Showing posts with label Schweigen-Rechtenbach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Schweigen-Rechtenbach. Show all posts

Sites in the Rhineland and the Saar

Speyer
 The rathaus in 1933 and today. During the war, Speyer was the site of one of the first encounters between pilots and UFOs, or Foo Fighters as they were called at the time:
In an encounter of 27 November 1944 over Speyer, pilots Henry Giblin and Walter Cleary reported a large orange light flying at 250 mph about 1,500 feet above their fighter. The radar station in the sector replied that there was nothing else there. Nevertheless, a subsequent malfunction in the plane's radar system forced it to return to base. An official report was made - the first of its kind - which resulted in many jokes at the pilots' expense. After the 27 November encounter, pilots who saw the Foo Fighters decided not to include them in their flight reports. 
Alan Baker Invisible Eagle -The History of Nazi Occultism
 
Standing in front of the Altpörtel, and as it appeared in 1939

The postwar changes are evident in this comparison.
 
Einst und jetzt...

Trier (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Hitler in Trier
 Hitler being driven down Kölner Straße in May, 1939
In September 1944 during the Second World War, Trier was only a short distance from the frontline fighting and was subjected to almost daily bombardment by American artillery. Allied forces carried out three large-scale aerial attacks on the city later in the same year. On December 19 at 15:30, 30 British Lancaster bombers dropped 136 tonnes of high-explosive bombs over Trier. Two days later, on December 21 at 14:35, 94 Lancasters and 47 American fighter-bombers dropped 427 tonnes of ordnance (high-explosive, incendiary and napalm bombs). Another two days after that, 700 tonnes of bombs were released over the city.  According to research by the historian Adolf Welter, at least 420 people were killed in the December 1944 attacks on Trier. Numerous buildings were damaged. During the entire war, 1,600 houses in the city were completely destroyed.  On March 2, 1945, the city surrendered to the U.S. 94th Infantry Division with minimal resistance

The Hauptmarkt,  scene of street battles between Nazis and Communists, in 1935 and today.
 On the Hauptmarkt is the Hauptwache, shown July 1941, and which served as Gestapo headquarters from 1933 to 1935.
In 1935 the Gestapo moved its offices here at the former Reichsbahngebäude at Christophstraße 1.

The first traces of human settlement in the area of the city show evidence of linear pottery settlements dating from the early Neolithic period. Since the last pre-Christian centuries, members of the Celtic tribe of the Treveri settled in the area of today's Trier.[1]  Roman Empire The Porta Nigra built 160-180 A.D. Reconstruction of the Palastaula The Constantine Basilica built around 300 A.D. The Roman Bridge across the Moselle River  The Romans under Julius Caesar first subdued the Treveri in 58 to 50 BC. No later than 16 BC, at the foot of the hill later christened the Petrisberg, upon which a military camp had been set up in 30 BC and abandoned again a few months later, the Romans founded the city of Augusta Treverorum ("City of Augustus in the land of the Treveri"),[2] which has a claim to being the oldest city in Germany.[3] The honour of being named after the Emperor was only locally shared by Augsburg and Augst in northern Switzerland. Following the reorganisation of the Roman provinces in Germany in 16 BC, Emperor Augustus decided that the city should become the capital of the province of Belgica. Shortly before AD 100, an amphitheatre was built, the signal sign of a city of any importance. By the first half of the second century another major structure, a Roman circus, had reached truly monumental proportions.  Trier rose in importance during the Empire's third-century crisis, as the chief city of the province of Gallia Belgica. From 271 to 274 AD, Trier was the second city of the breakaway Gallic Empire, at first under Postumus, who was proclaimed in Cologne, then under his ephemeral successor, Victorinus, who made his base at Trier, where he had rebuilt a large house with a mosaic proclaiming his position as tribune in Postumus' Gallic Praetorian Guard;[4] the city served again as capital under the emperors Tetricus I and II. From the second half of the 3rd century onwards, Trier was the seat of an archbishopric; the first bishop being Eucharius.[5] In the year 275, the city was destroyed in an invasion by the Alamanni. Diocletian recognized the urgency of maintaining an imperial presence in the Gauls, and established first Maximian, then Constantius Chlorus as caesars at Trier; from 293 to 395, Trier was one of the residences of the Western Roman Emperor in Late Antiquity.[6] and its position required the monumental settings that betokened imperial government. Model of the Roman imperial city Augusta Treverorum in the 4th century (seen from the direction of the Porta Nigra).  A mint was immediately established by Constantius, which came to be the principal mint of the Roman West.[4] A new stadium was added to the amphitheater, to stage chariot races. Under the rule of Constantine the Great (306–337), the city was rebuilt and buildings such as the Palastaula[7] (known today as the Constantine Basilica) and the Imperial Baths (Kaiserthermen), the largest surviving Roman baths outside Rome, were begun under Constantius and completed c 314[8] constructed.[9] by his son Constantine, who left Trier in the hands of his son Crispus. In 326, sections of the imperial family's private residential palaces were extended and converted to a large double basilica, the remains of which are still partly recognisable in the area of the Trier Cathedral (Trierer Dom) and the church "Liebfrauenkirche".[10] A demolished imperial palace has left shattered sections of painted ceiling, which scholars believe once belonged to Constantine's young wife, Fausta, whom he later put to death.[11]  From 318 onwards, Trier was the seat of the Gallic prefecture (the Praefectus Praetorio Galliarium), one of the two highest authorities in the Western Roman Empire, which governed the western Roman provinces from Morocco to Britain. Constantine's son Constantius II resided here from 328 to 340. Roman Trier was the birthplace of Saint Ambrose ca. 340, who later became the Bishop of Milan and was eventually named a Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church long after his death in 397..  From 367, under Valentinian I, Trier once more became an imperial residence (lasting until the death of Theodosius I in 395) and remained the largest city north of the Alps. It was for a few years (383 – 388) the capital of Magnus Maximus, who ruled most of the western Empire. In 407, shortly after the invasion of Gaul by the Vandals, Alans and Suebi, the Gallic prefecture was relocated to Arles, on the Rhône. The Imperial Baths (Kaiserthermen) built in the 4th century A.D.  Roman Trier had been subjected to attacks by Germanic tribes from 350 onwards, but these had been repulsed by Emperor Julian. After the invasions of 407 the Romans were able to reestablish the Rhine frontier and hold northern Gaul tenuously until the end of the 450s, when control was finally lost to the Franks and local military commanders who claimed to represent central Roman authority. During this period Trier was captured by the Franks (possibly in 413 and 421), as well as by the Huns under Attila in 451. The city became definitively part of Frankish territory (Francia Rhinensis) in 475 (See also Arbogast). As a result of the conflicts of this period, Trier's population decreased from an estimated 80,000 in the 4th century to 5,000 at the beginning of the 6th century.[12] Middle Ages  By the end of the 5th century, Trier was under Frankish rule, first controlled by the Merovingian dynasty, then by the Carolingians. The city still maintained a small group of romance speaking inhabitants in the early 8th century.[13] As a result of the Treaty of Verdun in 843, by which the grandsons of Charlemagne divided his empire into three parts, Trier was incorporated into the Kingdom of Lorraine (Lotharingia). After the death of Lothair II, ruler of Lorraine, Trier in 870 became part of the East Frankish Empire, later called Germany, under Henry I.[14] Place of pilgrimage: St. Matthias benedictine abbey.  Many abbeys and monasteries were founded in the early Frankish time, including St. Maximin, St. Martin, St. Irminen, St. Maria ad Martyres/St.Mergen and others.[15] The only important abbey that survived wars and secularization by the French at the beginning of 1800 is the Benedictine abbey St. Matthias in the south of Trier. Here, the first three bishops of Trier, Eucharius, Valerius and Maternus are buried alongside the apostle Saint Matthias.[16] This is the only tomb of an apostle to be located in Europe north of the Alps, thus making Trier together with Rome in Italy (burial place of St. Peter the apostle) and Santiago de Compostela in Spain (tomb of St. James) one of three major places of pilgrimage in Europe for Catholics. In 882, Trier was sacked by the Vikings, who burnt most churches and abbeys. This was the end of the systematically built Roman Trier.[17]  Medieval legend, recorded in 1105 in the Gesta Treverorum, makes Trebeta son of Ninus the founder of Trier.[18] Also of medieval date is the inscription at the facade of the Red House of Trier market,      ANTE ROMAM TREVIRIS STETIT ANNIS MILLE TRECENTIS.     PERSTET ET ÆTERNA PACE FRVATVR. AMEN.     ("Thirteen hundred years before Rome, Trier stood / may it stand on and enjoy eternal peace, amen.")  being mentioned in the Codex Udalrici of 1125. The Trier Cathedral (Trierer Dom) and the Church of our Lady (Liebfrauenkirche) to the right of the cathedral  From 902, when power passed into the hands of the archbishops, Trier was administered by the Vogt of the archbishopric, which developed its own seal in 1149. The Archbishop of Trier was, as chancellor of Burgundy, one of the seven Electors of the Holy Roman Empire, a right which originated in the 12th or 13th century, and which continued until the French Revolution. From the 10th century and throughout the Middle Ages, Trier made several attempts to achieve autonomy from the Archbishopric of Trier, but was ultimately unsuccessful. In 1212, the city received a charter from Emperor Otto IV, which was confirmed by Conrad IV. In 1309, however, it was forced to once again recognise the authority of the Archbishop, who was at that time the imposing Baldwin of Luxembourg, son of the Count of Luxemburg.[19]  Elected in 1307 when he was only 22 years old, Baldwin was the most important Archbishop and Prince-Elector of Trier in the Middle Ages. He was the brother of the German King and Emperor Henry VII and his grandnephew Charles would later become German King and Emperor as Charles IV. He used his family connections to add considerable territories to the Electorate of Trier and is also known to have built many castles in the region. When he died in 1354, Trier was a prospering city.[20]  The status of Trier as an archbishopric city was confirmed in 1364 by Emperor Charles IV and by the Reichskammergericht; the city's dream of self-rule came definitively to an end in 1583. Until the demise of the old empire, Trier remained the capital of the electoral Archbishopric of Trier, although not the residence of its head of state, the Prince-Elector. At its head was a court of lay assessors, which was expanded in 1443 by Archbishop Jacob I to include bipartisan mayors.[21]  The Dombering (curtain wall of the Cathedral) having been secured at the end of the 10th century, Archbishop Theoderich I and his successor Arnold II later set about surrounding the city by walls.[22] This curtain wall, which followed the path now taken by the Alleenring, enclosed 1.38 square kilometres. Modern age Historical view of Trier by Georg Braun & Frans Hogenberg: Civitates Orbis Terrarum, vol. 1, 1572.  In 1473, Emperor Frederick III and Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy convened in Trier. In this same year, the University of Trier was founded in the city.[23]  From 1581 until 1593, intense witch persecutions, involving nobility as well as commoners, abounded throughout this region, leading to mass executions of hundreds of people.  In the 17th century, the Archbishops and Prince-Electors of Trier relocated their residences to Philippsburg Castle in Ehrenbreitstein, near Koblenz. A session of the Reichstag was held in Trier in 1512, during which the demarcation of the Imperial Circles was definitively established.  With the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), more than two centuries of warfare began for Trier. It was occupied several times by French troops. They besieged and occupied Trier in 1632, 1645, 1673 (the French Army stayed until 1675 and destroyed all churches, abbeys and settlements in front of the city walls for military reasons; the city itself was heavily fortified).[24]  In 1684, with the War of the Reunions, an era of French expansion began. Trier was again captured in 1684; all walls and fortresses were destroyed this time. After Trier and its associated electorate were yet again taken during the War of Palatinate Succession in 1688, many cities in the electorate were systematically destroyed in 1689 by the French Army. Nearly all castles were blown up and the only bridge across the Moselle in Trier was burnt. King Louis XIV of France personally issued the order for these acts of destruction but also gave the command to spare the city of Trier. As the French Army retreated in 1698, it left a starving city without walls and only 2,500 inhabitants.  During the War of the Spanish Succession in 1702, Trier was occupied again by a French army. In 1704-05 an allied British-Dutch army commanded by the Duke of Marlborough passed Trier on its way to France. When the campaign failed, the French came back to Trier in 1705 and stayed until 1714. After a short period of peace, the War of the Polish Succession started in 1734; the following year Trier was again occupied by the French, who stayed until 1737. The last Prince-Elector, Clement Wenceslaus of Saxony, relocated to Koblenz in 1786. In August 1794, French Republican troops took Trier. This date marked the end of the era of the old electorate. Churches, abbeys and clerical possessions were sold or the buildings put to practical use, such as stables.[25]  With the peace treaties of Basel and Campo Formio in 1797, German hegemonic powers Prussia and Austria ceded all German territories on the left bank of the Rhine river to France. Trier became a de fact French city. The University of Trier was dissolved in the same year. In 1798, it became the capital of the newly founded French Département de la Sarre. With the Treaty of Lunéville in 1801, Trier became also a de jure French city. In 1801, Napoleon Bonaparte signed a concordate with Pope Pius VII, thus stopping defamations of clerics and making Trier a diocese. Its territory was identical with the Département de la Sarre, much smaller than the Archbishopric of Trier had been until 1794. In 1802, the Frenchman Charles Mannay became first bishop of the new founded diocese and, in 1803, the first Holy Mass since 1794 was celebrated in the Cathedral of Trier. Emperor Napoleon visited Trier in 1804. In this time, French Trier began to prosper.  In 1814, the French era ended suddenly as Trier was taken by Prussian troops. After the defeat of Napoleon, the Franco-German borders of 1792 were restored in the 1814 and 1815 Paris peace treaties. The city was proclaimed part of the Kingdom of Prussia in 1815 and made part of the Grand Duchy of the Lower Rhine, with six administrative districts. Trier became seat of one these district administrations, the Regierungsbezirk Trier. Because of the new political situation and the new customs frontiers in the West, the economy of Trier began a steady decline that was to last until 1840. The Province of the Lower Rhine was merged into the Rhine Province in 1822.  The influential philosopher and revolutionary Karl Marx was born in Trier in 1818. His birthplace, the Karl-Marx-Haus, was opened in 1947 and renovated in 1983. The Constantine Basilika and the Electoral Palace.  From 1840 on, the situation of Trier began to improve as the neighbouring state of Luxembourg, an important market for Trier-made products, joined the German Customs Union in 1842. Trier, with a population of 15,500 at this time, produced mainly leather, cloth, wine and tobacco. Iron works were founded in Quint near Trier at this time. An important infrastructural improvement was the introduction of a shipping line operating with paddle-wheel steamers on the Moselle River, connecting Trier, Koblenz and Metz. The first railway line, linking Trier with Saarbrücken and Luxembourg was inaugurated in 1860, followed by the Trier-Cologne line across the Eifel in 1871 and the Moselle Railway to Koblenz in 1879. Minor lines to Bitburg via Irrel along the Sauer River, to Hermeskeil along the Ruwer River and the Moselbahn to Bullay (near Zell) were built later. A sign of increasing prosperity were the first trade fairs in modern Trier in 1840 and 1842.  During the revolutions of 1848 in the German states, Trier also saw protests and conflicts. The city council sent a letter to King Frederick William IV of Prussia, demanding more civic liberties. The lawyer Ludwig Simon was elected to represent Trier in the first German parliament in Frankfurt. After Prussian soldiers killed one citizen and wounded others in a melée, the situation escalated. The people of Trier hoisted black-red-gold flags as democratic symbols, rang the church bells, organized a militia and took away the signs of Prussian rule. A second melée between demonstrators and soldiers, which left two citizens dead, led to a collective outburst of fury. The people began to build barricades and wave the red flag. There were even reports that a statue of the Prussian king was smashed into pieces. Trier was on the eve of a civil war when the commander of the VIII Prussian army corps arrived and threatened to shell Trier. After being confronted with superior Prussian military power, the citizens gave up and removed the barricades. Some citizens were jailed for their democratic attitude; Ludwig Simon emigrated like many others and died in Switzerland. Trier became part of the German Empire during the Prussian-led unification of Germany in 1871.
 Simeonstraße in 1939 and today
 
Hitler's portrait on the Porta Nigra
Porta-Nigra-Platz became Adolf-Hitler-Platz in 1933
Nazi propaganda at the cathedral on the Domfreihof reading "Deutsche Jungens und Mädels meidet die konfessionellen Jugendverbände"("German boys and girls- avoid confessional youth organisations." By 1937 all Catholic youth organisations would be banned.
 
In Sichelstraße the former Bishop-Korum-house served as a gaol for collecting Jewish women and children beginning April 1942.
A mounted plaque on the site commemorates this doleful event. At this point was 1929-1931 at the initiative of the "Marian Jünglingscongregation" (MJC), a Catholic youth organisation, established the so-called Bishop-Korum-house, which was demolished in the 1960s and replaced with the current building. From 1942 it served as a rallying point of the female Jewish prisoners prior to their deportation to concentration camps Lublin, Theresienstadt or Auschwitz. Of the more than 400 Trier Jews who were deported to concentration camps between 1933 and 1945, only a few survived- some sources suggest 14, others 20 - and would return to their home town.
 
The Karl Marx House museum is where Karl Marx was born in 1818; it is now a museum. The significance of the house went unnoticed until 1904, at which point the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) worked hard to buy it, succeeding in 1928. After the Nazis came to power the building was confiscated and turned into a printing house. Here the corpse of the first victim of the Nazis, Social Democrat Hermann Möschel, was laid out in 1932. On March 8 1933 over an hundred SA and SS men stormed the building, tore down the imperial flag replacing it with the swastika flag drove out the Socialists. The Karl Marx House was first occupied by the police then confiscated by the Nazi Party, and finally, on May 4 1933 became the headquarters of their party newspaper "Der Stürmer." 
 ...some buildings still physically in existence after 1933 also disappeared from tourist literature. The Reich Committee for Tourism chastised the Trier Tourism Office for distributing a brochure that alluded to the house in which the ‘famous German Socialist Karl Marx was born’. The Committee therefore ordered the immediate destruction of material making such references to the ‘Marxist-liberalist past’
Semmens (60) Seeing Hitler's Germany
On May 5, 1947 the building was opened as a museum of the life and works of Karl Marx. On March 14, 1983, on the 100th anniversary of Marx's death, the museum was re-opened after a year-long renovation that expanded it to three floors where it now includes the history of communism in the Soviet Union, China, Central and Eastern Europe.
 The Kaufhaus Haas. It  had belonged to the Jewish owners of the fashion house Sinn Leffers and was a main target of Trier Nazis. On May 13, 1933 Albert and Max Haas and his wife were taken into "protective custody." The wife would hang herself and the men later taken to the town gaol. By November 1938, all Jewish businesses were to be 'aryanised'.
 
 The gaol on Windstraße.  From May 1940 it became the way station for at least 25 000 prisoners and resistance fighters from neighbouring occupied countries Luxembourg, Belgium and France. According to conservative estimates at least 200 were likely sentenced to death here. Across the road is the Episcopal seminary where Klaus Barbie, the so-called 'Butcher of Lyons' lived.

The synagogue in 1944 and today. On the morning of November 10, 1938 it was plundered and the interior destroyed. Twenty-three of the twenty-four Torah scrolls were burned, and over an hundred Jewish men were arrested that day and gaoled. The synagogue and an adjacent residential house where the family of Chief Rabbi Dr. Altmann lived, were sold in 1939 and by 1944 were completely destroyed by bombing .

Gasthaus "Zur Glocke" 
The Gasthaus "Zur Glocke" on Glockenstraße.  It had been owned by a Nazi activist and was a meeting place for them where they instigated attacks on political opponents. 
 
Then and now
Grabenstraße 
Grabenstraße after the war and today
Römerbrücke 
The Römerbrücke, Germany's oldest standing bridge, on August 27, 1941 and todayHitlerstraße
  Hitlerstraße is now Bahnhofstraße
Memorial for the ubiquitous "victims of National Socialism", so vague that it could refer to practically to anyone and everyone. 

Braubach
Braubach Then and Now 
Before the war and the wife at the same spot 80 years later
A rumour had spread that Standartenführer Julius Uhl had planned to shoot Hitler on July 1, 1934 here at a concert of the singer Heinrich Schlusnus. Hitler himself referred to this in his July 13, 1934 speech to the Reichstag justifying his slaughter of his own men during the so-called Night of the Long Knives when he spoke of how
the man had already been hired in the meantime who was to carry out my elimination at a later date: Standartenführer Uhl, who confessed only a few hours before his death that he had been willing to carry out such an order.
Uhl in fact had been in Bad Wiessee when he was arrested on June 30 and taken to Stadelheim Prison. Apparently, "Uhl was chosen to play the leading role in Hitler’s concocted assassination plot due to his well-known prowess as a brilliant marksman" (Domarus, 496). 


Bacharach 
In the early 11th century, Bacharach had its first documentary mention.[2] It may have been that as early as the 7th century, the kingly domain passed into Archbishop of Cologne Kunibert’s ownership; pointing to this is a Kunibertskapelle (chapel) on the spot where now stands the Wernerkapelle. The Vögte of the Cologne estate were the Elector of the Palatinate, who over time pushed back Cologne’s influence. Count Palatine already had so much influence that he resided at Stahleck Castle. His successor Konrad von Staufen’s daughter secretly wed at Stahleck Castle a son of the Welfs, who were family foes, leading to Bacharach’s, and indeed the whole County Palatine’s, falling for a short time to Henry of Brunswick. In 1214 the Wittelsbachs became Bacharach’s new lords. Together with the Unteramt of Kaub they received here their most important toll and revenue source. In 1314 it was decided to choose Louis the Bavarian as the German king. Furthermore, Bacharach was the most important transfer point for the wine trade, as barrels were offloaded here from the smaller ships that were needed to get by the Binger Loch (a quartzite reef in the Rhine upstream near Bingen) and loaded onto bigger ones. From then on, the wine bore the designation Bacharacher. The timber trade from the Hunsrück also brought Bacharach importance, and in 1356, Bacharach was granted town rights. Wernerkapelle in an engraving by William Tombleson  Widely visible is the Wernerkapelle, a Rheinromantik landmark of the town, lying on the way up to Stahleck Castle from the town. It is the expanded Kunibertkapelle, and is still an unfinished Gothic ruin today. Its namesake is the former “saint” Werner von Oberwesel, known for his anti-Semitic associations. According to the Christian blood libel, which was typical of the times, a 16-year-old was murdered on Maundy Thursday 1287 by members of the local Jewish community, who then used his blood for Passover observances. On the grounds of this alleged ritual murder, there arose an anti-Semitic mob who waged a pogrom, wiping out Jewish communities not only on the Middle Rhine, but also on the Moselle and in the Lower Rhine region. In folk Christianity arose the cult of Werner, which was only stricken from the Bishopric of Trier calendar in 1963.  In 1344, building work began on the town wall, and was already finished about 1400. In 1545, the town, along with the Palatinate, became Protestant under Count Palatine Friedrich II. Stahleck Castle and the town wall could not stop Bacharach from undergoing eight changes in military occupation in the Thirty Years' War, nor the war’s attendant sackings. Moreover, further destruction was wrought by several town fires. Then, in 1689, French troops fighting in the Nine Years' War blew Stahleck Castle and four of the town wall’s towers up. Bacharach about 1832 in an engraving by William Tombleson  In 1794, French Revolutionary troops occupied the Rhine’s left bank and in 1802, Bacharach became temporarily French. During the War of the Sixth Coalition the Prussian Field Marshal Blücher, after crossing the Rhine near Kaub, came through Bacharach and the Steeg Valley on New Year’s Night 1813-1814 with his troops on the way to France. Recalling this event is a monument stone somewhat downstream, across from Kaub. After the Congress of Vienna, the town went, along with the Rhine’s left bank, up to and including Bingerbrück, to Prussia. After the harbour silted up, Bacharach fell into a slumber from which it only awoke in the course of the Rheinromantik. Among the first of the prominent visitors at this time was the French writer Victor Hugo. Illustration by Max Liebermann for Heinrich Heine's historical novel Der Rabbi von Bacherach (The Rabbi of Bacherach  Caring for and maintaining Bacharach’s building monuments, spurred on in the early 20th century by the Rhenish Association for Monument Care and Landscape Preservation (Rheinischer Verein für Denkmalpflege und Landschaftsschutz) which took on the then highly endangered town wall and Stahleck Castle ruin jobs, and the great dedication of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate to the Wernerkapelle have seen to it that Bacharach is still a jewel of the Rheinromantik and a multifaceted documentary site of mediaeval architecture on the Middle Rhine. The Wernerkapelle ruin is under monumental protection and before it a plaque has been placed recalling the inhuman crimes against Jewish residents and also containing a quotation from a prayer by Pope John XXIII for a change in Christians’ thinking in their relationship with the Jews:      “We recognize today that many centuries of blindness have shrouded our eyes, so that we no longer saw the goodliness of Thy Chosen People and no longer recognized our firstborn brother’s traits. We discover now that a mark of Cain stands on our forehead. In the course of the centuries our brother Abel has lain in blood that we spilt, and he has wept tears that we brought forth, because we forgot Thy love. Forgive us the curse that we unrightfully affixed to the Jews’ name. Forgive us for nailing Thee in their flesh for a second time to the Cross. For we knew not what we did........."  Today Bacharach thrives on tourism and wine from Bacharach is still enjoying international popularity. Not to be overlooked, however, are problems arising from a shrinking population, itself brought about by a lack of prospects. 
The wife again at Stahleck Castle overlooking the Rhine and as it appeared at the start of Nazi rule when this 12th-century fortified castle was completely rebuilt, providing 260 beds to the hostel using the site. The ceremonial laying of its foundation stone took place on 18 November 1934. The work, which took only 11 months, cost 25,000 reichsmarks and included addition of a kitchen, another Fachwerk building, on the south side. On 25 October 1935, the rebuilt building was officially dedicated. In the presence of members of the Hitler Jugend, the Deutsches Jungvolk, the Bund Deutscher Mädel, and both the SA and the SS, Gauleiter Gustav Simon gave the dedicatory address. Stahleck became one of 27 Jugendburgen (youth castles), to be used for indoctrination of teenagers and young adults. Between 1937 and early 1938, the turrets on the shield wall were built and its chemin de ronde roofed over. A visit by Rudolf Hess in June 1938 prompted the start of work to complete the rebuilding of the keep, which was still a ruined stump. The plan was to reconstruct it to a height of 36 metres and, 7 storeys, and name it the Rudolf Hess Tower. However, the existing foundations would not have been able to bear the weight, so the ruin was pulled down, and in November 1938, work began on a completely new tower on a smaller footprint. Work on this was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II.  From 1940 to 1942, the castle served as a military hospital. In addition, in November 1940, students from now occupied Luxembourg who had been studying at German and Austrian universities when the war began were forced to attend re-education classes there, and eventually a youth re-education camp was set up. Male schoolchildren and students from Esch-sur-Alzette and Echternach were interned at the castle for 4 months as punishment for protesting against the announcement in 1942 of the introduction of required military service in Luxembourg and the forced conscription associated with it, as well as for participating in the general strike which followed. (Girls were sent to a youth hostel at Adenau.) Those of military age were then sent to the front. There is a memorial plaque at the castle, and the State of Rhineland-Palatinate and the City of Bacharach have organised memorial events at which contemporary witnesses spoke.  Beginning in January 1943, the castle was used as an internment camp for German youth who had shown insufficient loyalty to the Party, such as the founders of the Catholic youth resistance group the Michael Troop; some were taken from Stahleck to concentration camps. From June 1943 to summer 1944, it was a work and military training camp for Germans between 14 and 18 years of age. 
Nazis in Bacharach 
National Socialism in the courtyard and the site today. On the right is a tin badge showing the castle at the top over the words “Jugendburg Stahleck” and “25 Jahre 1911 1936 Rhineland”. The central triangle reads “DJH”. 

