusade and told one of his servants to make sure he'd die there. When the fiancé wasn't killed in battle, the servant murdered him.
However, before he died, he vowed to take revenge.
Some time later, the Weinheim knight was riding through the woods, when the ghost of the murdered man appeared. The horse shied and the knight was thrown off and died. His widow had the repentance cross put up and only then could the ghost find peace.
The first picture shows the cross, the second gives some explanation of the name.
The cross can be found in the forest north of A6 and west of A67,near the path called