Rheinbrohl
 
The flag poles at the 29er Ehrenmal, a memorial to the 29th Infanterie-Regiments „von Horn“ (3. Rheinisches), are there, but the flags have since changed.


Schweigen-Rechtenbach (Rhineland-Palatinate)
 
The Weintor, built in the autumn of 1936, marks the start of the Weinstrasse in the south of the Palatinate, less than a mile from the French border. The swastika in the eagle's talons shown in the 1940s postcards has been defaced but can still be made out.

 Frankenthal
Frankenthal Unter Dem Hakenkreuz
In 1938 the Jewish synagogue, built in 1884, was burnt to the ground during the Reichskristallnacht.  In 1943 during a bombing raid the centre of the town was almost completely destroyed. In 1945, at the end of World War II, its industries in ruins, it was occupied first by the Americans and then by the French by way of ultimate humiliation. 
 
 The  Frankenthaler Brauhauskeller, where Hitler stayed in April, 1931
  Wormser Straße on May 1, 1933 and today, the Wormser Tor in the background
Frankenthal Marketplatz  
Marktplatz then and now

Idar-Oberstein
Idar-Oberstein is a town in the Birkenfeld district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. As a Große kreisangehörige Stadt (large town belonging to a district), it assumes some of the responsibilities that for smaller municipalities in the district are assumed by the district administration. Today’s town of Idar-Oberstein is the product of two rounds of administrative reform, one in 1933 and the other in 1969, which saw many municipalities amalgamated into one. The various Stadtteile have, however, retained their original identities, which, aside from the somewhat more urban character encountered in Idar and Oberstein, tend to hearken back to each centre’s history as a rural village. Idar-Oberstein is known as a gemstone town, and also as a garrison town. It is also the largest town in the Hunsrück and has a population of around 30,000.  Contents      1 Geography         1.1 Location         1.2 Constituent communities             1.2.1 Centres merged in 1933 administrative reform             1.2.2 Centres merged in 1969 administrative reform         1.3 Climate     2 History         2.1 History up to French reorganization beginning in 1794         2.2 French, Oldenburg and Prussian times         2.3 Since the First World War         2.4 Amalgamations         2.5 Schinderhannes         2.6 The Legend of the Felsenkirche (“Crag Church”)         2.7 Emigration and gemstones     3 Politics         3.1 Town council         3.2 Mayors         3.3 Coat of arms         3.4 Twin towns — Sister cities     4 Culture and sightseeing         4.1 Buildings             4.1.1 Idar-Oberstein (main centre)             4.1.2 Algenrodt             4.1.3 Enzweiler             4.1.4 Georg-Weierbach             4.1.5 Göttschied             4.1.6 Hammerstein             4.1.7 Kirchenbollenbach             4.1.8 Mittelbollenbach             4.1.9 Nahbollenbach             4.1.10 Tiefenstein             4.1.11 Weierbach         4.2 Mediaeval buildings             4.2.1 Felsenkirche             4.2.2 Castle Bosselstein         4.3 St. Peter and Paul         4.4 Theater         4.5 Museums         4.6 Sport         4.7 Regular events         4.8 Culinary specialities             4.8.1 Spießbraten (spit roast)             4.8.2 Fillsel             4.8.3 Gefillte Klees (filled dumplings)             4.8.4 Kartoffelwurst (potato sausage)             4.8.5 Murde on Klees (carrots and dumplings)             4.8.6 Riewe on Draehurjel             4.8.7 Dibbelabbes             4.8.8 Schaales     5 Economy and infrastructure         5.1 Natural gemstone deposits         5.2 Garrison         5.3 Transport             5.3.1 Highway over the Nahe             5.3.2 I-O/Göttschied Airfield         5.4 Media         5.5 Public institutions         5.6 Education     6 Sundry     7 Famous people         7.1 Honorary citizens         7.2 Sons and daughters of the town         7.3 Famous people associated with the town     8 References     9 External links  Geography Location  The town lies on the southern edge of the Hunsrück on both sides of the river Nahe. Constituent communities  The following are the divisions within the town of Idar-Oberstein as at 30 June 2005: Centres merged in 1933 administrative reform      Oberstein (8,794 inhabitants)     Idar (8,466 inhabitants)     Tiefenstein (2,642 inhabitants)     Algenrodt (2,385 inhabitants)  Total population: 22,284 Centres merged in 1969 administrative reform      Göttschied (2,924 inhabitants)     Weierbach (2,703 inhabitants; area 751.6 ha)     Nahbollenbach (1,970 inhabitants; area 821.7 ha)     Mittelbollenbach (1,197 inhabitants; area 360.9 ha)     Kirchenbollenbach (938 inhabitants; area 227.5 ha)     Regulshausen (835 inhabitants)     Enzweiler (747 inhabitants)     Georg-Weierbach (709 inhabitants)     Hammerstein (573 inhabitants; area 217.5 ha)  Total population: 12,596 Climate  Yearly precipitation in Idar-Oberstein amounts to 774 mm, falling into the middle third of the precipitation chart for all Germany. At 57% of the German Weather Service’s weather stations, lower figures are recorded. The driest month is April. The most rainfall comes in December. In that month, precipitation is 1.6 times what it is in April. Precipitation hardly varies at all and is evenly spread throughout the year. At only 13% of the weather stations are lower seasonal swings recorded. History View of Oberstein according to Matthäus Merian View of Oberstein, about 1875, oil painting by van Prouyen Idar Marketplace and Schule „Am Markt“ – School at the Market  The territorial history of Idar-Oberstein’s individual centres is marked by a considerable splintering of lordly domains in the local area. Only in Napoleonic times, beginning in 1794, with its reorganization and merging of various territorial units, was some order brought to the traditional mishmash of local lordships. However, shortly thereafter, the Congress of Vienna brought the future town division once again, as the river Nahe became a border, and the centres on its north bank were thereby grouped into the Principality of Birkenfeld, an exclave of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, most of whose territory was in what is now northwest Germany, with a coastline on the North Sea.  The towns of Idar and Oberstein belonged to the Barons of Daun-Oberstein (who later became the Counts of Falkenstein) until 1670. In 1865, both Idar and Oberstein were granted town rights, and finally in 1933, they were forcibly united (along with the municipalities of Algenrodt and Tiefenstein) by the Nazis to form the modern town of Idar-Oberstein. History up to French reorganization beginning in 1794  The constituent community of Oberstein grew out of the Imperially immediate Lordship of Oberstein. The Herren vom Stein (“Lords of the Stone”) had their first documentary mention in 1075, and their seat was at Castle Bosselstein, which is now known as the Altes Schloss (“Old Palatial Castle”), and which was above where later would be built the Felsenkirche (“Crag Church”) which itself was mentioned as early as the 12th century. The core of the area over which the lordship held sway was framed by the Nahe, the Idarbach, the Göttenbach and the Ringelbach. After 1323, the Lords of the Stone were calling themselves “von Daun-Oberstein”, and they managed to expand their lordly domain considerably, even into lands south of the Nahe and into the Idarbann. As the lordly seat with its castle and fortifications – remnants of the old town wall built about 1410 can still be seen “Im Gebück” (a prepositional phrase, but used as a proper name, in this case for a lane) – Oberstein could develop the characteristics of a town, without, however, ever earning itself the legal status of a market town (Flecken). In 1682, the Counts of Leiningen-Heidesheim, and in 1766 the Counts of Limburg-Styrum, became the owners of the Lordship of Oberstein, which largely shrank back to the above-mentioned lordly core after the Idarbann was ceded to the “Hinder” County of Sponheim in 1771. In 1776, the Margraves of Baden became the owners of the Lordship after the “Hinder” County of Sponheim was partitioned.  It is known from archaeological finds that human settlement in what is now Idar goes back to the very earliest times. The constituent community of Idar on the Nahe’s right bank belonged, as did the villages of Enzweiler, Algenrodt, Mackenrodt, Hettenrodt, Hettstein, Obertiefenbach and Kirschweiler, to the Idarbann. This area belonged mostly to the Lords of Oberstein, and it therefore shares a history with Oberstein; however, in some centres, notably Tiefenbach and Kirschweiler, some estates and rights were held by other lords, such as the Waldgraves and Rhinegraves and Tholey Abbey.  The constituent community of Tiefenstein arose from the merger of the villages of Tiefenbach and Hettstein in 1909. This Idarbann community’s territorial history is the same as Idar’s and Oberstein’s. Tiefenbach was mentioned as an estate in a 1283 document; a further documentary mention from 1051 cannot be related to the village with any certainty. Hettstein was mentioned as Henzestein or Hezerten in 1321 and had among its inhabitants Waldgravial subjects.  The village of Algenrodt had its first certain documentary mention as Alekenrod in a 1321 Oberstein enfeoffment document. In 1324, the Lords of Oberstein pledged it to the Waldgraves and Rhinegraves of Kyrburg. But for this, Algenrodt shares a history with the other Idarbann communities.  Enzweiler boasts traces of human habitation going back to Roman times. In 1276, Tholey Abbey owned a mill near Enzweiler. The village itself might have arisen in the 14th century, and it was always part of the Idarbann.  The village of Georg-Weierbach north of the Nahe, built in a way resembling terraces on land that falls steeply towards the river, likely goes back to the foundation of a church by Archbishop of Mainz Hatto II in the 10th century. In the 11th century, the village was mentioned in connection with the Lords of Wirebach (that is, Weierbach). In 1327, the village, which was for a short time held by the Lords of Randeck, was largely sold off to the Waldgraves and Rhinegraves and grouped into the Amt of Kyrburg. The form “Georg-Weierbach” stems from the church’s patron saint.  Göttschied, which had its first documentary mention in 1271, belonged together with Regulshausen, Gerach and Hintertiefenbach to Mettlach Abbey. These four villages were therefore known as the Abteidörfer (“abbey villages”), and in 1561, they were sold to the “Hinder” County of Sponheim.  Hamerzwiller (nowadays called Hammerstein) was mentioned in 1438 in a taxation book kept by the County of Sponheim, and had been held by the “Hinder” County of Sponheim as early as 1269, when that county enfeoffed the Counts of Schwarzenberg with it.  Regarded as the origin of the village of Kirchenbollenbach is the foundation of a church by Archbishop of Mainz Willigis sometime after 975. The earliest documentary evidence of the village goes back to 1128 when it was called Bolinbach. It is first known to have been a fief held by the Lords of Schwarzenberg from the Counts of Zweibrücken, whereafter it passed in 1595 to the Waldgraves and Rhinegraves of Kirn. One local peculiarity here was that a Catholic sideline of the otherwise mainly Protestant Rhinegraves ended up holding sway in Kirchenbollenbach, and under Prince Johann Dominik of Salm-Kyrburg, this line not only founded a new Catholic parish but also introduced a simultaneum at the local church.  The foundation stone of today’s village of Mittelbollenbach is said to be the estate of Bollenbach, which was mentioned in 1283 as a holding of the Lords of Oberstein in the area of the Winterhauch woodland. In 1432, the Dukes of Lorraine were enfeoffed with Nahbollenbach and Mittelbollenbach, which in the wake of the death of the last Lord of Oberstein led to bitter arguments over the complicated inheritance arrangements. Only in 1778 did Lorraine finally relinquish its claims in Electoral Trier’s favour.  Until 1667, Nahbollenbach and Mittelbollenbach shared the same history. Then, Nahbollenbach was acknowledged by Lorraine as an allodial holding of Oberstein, although beginning in 1682 it was an Electoral-Trier fief held by Oberstein.  The “abbey village” of Regulshausen belonged to Mettlach Abbey, who sold it in 1561 to the “Hinder” County of Sponheim. The oldest documentary mention comes from 1491.  The village of Weierbach – not to be confused with Georg-Weierbach mentioned above – had its first documentary mention in 1232 as Weygherbach, and belonged to the Amt of Naumburg in the “Further” County of Sponheim, which itself was later held by the Margraves of Baden, which gave the village its onetime alternative name, Baden-Weierbach. The oft-used other alternative name, Martin-Weierbach, stems from the church’s patron saint. French, Oldenburg and Prussian times  After the French dissolved all the old lordships, they introduced a sweeping reorganization of territorial (and social) structure beginning in 1794. The whole area belonged to the arrondissement of Birkenfeld in the Department of Sarre. Until 1814, this was French territory. The introduction of the Code civil des Français, justice reform and, foremost, the abolition of the noble and clerical classes with the attendant end to compulsory labour and other duties formerly owed the now powerless lords quickly made French rule popular. However, there was quite a heavy tax burden imposed by the new rulers, and there was also continuing conscription of men into the French army. Both of these things weighed heavily on France’s Rhineland citizens.  After Napoleonic rule ended, the area was restructured. On the grounds of Article 25[2] of the concluding acts of the Congress of Vienna, the northern part of the Department of Sarre was at first given to the Kingdom of Prussia in June 1815.  Since Prussia was obliged under the terms of the 1815 Treaty of Paris to cede an area out of this parcel containing 69,000 inhabitants to other powers – 20,000 souls each to Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and the Duke of Oldenburg, along with smaller cessions to smaller princes – and since this had also been reconfirmed in Article 49[3] of the concluding acts of the Congress of Vienna, the region underwent further territorial division.  The villages south of the Nahe – Hammerstein, Kirchenbollenbach, Mittelbollenbach, Nahbollenbach and Martin-Weierbach – were therefore transferred in 1816 to the Principality of Lichtenberg, held by the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The Dukes were not satisfied with this territorial gain, and for their part, the people in the territory were not satisfied with their new rulers. In 1834, the area was sold for two million Thaler to Prussia and made into the Sankt Wendel district. Later, after the First World War, the Treaty of Versailles stipulated, among other things, that 26 of the Sankt Wendel district’s 94 municipalities had to be ceded to the British- and French-occupied Saar. The remaining 68 municipalities then bore the designation “Restkreis St. Wendel-Baumholder”, with the first syllable of Restkreis having the same meaning as in English, in the sense of “left over”. The Prussians were themselves not well liked leaders, as they sometimes imposed their order with military might. They were known, and hated, for, among other things, putting a protest rally of the Hambach Festival in Sankt Wendel in May 1832, complete with a liberty pole in the Napoleonic tradition, to an end using military force, after Coburg had called on Prussia for help in the matter.  Idar, Oberstein, Tiefenstein, Algenrodt, Enzweiler, Georg-Weierbach, Göttschied, Enzweiler and Regulshausen became on 16 April 1817 part of the newly created Principality of Birkenfeld. They also became the Amt of Oberstein, which comprised the Bürgermeistereien (“Mayoralties”) of Herrstein, Oberstein and Fischbach. French law was allowed to stand. The Duke did, however, issue a Staatsgrundgesetz (“Basic State Law”) with which the people were not in agreement, because they would rather have stayed with Prussia. This continued work on the patchwork quilt of little states covering Germany was judged very critically in Idar and Oberstein, whereas Birkenfeld, which had as a result of the new political arrangement been raised to residence town, found little to complain about. The jewellery industry there, which even by this time had become national, perhaps international in scope, and indeed the jewel dealers themselves, who now found themselves living in a little provincially oriented town, perceived the new arrangement, though, as a backward step, particularly so after the years that France had ruled. It had had its worldly metropolis of Paris with its good business. The dealers, therefore, tried energetically, but without success, to have their land reannexed to Prussia. On the other hand, the Oldenburgers quickly managed to make themselves popular among the people by installing an unselfish government that established an independent judiciary and introducing various programmes that favoured farmers and the economy. A well regulated school system – in 1830, a public school was built in Oberstein – and the temporary suspension of military conscription only helped to support this positive picture. Roads were expanded and a postal coach service (for persons, bulk mailings and bulky goods) was set up. A further economic upswing was brought by the building of the Nahe Valley Railway, especially when the stretch from Bad Kreuznach to Oberstein opened on 15 December 1859. Since the First World War  When the First World War ended, Grand Duke Friedrich August of Oldenburg abdicated, whereupon the Landesteil (literally “country part”) of Birkenfeld in the Free State of Oldenburg arose from the old principality. This Landesteil, along with the whole Rhineland, was occupied by the French on 4 December 1918. They did not withdraw until 30 June 1930.  At the Oldenburg Landtag elections in 1931, the NSDAP received more than 37% of the votes cast, but could not form the government. After the Nazis had first given up a declaration of tolerance for the existing government, they were then soon demanding that the Landtag be dissolved. Since this was not forthcoming, the Nazis filed suit for a referendum, and they got their way. This resulted in dissolution on 17 April 1932. In the ensuing new elections on 20 May, the Nazis won 48.38% of the popular vote, and thereby took 24 of the 46 seats in the Landtag, which gave them an absolute majority. In Idar, which was then still a self-governing town, the National Socialists received more than 70% of the votes cast. They could thereby already govern, at least in Oldenburg, with endorsement by the German National People's Party, which had two seats at its disposal, even before Adolf Hitler’s official seizure of power in 1933. One of the new government’s first initiatives was administrative reform for Oldenburg, which was followed on 27 April 1933 by the similar Gesetz zur Vereinfachung und Verbilligung der Verwaltung (“Law for simplifying administration and reducing its cost”) for the Landesteil of Birkenfeld. Through this new law, 18 formerly self-administering municipalities were amalgamated; this included the self-administering towns (having been granted town rights in 1865) of Idar and Oberstein, which were amalgamated with each other and also with the municipalities of Algenrodt and Tiefenstein to form the new town of Idar-Oberstein. The law foreshadowed what was to come: It would be applied within a few weeks, without further discussion or participation, to the exclusion of the public and against the will of municipalities, who had not even been asked whether they wanted it, to places such as Herrstein and Oberwörresbach, Rötsweiler and Nockenthal, or Hoppstädten and Weiersbach. The restructuring also afforded the Nazis an opportunity to get rid of some “undesirables”; under Kreisleiter (district leader) Wild from Idar, all significant public positions were held until Hitler’s downfall by Nazis.  In 1937, on the basis of the Greater Hamburg Act, the Landesteil of Birkenfeld was dissolved and transferred together with the “Restkreis St. Wendel-Baumholder” to the Prussian district of Birkenfeld,[4] a deed which put all of what are today Idar-Oberstein’s constituent communities in the same district.  After the Second World War, along with the whole district, the town’s whole municipal area passed to the then newly founded state of Rhineland-Palatinate.  On 1 April 1960, the town of Idar-Oberstein was declared a Große kreisangehörige Stadt (large town belonging to a district) by the state government, after the town itself had applied for the status.[5] Amalgamations  In the course of administrative restructuring in Rhineland-Palatinate, nine surrounding municipalities were amalgamated with Idar-Oberstein. On 7 June 1969, the municipalities of Enzweiler, Göttschied, Hammerstein and Regulshausen were amalgamated, and on 7 November 1970 they were followed by Georg-Weierbach, Kirchenbollenbach, Mittelbollenbach, Nahbollenbach and Weierbach.  Before the administrative restructuring, there were extensive, sometimes behind-closed-doors talks by the then mayor of Idar-Oberstein, Dr. Wittmann, with offers of negotiation to all together 22 municipalities in the surrounding area. One of the reasons for this was a tendency that had been noted for people from Idar-Oberstein to move out of town to the surrounding municipalities, which were opening up extensive new building areas – among others Göttschied, Rötsweiler-Nockenthal and Kirschweiler – whereas within the town itself, given the problematic lie of the land, there were hardly any. The same problem saw to it that there was a dearth of land for industrial location. Surprising was the desire expressed by Weierbach, which came without one of Idar-Oberstein’s initiatives, to join the new greater town, for at the time, Weierbach did not even border on the town, and Weierbach itself was then foreseen as the future nucleus of its own greater municipality, or perhaps even town, together with the municipalities of Fischbach, Georg-Weierbach and Bollenbach, which would have been amalgamated with this municipality had the original plan come about.  With the exception of Georg-Weierbach, the proposal to amalgamate these villages with the town of Idar-Oberstein had notable majorities, either in the villages themselves or on their councils, in favour of dissolving their respective municipalities and then merging with the town. Nevertheless, bitter discussions and even administrative legal disputes arose in the former Amt of Weierbach, which was now bereft of its core municipalities. In April 1970, the Amt of Weierbach lodged a constitutional grievance with the Verfassungsgerichtshof Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate Constitutional Court), which ruled on 8 July 1970 that the state law for administrative simplification in Rhineland-Palatinate was in parts unconstitutional. The right to self-administration of the Amt of Weierbach, it furthermore ruled, was being infringed, and the municipal league’s vitality was being jeopardized. Thus, Weierbach, Georg-Weierbach, Nahbollenbach, Mittelbollenbach and Kirchenbollenbach were, with immediate effect, demerged from the town and reinstated as self-administering municipalities. After bitter arguments between the town of Idar-Oberstein together with the amalgamation supporters on the one side and the Amt of Weierbach together with the amalgamation opponents on the other, who promoted their views in demonstrations, at gatherings and in letter duels in newspaper correspondence pages, a poll was taken in early September 1970 with a vote in the Amt of Weierbach. The results favoured the state of affairs that had existed before the constitutional court’s ruling with almost 80% of the vote in favour of amalgamation, whereas the remaining municipalities in the Amt of Weierbach, namely Sien, Sienhachenbach, Schmidthachenbach, Fischbach, Zaubach (a village that vanished in the late 20th century) and Dickesbach, returned a vote of roughly 95% in favour of keeping the Amt of Weierbach.  With this expansion of the town, the centres of gravity in the Birkenfeld district had been shifted considerably. Idar-Oberstein could further grow as a middle centre: the educational facilities were expanded (Realschule, Heinzenwies-Gymnasium), new building developments could be opened up (especially in Göttschied, Regulshausen and Weierbach), land was available for a new hospital building and there was room, too, for industrial and commercial operations to locate.  Since Idar-Oberstein had not only a good general infrastructure but also, after the Steinbach Reservoir was brought into service, a more than adequate water supply, the option of amalgamating themselves with the town became attractive to many further municipalities. On the initiative of Mayor Wittmann, who had a survey done by an Osnabrück planning bureau on the town’s relationship with 25 other neighbouring municipalities, town council decided to promote the “unconditional amalgamation” of the municipalities of Fischbach, Dickesbach, Zaubach, Mittelreidenbach, Oberreidenbach, Schmidthachenbach, Sienhachenbach, Sien, Hintertiefenbach and Vollmersbach. The municipalities of Rötsweiler-Nockenthal, Siesbach, Gerach, Veitsrodt, Kirschweiler, Hettenrodt and Mackenrodt were each to receive an offer of amalgamation. The district administration in Birkenfeld then got involved, and it was decided by the district assembly (Kreistag) that Idar-Oberstein’s amalgamation policy, which was deemed to be reckless, should be censured. Since a certain disenchantment with all these amalgamations had meanwhile set in both in the outlying centres and in the town of Idar-Oberstein itself, all further initiatives either got nowhere or were shelved. Schinderhannes  Idar-Oberstein has its connections with the notorious outlaw Johannes Bückler (1777–1803), commonly known as Schinderhannes. His parents lived in Idar around 1790, and Oberstein was the scene of one of his earliest misdeeds in 1796. He spent a whole Louis d'or on drinks at an inn. He had stolen it from an innkeeper named Koch from Veitsrodt who had meant to use it to buy brandy.[6]  Schinderhannes’s sweetheart, Juliana Blasius (1781–1851), known as “Julchen”, came from Idar-Oberstein’s outlying centre of Weierbach. She spent her childhood with her father and elder sister Margarethe as a “bench singer” and a fiddler at markets and church fêtes. At Easter 1800, Schinderhannes saw “Julchen” for the first time at the Wickenhof, a now vanished hamlet near Kirn, where the 19-year-old danced. Their relationship yielded a daughter and a son, Franz Wilhelm. After Schinderhannes was beheaded for his crimes in 1803, Juliana married first a gendarme, with whom she had seven children, and then after his death a livestock herder and day labourer.[7] The Legend of the Felsenkirche (“Crag Church”) Felsenkirche (“Crag Church”), a legendary church and symbol of the town  According to legend, there were two noble brothers, Wyrich and Emich, who both fell in love with a beautiful girl named Bertha. The brothers lived at Castle Bosselstein, which stood atop a 135 m-high hill. Bertha was from a noble line that occupied the nearby Lichtenburg Castle.  Neither brother was aware of the other’s feelings for Bertha. When Wyrich, the elder brother, was away on some unknown business, Emich succeeded in securing Bertha’s affections and, subsequently, married her. When Emich announced the news to his brother, Wyrich’s temper got the better of him. In the heat of the moment, he hurled his brother out of a window of the castle and sent him to his death on the rocks below.  Wyrich was almost immediately filled with remorse. With the counsel of a local abbot, he began a long period of penance. At this time, Bertha disappears from the historical record. Many romantics feel that she died of a broken heart.  As Wyrich waited for a heavenly sign showing that he was forgiven, the abbot suggested that he build a church on the exact place where his brother died. Wyrich worked and prayed himself into exhaustion. However, the moment the church was completed, he received his sign: a miraculous spring opened up in the church.  Wyrich died soon after this. When the local bishop came to consecrate the new church, he found the noble lord dead on its steps. Wyrich was later placed in the same tomb with his brother. Emigration and gemstones  Idar-Oberstein is known as a gemstone centre. Until the 18th century, the area was a source for agate and jasper. A combination of low-cost labour and energy helped the gemstone-working industry flourish. The river Nahe provided free water power for the cutting and polishing machines at the mills.  In the 18th century, though, gemstone finds in the Hunsrück were dwindling, making life harder for the local people. Many left to try their luck abroad. Some went as far as Brazil, where they found that gemstones could be recovered from open-pit mines or even found in rivers and streams. The locally common tradition of preparing meat over an open fire, churrasco, was also adopted by the newcomers and even found its way back to their homeland by way of gemstone shipping. Agate nodules were shipped back as ballast on empty vessels that had offloaded cargo in Brazil. The cheap agates were then transported to Idar-Oberstein.  In the early 19th century, many people were driven out of the local area by hunger and also went to South America. In 1827, emigrants from Idar-Oberstein discovered the world’s most important agate deposit in Brazil’s state of Rio Grande do Sul. As early as 1834, the first delivery of agate from Rio Grande do Sul had been made to Idar-Oberstein. The Brazilian agate exhibited very even layers, much evener that those seen in the local agates. This made them especially good for making engraved gems. Using locals’ technical knowledge of chemical dyes, the industry grew bigger than ever at the turn of the 20th century.  After the Second World War, the region had to redefine itself once more, and it developed into a leading hub in the trade of gemstones from Brazil and Africa. That in turn provided local artists with a large selection of material and the region experienced a “third boom” as a gemstone centre. More recently, however, competition from Thailand and India has hit the region hard.[citation needed] Politics Town council  The council is made up of 40 honorary council members, who were elected by proportional representation at the municipal election held on 25 May 2014, and the full-time mayor (Oberbürgermeister) as chairman.  The municipal election held on 25 May 2014 yielded the following results:[8]     SPD    CDU    FDP   Grüne  Linke  Freie Liste  LUB  Total 2014  14  13  4  2  2  2  3  40 seats Mayors  Ever since the state government declared the town of Idar-Oberstein a Große kreisangehörige Stadt (large town belonging to a district) on 1 April 1960, the town’s mayor has borne the official title of Oberbürgermeister. In office from  In office until  Name  Party  Remarks 1920  1945  Ludwig Bergér   Stadtbürgermeister in Oberstein  30 July 1933  Otto Schmidt   Stadtbürgermeister in Idar 10 May 1945  29 April 1947  Walter Rommel   Stadtdirektor (arrested and removed from office by French occupational forces) 22 September 1946  4 February 1949  Emil Lorenz   Honorary Bürgermeister 5 February 1949  1953  Ernst Herrmann   Full-time Bürgermeister 15 December 1953  31 March 1960  Leberecht Hoberg  CDU  Bürgermeister 1 April 1960  8 April 1968  Leberecht Hoberg  CDU  Oberbürgermeister 1968  26 September 1974  Wilfried Wittmann  SPD  Voted out of office. 1977  28 February 1991  Erwin Korb  SPD 1 March 1991  28 February 2001  Otto Dickenschied  SPD   1 March 2001  28 February 2007  Hans Jürgen Machwirth  CDU  First directly elected Oberbürgermeister after the 1994 electoral reform. Machwirth resigned when he reached the maximum age allowed for elected municipal officials, 68, before his 8-year term had ended. 1 March 2007  28 February 2015  Bruno Zimmer  SPD  Directly elected on 5 November 2006.   1 March 2015   Frank Frühauf  CDU  Directly elected on 12 October 2014 (run-off voting). Coat of arms  The German blazon reads: Im halbrunden silbernen Schild befindet sich ein aufgerichteter roter Forsthaken, begleitet im rechten Obereck von einer sechsblättrigen roten Rose mit goldenem Kelch und grünen Kelchblättern, links unten von einer roten Eichel.  The town’s arms might in English heraldic language be described thus: Argent a cramp palewise sinister with a crossbar gules between in dexter chief a rose foiled of six of the second barbed and seeded proper and in sinister base an acorn slipped palewise of the second.  The charges are drawn from coats of arms formerly borne by both Idar and Oberstein before the two towns were merged in 1933. The current arms were approved by the Oldenburg Ministry of State for the Interior. The arms have been borne since 10 July 1934.[9] Twin towns — Sister cities See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany  Idar-Oberstein is twinned with:[10]      France Achicourt, Pas-de-Calais, France since 1966     France Les Mureaux, Yvelines, France since 1971     United Kingdom Margate, Kent, England, United Kingdom since 1981  Culture and sightseeing Buildings  The following are listed buildings or sites in Rhineland-Palatinate’s Directory of Cultural Monuments:[11] Idar-Oberstein (main centre) Burg Stein or Bosselstein, so-called Altes Schloss (“Old Palatial Castle”)      Burg Oberstein, so-called Neues Schloss (“New Palatial Castle”; see also below) – first mention 1336, expansion in the 15th and 16th centuries; 1855 roof frame and interior destroyed by fire; originally a triangular complex; in the centre remnants of dwellings, among others the so-called Kaminbau (“Fireplace Building”) and the Esel-bück-dich-Turm (“Ass-stoop-down Tower”), both Gothic; of the bailey, possibly built later, remnants of the three towers     Burg Stein or Bosselstein, so-called Altes Schloss (“Old Palatial Castle”), above the Felsenkirche (see also below) – first mention 1197, from the 15th century incorporated into the town fortifications, a ruin no later than the 18th century; in the northwest at the entrance and in the southwest of the girding wall remnants of dwellings, round keep     Former Evangelical parish church, so-called Felsenkirche (“Crag Church”), Kirchweg (see also below) – on an irregular floor plan, built into a crag in 1482-1484, renovation of the Late Gothic vaulting with barrel vaulting, 1742, alteration to the tower roof, 1858, master builder Weyer, thorough renovation, 1927–1929, architect Wilhelm Heilig, Langen; polyptych altar from late 14th century, ascribed to the Master of the Mainz Mocking     Evangelical parish church, Hauptstraße (see also below) – formerly St. Peter and Paul, cross-shaped aisleless church, 1751, expansion with transept 1894-1894, conversion 1955/1956, architect Hans Rost, Würzburg; Romanesque west tower (1114?), Baroque roof, possibly from 1712; gravestone M. C. Hauth, about 1742; in the graveyard a memorial to those who fell in the First World War     Town fortifications – walling of Oberstein, incorporating the Felsenkirche, built of coarse volcanic rock, on the inside supported by buttresses, arose in 15th and 16th centuries; preserved parts: on the church hill halfway up to the Felsenkirche, tower Im Gebück (a lane) above Hauptstraße 476     At Alte Gasse 5 – coat of arms of the former Imperial post office, 19th century     Amtsstraße 2 – hospital and convent; three-floor Gothic Revival brick building, side risalto with chapel, 1900     Austraße 6 – villa-style house with mansard roof, Renaissance Revival, two-floor conservatory, late 19th century     Bahnhofstraße 1 – former “Centralhotel”; three-floor Historicist Revival corner building, echoes of Art Nouveau, 1905–1907, architects Gerhards & Hassert     Bahnhofstraße 3 – sophisticated corner house, three-floor Baroque Revival building with mansard roof, echoes of Art Nouveau, 1908/1909, architect Hans Best, Kreuznach     Klotzbergkaserne (“Klotzberg Barracks”), Berliner Straße, Bleidornplatz, Juterbogstraße, Klotzbergstraße, Ostpreußenstraße, Pestmüllerring, Pommernstraße (monumental zone) – barracks for two infantry battalions built in the course of Idar-Oberstein’s expansion into a garrison town during the Third Reich, buildings on terraced lands grouped about several yards and stairwells with staff buildings, houses for men, riding hall, partly quarrystone, 1936–1938; characterizes town’s appearance     At Bismarckstraße 12 – stucco decoration on a residential and commercial house, about 1905     Bismarckstraße 53 – Baroque Revival villa with mansard roof, 1910     Dietzenstraße 30 – villa-style house with hipped roof, about 1910; characterizes town’s appearance     Dietzenstraße 34 – picturesque-rustic villa, early 20th century     Dietzenstraße 55 – residential and commercial house with several floors, Classicist Revival-Baroque Revival building with mansard roof, 1926     Dr.-Liesegang-Straße 1 – former commercial hall; building of red brick framed with yellow sandstone, 1894/1895     Dr.-Liesegang-Straße 3 – representative house, Art Nouveau motifs, about 1905; characterizes streetscape’s appearance together with no. 5     Dr.-Liesegang-Straße 4 – cube-shaped villa with hipped roof, 1924     Finsterheckstraße – water cistern, two-floor tower-type housing, rusticated, 1900     Forststraße – memorial cross for Anne Freiin (Baroness) von Schorlemer, about 1905 (?); memorial stone, 1930     Forststraße 26 – former hunting lodge; sophisticated country house in alternating materials typical of the time, last fourth of the 19th century     Friedrich-Ebert-Ring 8 – picturesque-representative villa, 1903     Friedrich-Ebert-Ring 10 – sophisticated villa, begun 1911, architect Julius Schneider     Friedrich-Ebert-Ring 12–18 (monumental zone) – three sophisticated apartment blocks for French officers, 1922–1924, government master builder Metz; middle building, flanked by buildings with gable fronts that penetrate each other     Friedrich-Ebert-Ring 59–65 (monumental zone) – four similar multi-family dwellings; three-floor cube-shaped buildings with hipped roofs on a retaining wall, 1924     Georg-Maus-Straße 2 – former Schillerschule; mighty Baroque Revival housing, towards the back open like a cour d'honneur, 1908–1911, town master builder Müller; characterizes town’s appearance     Hasenklopp 6 – palatial castle-type complex, Baroque Revival building with mansard roof, garden pavilion, swung retaining wall, 1921–1923, architect Paul Schultze-Naumburg     Hauptstraße 260–274 (even numbers), Naßheckstraße 1, 3 (monumental zone) – group of villas, individually characterized buildings, some with great garden complexes, towards Naßheck smaller houses, many original enclosing fences, about 1905     Hauptstraße 48 – corner residential and commercial house, iron framing with brickwork outside, Burbach Ironworks; characterizes streetscape’s appearance     Hauptstraße 70 – former schoolhouse; three-floor cube-shaped building with hipped roof, so-called Oldenburg Late Classicism, 1856/1857, architect Peter Reinhard Casten, Birkenfeld; triangular gable after 1900, portal with balcony after 1933; characterizes town’s appearance     At Hauptstraße 71 – stuccoed façade, 1922, of a three-floor residential and commercial house from 1888     Hauptstraße 72 – representative three-floor house, Renaissance Revival motifs, in the back stable and barn, 1863/1864     Hauptstraße 76 – four-floor residential and commercial house, New Objectivity, 1931, architect Johannes Weiler, Cologne     Hauptstraße 78 – representative Historicist residential and commercial house, 1900, architect Hubert Himmes, Idar-Oberstein     Hauptstraße 103 and 105 – house with mansard roof, 1852, remodellings in 1890 and 1905; in the back commercial building, 1912; whole complex in subdued Baroque Revival forms     Hauptstraße 108 – lordly villa, Renaissance Revival motifs with Classicist tendencies, French country house style, 1870/1871, architect Louis Purper, Paris; in the back commercial buildings     Hauptstraße 118 (see also below) – representative Renaissance Revival villa, 1894; nowadays the Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum (German Gemstone Museum)     Hauptstraße 123 – representative villa with hipped roof, Art Nouveau décor, 1901, architect Hans Weszkalnys, Saarbrücken     Hauptstraße 126 – representative residential and commercial house, possibly from the 1890s; in the gateway clay reliefs     At Hauptstraße 129 – stately Gothic Revival entrance gate     Hauptstraße 135 – villalike house, building of red brick framed with yellow sandstone, Renaissance Revival and Baroque Revival motifs, possibly about 1890     Hauptstraße 143 – mighty three-floor house with mansard roof, 1910; characterizes town’s appearance     Hauptstraße 145 – three-floor Historicist house, building of red brick framed with yellow sandstone, Renaissance Revival and Art Nouveau motifs     Hauptstraße 147 – three-floor representative house, Baroque Revival, Louis XVI (early French Neoclassical) and Art Nouveau motifs, 1908     Hauptstraße 148 – three-floor sophisticated house, Baroque Revival building with mansard roof, about 1900; whole complex with factory building and a further house in the back from 1910/1911     Hauptstraße 149 – former “Hotel Fürstenhof”; red-brick building with plastered areas, Art Nouveau décor; 1904     Hauptstraße 150 – small, elaborately shaped house, third fourth of the 19th century     Hauptstraße 151 – house with entrance loggia, mansard roof, about 1910     Hauptstraße 153 – picturesque-rustic villa, Gothic Revival motifs, about 1900     Hauptstraße 155 – representative Renaissance Revival villa, 1894/1895, architect Massing, Trier     Hauptstraße 156 – two-and-a-half-floor representative house, 1870/1871 and 1889     Hauptstraße 162 – villalike house, 1893, architect Wilhelm Müller, Frankfurt; conversion 1929, architect Johannes Weiler, Cologne; wooden gazebo, lookout tower     Hauptstraße 163 – Art Nouveau house, marked 1902, architect Hubert Himmes, Idar-Oberstein     Hauptstraße 177 – house, Expressionistically varied Art Nouveau motifs, marked 1927/1928, architect Johannes Weiler, Cologne     Hauptstraße 185 – bungalow, Expressionist motifs, 1923, architect Johannes Weiler, Cologne     Hauptstraße 192 – picturesque-rustic villa, 1905; characterizes town’s appearance     Hauptstraße 194 – villa with mansard roof, 1911, architect Paul Schultze-Naumburg; characterizes town’s appearance     Hauptstraße 248 – country-house-style house with mansard roof, 1911, architect Georg Küchler, Darmstadt     Near Hauptstraße 260 – unusual Art Nouveau fencing, 1904     Hauptstraße 264 – sandstone villa with asymmetrical floor plan, Gothic Revival and Art Nouveau motifs, about 1905; décor     Hauptstraße 270 – rustic villa, volcanic rock, sandstone, timber-frame, glazed brick, about 1905     Hauptstraße 274 – villalike house, picturesquely nested plastered building with knee wall, 1905     Hauptstraße 289 – meeting building of the lodge at the Felsentempel; symmetrically divided plastered building, Art Nouveau décor, 1906     Hauptstraße 291 – house, sandstone-framed brick building with timber-frame parts, towards late 19th century, architect possibly Max Jager; conversion 1909 and 1914     Hauptstraße 313 – bungalow with mansard roof, rustic and Expressionist motifs, 1923/1924, architect Julius Schneider; décor     Hauptstraße 330 – corner house, 1882, architect R. Goering; décor     Hauptstraße 332 – corner house, Classicist and Renaissance Revival motifs, third fourth of the 19th century     Hauptstraße 337/339 – three-floor double house with mansard roofs, 1910/1911, architect Johannes Ranly, Oberstein     Hauptstraße 338 – former Imperial post office, so-called Alte Post; mighty, three- and four-floor three-winged building with bell-shaped and timber-frame gables, 1910–1912, architect Postal Building Adviser Neufeldt; characterizes square’s appearance     Hauptstraße 342/344 – double house, red sandstone building with mansard roof, Late Gothic and Art Nouveau motifs, 1900, architect Hubert Himmes, Idar-Oberstein     Hauptstraße 385 – plastered building, echoes of Swiss chalet style with Baroque elements, 1950, architect Julius Schneider; built-in shop from time of building     Hauptstraße 386 – former Pielmeyer department store; three-floor building with mansard roof, Louis XVI and Art Nouveau motifs, about 1905, architects Gerhards & Hassert; characterizes streetscape’s appearance     Hauptstraße 391 – Renaissance Revival façade of a residential and commercial house, 1890; characterizes streetscape’s appearance     Hauptstraße 412/414 – Baroque double house with timber-frame gable, marked 1702     Hauptstraße 417 – three-floor residential and commercial house, Art Nouveau motifs, 1906, architect Max Jager; characterizes square’s appearance     (an) Hauptstraße 418 – elaborate façade décor, Art Nouveau with Baroque elements, about 1905     Hauptstraße 432 – three-floor timber-frame building, partly solid, late 16th century, conversion 1717     Hauptstraße 434 – three-floor residential and commercial house with mansard roof, Renaissance Revival motifs, 1895; characterizes town’s appearance     Hauptstraße 468/470 – mighty three-floor balloon frame building, earlier half of the 15th century     Hauptstraße 499 – house with mansard roof, Baroque Revival plaster décor, late 19th century     Hauptstraße 281–309 (odd numbers) (monumental zone) – mostly two-floor residential and commercial buildings in an almost closed row giving the effect of a unified streetscape, 19th and early 20th centuries; brick with sandstonework parts, plastered, timber-frame, in parts of the back factory buildings; pattern broken somewhat by two villalike houses (no. 303 Baroque Revival, 1905; no. 309, possibly from 1890)     Höckelböschstraße 1 – three-floor Baroque Revival corner residential and commercial house, about 1908; décor; characterizes town’s appearance     Höckelböschstraße 2 – row house with mansard roof, early 20th century     Höckelböschstraße 8 – house, Renaissance Revival motifs, about 1877     Hoher Weg 1/3 – double house, three-floor building with mansard roof on a retaining wall, 1912, architect Johannes Ranly; characterizes town’s appearance     Kasinostraße 7 – building of the former Hermann Leyser cardboard packaging factory; brick building, partly timber-frame, filigree wood details, late 19th century; house 1896, wing joining the two 1911     Keltenstraße – water cistern; representative front building with brickwork walls, 1894     Kobachstraße 4 – sophisticated residential and commercial house, Louis-XVI-style, 1912     Luisenstraße 9 – rustic villa, bungalow with mansard roof on an irregular floor plan, 1908, architect Georg Küchler, Darmstadt     Mainzer Straße 64 – villa, Art Nouveau décor, 1907     Mainzer Straße 66 – representative Art Nouveau villa, 1905, architects Hubert Himmes and Adrian Wehrli, Idar-Oberstein     Mainzer Straße 69 – representative Art Nouveau villa with mansard roof, about 1905     Mainzer Straße 73 – representative villa on an asymmetrical floor plan, Art Nouveau décor with Baroque elements, 1905/1906, architect Hans Weszkalnys, Saarbrücken     Mainzer Straße 75 – plastered villa on an asymmetrical floor, hipped roofs, 1901, architect Hubert Himmes, Idar-Oberstein     Mainzer Straße 224 – Villa Wolff, sophisticated rustic villa, bungalow with mansard roof, 1923/1924, architect Julius Schneider     Mainzer Straße 56/58, 60, 64, 66, 69, 73, 75, 77, Dr.-Liesegang-Straße 1, Hauptstraße 123 (monumental zone) – Idar-Oberstein’s only mainly closed villa neighbourhood, villas in gardens, about 1900 to the 1920s; partly with sprightly roof profiles, Late Historicism, Art Nouveau, architecture of the 1920s; on the squarelike widening at the south end of Mainzer Straße the commercial hall (Dr.-Liesegang-Straße 1, see above)     Otto-Decker-Straße 6 – three-floor Gothic Revival residential and commercial house with mansard roof, 1900, architect Hubert Himmes, Idar-Oberstein     Otto-Decker-Straße 12 – villalike corner house, Renaissance Revival motifs, 1895–1896, architect Heinrich Güth, Saarbrücken     Otto-Decker-Straße 16 – Historicist residential and commercial house with mansard roof, 1905     Pappelstraße 1, 2, 3 (monumental zone) – so-called Franzosenhäuser (“Frenchman’s Houses”), group of three houses built by the town for French officers in the occupational forces; buildings with tent roofs, Expressionist motifs, begun in 1920, architect Wilhelm Heilig, Langen     Ritterstraße 11 – house, after 1882, Baroque Revival expansion 1912     Ritterstraße 31 – row house with mansard roof, Renaissance Revival motifs, marked 1906     Schönlautenbach 6 – representative house, three-sloped hipped roof, 1924/1925, architect Johannes Weiler, Cologne     Schönlautenbach 27 – house with mansard roof, timber-frame bungalow on terracelike stone lower floor, 1928     Oberstein Jewish graveyard, Seitzenbachstraße (monumental zone) – laid out possibly in the 17th century, expanded in 1820, older part dissolved in 1945; gravestones placed since the mid 19th century in the newer section’s wall; memorials mainly sandstone or granite, obelisks, steles; behind Kirchhofshübel 14 further gravestone fragments and wall settings; originally belonging to the graveyard the former Jewish mortuary (Seitzenbachstraße – no number – today a workshop), central building with pyramid roof, built in 1914     Seitzenbachstraße/Hauptstraße, Niederau Christian graveyard (monumental zone) – three-part parklike complex, laid out from 1836 to 1916; soldiers’ graveyard 1914/1918; warriors’ memorial 1914/1918 and 1939/1945, memorial stone for Jewish fellow inhabitants placed after 1945; hereditary gravesites: no. 1 crypt with Egyptian-style entrance; no. 3 polygonal Gothic Revival column; nos. 7 and 8 several gravestones, granite slabs, granite steles, bronze urns; no. 29 complex of Kessler & Röhl, Berlin, sculpture by H. Pohlmann, Berlin; no. 32 angel with anchor by P. Völker; no. 33: marble angel     Tiefensteiner Straße, Idar Christian graveyard (monumental zone) – laid out in 1869 in “Mittelstweiler”, first documented in 1871, enlarged several times; since 1969 newer main graveyard to the west “Im Schmalzgewann”; warriors’ memorial 1870/1871: roofed stele with relief, surrounded by eight limetrees; fencing with Baroque Revival entrance possibly from about 1900; graveyard chapel, yellow sandstone building, towards 1908; warriors’ memorial in graveyard of honour for those who fell in 1914/1918, 1920; graveyard for those who fell in 1939/1945 by Max Rupp, Idar-Oberstein, and Theodor Siegle, Saarbrücken, 1961; several elaborate hereditary gravesites     Tiefensteiner Straße 20 – country-house-style house, bungalow with half-hipped roof, 1920s     Wasenstraße 1 – three-floor residential and commercial house with Historicist elements, partly decorative timber-frame, conversion 1924/1925     Wilhelmstraße 23 – representative manufacturer’s villa with mansard roof, Baroque Revival motifs with Classicist elements, begun in 1909, architect Julius Schneider     Wilhelmstraße 44 – manufacturer’s house with garden; sandstone-framed volcanic rock building, Art Nouveau décor, 1910, architect Max Jager; décor     Wilhelmstraße 48 – three-floor Historicist residential and commercial house, sandstone-framed brick building, 1903, in the back factory building; characterizes town’s appearance     Wilhelmstraße 40/42, 44, 46, 48, 49–51 (monumental zone) – complex of dwelling and manufacturing buildings around the Jakob Bengel metalware factory (long, two- and three-floor commercial buildings, entrepreneur’s villa (no. 44), 1873 to 1906     Bismarckturm (Bismarck Tower), east of Idar on the Wartehübel – monumental complex built out of volcanic rock, 1907, architect Hans Weszkalnys, Saarbrücken (design by Wilhelm Kreis, Dresden)     Railway bridge on the Rhine-Nahe Railway, on the east side of the Altenberg – three-arch bridge in the Nahe valley at the Altenberg     Railway bridges on the Rhine-Nahe Railway, west of the railway station – two brick-framed sandstone-block structures over a bend in the Nahe     Railway bridge on the Rhine-Nahe Railway, at the Wüstlautenbach – partly heavily renovated three-arch, brick-framed sandstone-block structure over the valley of the Wüstlautenbach  Algenrodt      Im Stäbel – entrance relief at the Straßburgkaserne (“Strasbourg Barracks”) – forms characterized by National Socialism, 1936–1938; on the corner of Saarstraße a memorial, 1958     Im Stäbel, graveyard – memorial for those who fell in the First World War by Wilhelm Heilig, about 1920  Enzweiler      Railway bridge and tunnel on the Rhine-Nahe Railway, east of Enzweiler – two-arch bridge, volcanic rock and brick, over the Nahe, impressive sequence of Hommericher Tunnel, bridge and Enzweiler Tunnel  Georg-Weierbach      Former Evangelical parish church, Auf der Burr – formerly Saint George’s, stepped Romanesque building, west tower, quire Late Gothic altered (possibly in the 14th century), aisleless nave remodelled in Baroque; Marienglocke (“Mary’s Bell”) from 1350; in the graveyard gravestones about 1900     Near Auf der Burr 13 – lift pump, cast-iron, brass, Gothic Revival, firm of Gebrüder Zilken, Koblenz, possibly from the last fourth of the 19th century     Before Buchengasse 2 and 4 – two wrought-iron wells  Göttschied      Evangelical church, Göttschieder Straße 43 – aisleless church with ridge turret, portal marked 1620, remodellings in 1775, 1864/1865 and 1933  Hammerstein      Evangelical church, Hammersteiner Straße 39 – Baroque Revival aisleless church with ridge turret, 1904–1909, architect August Senz, Düsseldorf; characterizes town’s appearance     Railway bridge and tunnel on the Rhine-Nahe Railway, northwest of Hammerstein – two-arch brick-framed sandstone-block structure over the Nahe, tunnel through the so-called Hammersteiner Kipp  Kirchenbollenbach      Former Catholic Parish Church of John of Nepomuk (Pfarrkirche St. Johann Nepomuk), Am Kirchberg 3 – two-naved Late Historicist quarrystone building, flanking tower, 1895–1898, architect Ludwig Becker, Mainz; spolia (18th century); rich décor     Evangelical parish church, Am Kirchberg 6 – plain Baroque aisleless church, ridge turret with helmed roof, 1755, architect Johann Thomas Petri, Kirn; décor     Am Kirchberg 8 – former Catholic rectory; one- and two-floor Baroque building with hipped roof, 1770, architect possibly Johann Thomas Petri; characterizes town’s appearance     Am Kirchberg 3, 6, 8 (monumental zone) – group made up of the Catholic church (Am Kirchberg 3) and the Evangelical church (Am Kirchberg 6) with the former rectory (Am Kirchberg 8), forecourt with altars (made of spolia), across the street, documents the village’s ecclesiastical development     Auf dem Rain 21 – former school; nested Swiss chalet style building with Expressionist details, 1926/27     At Im Brühl 1 – wooden door, Zopf style, 18th century  Mittelbollenbach      Im Schützenrech 57 – school; sandstone-framed plastered building penetrated by gable risalti, 1912, expansion 1962     In der Gaß 3 – former bull shed; one-floor solid building with timber-frame knee wall, possibly from about 1910; equipment  Nahbollenbach      Jewish graveyard, Sonnehofstraße (monumental zone) – ten mostly stele-shaped stones, 1900 to about 1933, in fenced area  Tiefenstein      Bachweg 6 – Quereinhaus (a combination residential and commercial house divided for these two purposes down the middle, perpendicularly to the street), partly timber-frame (plastered), possibly from the earlier half of the 19th century     Granatweg – warriors’ memorial; sandstone relief, 1920s, concrete stele inserted after 1945     Tiefensteiner Straße 87 – Kallwiesweiherschleife; water-driven gemstone-cutting mill; squat building with gable roof and great iron-bar windows, 18th century, converted or renovated several times; equipment; pond     Tiefensteiner Straße 178 – Hettsteiner Schleife or Schleife zwischen den Mühlen; former water-driven gemstone-cutting mill; quarrystone building with great iron-bar windows, 1846; equipment     Near Tiefensteiner Straße 232 – former filling station, filling station building with sales room and workshop, mushroom-column construction with broad overlying roof, 1950s     Tiefensteiner Straße 275 – villalike house with contemporary details, 1920s     Tiefensteiner Straße 296 – avant-garde house, 1930/1932, architect Julius Schneider     Tiefensteiner Straße 322 – villalike house with mansard roof, Louis XVI and Art Nouveau motifs, shortly after 1900  Weierbach      Evangelical parish church, Obere Kirchstraße – formerly Saint Martin’s, Early Classicist aisleless church, architect Wilhelm Frommel, 1792/1793; late mediaeval tower altered in the 17th century; retaining wall possibly mediaeval     Saint Martin’s Catholic Parish Church (Pfarrkirche St. Martin), Obere Kirchstraße – Gothic Revival red sandstone building, 1896/1897, architect Lambert von Fisenne, Gelsenkirchen; décor; characterizes town’s appearance     Across from Dorfstraße 1 – so-called Hessenstein; former border stone; Tuscan column with inscription and heraldic escutcheon, after 1815     Dorfstraße 32 – former Evangelical rectory; building with half-hipped roof, Swiss chalet style, 1930/1931, architect Friedrich Otto, Kirn; characterizes streetscape’s appearance     Weierbacher Straße 12 – house, used partly commercially, with mansard roof, Expressionist motifs, 1920s     Weierbacher Straße 22 – railway station; reception and administration building with employee dwellings, goods hall and side building, 1913/1914, architect Schenck; one- and two-floor main building, Art Nouveau décor with Classicist elements, monumental roof profile     Weierbacher Straße 75 – former Amtsbürgermeisterei; asymmetrically divided plastered building, Renaissance Revival motifs, 1910/1911     Jewish graveyard, east of the village on the hilltop “Am Winnenberg” (monumental zone) – seven stelelike stones or pedestals     Niederreidenbacher Hof, northeast of the village (monumental zone) – first mention of a castle in the 13th century, in the 19th century an estate, from 1904 a deaconess’s establishment, with dwelling and commercial buildings, mill and distillery, about 1840 and thereafter; crag cellar under the estate; conversions and expansions 1904 and thereafter; chapel, 1658 or older, expansion 1931; Imperial Baron Friedrich Kasimir Boxheim’s (d. 1743) gravestone; remnants of the graveyard belonging to the establishment; two water cisterns, 1930s; park and garden facilities, characterizes landscape’s appearance  Mediaeval buildings Felsenkirche (“Crag Church”) Old Town with Felsenkirche Felsenkirche  The famous Felsenkirche (“Crag Church”) is the town’s defining landmark. It came to be through efforts by Wirich IV of Daun-Oberstein (about 1415–1501), who in 1482 built the now Protestant church on the foundations of the Burg im Loch (“Castle in the Hole”).  As far as is now known, this castle was the first defensive position held by the Lords of Stein and a refuge castle for the dwellers of the village down below that was built into the great cave in the crag, the “Upper Stone” (or in German, Oberer Stein) on the river Nahe. This, of course, explains the origin of the name “Oberstein”.  The “Castle in the Hole” was the only cave castle on the Upper Nahe. The Felsenkirche can nowadays be reached by visitors through a tunnel that was built in modern times. Castle Bosselstein Castle Bosselstein  Up above the small church, on a knoll (Bossel) stands Castle Bosselstein, or rather what is left of it. The whole complex was forsaken in 1600, and all that stands now is a tower stump and remnants of the castle wall. In the Middle Ages, it was a stronghold to be reckoned with, with its two crescent moats and its two baileys.  Somewhat farther up, not far from Castle Bosselstein, the third castle arose about 1325, the one now known as Schloss Oberstein. Until 1624, it was the residence of the Counts of Daun-Oberstein. In 1855 it burnt down. In the years 1926 to 1956, the castle was used as a youth hostel, and thereafter as an inn.  In 1961, part of the east wall fell in. The castle club, Schloss Oberstein e. V., that was founded shortly thereafter, in 1963, has been worrying ever since about maintaining the acutely endangered building materials that make up this former four-tower complex. In 1998, the town of Idar-Oberstein became the castle’s owner. Today there is once again a small inn, the Wyrich-Stube, and there are also now a few rooms restored by the castle club, which can be hired for festive occasions or cultural events. St. Peter and Paul  St. Peter und Paul is the Catholic church in the constituent community of Idar. It was built in 1925 as a wooden church for the then town of Idar. Since the 17th century, the town’s Catholics had had to make do with ecclesiastical services from Oberstein. By 1951, the church had fallen into such disrepair that it was extensively converted and expanded with stone. Theater  Besides the Town Theater in the constituent community of Oberstein, there is also a cabaret stage. With Schloss Oberstein as the backdrop, the Theatersommer Schloss Oberstein (“Schloss Oberstein Theater Summer”) is held each year. Museums Hauptstraße 118: The Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum, housed in a representative Renaissance Revival villa (see under Buildings above)  Since the early 1960s tourism has grown in importance for Idar-Oberstein. Today it boasts a number of modern facilities such as the Steinkaulenberg, a gemstone mine open to visitors, and the German Gemstone Museum, as well as several recreational resorts. Nationally known is the Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum (German Gemstone Museum) in the constituent community of Idar, which boasts many gemstone exhibits.  The Museum Idar-Oberstein in the constituent community of Oberstein right below the famous Felsenkirche devotes itself to the specialized theme of “minerals”, and accordingly shows not only local places where gems were discovered, but also worldwide discovery places. The Idar-Oberstein jewellery industry and gemstone processing, too, and especially the agate-cutting operation, are presented in an impressive way.  Insights into the production of Art Deco jewellery as it was done about the turn of the 20th century are offered by the Industriemuseum Jakob Bengel in the constituent community of Oberstein. It is open the year round.  At the Steinkaulenberg gemstone mines, the only gemstone mine in Europe open to visitors, and at the Historische Weiherschleife – a gemstone-grinding mill – one can learn a few things about gemstone processing and Idar-Oberstein’s history. Jasper is also featured there, for Idar-Oberstein is also an important centre for that semiprecious stone. Sport  The town’s best known sport club is SC 07 Idar-Oberstein.  Idar-Oberstein has an indoor swimming pool and, since September 2005 an outdoor swimming pool fed by natural water. On the town’s outskirts, a Friends of Nature house has been established, offering cyclists, hikers and tourists meals and lodging. Also, in nearby Kirschweiler is a golf course.  The Schleiferweg (Schleifer is German for “grinder” or “polisher”, a reference to the town’s fame as a gem-processing centre; Weg simply means “way”) is a 22 km-long signposted hiking trail round Idar. The path leads around the constituent communities of Idar, Oberstein, Göttschied, Algenrodt and Tiefenstein. Especially for sophisticated hikers, the Schleiferweg offers a special hiking experience with a high section of path through thick forest. The trail leads by various tourist attractions, such as the Weiherschleife, the Steinkaulenberg, the Kammerwoog (lake) or even the Wäschertskaulen spit roast house. With the good links to the town transport network, the trail can be broken up into as many shorter stretches as the hiker chooses. Regular events      The New Year’s Gala Concert of the Symphonisches Blasorchester Obere Nahe e. V. (wind orchestra) has been seeing the town into the New Year culturally since 1991.     The International Trade Fair for Gemstones, Gemstone Jewellery and Gemstone Objects is held yearly in September and October (see also below).     The regional consumer fair, better known as Idar-Obersteiner Wirtschaftstage, was created by the Wirtschaftsjunioren Idar-Oberstein 2003, and is growing into a true success story. It was organized and staged from 2003 to 2005 by the Wirtschaftsjunioren.     The Deutsche Edelsteinkönigin (“German Gemstone Queen”) is chosen every other year from the region of the Deutsche Edelsteinstraße (“German Gem Road”).     The Spießbratenfest (“Spit Roast Festival”) has been held since 1967 each year from the Friday to Tuesday that includes the last Sunday in June. It is said to be the biggest folk festival on the Upper Nahe.     The Kinderkulturtage (“Children’s Cultural Days”) have been being held for several years now as a successor festival to the Kinderliederfestival (“Children’s Song Festival”). There are 15 to 20 events for children, youth and those who are young at heart.     Each year in early June, the Jazztage (“Jazz Days”) are held. Appearing here are regional and national jazz greats on several stages in the Idar pedestrian precinct.     Diamond grinders, facet and surface grinders and agate grinders demonstrate the most varied working techniques within the framework of the Deutscher Edelsteinschleifer- und Goldschmiedemarkt (“German Gemstone Grinders’ and Goldsmiths’ Market”). Goldsmiths and jewellery designers allow a look at their creative work in Oberstein’s historic town centre below the Felsenkirche.     The Kama Festival was held from 1991 to 2007 on the lands of the Kammerwoog Conservation Area at Whitsun. It was the biggest open-air festival in Idar-Oberstein. The last festival took place in much reduced form in 2008.  Culinary specialities Idarer Spießbraten Obersteiner Spießbraten Spießbraten (spit roast)  A distinction is made between Idarer Spießbraten and Obersteiner Spießbraten. The former is a kind of Schwenkbraten, whereas the latter is a kind of rolled roast. Spießbraten is rooted fast among Idar-Oberstein’s and the surrounding region’s culinary and cultural customs.  When making the more often consumed Idarer Spießbraten, the meat – originally prime rib, today often also roast beef or pork neck – is laid the day before cooking in raw onions, salt and pepper. The onions are good to eat while cooking at the fire with a beer. Locals favour beechwood for the fire, to give the roast its traditional flavour.  The variations on the Spießbraten recipe are also the subject of the town’s slogan, which bears witness to a patronizing cosmopolitanism: Rossbeff fa die Irader, Kamm fa die Uwersteener und Brot für die Welt – dialectal German for “Roast beef for the Idarers, pork neck for the Obersteiners and bread for the world.” Fillsel  This is toast, minced meat, diced bacon, leek, eggs, salt and pepper. Gefillte Klees (filled dumplings)  This is coarse potato dumplings (made from raw potatoes) filled with Fillsel with a bacon sauce. Kartoffelwurst (potato sausage)  Also dialectally called Krumbierewurscht, this was formerly “poor people’s food”, but today it is a speciality. Potatoes, pork, beef and onions are put through the mincer and seasoned with savoury, pepper and salt. It can be fed into the traditional gut, preserved in a jar or even eaten straightaway. Murde on Klees (carrots and dumplings)  This is raw potato dumplings cooked and served together with carrots (sometimes known in German as Mohrrüben, or dialectally in Idar-Oberstein as Murde) and pickled or smoked pork. Riewe on Draehurjel  This is beetroots with roast blood sausage. Dibbelabbes  This is made by roasting Kartoffelmasse (potatoes, bacon, eggs, flour, salt and pepper) in a Dibbe (cast-iron roasting pan). Schaales  This is Kartoffelmasse (the same as for Dibbelabbes) baked in a Dibbe in the oven with dried meat. Economy and infrastructure  All together, Idar-Oberstein has roughly 219.3 ha of land given over to commerce. Three other areas in town, Dickesbacher Straße, Finkenberg Nord and Am Kreuz, hold a further 28 ha in reserve for economic expansion. The town also has at its disposal the rezoning area Gewerbepark Nahetal in the outlying centre of Nahbollenbach, comprising 23 ha.  The Bundesverband der Diamant- und Edelsteinindustrie e. V. (“Federal Association of the Diamond and Gemstone Industry”) has its seat in Idar-Oberstein. It represents the industry’s interests in dealings with lawmakers as well as federal, state and municipal representatives. It advises members in areas such as environmental protection, problems in competition, questions of nomenclature and so forth, and makes the necessary contacts as needed. To promote the designing and quality of jewellery and gemstones, the Association created the international competition revolving about the German Jewellery and Gemstone Prize. The German Gemstone Exchange: View over Schleiferplatz 500 years as a gemstone region, Idar-Oberstein: postage stamps, 1997 issue by the Federal Republic of Germany  The Deutsche Diamant- und Edelsteinbörse e. V. (“German Diamond and Gemstone Exchange”) was opened in 1974 as the world’s first combined exchange for diamonds as well as coloured gemstones. It is one of the 25 exchanges in the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.  The firm Klein & Quenzer was among the best known producers of costume jewellery before it rose to become the biggest manufacturer of German medals and decorations during the two world wars.  The Wirtschaftsjunioren Idar-Oberstein were founded in 1972. Entrepreneurs and senior management join in this organization for economic, cultural and social purposes in the region.  The cookware manufacturer Fissler has its headquarters in town. The company became well known for its invention of the mobile field kitchen in 1892. Giloy und Söhne, one of Europe’s biggest diamond jewellery manufacturers, has its headquarters here, too.  For more than 20 years now, the International Trade Fair for Gemstones, Gemstone Jewellery and Gemstone Objects (“Intergem”) has been held in Idar-Oberstein. The fair takes place at the Jahnhaus in the constituent community of Algenrodt, although as of 2008, a move to the planned exhibition hall in the new Nahetal commercial park (former US Army storage depot Nahbollenbach) was being considered.[citation needed]  The Idar-Obersteiner Wirtschaftstage (“Economy Days”), initiated by the Idar-Oberstein Economic Promotional Association, are regarded in and around Idar-Oberstein as a regional fair. Natural gemstone deposits  Gemstones from throughout the world are to be found in Idar-Oberstein, but the whole industry was begun by finds in the local area. These include agate, jasper and rock crystal. Garrison Klotzbergkaserne Idar-Oberstein  Since 1938, Idar-Oberstein has been a garrison town. During the 19th and 20th centuries, French and German soldiers in turn were stationed here. With the coming of the Wehrmacht, new barracks were built. After the Second World War, the Straßburgkaserne (“Strasbourg Barracks”) were at first used by the United States Army. French troops were stationed at the Klotzbergkaserne, and then as of 1956, the Bundeswehr artillery school. This moved in the late 1960s to the newly built Rilchenbergkaserne. Since that time, thousands of artillerymen have undergone their basic and advanced military training here. In September 2003, new boarding school buildings and teaching rooms were dedicated so that today’s artillery school has at its disposal both up-to-date lodging capacity and a training centre with all the modern equipment. Included among the teaching methods are audio, video and simulation techniques. Stationed at the Klotzbergkaserne until 31 March 2003 was the Beobachtungspanzerartillerielehrbataillon (“Observational Armoured Artillery Teaching Battalion”) 51, after whose dissolution in the course of Bundeswehr reform, the language training centre for officer cadets moved in. For businesses in Idar-Oberstein and environs, the Bundeswehr is a major economic factor as both an employer and a client. Since 1988, there has been a “sponsorship” between the town of Idar-Oberstein and the artillery school, and to highlight the relationship, town council decided in 1988 to put up a second roadsign that read “Hauptstadt der deutschen Artillerie” (“German Artillery Capital”). After objections from local business, among others the local chamber of commerce, and from some of the townsfolk, too, it was decided that the town would not go to the trouble of installing such signs after all.[12] In 2006, the officer cadet battalion was disbanded. Transport  Idar-Oberstein station, as a Regional-Express and Regionalbahn stop, is linked by way of the Nahe Valley Railway (Bingen–Saarbrücken) to the Saarland and the Frankfurt Rhine Main Region. The Rhein-Nahe-Express running the Mainz-Saarbrücken route serves the station hourly. Every other one of these trains goes through to the main railway station in Frankfurt with a stop at Frankfurt Airport. Formerly, fast trains on the Frankfurt-Paris route had a stop at Idar-Oberstein.  Local transport in Idar-Oberstein was run from 1900 to 1956 by trams, and from 1932 to 1969 by trolleybuses. Today’s network is made up of six bus routes run by the Verkehrsgesellschaft Idar-Oberstein GmbH, which belongs to the Rhenus Veniro Group. Furthermore, Idar-Oberstein is the starting point for Regio bus routes to Baumholder and Birkenfeld. There is also a direct bus link to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. The most important road link in town is Bundesstraße 41; although there is no direct Autobahn link, the A 62 (Kaiserslautern–Trier) can be reached through interchanges at Birkenfeld (B 41) or Freisen. Highway over the Nahe Highway over the Nahe in Oberstein  In the 1980s, the river Nahe was covered over with a four-lane highway, Bundesstraße 41, mentioned above, putting the river underground, beneath the town. This is unique in Germany and has greatly changed the town’s appearance in this area. The first plans for this development (officially the Nahehochstraße) lay before planners as early as 1958, but they set off a wave of criticism that was felt far beyond the town’s limits. On the theme of “Highway over the Nahe – yes or no”, Südwestfunk broadcast a talk show in the 1980s. The project was meant to relieve traffic congestion in the inner town on the B 41, which at the time ran through what is now a narrow pedestrian precinct through the middle of the Old Town. Work on the project began in 1980, and lasted five years, after which the Nahehochstraße was at last completed. The Nahe had thus been channelled into a two-kilometre-long tunnel. A timber-frame house nearby, the Sachsenhaus, was torn down and put into storage, its pieces numbered. Its reconstruction has been indefinitely postponed. In 1986, the Naheüberbauung, as it is commonly known, was opened to traffic. For its 20th anniversary, there was an exhibition at the Idar-Oberstein Stadthaus (civic centre) with photo galleries about the planning, building and completion of the project.  For its efforts, Idar-Oberstein won an award in 1988 in a contest staged by German town planners: First Prize for Most Consequential Blighting of an Historic Townscape.[13] I-O/Göttschied Airfield  Idar-Oberstein/Göttschied Airfield lies north of the town between the constituent community of Göttschied and the municipalities of Gerach and Hintertiefenbach at an elevation of 480 m above sea level (1,575 feet). Its ICAO location indicator is EDRG. The grass landing strip’s orientation is 06/24, and it is 650 m long and 50 m wide. The allowable landing weight is 2 000 kg; however, with PPR (“prior permission required”), aircraft of up to 3 700 kg may land. The airport is designed for helicopters, motor gliders, gliders, ultralights and, also with PPR, skydivers.  Offered here on weekends are sightseeing flights by motorized aircraft, motor glider, glider and ultralight. Media      Nahe-Zeitung (Rhein-Zeitung, newspaper)     Wochenspiegel Idar-Oberstein (weekly advertising paper)     Stadtfacette Idar-Oberstein (newspaper)     Radio Idar-Oberstein 87.6     SWR Studio Idar-Oberstein     FAN (music magazine)     Idar-Oberstein/Herrstein public-access channel     Transmission facilities: SWR Nahetal Transmitter, Idar-Oberstein-Hillschied Transmitter  Public institutions      Klinikum Idar-Oberstein     The KMT-Klinik is a clinic for bone marrow transplants and haematology.  The University of Mainz specialist and teaching hospital, which grew out of the former Municipal Hospitals, is part of the Saarland Heilstätten (a group of hospitals) – even though it is not in the Saarland – and has some 500 beds and 1,000 employees, as well as departments for general, abdominal and vascular surgery, gynaecology with obstetrics, internal medicine with gastroenterology, nephrology, diabetology and dialysis, diagnostic and interventional radiology, cardiology, bone marrow transplantation and haematology/oncology, neurology with a stroke unit and neurosurgery, psychiatry with child and adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy, paediatrics with neonatology, radiation therapy, trauma surgery and urology as well as wards for ophthalmology and otorhinolaryngology. Excluded from this is a geriatric rehabilitation clinic in Baumholder. There is also no nursing school. Education  Idar-Oberstein is home to every kind of educational institution, and since 1986, it has been a Hochschule location. The internationally renowned programme of Gemstone and Jewellery Design of the Faculty of Design at the University of Applied Sciences Trier is the only place in Europe where artistically-scientifically oriented studies in design in the field of gemstones and jewellery can be undertaken. It is found together with the professional school centre and the town’s only Realschule at the Schulzentrum Vollmersbachtal. There are several Hauptschulen throughout the town. There are moreover four Gymnasien: the Göttenbach-Gymnasium and the Gymnasium an der Heinzenwies can be attended beginning at the fifth class, while the Technisches Gymnasium and the Wirtschaftsgymnasium only admit students beginning in the eleventh class.      The University of Mainz maintains the Institut für Edelsteinforschung (Institute for Gemstone Research) in Idar-Oberstein. The Gemstone Research Department belongs to the subject area of mineralogy in the Faculty of Earth Sciences.     The University of Applied Sciences Trier offers at its Idar-Oberstein location a programme in Gemstone and Jewellery Design.     The Deutsche Gemmologische Gesellschaft e. V. (“DGemG”, German Gemological Association) was founded in 1932 and developed into an internationally renowned institution of technical-scientific gemmology. Successful participation in the DGemG courses in gemmology and diamond studies leads to diploma certification of performance on examinations that qualify the graduate to apply for membership in the DGemG (F. G. G. – the F is for the German word Fachmitgliedschaft, or “professional membership”). Thus far, more than 30,000 participants from 75 countries have attended the DGemG programme, which is designed with the demands of the gemstone and jewellery industry in mind.     The Forschungsinstitut für mineralische und metallische Werkstoffe Edelsteine/Edelmetalle GmbH (FEE; Research Institute for Mineral and Metallic Materials Gemstones/Precious Metals), too, has its seat in Idar-Oberstein. The FEE specializes in growing crystals and manufacturing optical elements for lasers.     The Deutsche Diamantprüflabor GmbH (DPL; German Diamond Testing Laboratory) has been assessing since 1970 the quality of cut diamonds. As the first laboratory of its kind in Germany (and second in the world), the DPL has been officially certified by the German Testing Accreditation System in Berlin as being able to carry out competent quality assessment of diamonds with regards to colour, size, cut and proportion in accordance with internationally recognized standards.  Sundry  In 1997, a Lufthansa Airbus A319-114 (registration number D-AILN) was christened “Idar-Oberstein”. It came into service on 12 September of that year. The aircraft was for a time leased to the firm Germanwings, but has since been reincorporated into Lufthansa’s fleet. Famous people Honorary citizens      Otto Decker, since 22 December 1947     Harald Fissler, since 27 January 1995     Ida Purper, honorary citizen of Idar since 24 February 1922  Sons and daughters of the town      Jakob Bengel, manufacturer     Juliana Blasius, Schinderhannes’s bride, who was from today’s constituent community of Weierbach     Rainer Blatt, physicist     Peter Caesar, former Rhineland-Palatinate Justice Minister     Bernd Cullmann, athlete, relay racer     Volker Erbes, writer     Elke Ferner, politician (SPD)     Joelle Franzmann, triathlete     Hermann Hogeback Luftwaffe bomber Ace     Leonhard Goffiné, Catholic clergyman and compiler of the Christkatholischen Handpostille (tract)     Ernst Rudolf Huber, jurist and legal historian     Emil Kirschmann, politician     Kurt-Ulrich Mayer, politician (CDU), professor and president of the Saxony State Institute for Private Broadcasting and New Media (SLM)     Holger Müller, German comedian (“Ausbilder Schmidt” – a persona that he adopts)     Bernd Munsteiner, gemstone artist,[14] creator of the aquamarine sculpture "Waves of the Sea"/"Dom Pedro"[14][15]     Stefan Münz, German computer scientist and author (“SELFHTML”)     Otto Nitze, composer and orchestra master     Max Rupp, painter     Markus Schupp, former professional footballer and current Bundesliga trainer     Martin Weller, dialectal singer     August Rudolf Wild, gemcutter     Rudolf Wild-Idar, Kunstmaler     Philipp II of Daun-Oberstein, Archbishop of Cologne     Wolfgang Schorlau, writer     Bruce Willis, American actor
Despite being banned in all uses by the German government, the town still uses the Wolfsangel, symbol of the forbidden Jungen Front, in its Nazi-era arms which were approved by the Oldenburg Ministry of State for the Interior and have been used since 10 July 1934. 

 Alzey
Alzey reichsadler Alzey lies in Rhenish Hesse on the western edge of the northern part of the Upper Rhine Plain. It is surrounded by the northern part of the Alzey Hills, which meets the Rhenish Hesse Hills towards the south and the North Palatine Uplands towards the east. The town is found some 30 km southwest of Mainz and some 22 km (as the crow flies, in each case) northwest of Worms. Through Alzey, in places underground, flows the river Selz, a left-bank tributary to the Rhine. Climate  Yearly precipitation in Alzey amounts to 586 mm, which is rather low, falling into the lowest fourth of the precipitation chart for all Germany. At 18% of the German Weather Service's weather stations, even lower figures are recorded. The driest month is February. The most rainfall comes in June. In that month, precipitation is 1.9 times what it is in February. Precipitation varies moderately. At 41% of the weather stations, lower seasonal swings are recorded. History From the Neolithic to the early first millennium Volker von Alzey (right) from Legends about Theodoric the Great Copper etching by Matthäus Merian 1645  The earliest traces of settlement in the Alzey area go back as far as the Neolithic. Alzey was founded as a village in the Roman province of Germania Superior in the lands surrounding Mogontiacum (Mainz).[2]  On a Nymphenstein ("nymph stone" – a kind of Roman altar stone).[3] Alzey had its first documentary mention in 223 as Vicani Altiaienses ("Villagers of Alzey"). The name Altiaia could well come from as far back as an old, pre-Roman Celtic settlement's name used about 400 BC, although its exact origins have not been passed down to the present day. Over the ruins of the Roman village, which was destroyed about 350, a fort was built about 390. In 406 and 407, the Burgundians, together with the Vandals, crossed the Rhine and settled in Mainz, Alzey and Worms as Roman confederates. The area was secured for them by treaty. In 436, the Burgundian kingdom was destroyed by the West Roman magister militum Flavius Aëtius with help from Hunnish troops. These events were worked into the Nibelungenlied, and form the origin of the legendary figure Volker von Alzey, the gleeman in the Nibelungenlied. After 450, Alzey passed to the Alamanni and the Franks when they took over the land. After Clovis I's death in 511, the Frankish Empire fell apart into separate smaller kingdoms, and Alzey became part of Austrasia, whose capital was at Metz. After unification of the Frankish kingdoms in the mid 8th century, Alzey passed in the 843 Treaty of Verdun to the Kingdom of the East Franks, a forerunner of the German Empire. In 897, Alzey was first mentioned as an Imperial fief. 12th century to early 20th century  In 1156, Alzey belonged to the Electorate of the Palatinate, and Konrad von Staufen attained the rank of Count Palatine in the Imperial castle, which had been completed in 1118. In 1277, Alzey attained the rank of town from Rudolf von Habsburg. In 1620, Count Spinola sided with the Catholic Emperor in the Thirty Years' War against the Protestant Electorate of the Palatinate and also conquered Alzey. In 1689, the town and the castle, under the French troops' scorched-earth policy, were burnt down in the Nine Years' War, when Louis XIV's armies had to leave areas conquered earlier. In 1798, areas west of the Rhine, among them those that until this time had been parts of the Electorate of the Palatinate, were annexed to France. Alzey belonged until 1814 to the Department of Mont-Tonnerre (or Donnersberg in German). In 1816, Alzey was attached to the Grand Duchy of Hesse. In 1909, the winemaking school (now the Landesanstalt für Rebenzüchtung) was founded. Its first head was Georg Scheu, after whom the grape variety Scheurebe is named. Third Reich  On Kristallnacht (9 November 1938), the Alzey synagogue was destroyed and the fittings were burnt in front of the building. The ruin was removed in the 1950s. A rescued Torah scroll can nowadays be found in the museum. On 8 January 1945, in World War II, the town narrowly missed being destroyed when 36 Boeing B-17 bombers had been sent to take out a railway bridge in Alzey. Owing to bad weather and a landmark misinterpretation – the crew mistook the top of the old watchtower for the church steeple – the bombers ended up dropping their load on the Wartberg, a nearby hill, giving rise to the legend of the Wartbergturm – the old tower – as Alzey's saviour. Since 1945  Since 1947, Alzey has no longer been Hessian, but rather it became the seat of Alzey District in the newly formed state of Rhineland-Palatinate.  Since the merger of the old Alzey and Worms Districts in 1969, Alzey has been the seat of the new Alzey-Worms District and the seat of the Verbandsgemeinde of Alzey-Land, although as a Verband-free town, it does not actually belong to the Verbandsgemeinde. Amalgamations  On 22 April 1972, the formerly autonomous centres of Weinheim, Heimersheim and Dautenheim were amalgamated with Alzey. The outlying centre of Schafhausen had already been a Stadtteil (constituent community) of Alzey since the Middle Ages. Religion  On 31 January 2008, the townsfolk's religious affiliations broke down thus:[4]      8,927 Evangelical     3,684 Catholic     2,996 none or no affiliation established in public law     1,322 other affiliations established in public law     6,809 other     988 no data     sundry     50 Alzey Free Religious-Humanist Association     4 Old Catholic     2 Jewish     1 Mainz Free Religious-Humanist Association  Jewish History  The town's Jewish congregation is dated to the 14th century. In 1349, during the Black Death, the town's Jews were murdered in the cause of a blood libel.[5] A few years after, the community renewed and a document from 1377 depicted a Jew named Yitschak of Alzey who sued the town of Worms for not paying its debt to him.[5] In 1389, a "Jew Alley" is first mentioned, depicting a kind of Ghetto with a gate, which closes at night. Synagoge-Alzey  Jews appeared once again in town only by the 17th century, and the first synagogue was built only by 1791.[6] Several documents from around 1670, depict disputes between Joseph Simon Jessel, a Jew who lived in Alzey and the town butchers, regarding his wish to open a business. On another dispute between him and a neighbor who sold his house to Jessel but refused to evacuate, the verdict blamed both sides - Jessel for it was "unthinkable that a Jew will hit a Christian", and the neighbor for not evacuating the house.[5] Nevertheless, the count of Pfalz protected the Jews, whose high taxes were a dominant factor of his income. In 1789, there were 21 Jewish households in town.[7] During the 18th century, most of the town Jews were established if not rich. in 1710, a Jew called Simcha Deidesheimer founded a large Matzo factory that existed until 1925 and exported its products to France and Italy.[5] In addition, two brothers named Levy opened a porcelain factory in town in 1770. The community had a local cemetery Alzey was the hometown of well-known family Belmont; In 1844,Jewish Shimon Belmont (the ancestor of American politicians August Belmont and August Belmont JR. was elected to be the president of the 'Narhalle' cranival, which he initiated, intended for the town's high classes. He donated some money to the cemetery and other community facilities Eight of Alzey Jews died as soldiers during World War I.[5] According to town municipality, 76 Jews expelled from the town to Nazi concentration camps around Europe. In 1954, one Jew returned to Alzey.[5] Politics Town council  The council is made up of 32 part-time council members who were elected at the municipal election held on 7 June 2009, and the full-time mayor as chairman. The seats are apportioned thus:[8]     SPD    CDU    FDP   Greens  LINKE   FWG   Total 2009  11  9  2  2  1  7  32 seats 2004  12  11  1  2  -  6  32 seats Mayors      (1982–1990) Walter Zuber (SPD)     (1990–2006) Knut Benkert (SPD)     (2006–present) Christoph Burkhard (independent CDU candidate)  Coat of arms  The town's arms might be described thus: Per fess sable a demi-lion rampant Or armed, langued and crowned gules, and argent a vielle bendwise of the third.  The lion recalls the town's former overlord, the Electorate of the Palatinate. The vielle, a kind of fiddle, stands for the noble families by the name of Truchseß, or Truchsess (Volker von Alzey), Winter and Wilch, who were formerly resident in the town. Town partnerships      United Kingdom Harpenden, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom since 1963     France Josselin, Morbihan, France since 1973     France Lembeye, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, France, with the outlying centre of Weinheim, since 1980     Austria Rechnitz, Burgenland, Austria since 1981     Poland Kościan, Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland since 1990     Germany Kamenz, Saxony since 1990  Culture and sightseeing Awards and prizes  The town of Alzey regularly bestows the following awards and prizes:      Elisabeth-Langgässer-Literaturpreis (since 1988 every three years)     Georg-Scheu-Plakette (yearly at the winemakers' festival)  Music  The town's links with wine are even shown in the Alser Lied, a town song, which is always sung on the Friday of the opening of the winemakers' festival. One version sung by former mayor Walter Zuber could be found on the jukebox at the Alzey traditional pub, Zur Gretel for a decade. Theatre      Gerry-Jansen-Theater  Museums      Geschichtsmuseum der Stadt Alzey (Town of Alzey History Museum)  Buildings      Alzey Rossmarkt (Horse Market)      Alzeyer Fischmarkt (Fish Market)      Wartbergturm      Alzeyer Schloss (castle)      Kleine Kirche ("Little Church")  The Old Town  Alzey has a well-kept old town with many timber-frame houses, restaurants, cafés and shops, surrounded by ruins of the mediaeval town wall. The town's midpoint is the Rossmarkt ("Horse Market") with the bronze horse by artist Gernot Rumpf. A sculpture of an ondine by Karlheinz Oswald stands at the Fischmarkt ("Fish Market") in front of the old town hall. Sport  The Wartbergstadion is the town's biggest sporting facility. It has a type-B competition running track with a large grass playing field, a 400 m loop track, track and field areas (plastic) and stands. Here can also be found the leisure swimming pool Wartbergbad. Nearby there is a riding club with stalls, paddocks and a riding hall, and a tennis club with seven clay courts.  Moreover, Alzey has at its disposal a newly built artificial-turf playing field, which is used mainly by the hockey and football clubs. There is also a multipurpose sporting ground and at schools several more hard courts. Regular events Weinbergshäuschen Wanderung  The so-called Weinbergshäuschen Wanderung ("Vineyard Cottage Hike"), or Wingertshaisje Wanderung in the local speech, is a hike through the hilly Rhenish-Hessian countryside between Alzey and the outlying centres of Weinheim and Heimersheim. It is held each September on the first Sunday in that month. Along the network of paths, vineyard cottages are operated between 11:00 and 18:00 by winemaking estates and clubs. On offer at these times are both cold and warm foods and drinks, including the Rhenish-Hessian wine typical of the region. Winemakers' festival  The Winzerfest is held each year on the third weekend in September and lasts from Friday to the following Tuesday. It is the biggest event of its kind in Alzey. On the wine and sekt terrace are presented selected regional wines. Parallel with this is a yearly market with rides and games of all kinds. Culinary specialities  Being the centre of a winegrowing region, the specialities are first and foremost wines and dishes that are made with wine, such as the Backesgrumbeere, a seasoned potato casserole with bacon, wine and sour cream, which is found throughout Rhenish Hesse. The winegrowing engineer Georg Scheu named a variety of grapevine after his workplace, the Perle von Alzey. Economy and infrastructure  The town's main branches of industry are winegrowing, the resident specialized clinic, the building firm Wilhelm Faber GmbH & Co. KG, a Schlecker distribution centre, a Plus distribution centre, an administrative seat of the hypermarket chain real,- and Lufthansa daughter companies Lufthansa Technik AERO Alzey and LSG Sky Food. Moreover, Alzey is the region's service provision centre with a very broad array, for the town's size, of shopping, which is concentrated mainly in the industrial area. Agriculture  Alzey is characterized by winegrowing and with 769 ha of vineyards currently worked, 69% with white wine varieties and 31% with red, it ranks sixth in size among winegrowing centres in Rhineland-Palatinate, and after Worms (1 490 ha) and Nierstein (783 ha), it is the third biggest winegrowing centre in Rhenish Hesse. Transport  Alzey is found near the Autobahnkreuz Alzey, an Autobahn interchange at which cross the two Autobahnen A 61 (Venlo, Koblenz, Bingen, Alzey, Ludwigshafen, Hockenheim) and A 63 (Mainz, Alzey, Kaiserslautern).  Alzey station has direct connections to Mainz Central Station by Regional-Express and Regionalbahn services on the Alzey–Mainz railway, and on the Rheinhessenbahn (railway) to Bingen and Worms. The Donnersbergbahn has since 1999 once more connected Alzey with Kirchheimbolanden. On weekends and holidays, trips on the Elsass-Express ("Alsace Express") to Wissembourg are possible.  The town belongs to the VRN. This tariff can also be used for trips to and from the Rhein-Nahe-Nahverkehrsverbund (RNN) area as far as Alzey. Public institutions      DRK Krankenhaus Alzey (hospital)     Rheinhessen-Fachklinik Alzey (specialized clinic)     Seat of Alzey-Worms district council     Seat of the Verbandsgemeinde of Alzey-Land     Seat of the branch office of the Bingen-Alzey finance office  Education      Primary schools:         Albert-Schweitzer-Schule         Nibelungenschule         St. Marienschule     Secondary school:         Gustav-Heinemann-Schulzentrum with:             Hauptschule             Realschule         Elisabeth Langgässer Gymnasium         Gymnasium am Römerkastell         Staatliches Aufbaugymnasium (state training Gymnasium)     Other:         two special schools (Volkerschule and Schule im Rotental)         District music school         Berufsbildende Schule Alzey (vocational school)         Rheinhessen Fachklinik nursing school  Famous people Honorary citizens Schnatz vum Kroneplatz      Georg Scheu     Willi Bechtolsheimer     Kurt Neumann     Walter Zuber     Karl-Heinz Kipp  Sons and daughters of the town      Felix Adler (1851–1933), philosopher and son of Rabbi Samuel Adler     Samuel Adler, a noted rabbi in the United States, had been chief rabbi here[9]     Volker von Alzey, knight and gleeman in the Nibelungenlied     August Belmont (b. 8 December 1816 in Alzey; d. 24 November 1890 in New York) was a German-American banker and politician. He was from the well known Jewish family Belmont in Alzey as a son of Simon Isaac, who had taken the name Belmont under Napoleon's name law.[9]     Heinrich Claß (b. 29 February 1868 in Alzey; d. 16 April 1953 in Jena) was from 1908 to 1939 chairman of the Alldeutscher Verband, the influential nationalistic club in Imperial Germany. Claß was known for, among other things, works published under the pseudonyms Daniel Frymann and Einhart, in which he propagated his extreme nationalistic and expansionist politics.     Nikolaus Eseler the Elder, master builder     Karl-Heinz Kipp, entrepreneur, founder of the Massa-Märkte (now belonging to the Metro Group), ranked 154 on Forbes's list of wealthiest people (2008) with an estimated fortune of US$6,300,000,000.[10]     Elisabeth Langgässer, (b. 23 February 1899, d. 25 July 1950 in Rheinzabern), writer     Gunther Metz, former professional footballer, active in 1 FC Kaiserslautern and Karlsruher SC in the 1990s. Today cotrainer of the Lauterer Amateure.     Sybille Schloß, née Storck, (b. 15 October 1910 in Munich; d. 13 December 2007 in New York) was a German actress. She grew up in Alzey, where her father Karl Schloß, who had lived in Munich as a poet in the expressionist style, ran a cigarette factory. Among other things, she joined the Kabarett Die Pfeffermühle, and became a heroine in Wolfgang Koeppen's novel "Eine unglückliche Liebe". Her parents were deported from Dutch exile to their deaths, but Sybille Schloß managed to emigrate to New York, where she died in 2007.     Tarkan Tevetoğlu, (b. 1972), today's best known Turkish pop musician with more than 15 million CDs sold. In Germany he is particularly well known for the title "Şımarık".     Manfred Waffender, producer, author, journalist and publisher.     Carl Wolfsohn, American pianist and teacher, was born here in 1834     Walter Zuber, politician (SPD), Member of the Landtag, from 21 May 1991 to 25 February 2005 Minister of the Interior and for Sport in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate.  Famous people associated with the town      Dr. Samuel Adler (b. 3 December 1809 in Worms; d. 9 June 1891 in New York) was from 1842 to 1857 Rabbi of Alzey's Jewish community. He was a supporter of the liberal movement in German Jewry and advocated, for example, the use of German in Jewish worship and a greater role for women. Dr. Adler went as a rabbi to the Temple Emanu-El in New York and became head of the USA's leading Jewish Reform community. Services held by Samuel Adler continued to be in his preferred German. His library is as far as has been possible maintained at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati.     Ludwig Bamberger (b. 22 July 1823 in Mainz, d. 14 March 1899 in Berlin), was a revolutionary, banker and politician. He belonged to the Democrats, who faced down Prussian troops at the Schlosspark in Kirchheimbolanden in 1848. Sentenced to death in absentia, Bamberger later became a banker (founding member of Deutsche Bank) and one of the leading liberal politicians after the German Empire was founded in 1871. He is described as the "Father" of the German Mark (founding of an independent issuing bank). He was for many years a Member of the Reichstag for the electoral district of Bingen-Alzey (from 1871 to 1893) and married Anna Belmont from Alzey.     Anton Spiehler was a Catholic chaplain, later bishop's secretary, spiritual adviser and cathedral capitulary of the Diocese of Speyer, as well as the assistant head of the diocesan seminary and supreme custodian of Speyer Cathedral. He belonged to the so-called Mainzer Kreis ("Mainz Circle").  Alzey Wine Queens      Bärbel Janssen, 1992/93 from Alzey     Kerstin Stelzer 2004/06 from Alzey-Heimersheim     Katharina Matheis 2007/2008 from Alzey-Weinheim     current titleholder: Lisa Schuckmann, since September 2008 from Alzey-Schaffhausen 
Another reichsadler in the Palatinate is this one, still allowed to grace the entrance of the Finanzamt. Hitler spoke in the town on June 14, 1932 during his presidential campaign.On Reichskristallnacht (9 November 1938), the Alzey synagogue was destroyed and the fittings were burnt in front of the building. The ruin was torn down in the 1950s. A rescued Torah scroll can nowadays be found in the museum. On 8 January 1945, in World War II, the town narrowly missed being destroyed when 36 Boeing B-17 bombers had been sent to take out a railway bridge in Alzey. Owing to bad weather and a landmark misinterpretation – the crew mistook the top of the old watchtower for the church steeple – the bombers ended up dropping their load on the Wartberg, a nearby hill, giving rise to the legend of the Wartbergturm – the old tower – as Alzey's saviour.

Mainz   
Mainz then and now
In 1929 and today.  After the Great War the French occupied Mainz between 1919 and 1930 according to the Treaty of Versailles which went into effect 28 June 1919. The Rhineland (in which Mainz is located) was to be a demilitarized zone until 1935 and the French garrison, representing the Triple Entente, was to stay until reparations were paid.  In 1923 Mainz participated in the Rhineland separatist movement that proclaimed a republic in the Rhineland. It collapsed in 1924. The French withdrew on 30 June 1930. Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in January, 1933 and his political opponents, especially those of the Social Democratic Party, were either incarcerated or murdered. Some were able to move away from Mainz in time. One was the political organizer for the SPD, Friedrich Kellner, who went to Laubach, where as the chief justice inspector of the district court he continued his opposition against the Nazis by recording their misdeeds in a 900-page diary.  
In March, 1933, a detachment from the National Socialist Party in Worms brought the party to Mainz. They hoisted the swastika on all public buildings and began to denounce the Jewish population in the newspapers. In 1936 the forces of the Third Reich re-entered the Rhineland with a great fanfare, the first move of the Third Reich's meteoric expansion. The former Triple Entente took no action.  During World War II the citadel at Mainz hosted the Oflag XII-B prisoner of war camp.  The Bishop of Mainz, Albert Stohr, formed an organization to help Jews escape from Germany.  
During World War II, more than 30 air raids destroyed about 80 percent of the city's centre, including most of the historic buildings. Mainz was captured on 22 March 1945 against uneven German resistance (staunch in some sectors and weak in other parts of the city) by the 90th Infantry Division under William A. McNulty, a formation of the XII Corps under Third Army commanded by General George S. Patton, Jr.Patton used the ancient strategic gateway through Germania Superior to cross the Rhine south of Mainz, drive down the Danube towards Czechoslovakia and end the possibility of a Bavarian redoubt crossing the Alps in Austria when the war ended. With regard to the Roman road over which Patton attacked Trier, he said:[16]      one could almost smell the coppery sweat and see the low dust clouds where those stark fighters moved forward into battle.  From 1945 to 1949, the city was part of the French zone of occupation. When the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate was founded on 30 August 1946 by the commander of the French army on the French occupation zone Marie Pierre Kœnig, Mainz became capital of the new state.[17] In 1962, the diarist, Friedrich Kellner, returned to spend his last years in Mainz. His life in Mainz, and the impact of his writings, is the subject of the Canadian documentary My Opposition: The Diaries of Friedrich Kellner.  Following the withdrawal of French forces from Mainz, the United States Army Europe occupied the military bases in Mainz. Today USAREUR only occupies McCulley Barracks in Wackernheim and the Mainz Sand Dunes for training area. Mainz is home to the headquarters of the Bundeswehr's Wehrbereichskommando II and other units.

The famous Weimar novelist Alfred Döblin reappeared in Germany in French uniform and became a literary censor in Baden-Baden. By his own testimony, towering piles of books were placed before him, written either during the war or just after. Suppression had not done wonders for German letters, he thought. With no pun intended (Günter Grass’s first successful novel, The Tin Drum, was not published until 1959), he wrote, ‘At first the only thing that grew on the ground was grass and weeds.’ He founded a literary journal, and formed part of the delegation that inaugurated the new University of Mainz. The journey to the inauguration
ceremony was an adventure in itself. As they approached the cathedral city they saw the wrecks of factories ‘as if brought down by an earthquake’ and then the city centre: ‘But where was Mainz? All that one could see were ruins, faceless people, twisted beams, empty façades: that was Mainz.’ In the old barracks that was now the university Döblin watched civilians and military figures leafing through the translated transcripts of the speeches that morning. There were British and American uniforms scattered along the rows. An orchestra struck up the overture from The Magic Flute. Men came in wearing black gowns and mortar boards. Döblin was reminded of a high-school graduation in the United States. The president of the region gave a speech in which he described the new university as the key to the material and cultural revival of the region. 
MacDonogh (276-277) After the Reich- The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation
The main railway station 
 
Schusterstrasse then and now
 President Hindenberg in July 1930 at a swastika-bedecked Schillerplatz, the Befreiungsdenkmal now replaced with the Fastnachtsbrunnen. The statue itself, Benno Elkan's "Rhenania"  (representing a Rhineland freed from French brutality) was destroyed by the Nazis because of the Jewish background of the artist in late March 1933. Elkan then fled Germany and emigrated to England, where he lived until his death in 1960. In gratitude to the British, Elkan created a large Menorah featuring scenes from the Passion of the Jewish people . As a gift of the British Parliament, it is now before the Knesset in Jerusalem.
When they took power, the Nazis destroyed the huge memorial to Gustav Stresemann at Fischtrplatz.
Hitler in Mainz
Hitler speaking at the fussballplatz June 13, 1932
 The marktplatz before the war, September 1942, and today
Eisenbahnbrücke
 The Eisenbahnbrücke 1942 and today


Annweiler am Trifels
 
Down the hauptstrasse then and now. 
 
On the Sonnenberg behind lie the ruins of the castle of Trifels, in which Richard the Lionhearted was imprisoned from 31 March to 19 April 1193. 

Neuwied (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Neuwied lies on the right bank of the Rhine, 12 km northwest of Koblenz, on the railway from Frankfurt am Main to Cologne. The town has 13 suburban administrative districts: Heimbach-Weis, Gladbach, Engers, Oberbieber, Niederbieber, Torney, Segendorf, Altwied, Block, Irlich, Feldkirchen, Heddesdorf and Rodenbach. The largest is Heimbach-Weis, with approximately 8000 inhabitants.  Founded by Count Frederick of Wied in 1653 as residence of the Lower County of Wied, Neuwied was located near the village of Langendorf, destroyed during the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648). It grew rapidly due to its religious toleration. Among those who sought refuge here was a colony of Moravian Brethren.  Near Neuwied, one of the largest Roman castra on the Rhine has been excavated by archeologists.  In April 1797 the French, under General Louis Lazare Hoche, defeated the Austrians near Neuwied, this being their first decisive success in the French Revolutionary Wars.  Neuwied is the native town of paternal ancestors of John D. Rockefeller, traced to the 16th century and possible French Huguenot refugees. His father's line emigrated to the North American colonies, arriving in New York in 1710, the year of a massive immigration of nearly 2800 Palatine Germans, whose transportation of refugees from London was paid by Queen Anne's government of England. Neuwied was also the birth town of William of Wied, who briefly held the title of King of Albania in 1914.  Contents      1 Geography     2 Politics     3 Notable residents         3.1 To 1800         3.2 1801–1850         3.3 1851–1900         3.4 1901–1950         3.5 1951–present     4 Population     5 Infrastructure         5.1 Public transport     6 Twin Towns     7 Notes     8 References     9 External links  Geography  Parts of the 86,5 square kilometre area are divided into the suburban districts of:      Altwied     Block     Engers     Feldkirchen     Gladbach     Heimbach-Weis     Irlich     Niederbieber     Oberbieber     Rodenbach     Segendorf     Torney  The core of Neuwied and the former village of Heddesdorf, which belonged to the municipality before these districts were added, are not listed as districts themselves.  Since the inner city of Neuwied is situated on a former bed of the river Rhine, it is at great risk of flooding. It is one of very few towns in the region protected by anti-flood levees, a source of friction with communities downstream.  Neuwied is twinned with the London Borough of Bromley. Politics  The June 2004 municipal council elections led to the following distribution of seats: CDU (22), SPD (17), FWG (4), Grüne (3), FDP (2). The mayor of Neuwied is the social democrat Nicolaus Roth. Notable residents To 1800      Hermann of Wied (1477–1552), archbishop of Cologne, reformer     David Roentgen (1743–1807), cabinetmaker     Peter Kinzing (1745–1816), watchmaker and mechanic     Johannes Baptista von Albertini (1769–1831), Bishop of Moravian Church     Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied (1782–1867), ethnologist  1801–1850      Philipp Wilhelm Wirtgen (1806–1870), botanist     Hermann, Prince of Wied (1814–1864), Prince of Wied     Elisabeth of Wied (1843–1916), Queen of Romania, poet, pseudonym of Carmen Sylva     William, Prince of Wied (1845–1907), Prince of Wied, Officer and politician  1851–1900      Ferdinand Hueppe (1852–1938), Co-founder of the DFB and sports medicine     Paul Reichard (1854–1938), African researchers     Friedrich von Ingenohl (1857–1933), Admiral, commander of the imperial High Seas Fleet in World War I     Ferdinand Siegert (1865–1946), pediatrician     Carl von Moers (1871–1957), horse rider – Eventing and Dressage     Carl Einstein (1885–1940), writer, art historian, and critic     Friedrich Wolf (1888–1953), doctor and writer.  1901–1950      Walter Kaiser (1907–1982), professional footballer     Friedrich Wilhelm, Prince of Wied (1931–2000), Prince of Wied, grandson of William Frederick, 6th Prince of Wied     Horst Siebert (1938–2009), economist     Klaus Rudolf Werhand (1938–2009), Blacksmith and Art Metal Sculptor  1951–present      Jörg Bewersdorff (* 1958), mathematician     Ulf Mark Schneider (* 1965), Manager and current CEO of Fresenius     Ferris MC (* 1973), musician, rapper and actor     Christian Ulmen (* 1975), entertainer and actor     Simon Kirch (* 1979), track and field athlete     Mike Rockenfeller (* 1983), race car driver     Tobias Nickenig (* 1984), professional footballer     Tobias Hegewald (* 1989), racing driver     Hasan Ali Kaldırım (* 1989), Turkish footballer     Anna-Lena Friedsam (* 1994), tennis player  Population  Originally there were only a few thousand people living in Neuwied with the number not growing significantly because of wars and famines. With the industrialization in the 19th century the number of inhabitants increased from 5,600 in 1831 to 18,000 in 1905.  By 1970 the figure had grown to 31,400 and following a major realignment incorporating several communities within the town, it jumped to 63,000.  As of 30 June 2005 there were officially 66,455 people living in Neuwied. Infrastructure Raiffeisenbrücke between Neuwied and Weißenthurm  Neuwied is connected to the German network of Bundesstraßen (national routes) (here: B9, B42 and B256). The Autobahnen (motorways) A3, A48 and A61 are quickly reachable from Neuwied. Public transport  Within the bounds of Neuwied are two railway stations, Neuwied and Engers on the Right Rhine line, and a third station is under consideration by the state agency for northern commuter railway services (SPNV Nord), which is responsible for the service on the railway lines connecting to Koblenz Hauptbahnhof in the south and Köln Hauptbahnhof in the north. Via either of those stations, the German high-speed rail network and the InterCity network are accessible. Daytime service includes      a Deutsche Bahn hourly semi-fast train (Regional-Express), the Rhein-Erft-Express, running Koblenz-Engers-Neuwied-Cologne-Mönchengladbach and back,     and a Deutsche Bahn hourly all-stops service (Regionalbahn) Koblenz-Neuwied-Cologne-Stommeln(-Mönchengladbach) and back, which is also available in the evening hours.     A VIAS hourly semi-fast train (StadtExpress) Neuwied-Koblenz-Lahnstein-Wiesbaden(-Frankfurt) and back, running also in evening hours.  It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to travel to Koblenz while Cologne is about 70 to 80 minutes away, Mainz 90 to 120 minutes, direct connection to Frankfurt is around 150 minutes, sometimes faster when changing to the IC/ICE network.  Public transport within Neuwied relies on a bus network, offering (depending on line) 20, 30 or 60-minute schedules, the majority of lines are served by Transdev.  All public transport (road and rail) is integrated into the Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Mosel public transport association. Tickets are valid for all service, restricted by time and fare zones. For more information on timetables see [1]. Twin Towns Main article: List of twin towns and sister cities in Germany  Neuwied is twinned with:      United Kingdom Bromley, United Kingdom.     Israel Drom HaSharon Regional Council, Israel.
Hermann-Göring-Brücke
Linking Weißenthurm and Neuwied over the Rhine, what is now known as the Raiffeisenbrücke replaces the destroyed Hermann-Göring-Brücke. 

Linz am Rhein 
 
In kreis Neuwied, the Rheintor at Burgplatz then and now, with a different flag flying

Coblenz  
Around 1000 BC, early fortifications were erected on the Festung Ehrenbreitstein hill on the opposite side of the Moselle. In 55 BC, Roman troops commanded by Julius Caesar reached the Rhine and built a bridge between Koblenz and Andernach. About 9 BC, the "Castellum apud Confluentes", was one of the military posts established by Drusus.  Remains of a large bridge built in 49 AD by the Romans are still visible. The Romans built two castles as protection for the bridge, one in 9 AD and another in the 2nd century, the latter being destroyed by the Franks in 259. North of Koblenz was a temple of Mercury and Rosmerta (a Gallo-Roman deity), which remained in use up to the 5th century. Palace of the prince electors of Trier. Map of the Koblenz region. Middle Ages  With the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city was conquered by the Franks and became a royal seat. After the division of Charlemagne's empire, it was included in the lands of his son Louis the Pious (814). In 837, it was assigned to Charles the Bald, and a few years later it was here that Carolingian heirs discussed what was to become the Treaty of Verdun (843), by which the city became part of Lotharingia under Lothair I. In 860 and 922, Koblenz was the scene of ecclesiastical synods. At the first synod, held in the Liebfrauenkirche, the reconciliation of Louis the German with his half-brother Charles the Bald took place. The city was sacked and destroyed by the Normans in 882. In 925, it became part of the eastern German Kingdom, later the Holy Roman Empire. Fortress (Festung) Ehrenbreitstein in the background.  In 1018, the city was given by the emperor Henry II to the archbishop and prince elector of Trier after receiving a charter. It remained in the possession of his successors until the end of the 18th century, having been their main residence since the 17th century. Emperor Conrad II was elected here in 1138. In 1198, the battle between Philip of Swabia and Otto IV took place nearby. In 1216, prince-bishop Theoderich von Wied donated part of the lands of the basilica and the hospital to the Teutonic Knights, which later became the Deutsches Eck.  In 1249–1254, Koblenz was given new walls by Archbishop Arnold II of Isenburg; and it was partly to overawe the turbulent citizens that successive archbishops built and strengthened the fortress of Ehrenbreitstein that still dominates the city. Modern era  The city was a member of the league of the Rhenish cities which rose in the 13th century. The Teutonic Knights founded the Bailiwick of Koblenz in or around 1231. Koblenz attained great prosperity and it continued to advance until the disaster of the Thirty Years' War brought about a rapid decline. After Philip Christopher, elector of Trier, surrendered Ehrenbreitstein to the French, the city received an imperial garrison in 1632. However, this force was soon expelled by the Swedes, who in their turn handed the city over again to the French. Imperial forces finally succeeded in retaking it by storm in 1636.  In 1688, Koblenz was besieged by the French under Marshal de Boufflers, but they only succeeded in bombing the Old City (Altstadt) into ruins, destroying among other buildings the Old Merchants' Hall (Kaufhaus), which was restored in its present form in 1725. The city was the residence of the archbishop-electors of Trier from 1690 to 1801. Since 2010 the Koblenz Cable Car has been Germany's biggest aerial tramway  In 1786, the last archbishop-elector of Trier, Clemens Wenceslaus of Saxony, greatly assisted the extension and improvement of the city, turning the Ehrenbreitstein into a magnificent baroque palace. After the fall of the Bastille in 1789, the city became, through the invitation of the archbishop-elector's chief minister, Ferdinand Freiherr von Duminique, one of the principal rendezvous points for French émigrés. The archbishop-elector approved of this because he was the uncle of the persecuted king of France, Louis XVI. Among the many royalist French refugees who flooded into the city were Louis XVI's two younger brothers, the Comte de Provence and the Comte d'Artois. In addition, Louis XVI's cousin, the Prince de Condé, arrived and formed an army of young aristocrats willing to fight the French Revolution and restore the Ancien Régime. The Army of Condé joined with an allied army of Prussian and Austrian soldiers led by Duke of Brunswick in an unsuccessful invasion of France in 1792. This drew down the wrath of the First French Republic on the archbishop-elector; in 1794, Coblenz was taken by the French Revolutionary army under Marceau (who was killed during the siege), and, after the signing of the Treaty of Lunéville (1801) it was made the capital of the new French départment of Rhin-et-Moselle. In 1814, it was occupied by the Russians. The Congress of Vienna assigned the city to Prussia, and in 1822, it was made the seat of government for the Prussian Rhine Province.  After World War I, France occupied the area once again. In defiance of the French, the German populace of the city has insisted on using the more German spelling of Koblenz since 1926. During World War II it was the location of the command of German Army Group B and like many other German cities, it was heavily bombed and rebuilt afterwards. Between 1947 and 1950, it served as the seat of government of Rhineland-Palatinate.  The Rhine Gorge was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002, with Koblenz marking the northern end. 
The Kaiser Wilhelm memorial with and without swastika. The monument was unveiled in the presence of William II on August 31, 1897. The semi-circular pediment with its 33 ft high hall of columns survived the last world war.  The 46 ft high equestrian statue of Emperor William I in his parade uniform, followed by the female allegory of the Empire carrying the imperial crown of Germany on a velvet cushion, was destroyed in March 1945 by an artillery shell.  In 1953 the monument was declared the Memorial to German unity by German president Theodor Heuss. The Germans remember the date since they sung their national anthem here for the first time on that occasion after the defeat in WW II. But the people of Coblenz wanted their ‘old Emperor William’ back. This was made possible by a generous private donation of 3 million marks (EUR1.53 million/$1.9 million) and a local fundraising effort in Coblenz which brought in 350,000 DM (EUR180,000). The heavy statue of 63.5 tonnes was unveiled to the public on 25 September 1993.
After the Great War, France occupied the area once again. In defiance of the French, the German populace of the city has insisted on using the more German spelling of Coblenz since 1926. During World War II it was the location of the command of German Army Group B and like many other German cities, it was heavily bombed and rebuilt afterwards. Between 1947 and 1950, it served as the seat of government of Rhineland-Palatinate.
 
The hauptbahnhof August 27, 1941 and today, with the fortress behind
 
Deutschen Arbeitsfront (DAF) meeting  March 1935  in front of the Kurfürstlichen Schloss  (Electoral Palace)
 
The Weindorf (wine village) of Koblenz was established in 1925 as part of the Reichsausstellung Deutscher Wein (The Reich German Wine Exhibition),  held from 8 August to 13 September 1925 as part of the celebrations for the 1000th anniversary of the Rhineland. Koblenz was chosen as the venue because the city is in the centre of the wine trade and tourist area. Above shows the largest exhibition hall, the Fachwerkhaus (also called the Rheinhalle), which was located in the middle of the exhibition area. Originally built only for the duration of the exhibition, the buildings were so popular that they have been retained since as a tourist attraction. Newly-elected President Paul von Hindenburg sent at the opening on August 8, 1925 a congratulatory telegram. The devastating air raid on Koblenz on 6 November 1944, left the site in ruins and it was eventually rebuilt in the 1950s, albeit in simplified form.

Ingelheim
 Binger Straße in 1939 and today, under renovation. After the war, Ingelheim emerged as the only unscathed town between Mainz and Koblenz.
Demonstration outside the Burgkirche 

Remagen (Rhineland-Palatinate)
The Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen—the last standing on the Rhine—was captured by soldiers of the U.S. 9th Armoured Division on March 7, 1945 during Operation Lumberjack.
The Ludendorff Bridge was originally built during World War I as a means of moving troops and logistics west over the Rhine to reinforce the Western Front. The bridge was designed by Karl Wiener, an architect from Mannheim. It was 1,066 ft long, had a clearance of 49 ft above the normal water level of the Rhine, and its highest point measured 96.0 ft. The bridge was designed to be defended by troops with towers on each bank with machine gun slits in the towers. The bridge carried two railway tracks and a pedestrian walkway. 
During World War II, one track was planked over to allow vehicular traffic. During Operation Lumberjack, on 7 March 1945, troops of the U.S. Army's 9th Armored Division reached the Ludendorff Bridge during the closing weeks of World War II and were very surprised to see that the railroad bridge was still standing. It was the last of 22 road and railroad bridges over the Rhine still standing after German defenders failed to demolish it. U.S. forces were able to capture the bridge. The unexpected availability of the first major crossing of the Rhine, Germany's last major natural barrier and line of defence, caused Allied high commander Dwight Eisenhower to alter his plans to end the war and possibly shortened the war in Europe. The ability to quickly establish a bridgehead on the eastern side of the Rhine and to get forces into Germany allowed the U.S. forces to envelop the German industrial area of the Ruhr more quickly than planned. The Allies were able to get six divisions across the bridge before it collapsed on 17 March 1945, ten days after it was captured. The collapse killed 18 U.S. Army Engineers.
Hans Peter Kürten, at that time Mayor of Remagen, had long considered the idea of constructing a memorial. The negotiations with the German Federal Railway alone lasted seven years before the city could finally acquire the former railway property. Announcements sent to government officials concerning the intended preservation of the bridge towers and the construction of a Memorial to Peace stirred no interest.  In the summer of 1976, it was necessary to remove the still intact bridge support pilings in the river. The mayor had the stones deposited on the Remagen river bank, with the idea in mind of selling small pieces of the bridge stones enclosed in synthetic resin and containing a certificate of authenticity. On 7 March 1978, he went public with his idea and achieved such an unexpected degree of success, that he had realised more than 100,000 DM in sales profits.  There has not been another bridge built across the Rhine here, mainly due to opposition from the people of Remagen (and surrounding areas), contending that a bridge located at this point along the Rhine would spoil the view.
In his book Crimes and Mercies regarding allied brutality towards Germans after the war, James Bacque writes that
 Much concerning these atrocities has been deliberately suppressed, some has been forgotten, some falsified, but perhaps the most poignant anecdote was given by an ex-prisoner, Johannes Heising, who in the 1990s published a book about his experiences in the US camp at Remagen. After the book was published, Heising was talking in 1991 with another former Remagen prisoner, Franz-Josef Plemper, who reminded him of something Heising had not described in the book: one night, the Americans had bulldozed living men under the earth in their foxholes. Plemper described the scene to him: 'One night in April 1945, I was startled out of my stupor in the rain and the mud by piercing screams and loud groans. I jumped up and saw in the distance (about 30-50 meters) the searchlight of a bulldozer. Then I saw this bulldozer moving forwards through the crowd of prisoners who lay there. In the front it had a blade making a pathway. How many of the prisoners were buried alive in their earthholes I do not know. It was no longer possible to ascertain. I heard clearly cries of "you murderer".' And then Heising remembered.

Beilstein
 
The Zehnthaus during the Third Reich and today. The municipality had been the setting for a number of Nazi-era films such as  Carl Froelich’s 1936 work Wenn wir alle Engel wären (“If We Were All Angels”) starring Heinz Rühmann (described by Hull, 104, as "the best comedy of the year which contained a number of racy situations that would have curled the hair of an American censor) and the 1938 film Das Verlegenheitskind starring Ida Wüst and Paul Klinger.


Worms
American soldiers Nibelungenbrücke
Two American GIs take cover on the bridge on the Nibelungenbrücke on March 28, 1945, as snipers on the other bank of the Rhine take aim. In the foreground lies one of their victims.
Die Nibelungenbrücke verbindet die rheinland-pfälzische Stadt Worms über den Rhein mit den hessischen Städten Lampertheim und Bürstadt.  Die Brücke im Verlauf der B 47, hier identisch mit Nibelungen- und Siegfriedstraße, ist die einzige Straßenbrücke zwischen Mannheim im Süden und Mainz im Norden. Sie wurde nach der Nibelungensage benannt und birgt mit dem Nibelungenturm eine Wormser Sehenswürdigkeit.  Nachdem bei Worms der Fährbetrieb urkundlich seit dem Jahr 858 belegt ist, entstand die erste Schiffsbrücke im Jahr 1855. Die erste feste Brücke über den Rhein war von 1900 bis 1945 die Ernst-Ludwig-Brücke. Die im Zweiten Weltkrieg zerstörte Brücke wurde als Nibelungenbrücke (heute „alte“ Nibelungenbrücke genannt) von 1951 bis 1953 wieder aufgebaut.  Aufgrund von gewachsenem Verkehrsaufkommen und Sanierungsbedürftigkeit wurde von 2005 bis 2008 parallel zur „alten“ die „neue“ Nibelungenbrücke errichtet. Seit der 2013 vollendeten Sanierung der „alten“ Brücke führen die zwei Fahrstreifen der „alten“ Brücke stadteinwärts und die zwei der „neuen“ stadtauswärts.[1] Beide Brücken verfügen über kombinierte Fußgänger- und Radfahrwege.  Die alte Nibelungenbrücke einschließlich des Nibelungenturms ist ein Kulturdenkmal sowohl nach dem Hessischen Denkmalschutzgesetz als auch nach dem rheinland-pfälzischen Denkmalrecht.  Inhaltsverzeichnis      1 Geographische Lage     2 Vorgeschichte     3 Brücken         3.1 Ursprung: Ernst-Ludwig-Brücke (1900 bis 1945)         3.2 Erste bzw. „alte“ Nibelungenbrücke (seit 1953)         3.3 Parallelbau „neue“ Nibelungenbrücke (seit 2008)     4 Nibelungenturm     5 Literatur     6 Weblinks     7 Einzelnachweise  Geographische Lage  Die Nibelungenbrücke steht unmittelbar östlich der Stadt Worms und leitet mit den hier auf der B 47 verlaufenden Ferienstraßen Nibelungen- und Siegfriedstraße über den Rhein zum Lampertheimer Stadtteil Rosengarten und zur weiter östlich befindlichen Stadt Bürstadt über. Die zwischen den Rheinkilometern 443 und 444 errichtete Zwillingsstraßenbrücke verbindet die rheinland-pfälzische Region Rheinhessen im Westen mit dem Hessischen Ried im Osten.  Auf rheinland-pfälzischer Seite und damit westlich der Nibelungenbrücke hat die B 47 direkt an der Brücke Anschluss an die B 9. Westlich des Rheins breitet sich die Wormser Kernstadt aus, nordwestlich der Brücke liegt der städtische Festplatz, unmittelbar nördlich die Rheinpromenade mit Restaurants, kleiner Parkanlage und Hagendenkmal und etwas südlich des Bauwerks befindet sich der „Floßhafen“. Unter der westlichen Vorlandbrücke hindurch führt die Hafenbahn Worms. Auf hessischer Seite und damit östlich der Brücke hat die B 47 bei Bürstadt Anschluss an die B 44. Östlich des Rheins erstreckt sich entlang des Flussufers etwas stromabwärts das Naherholungsgebiet Maulbeeraue mit einem dieses östlich abgrenzenden Altrheinarm.  Die nächste rheinaufwärts stehende Straßenbrücke ist die etwa elf Rheinkilometer weiter südlich zwischen Mannheim im Osten und Frankenthal und Ludwigshafen im Westen befindliche Theodor-Heuss-Rheinbrücke im Zuge der A 6. Die nächste Straßenbrücke rheinabwärts ist die rund 51 Rheinkilometer weiter nördlich zwischen Mainz im Westen und Ginsheim-Gustavsburg im Osten errichtete Weisenauer Brücke im Zuge der A 60. Etwa 2,3 km rheinabwärts queren die Nibelungenbahn und die Riedbahn den Rhein auf der Rheinbrücke Worms, der einzigen Eisenbahnbrücke zwischen Mannheim und Mainz. Vorgeschichte  Der Fährbetrieb bei Worms ist erstmals in einer Urkunde aus dem Jahr 858 belegt, in der Ludwig der Deutsche die Schifffahrtsrechte des Klosters Lorsch bestätigt. Spätestens im Hochmittelalter wurden die Fährrechte auf verschiedene, vor allem geistliche Institutionen aufgeteilt, die diese zu ihrer Finanzierung nutzten. Dennoch blieb das Fährwesen eine städtische Aufgabe, wie die um 1400 erlassene städtische Fährordnung dokumentiert, die neben den Tarifen unter anderem auch die Reihenfolge des Übersetzens und die Betriebszeiten festlegte.[2]  Die ersten Planungen für eine Schiffsbrücke als dauerhaftere Form der Rheinquerung datieren von 1720. Sie wurden von Franz Ludwig von Pfalz-Neuburg, dem Bischof von Worms, angestoßen, der so seine rechtsrheinischen Hoheitsgebiete besser erreichen wollte. Diese Pläne wurden aus unbekannten Gründen nicht umgesetzt. Ein zweites, weit fortgeschrittenes Projekt wurde 1790 durch die Folgen der Französischen Revolution vereitelt. Obwohl die Stadt auch danach mehrfach entsprechende Projekte anregte, dauerte es noch weitere 65 Jahre, bevor eine Schiffsbrücke angelegt wurde; ein wesentlicher Hinderungsgrund für einen schnelleren Bau waren die komplizierten Rechts- und Eigentumsverhältnisse am Fährbetrieb, die erst 1831 durch Verkauf an das Großherzogtum Hessen geklärt wurden. 1842 beantragten die beiden Wormser Mitglieder in den Landständen des Großherzogtums Hessen, Wilhelm Valckenberg und Friedrich von Dörnberg, erneut den Bau einer Schiffsbrücke. Obwohl dieser Antrag noch im selben Jahr positiv beschieden wurde, konnte diese Brücke erst am 14. Juni 1855 eingeweiht werden.[2]  Ab etwa 1880, also 25 Jahre nach Einweihung der Schiffsbrücke, wurde intensiv über den Bau einer festen Brücke diskutiert. Ausschlaggebend hierfür waren die mit der Rheinregulierung einhergehenden Planungen, das Rheinhochwasser von 1882 und der steigende Arbeitskräftebedarf der Wormser Industrie. Die Mittel für die Brücke wurden 1894/95 nach intensiver Lobbyarbeit der Wormser Abgeordneten Cornelius Wilhelm von Heyl (Reichstag und Landstände) und Nikolaus Reinhart (Landstände) freigegeben, der Baubeginn erfolgte im Mai 1897.[2] Brücken Ursprung: Ernst-Ludwig-Brücke (1900 bis 1945)  Ernst-Ludwig-Brücke Ernst-Ludwig-Brücke Ernst-Ludwig-Brücke, Ansicht von Osten (Teil einer Postkarte von 1902) Offizieller Name     Ernst-Ludwig-Brücke Überführt       Straße von Worms nach Lampertheim Unterführt       Rhein Ort     Worms und Lampertheim-Rosengarten Konstruktion     Bogenbrücke aus Stahlfachwerk Gesamtlänge     774 m Breite     10,5 m Längste Stützweite     105,6 m Baubeginn     1897 Fertigstellung     1900 Eröffnung     26. März 1900 Schließung     20. März 1945 (gesprengt im Zweiten Weltkrieg)  Die erste Rheinbrücke, die bei Worms errichtet wurde, war die ab 1897 erbaute und am 26. März 1900 eingeweihte Stahlfachwerk-Bogenbrücke Ernst-Ludwig-Brücke, benannt nach dem Großherzog von Hessen-Darmstadt als Landesherrn; noch im selben Jahr wurde auch die nahe Eisenbahnbrücke Rheinbrücke Worms eingeweiht.  Die insgesamt 774 m lange Brücke besaß drei Zweigelenkbögen mit Weiten von 94,4 m in den Seitenfeldern und 105,6 m im mittleren Feld.[3] Sie wies eine Eisenfachwerkkonstruktion mit aufgeständerter Fahrbahn auf, die vom MAN Werk Gustavsburg gebaut wurde. Die massiven Vorlandbrücken, die Pfeiler und die zwei neoromanischen Tortürme wurden nach Entwurf des vormaligen Wormser Stadtbaurats Prof. Karl Hofmann durch das Mannheimer Bauunternehmen Grün & Bilfinger oHG größtenteils in Beton ausgeführt.  Für die Benutzung der Ernst-Ludwig-Brücke wurde bis Ende der 1920er-Jahre ein Brückenzoll erhoben. Dafür waren in den Brückentürmen Kassenstuben eingerichtet. Während der Rheinlandbesetzung im Rahmen des Friedensvertrags von Versailles wurden hier auch Grenz- und Zollkontrollen durchgeführt.  Vor dem Zweiten Weltkrieg wurden an beiden Brückentürmen die Turmhauben über den Treppenhäusern abgenommen und durch Betonplattformen ersetzt und im Krieg dort insgesamt vier Flakgeschütze zur Brückenverteidigung aufgestellt. Am 20. März 1945 wurde die Brücke von der zurückziehenden Wehrmacht gesprengt. Erste bzw. „alte“ Nibelungenbrücke (seit 1953) Panoramaaufnahme der „alten“ Nibelungenbrücke (Februar 2008)  Am 26. März 1945 bauten US-Pioniere der 'US 85th Combat Engineers Division' innerhalb von 10 Stunden wenige Meter nördlich (= flussabwärts) der zerstörten Brücke eine Pontonbrücke. Behelfsmäßige Brücken über den Rhein bauten US-Truppen ebenso im Süden von Worms zwischen Bobenheim-Roxheim und Frankenthal sowie im Norden etwa bei Hamm am Rhein.[4] Später wurde eine Schleppfähre eingesetzt. Das Provisorium konnte jedoch nur den dringendsten Bedarf decken. Erst ab 1948 stand mit der behelfsmäßigen Rheinbrücke Worms, die damals als Eisenbahn- und Straßenbrücke fungierte, eine feste Rheinquerung im Raum Worms zur Verfügung.  Trotz des erkennbaren Bedarfs rückte der Neubau einer Straßenbrücke erst im Herbst 1949 durch eine Denkschrift der Stadt Worms in den Fokus der Politik. Seit der Gründung der Länder Hessen und Rheinland-Pfalz verlief die neue Landesgrenze im Rhein und schnitt so auch die künftige Brücke. Bereits im Frühjahr 1950 wurde Verhandlung zwischen den Ländern Hessen und Rheinland-Pfalz und dem Bund aufgenommen. Die Eigentumsverhältnisse teilten sich die beiden Länder künftig im Verhältnis 1 (Rheinland-Pfalz) : 2 (Hessen).[5] Im Herbst 1950 wurde mit den Vorarbeiten für den Neubau begonnen. Dabei wurde der stark beschädigte östliche (rechtsrheinische) Torturm oberhalb der Fahrbahn abgetragen, der drei Stockwerke hohe Sockel unterhalb der Fahrbahn blieb erhalten.  Baubeginn für die Strombrücke mit einer Spannbeton-Hohlkasten-Konstruktion war im Mai 1951, die Einweihung fand am 30. April 1953 statt. Die 316 m lange Strombrücke ist „Deutschlands erste große Spannbetonbrücke im Freivorbau“.[6] Sie besitzt einen gevouteten, zweizelligen Hohlkastenquerschnitt mit einer Hauptstützweite von 114,2 m und wurde nach einem Entwurf von Ulrich Finsterwalder und Gerd Lohmer im Freivorbau auf den Senkkästen der vorherigen Brücke errichtet. Der insgesamt 744 m lange Brückenzug weist neben der Strombrücke eine östliche, 292 m lange und eine westliche, 137 m lange Vorlandbrücke, jeweils eine Gewölbebrückenkonstruktion, auf.  Die „alte“ Nibelungenbrücke war dem Verkehrszuwachs zwischen 1953 und 2005 nicht gewachsen, weshalb sie gerade zu Stoßzeiten stark überlastet und inzwischen auch sanierungsbedürftig war. Sie war vom 16. September 2008, als nach Verkehrsfreigabe der parallel errichteten „neuen“ Brücke mit ihrer Sanierung begonnen wurde, bis zum 12. September 2013 für den Verkehr gesperrt.[7] Parallelbau „neue“ Nibelungenbrücke (seit 2008)  Bundesstrasse 47 Neue Nibelungenbrücke Worms Neue Nibelungenbrücke Worms Neue Nibelungenbrücke Überführt       Bundesstraße 47 Querung von       Rhein Ort     Worms und Lampertheim-Rosengarten Unterhalten durch     Bund und Land Rheinland-Pfalz Konstruktion     Spannbeton- Hohlkastenbrücke Gesamtlänge     744,30 m Breite     16,75 m Längste Stützweite     114,20 m Baukosten     16 Mio. Euro Baubeginn     4. Mai 2005 Fertigstellung     2008 Eröffnung     12. September 2008  Aufgrund starken Verkehrszuwachses und erheblicher Sanierungsbedürftigkeit der „alten“ Nibelungenbrücke wurde am 4. Mai 2005 der Grundstein für die zweite, parallel verlaufende Rheinbrücke wenige Meter flussaufwärts gelegt. Die „neue“ Nibelungenbrücke wurde, genau wie die „alte“ Brücke, im Freivorbau errichtet und hat die gleichen Stützweiten. Die Bauaufsicht und -leitung lag beim Landesbetrieb Mobilität Rheinland-Pfalz.  Der Neubau der Brücke wurde am 12. September 2008 vom rheinland-pfälzischen Ministerpräsidenten Kurt Beck, Bundesverkehrsminister Wolfgang Tiefensee, den Verkehrsministern von Rheinland-Pfalz und Hessen, Hendrik Hering und Alois Rhiel, sowie dem Wormser Oberbürgermeister Michael Kissel, im Rahmen eines Brückenfestes eingeweiht.[8] Nach dem Fest wurde Mitte September 2008 mit der Sanierung der „alten“ Nibelungenbrücke begonnen, für die das Land Hessen verantwortlich zeichnet.[9] Dazu wurde der komplette Verkehr auf die neue Rheinquerung verlegt.  Seit 12. September 2013 stehen vier Spuren für die Rheinquerung zur Verfügung. Über die „alte“ Nibelungenbrücke fährt der stadteinwärts führende und auf der „neuen“ der stadtauswärts verlaufende Verkehr.      Blick auf den Rhein und nach Hessen (Osten)      Links: alte Brücke, rechts Bau der neuen Brücke (Februar 2008)      Links: Erneuerung der alten Brücke, rechts der Neubau (September 2010)      Die nördliche von Mitte September 2008 bis zum 12. September 2013 sanierte Nibelungenbrücke      rechts „neu“, links „alt“ über den Rhein      Blick auf Worms (Westen)      Neubau (links) (Februar 2008)      Neubau der Anschlussstellen stadteinwärts (September 2010)      Die zwei Brücken mit Blick auf den Turm (2014)      Die zwei Brücken mit Blick auf den Turm (2014)  Nibelungenturm  Als Nibelungenturm wird der 53 m hohe Torturm der Nibelungenbrücke auf dem linksrheinischen Ufer bezeichnet. Ursprünglich wurde er als Wohnraum genutzt, seit Juli 1976 dient er als Herberge, die von Pfadfindern des Verbands Christlicher Pfadfinderinnen und Pfadfinder ausgebaut wurde und betrieben wird. Von den insgesamt acht Etagen, die sich oberhalb der Fahrbahn befinden, werden heute fünf genutzt. In den drei Etagen unterhalb der Fahrbahn im Turmfuß ist die Rheingütestation Worms für die Gewässerüberwachung untergebracht.[10]  Auf der Westseite des Torbogens befindet sich die Bauinschrift: Erbaut 1897–1900 unter der Regierung Ernst-Ludwigs Großherzog von Hessen und bei Rhein. Oberhalb davon wird das kleine Wappen des Großherzugtums Hessen als Sandsteinrelief dargestellt. Darüber befindet sich das vergoldete Zifferblatt der Turmuhr. Das ursprüngliche mechanische Uhrwerk wurde gegen ein Funkwerk getauscht; es ist im Landesbetrieb Mobilität Rheinland-Pfalz (LBM) in Worms eingelagert. Unterhalb des Schieferhelms sind ebenfalls in rotem Sandstein die Wappen der drei Provinzhauptstädte des Großherzogtums angebracht: Mainz für Rheinhessen, Darmstadt für Starkenburg und Gießen für Oberhessen. Auf der Ostseite ziert den Schlussstein des Torbogens eine mit einer Weinkrone bekrönte Fratze. Das Wappen von Worms befindet sich oberhalb der auch auf dieser Seite angebrachten Turmuhr.


Werdohl
 
The town swimming pool then and now, relatively unchanged.


Saarbrücken 
Bishops Franz Rudolf Bornewasser of Trier and Ludwig Sebastian of Speyer giving the Nazi salute along with Reichskommissar for the Reunification of the Saarland to the German Reich Josef Bürkel, Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick, and Joseph Goebbels inside the rathaus on March 1, 1935.
 Goebbels provided a weekly illustrated magazine, telling the catholic Saar electorate that the bolsheviks were the sworn enemy of God. In neutral Geneva his ministry’s anti-Comintern unit set up a religious front, Pro Deo, which formally received the anti-bolshevik exhibition that he had prepared in Berlin and sent it on to the Saar camouflaged with Swiss certificates of origin. In the Saar, the catholic clergy publicized the exhibition from their pulpits. ‘ The Saarbrücken clerics never guessed whose errands they were running,’ wrote Eberhard Taubert.

Hitler arriving in front of the Johanneskirche
Nazis marching past the Johanneskirche  
Then and now
  
The rathaus on that day and today.
 
Adolf-Hitler-Straße before and after the war, and today as Bahnhofstraße



Bahnhofstraße then and now

 
The hauptbahnhof itself with Hitler during a march, after the war, and its current replacement.
Saarländisches Staatstheater
The Saarland national theatre was officially opened in 1938 by Adolf Hitler as the Gautheater Saarpfalz. The following year on May 16, Hitler attended a performance of Karl Millöcker’s operetta Gräfin Dubarry here. "Incidentally, the foundations of the theatre building formed part of the West Wall’s substructure along the Saar River (Doramus p.1610)."
 
The  Ludwigskirche during the Third Reich and today. During the Second World War, Ludwigskirche was almost completely destroyed. After a bombing on October 5, 1944, only the surrounding walls remained. Rebuilding began in 1949, however it has still not been completed. The main reason for this long delay was the fierce dispute, which lasted from the 1950s into the 1970s, about whether the baroque interior, which had been completely lost, should also be reconstructed according to the original plans. At first, it had been agreed to restore the exterior, with a modern interior, but this plan was finally abandoned. After the reconstruction of the "Fürstenstuhl" (i.e., the princely seating in the gallery across from the organ) in 2009, the interior is more or less complete, but some of the balustrade figures on the outside are still lacking.

Saarlouis

The Ludwigskirche after the war and today. 
The Ludwigskirche after the war and today. After the First World War, French troops occupied Saarlouis. The Saargebiet became a protectorate of the League of Nations for a period of 15 years. In 1933, a considerable number of anti-Nazi Germans fled to the Saar, as it was the only part of Germany left outside the Third Reich's control. As a result, anti-Nazi groups campaigned heavily for the Saarland to remain under control of League of Nations as long as Adolf Hitler ruled Germany. However, long-held sentiments against France remained entrenched, with very few sympathising openly with France. When the 15-year-term was over, a plebiscite was held in the territory on 13 January 1935: 90.3% of those voting wished to rejoin Germany.  From 1936 till 1945, Saarlouis was named as Saarlautern (-lautern being a common ending of town and village names in Germany) in an attempt by the Nazis to Germanise the town name. 
After World War II, the region (then called the Saarland), was again occupied by France. In a plebiscite in 1955, most of the people in the Saarland opted for the reunification with the Federal Republic of Germany, and on January 1, 1957, it became the 10th federal state of West Germany.
 
Seen from Adolf Hitler Platz then and now
 
The Dreißiger Denkmal

Galgenbergturm
The Galgenbergturm (Gallows Hill Tower), the main symbol of the community Schiffweiler, was built between 1937 and 1939, inaugurated 8 July 1939 in the name and service of Adolf Hitler. After the war it was renamed Galgenberg tower.

 Elversberg 
Hermann Göring Straße 
Nazi-era postcard of Hermann Göring Straße, today St. Ingberter Straße, in Spiesen-Elversberg 

Bad Hersfeld 
 
The Verwaltungsgebäude in 1943 and today
 
Auxiliary building of the former barracks (Hohe Luft), the reichsadler still in place of honour
  
Hanau im Mainz 
 
The promenade at Wilhelmsbad with and without the swastika. During World War II, Hanau was for the most part destroyed by British airstrikes in March 1945 a few days before it was taken by the US Army.


St. Wendel 
 
Balduinstraße then and now
     Aach (Baden-Württemberg)     Aachen (North Rhine-Westphalia)     Aalyhen (Baden-Württemberg)     Abenberg (Bavaria)     Abensberg (Bavaria)     Achern (Baden-Württemberg)     Achim (Lower Saxony)     Adelsheim (Baden-Württemberg)     Adenau (Rhineland-Palatinate)     Adorf (Saxony)     Ahaus (North Rhine-Westphalia)     Ahlen (North Rhine-Westphalia)     Ahrensburg (Schleswig-Holstein)     Aichach (Bavaria)     Aichtal (Baden-Württemberg)     Aken (Elbe) (Saxony-Anhalt)     Albstadt (Baden-Württemberg)     Alfeld (Lower Saxony)     Allendorf (Lumda) (Hesse)     Allstedt (Saxony-Anhalt)     Alpirsbach (Baden-Württemberg)     Alsdorf (North Rhine-Westphalia)     Alsfeld (Hesse)            Alsleben (Saale) (Saxony-Anhalt)     Altdorf bei Nürnberg (Bavaria)     Altena (North Rhine-Westphalia)     Altenau (Lower Saxony)     Altenberg The state of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz), patched together by the French after WWII, united historically disparate bits of Bavaria, Hesse and Prussia that had only one thing in com- mon – the Rhine (Rhein). The river meanders for 1390km from the Swiss Alps to Rotterdam, but nowhere else has it shaped the land and its people more profoundly than along the 290km stretch traversing Rhineland-Palatinate. Some of Europe’s largest corporations dominate the Rhine banks south of Mainz, the state capital. But along here there’s also a grand legacy of the Middle Ages: the magnificent Ro- manesque cathedrals of Mainz, Worms and Speyer. Northwest of Mainz is the river’s most picturesque stretch, the storied Romantic Rhine, whose vine-clad slopes, medieval hilltop castles and snug wine villages have drawn artists and tourists since the early 19th century. Most of Germany’s wine is grown in Rhineland-Palatinate’s six wine regions: the Ahr Val- ley, Moselle-Saar-Ruwer, Middle Rhine, Nahe, Rheinhessen and, famed for its German Wine Road, the Rheinpfalz. The region’s wonderful wines can all be sampled in a multitude of ambience-laden wine taverns. The local people’s joie de vivre finds expression in the many town and village wine festivals, held from August to October. Tiny Saarland, in the southwest, was once a centre for heavy industry but these days it’s better known for Saarbrücken’s Frenchified urbane charms, and its verdant forests and fields. HIGHLIGHTS Riverine Scenery Cruise, cycle or ramble along the castle-studded Romantic Rhine (p483) © Lonely Planet Publications 465 Rhineland-Palatinate & Saarland RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND between Koblenz and Bingen Architectural Stunners Marvel at the Romanesque cathedrals in Mainz (p467), Worms (p472) and Speyer (p474) Roman Relics Explore the remarkable ruins of Roman Trier (p497) Romantic Bargain Dream about knights and damsels – in your bunk and over a muesli breakfast – at the DJH Burg Stahleck hostel (p492) in Bacharach Thrill Ride Take a high-speed spin around the Nürburgring race track (p482) Cultural Moment Listen to jazz at the Saarland’s historic Völklinger Hütte ironworks (p508) in Völklingen RHINELAND-PALATINATE POPULATION: 4 MILLION SAARLAND POPULATION: 1.06 MILLION Nürburgring Koblenz Bacharach Bingen Völklingen Mainz Worms Speyer Trier  RHINELAND-PALATINATE AREA: 19,853 SQ KM SAARLAND AREA : 2569 SQ KM 466 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND •• Accommodation Bookaccommodationonlilnoenaetloynpelyapnlaente.tc.com lonelyplanet.com by public transport to places such as Mainz, Worms, Speyer, the German Wine Road (be prepared to transfer a few times) and some of the Romantic Rhine villages, especially right-bank ones served by direct trains from Wiesbaden. Getting Around With the Rheinland-Pfalz-Ticket (RP-Ticket; €23), up to five adults (or parents or grand- parents with an unlimited number of their own children or grandchildren) can take any regional train (RE, IRE, RB and S-Bahn), tram, intercity bus or local bus anywhere within Rhineland-Palatinate and the Saarland for a full day – an unbeatable price for environ- mentally friendly transportation! The ticket also lets you take the train along the right bank of the Rhine between Wies- baden and St Goarshausen (this bit of track is officially in Hesse) and as far afield as Bonn, Mannheim, Karlsruhe and Wissembourg in the French region of Alsace. The RP-Ticket, valid from 9am to 3am Monday to Friday and all day long on Saturdays. Sundays and holidays, is available from train station ticket machines, at local public transport offices and on buses. RHINE-HESSE & PALATINATE MAINZ %06131 / pop 185,500 Mainz, the capital of Rhineland-Palatinate, is a lively locale thanks to its sizable university, a large media presence and a certain savoir- vivre whose origins go back to Napoleon’s occupation (1798–1814). Strolling along the Rhine and sampling local wines in a half- timbered Altstadt (old town) tavern are as much a part of any Mainz visit as viewing the fabulous Dom, Chagall’s ethereal windows in the St-Stephan-Kirche (St Stephen’s Church) or the first printed Bibles in the Gutenberg Museum. The Romans were the first to take advan- tage of Mainz’ strategic location at the conflu- ence of the Main and Rhine Rivers. In 12 BC, under Emperor Augustus, they founded a military camp called Moguntiacum as a base for the invasion of Germania. After the Ro- mans, Mainz took a 250-year nap before being RHINE-HESSE & PALATINATE •• Mainz 467 awoken by English missionary St Boniface, who established an archbishopric here in AD 746. In the 15th century, native son Johan- nes Gutenberg ushered in the information age by perfecting moveable type (see boxed text, p470). Orientation The mostly pedestrianised Altstadt is cen- tred on the Dom (cathedral) and the adjacent Marktplatz (Domplatz), which are 1km east of the Hauptbahnhof (central train station). Pedestrians-only thoroughfares include east–west Ludwigsstrasse and north–south Augustinerstrasse. Information ConAction Internetcafé (Grosse Bleiche 25; per 30/60min €1/1.70; h24hr) Eco-Express (Parcusstrasse 12; h6am-11pm except Sun & holidays) Laundry. Gutenberg Buchhandlung (%270 330; Grosse Bleiche 27-31) Bookshop. Internet Center (Bahnhofstrasse 11; per hr €1.50; h9am-11pm) There are several other internet cafés right nearby. Post office (Bahnhofstrasse 2) Has an ATM. Reisebank Currency exchange in the Hauptbahnhof. Tourist office (%286 210; www.info-mainz.de/tourist; Brückenturm am Rathaus; h9am-6pm Mon-Fri, 10.30am-2.30pm Sat) Signposted as ‘Touristik Centrale Mainz’, this place is across the pedestrian bridge (ie over the highway) from the Rathaus (town hall). The MainzCard (individual/family €6/10) gets you admission to museums (some are free anyway), a walking tour, unlimited public transport plus discounts for boat tours, plays and other events. Sights DOM Mainz’ famed cathedral (h9am-6.30pm Mon-Fri, 9am- 4pm Sat, 12.45-3pm & 4-6.30pm Sun, to 5pm Sun-Fri Nov-Feb), entered from the Marktplatz, is one of Ger- many’s most magnificent houses of worship. The focal point of the Altstadt, this richly de- tailed ‘mountain’ of reddish sandstone, topped by an octagonal tower, went through a literal ‘baptism by fire’ when the original burned down just one day before its consecration in 1066. Most of what you see today is quintes- sential 12th-century Romanesque. Inside, a solemn ambience pervades the nave which, surprisingly, has a choir at each end. The grandiose, wall-mounted memorial tombstones form a veritable portrait gallery of RHINELAND–PALATINATE & SAARLAND 0 0 Siegen Haiger Limburg A3 Wiesbaden Mainz A63 Oppenheim 50 km 30 miles HESSE A5 A45 Rhine d l a w r e W A27 Remagen Mayschoss Bad Bodendorf Altenahr Bad Sinzig Neuenahr- B9 B257 Ahrweiler Hohe Acht Neuwied A45 Rv Ahr t e s n i a n u o M l e f i River E Moselle Rhine River st LUXEMBOURG Trier Darmstadt Heppenheim Ludwigshafen Kaiserslautern Bad Mannheim River Hunsrück Mountains Nahe LUXEMBOURG B419 Nenning Orscholz Konz B268 B269 B41 A6 B270 Grünstadt ���� Saar Moselle River Road Wine River Metz Kulturpark Bliesbruck- Reinheim FRANCE Bad Bergzabern A65 e n German Rhi Accommodation hub, is misleadingly named because it’s no- where near Frankfurt, and they have a point. But it is near many of the cities and towns covered in this chapter and is linked by bus to destinations including Bernkastel-Kues (€8, 30 minutes, two or three daily Monday to Friday), Bingen (€8.90, one hour, three daily), Idar-Oberstein (€5.60, 50 minutes, five daily Monday to Friday, two or three Saturday and Sunday), Koblenz (Bus 610; €12.30, 65 minutes, six daily), Mainz (€10.50, 70 min- utes, 11 times daily), Traben-Trarbach (€6, 25 minutes, twice daily Monday to Saturday), Trier (€12, 80 minutes, seven daily) and Saar- brücken (€15, six daily). The real Frankfurt airport (p524) is also a good option, especially if you’re headed Bitburg Wittlich B49 Frankfurt- Hahn Airport B41 Perl Merzig Lebach A6 B270 Dürkheim Hochspeyer A4 Aachen NORTH RHINE-WESTPHALIA Brühl Blankenheim Höhr- Grenzhausen Montabaur Koblenz Lahnstein Braubach St Goarshausen B E L G I U M B258 Nürburgring (747m) Andernach Maria Laach Dillingen Saarlouis SAARLAND Lindenberg Deidesheim Brühl Heidelberg BADEN WÜRTTEMBURG A4 Europäischer Pirmasens Germersheim B52 Mettlach B268 Alzey BermersheimA61 A620 Hambacher Schloss Weinstrasse Speyer A1 Bonn A3 Bad Honnef B51 Daun B259 B257 Cochem Frankfurt-am-Main A60 A1 Beilstein B327 St Goar A61 Kaub Bacharach Hanau Offenbach Frankfurt Rüsselsheim airport Mörfelden B51 B257 Schweich Rüdesheim Bingen Bad Kreuznach Gross- Gerau A8 Schifferstadt Hambach Neustadt an der Völkingen (Völkinger Hütte) A320 Sarreguemines A4 Weyher Gleisweiler Accommodation is scarce and most expensive in September and October (especially on the weekends), when visitors are attracted by the grape harvest, the many village wine festivals and the red and gold tones of the changing autumn leaves. Also busy are May and June, with their spring weather and long days; Au- gust, also a time of wine festivals; and, in some locales, from late November to late Decem- ber (especially weekends), when Christmas markets take place. During high season, some places enforce a two-night minimum stay. Getting There & Away People complain that Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (%06543-509 200; www.hahn-airport.de), a Ryanair A48 Zell Traben- Trarbach Bernkastel- Kues Neumagen- Dhron B327 A1 Boppard Moselkern Tholey Saarbrücken Landau Sinsheim A6 Mendig Mayen Idar- Oberstein B40 Worms Bürstadt Bockenheim Homberg Blieskastel A62 Lambrecht ���� To Strasbourg (65km) To Strasbourg (60km) Durmersheim Schweigen Wissembourg Wörth A5 Karlsruhe ���� A35 Wetzlar Giessen A67 Marburg RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINE-HESSE & PALATINATE •• Mainz lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com RHINE-HESSE & PALATINATE •• Mainz archbishops and other 13th- to 18th-century power mongers, many portrayed alongside their private putti. Off the late-Gothic cloister, accessible from inside the Dom, is the Dom- und Diözesanmu- seum (Cathedral & Diocesan Museum; %253 344; www .dommuseum-mainz.de in German; h10am-5pm, to 6pm Sat & Sun, closed Mon & Catholic holidays). The Domschatz (adult/student/family €3/2.50/6) features bejewelled ritual objects from as far back as the 10th century and 15th- and 16th-century tapestries (English guide pamphlet available). Across the cloister, the Gewölbehallen (adult/student/family €2.50/2/5, combination ticket €5/4/10) has artwork from the cathedral, including sculptures from the rood screen (1239) – the work of the re- nowned Master of Naumburg – that portray the saved and the, well, not-so-saved. OTHER CHURCHES On a hill, St-Stephan-Kirche (Kleine Weissgasse 12; h10am-noon & 2-5pm Mon-Sat, till 4.30pm Dec & Jan) would be just another Gothic church rebuilt after WWII were it not for the nine brilliant, stained-glass windows created by the Russian- Jewish artist Marc Chagall (1887–1985) in the final years of his life. Bright blue and imbued with a mystical, meditative quality, they serve as a symbol of Jewish-Christian reconciliation. Mainz also has a trio of stunning baroque churches which illustrate the evolution of this often over-the-top architectural style. Part of the local Catholic seminary, the classi- cally baroque Augustinerkirche (Augustinerstrasse 34; h8am-5pm Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Sat & Sun when the seminary is in session), built in 1768, features an elabo- rate organ loft and a delicate ceiling fresco by Johann Baptist Enderle. Unlike so many other such structures in Germany, it has never been destroyed. St Peterskirche (Petersstrasse 3; h9am-6pm) shows off the sumptuous glory of the rococo style and is noted for its richly adorned pulpit and altars. St-Ignatius-Kirche (Kapuzinerstrasse 36; h9am-6pm) marks the transi- tion from rococo to neoclassicism. The sculp- ture outside is a copy of one made by Hans Backoffen (the original is in the Dom- und Diözesanmuseum). GUTENBERG MUSEUM A heady experience for anyone excited by books, the Gutenberg Museum (%122 644; Liebfrau- enplatz 5; adult/student & senior/family €5/3/10; h9am-5pm Tue-Sat, 11am-3pm Sun) chronicles the history of the technology that made the world as we know it – including this guidebook – possible. Besides historical presses, old typesetting machines and several rooms on pre-Gutenberg printing in Korea, Japan and China, you can admire hand-copied manuscripts as well as printed masterpieces such as Gutenberg’s original Bible. For a 1925 re-creation of Gutenberg’s print shop, head to the basement. More Eng- lish signs are planned. In the museum’s Druckladen (print shop; %122686; www.druckladen.mainz.de; group admission per person €3-5, individuals are asked for a donation; h9am-5pm Mon-Fri, 10am-3pm Sat), across tiny Seilergasse, you can try out Gutenberg’s technology yourself – on the condition that you’re at least five years old. You’ll be issued with a smock (the unique odour of printers’ ink may, for many, conjure up the nobility of making the written word available to the masses – but the goop is hell to get out of fabric) and instructed in the art of hand-setting type – backwards, of course. Nearby, master craftsmen produce elegant posters, certificates and cards using the labour-intensive technolo- gies of another age. Fascinating, especially in an era when ‘print’ usually means tapping a few computer keys. Hands-on kids-oriented activities are a speciality. LANDESMUSEUM MAINZ The rich and far-reaching collection of the Landesmuseum Mainz (State Museum; %285 70; Grosse Bleiche 49-51; adult/student & senior €2/1.50, more during special exhibitions, free on Sat; h10am-8pm Tue, 10am-5pm Wed-Sun), housed in the former prince-elector’s stables, traces the region’s cultural history from the Stone Age to the present. Treasures include the famous Jupitersäule, a Roman tri- umphal column from the 1st century. The richly festooned façade of the Kaufhaus am Brand, a 14th-century trading house, is sched- uled to go back on display in 2007 (reno- vations are scheduled to continue through 2009). Also of interest: Dutch and Flemish paintings, faïence and Art Nouveau glass. MUSEUM FÜR ANTIKE SCHIFFFAHRT In 1981 excavations for a hotel spectacularly unearthed the remains of five wooden ships of the Romans’ Rhine flotilla, once used to thwart Germanic tribes trying to intrude upon Roman settlements. They are now on display, along with two full-size replicas, in the Museum für Antike Schiffahrt (Museum of Ancient Shipping; %286 630; Neutorstrasse 2b; admission free; h10am-6pm Tue-Sun). 468 469 Am Winterhafen Dagobertstr Franziska-Retzinger- Promanade Rhine Stresemannufer Lauterenstr Dagobertstr Am Fischtorplatz rstr Rheinstr Am Rathaus zine Weintorstr Kapu Neutorstr Adenauerufer Holzhofstr enstr gasse Greb Brand Rheinstr Rotekopfgasse Mailands Am Augustinerstr str Quintins Bauerngasse Peter-Altmeier-Allee engasse lili iss tsgasse h Schusterstr c We Emmerich-Joseph- Str Holzstr Ludwigsstr Mitterna str marktstr Petersstrasse weg hof Flachs b Stefansstr Löwen Eisgru RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND Stefansberg Emmeranstr Margare- tengasse Synagogenstr Kronberger Hof Kleine Weissgasse Grosse Bleiche Am Vor Bauhofstr s str Welschnonnengasse Gau se gasse Klarastr in Mittlere Bleiche Langga Lotharstr Ste erstr Grosse Schill Bleiche Kupferbergterrasse Neue Uni- versitätsstr Walpodenstr Hintere Terrassenstr rgasse ne Kaiserstr Kaiserstr Neubrunnenstr Gärt Münsterstr rcus dere Bahnhofstr str us t Augus Binger Str str Schottstr Alicenstr Pa Boppstr Bonifaziusstr Römer-wall Ring Langenbstr Wilhelm- Kaiser- Mombacher Str MAINZ 1 ���� 6 Bahnhof- 1 To A6; Bingen (30km); Romantic Rhine (30km) Münsterplatz 22 Gewölbehallen)..............10 D3 Druckladen .......................11 D2 Gutenberg Museum..........12 D2 Landesmuseum Mainz........13 C1 Museum für Antike ���� 0 0 200 m 0.1 miles Hauptbahnhof Stadthausstr ���� 9 Liebfrauen- platz EATING Cial Supermarket ...............23 B1 Food Market .....................24 D2 Heiliggeist..........................25 D2 Obst und Gemüse 3 28 8 Erika Merz.....................26 D3 Specht ..............................27 D2 Zur Kanzel.........................28 D3 ���� DRINKING Eisgrubbräu.......................29 D4 Irish Pub ...........................30 D4 Weinstube Hottum............31 D3 4 33 36 TRANSPORT ASM Fahrradverleih...........35 A2 Free Parking.......................36 E4 platz 18 Schifffahrt......................14 E4 St Peterskirche...................15 C1 St-Ignatius-Kirche..............16 E4 St-Stephan-Kirche.............17 C4 35 34 Altstadt Gutenbergplatz Seilergasse 27 19 3 2 5 Rathausbrücke Rathaus Camping- platz RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND ABCDEF 23 (Domschatz & 7 2 25 4 SLEEPING Campingplatz Maaraue .....18 E2 Hotel Hammer...................19 A1 Hotel Hof Ehrenfels...........20 D3 Hotel Schwan ...................21 D2 Tulip Inn Mainz Central.....22 A1 Schillerplatz 10 31 13 INFORMATION ConAction Internetcafé........1 B2 Eco-Express .........................2 A2 Gutenberg Buchhandlung.....3 B1 Internet Center ...................4 A2 Post Office .........................5 B2 Reisebank.............................6 A1 Tourist Office......................7 D2 SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES Augustinerkirche................. 8 D3 Dom....................................9 D3 Dom- und Diözesanmuseum 17 30 ENTERTAINMENT Frankfurter Hof..................32 D3 15 To Central Wiesbaden (8km); Frankfurt (40km) �������� ���������� ���� ������ Bischhofs- platz 32 To A60; A63; To DJH Worms (45km) Hostel (2km) Marktplatz 11 24 12 21 29 KuZ ...................................33 E4 Staatstheater.....................34 C2 20 26 ���� 16 Fort Malakoff Park 14 RHINE-HESSE & PALATINATE •• Mainz Book accommodation onlilnoenaet loynpelyapnlaente.tc.com lonelyplanet.com RHINE-HESSE & PALATINATE •• Mainz FORTY-TWO LINES THAT CHANGED THE WORLD Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of printing with moveable type, is one of those rare epochal figures whose achievements changed the course of human history. The Chinese came up with printing using a press long before Gutenberg but they used it to print designs on silk rather than spread the word, any word. Without Gutenberg, Martin Luther’s career as a religious revolutionary might never have got off the ground. Little is known about Gutenberg the man, who was born in Mainz in the very late 1300s, trained as a goldsmith and then, in the late 1420s, left for Strasbourg, where he first experimented with printing technology. By 1448 he was back in Mainz, still working on his top-secret project and in debt to some rather impatient ‘venture capitalists’. But eventually his perseverance paid off and he perfected a number of interdependent technologies: metal type that could be arranged into pages; precision moulds to produce such type in large quantities; a metal alloy from which type could be cast; a type of oil-based ink suitable for printing with metal type; and press technology derived from existing wine, paper and bookbinding presses. Despite several lawsuits, by 1455 Gutenberg had produced his masterpiece, the now-legendary Forty-Two-Line Bible, so-named because each page has 42 lines. Thus began a new era in human history, one in which the printed word – everything from lyrical poetry to Nazi propaganda – was to become almost universally accessible. Tours Walking tours of the city (€5) in German and English begin at the tourist office at 2pm on Saturday; in the warm season, tours also begin at 2pm on Wednesday and Friday. Festivals & Events The Mainzer Johannisnacht (www.mainz.de /johannisnacht), held from Friday to Monday around 24 June, is one of Germany’s largest street festivals, attracting more than half-a- million revellers. The 3.5km of city-centre fes- tivities, which include the ceremonial initiation of printers’ apprentices, also has music, theatre and folklore performances and a thousand street stalls, 150 of them dedicated to beer. Sleeping The tourist office has a room reservations hotline (%286 2128; h9am-6pm Mon-Fri, 10.30am-2.30pm Sat); bookings can also be made via the tourist of- fice website (www.info-mainz.de/tourist). Campingplatz Maaraue (%06134-4383; www .krkg.de/camping.html; Auf der Maaraue; adult/tent/car €4.20/3.20/2.70) Situated across the Rhine from the city centre at the confluence of the Rhine and Main, this grassy riverside camping ground is not far from an outdoor swim- ming pool. From the Hauptbahnhof take bus 6 or 6A to Brückenkopf; from there it’s a 10- minute walk south. DJH hostel (%853 32; www.jugendherberge.de; Otto- Brunfels-Schneise 4; dm from €17.50; pn) A mod- ernised 166-bed hostel near a city park with two- and four-bed rooms, all with private bathroom. About 3.5km from the Hauptbahn- hof; take bus 62 or 63. Hotel Hof Ehrenfels (%971 2340; www.hof-ehrenfels .de; Grebenstrasse 5-7; s/d/tr €55/78/95) Just steps from the cathedral, this 22-room place, housed in a 15th-century, one-time Carmelite nunnery, has prices and Dom views that are hard to beat. A real treat if you love the sound of church bells; consider bringing earplugs if you don’t. Tulip Inn Mainz Central (%2760; www.goldentulip .com; Bahnhofplatz 8; s €72-110, d €85-155; pn) An air of faded glamour envelops this 58-room hotel, built in 1871, which in the heyday of rail travel hosted stars of film and stage. The spacious rooms are unexciting but the bathrooms come in tile colours they don’t make anymore and you can still sit down in the lift. Hotel Schwan (%144 920; www.mainz-hotel-schwan .de; Liebfrauenplatz 7; s/d €84/110) You can’t get any more central than this family-run place, which has been around since 1463. The 22 well-lit rooms have baroque-style furnishings. Hotel Hammer (%965 2828; www.hotel-hammer .com; Bahnhofplatz 6; s/d from €90/112, in low season from €71/86; na) With contemporary furnishings and an upbeat colour scheme, the Hammer is a pleasing place to camp out, close to the train station. The attractively designed sauna is a welcome bonus. Eating & Drinking Cheap eateries are near the Hauptbahnhof and south of the Dom along Augustinerstrasse. Weinstube Hottum (%223 370; Grebenstrasse 3; dishes €4-10; h4pm-midnight, to 1am Sat) One of the best of the Altstadt wine taverns, Hottum has a cosy, traditional atmosphere, delectable wines and a menu – half of which appears on a tiny slate tablet – with regional dishes such as Pfälzer Pfannkuchen (pancakes) and Winzersteak (vintner-style pork steak). Eisgrubbräu (%221 104; Weissliliengasse 1a; mains €4-14; h9am-1am, to 2am Fri & Sat) Grab a seat in this down-to-earth micro-brewery’s war- ren of vaulted chambers, order a mug of Schwarz (dark) or Hell (light) – or even a 3/5L Bierturm (beer tower; €16/26) – and settle in for people-watching. The Monday-to- Friday, all-you-can-eat lunch buffet (€5), the Sunday buffet dinner (€8.50) and the Saturday and Sunday breakfast buffet (€3.90) are good value. Call two or three days ahead to arrange a free, 20-minute tour of the beer-making facilities. Heiliggeist (%225 757; Mailandsgasse 11; mains €6- 15; h4pm-1am Mon-Fri, 9am-2am Sat, Sun & holidays) Sit beneath the soaring Gothic vaults of a 15th- century hospital and enjoy a drink, snack or full meal from a menu with lots of Italian- inspired options. Specht (%231770; Rotekopfgasse 2; mains €9-14 h5pm-midnight Sun-Fri, 11.30am-midnight Sat, also 11.30am-midnight Sun Jun-Aug) Thanks to its ancient wood beams, smoked walls and Fastnacht (carnival) medals, ‘Woodpecker’ has a 19th- century feel though the building itself is much older. Serves German and regional cuisine made with fresh products from the nearby market. If the ceiling doesn’t look uneven and wavy, you’ve drunk too much. Zur Kanzel (%237 137; Grebenstrasse 4; mains €15.50-22.50; hclosed Sun) A classy place with a distinctly French flair and a nice courtyard, this Weinstube (wine bar) serves up-market French and regional cuisine, including pot au feu (boiled meat and vegetables) and dishes made with grüne Sosse (a light sauce made with half-a-dozen fresh herbs, sour cream and soft white cheese). All products are fresh so the menu evolves with the seasons. From May to September, the chef-owner takes small groups on half-day wine and food cruises aboard a one-time police boat (€500 for eight to 10 people). Irish Pub (%231 430; Weissliliengasse 5; h5pm- 1am, to 2am Fri & Sat) An unpretentious watering hole with karaoke on Monday, solo musicians Tuesday to Thursday, bands on Friday and Saturday and an open-mic night on Sunday (all from 9.30pm). Attracts a very interna- tional crowd that often includes US soldiers from nearby Wiesbaden. Self-catering options: Cial supermarket (Grosse Bleiche 41; h8am-8pm Mon-Sat) Food market (Marktplatz & Liebfrauenplatz; h7am-2pm Tue, Fri & Sat) Along the north and east sides of the Dom. Obst und Gemüse Erika Merz (Augustinerstrasse 18; h9am-7pm Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm Sat) Fresh fruit and vegetables. Entertainment Two free monthly mags, Fritz and Der Mainzer, available at the tourist office and in cafés and pubs, have details on cultural events. Tickets are available at the tourist office. KuZ (%286 860; www.kuz.de, in German; Dagobertstrasse 20b) Dance parties, live concerts, a summer beer garden with al fresco movie screenings, a world-music summer festival, kids’ theatre... the happening Kulturzentrum (cultural cen- tre) has something for everyone. It’s housed in a neat red-brick building that began life in the 19th century as a military laundry. Staatstheater (%285 1222; www.staatstheater-mainz .de in German; Gutenbergplatz 7) Mainz’ theatre stages plays, opera and ballet. Students get signifi- cant discounts. Frankfurter Hof (%220 438; www.frankfurter-hof -mainz.de, in German; Augustinerstrasse 55) In the late 1980s a group of preservation-minded citizens saved this historical building from demolition and turned it into a hugely popular perform- ance venue. Since 1991 it has hosted everyone from up-and-comers to big-name acts such as Joe Jackson and Wir sind Helden. Getting There & Away Frankfurt Airport, 30km northeast of Mainz, is linked to the Hauptbahnhof by S-Bahn line 8 (€3.40, several times hourly). Mainz, a major IC rail hub, has frequent regional services to Bingen (€5.30, 35 minutes) and other Romantic Rhine towns, Koblenz (€14.70, 11⁄2 hours), Idar-Oberstein (€9.80, one hour), Saarbrücken (€24.30, two hours) and Worms (€7.60, 26 to 44 minutes). Mainz is encircled by a ring road with con- nections to the A60, A63 and A66. City-centre parking options are limited to pricey underground garages and street spots with one- or two-hour time limits. On the southeast edge, there’s free parking on Am 470 471 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND B l o o o n k e a l c y c p o ml a mn o e d t a . c t i o o n m o n l i n e a t l o n e l y p l a n e t . c o m RHINE-HESSE & PALATINATE •• Worms RHINE-HESSE & PALATINATE •• Worms lonelyplanet.com Winterhafen, just east of KuZ. You could also design your own Park & Ride schedule by leaving your vehicle outside the centre along a tram line. For details on cruising to villages down the Romantic Rhine, see p484. Getting Around Mainz operates a joint bus and tram system with Wiesbaden (www.mvg-mainz.de, in Ger- man). Single tickets cost €2.10; day passes are €4.90/8 for individuals/groups of up to five. Tickets are available from vending machines and must be stamped before boarding. ASM Fahrradverleih (%238 620; Binger Strasse 19; 3-speed/mountain bike/tandem per day €5.50/8/14; h7am- 8pm Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm Sat Apr-Sep) hires out bikes on the ground level of CityPort Parkhaus, near the Hauptbahnhof. WORMS %06241 / pop 81,000 Worms (rhymes with ‘forms’), one of Ger- many’s oldest cities, has played a pivotal role at various moments in European history. In AD 413 it became capital of the legendary, if short-lived, Burgundian kingdom whose rise and fall was creatively chronicled in the 12th- century Nibelungenlied, featured in a local museum and the annual Nibelungen-Festspiele (www.nibelungenfestspiele.de, in German), a two-week festival held in mid-August. After the Burgundians, just about every other tribe in the area had a go at ruling Worms, including the Huns, the Alemans and finally the Franks, under whose leader, Charlemagne, the city flourished. The most impressive reminder of Worms’ medieval hey- day is its majestic, late-Romanesque Dom. A Jewish community, renowned for the erudi- tion of its rabbis, thrived here from the 10th century until the 1930s, earning Worms the moniker ‘Little Jerusalem’. In the Middle Ages, Worms hosted more than 100 sessions of the imperial parliament (Diet), including one in 1521 at which Luther famously refused to recant his views and was declared an outlaw. An impressive memorial now honours the Protestant reformer. Orientation From the Hauptbahnhof and adjacent bus station, pedestrianised Wilhelm-Leuschner- Strasse leads 500m southeast to Lutherplatz, on the northwest edge of the half-oval-shaped Altstadt. From there, it’s 150m southeast to Kämmererstrasse, the old city’s main com- mercial thoroughfare, and 300m south to the Dom. A plane-shaded promenade runs along the Rhine about 800m east of the Dom. Information There are ATMs inside the Hauptbahnhof and along nearby Wilhelm-Leuschner-Strasse. Gerhard Neef (Neumarkt 14; h4.30am-6.30pm Mon- Fri, 5.30am-3.30pm Sat) A newsagent that sells events tickets; also carries brochures from the tourist office, which is next door. Internet und Telefonhaus (Hardtgasse 7; per hr €1; h10am-11pm or midnight) Across the street from Woolworth’s. Post office (Kaiserpassage) TeleBistro (per hr €1) Kämmererstrasse 50 (h9.30am or 10am-11pm); Neumarkt 3-5 (h9am-11pm) Internet access. Tourist office (%250 45; www.worms.de; Neumarkt 14; h9am-6pm Mon-Fri year-round, 9.30am-1.30pm Sat, 10am-2pm Sun Apr-Oct) Sells events tickets and can supply you with a walking-tour brochure in English. Sights KAISERDOM Worms’ skyline, such as it is, is dominated by the four towers and two domes of the mag- nificent Dom St Peter und St Paul (h9am-5.45pm Apr-Oct, to 4.45pm Nov-Mar), built in the 11th and 12th centuries in the late-Romanesque style. Inside, the lofty dimensions impress as much as the lavish, canopied high altar (1742) in the east choir, designed by the baroque master Balthasar Neumann. In the south transept, a scale model shows the enormity of the original complex. Nearby stairs lead down to the stuffy crypt, which holds the stone sarcophagi of several members of the Salian dynasty of Holy Roman emperors. In the Nibelungenlied, the Kaiserportal (open only during services) on the north side was the setting of a fierce quarrel between the Burgundian queens Kriemhild and Brunhilde about who had the right to enter the Dom first. Trivial as it may seem, this little interchange ultimately led to their kingdom’s downfall. Today, the main entrance is through the Gothic Südportal (south portal; 1300), richly decorated with biblical figures. JEWISH SITES Starting in the 900s, the Jewish community of Worms – known as Varmaiza in medieval Jewish texts – was centred on the northeast corner of the Altstadt along Judengasse and its side streets. Before 1933 1100 Jews lived in the city; a Jewish community – now numbering 130 souls, almost all of them from the former USSR – was re-established in the late 1990s. Worms’ most ancient synagogue, founded in 1034, was destroyed by the Nazis but in 1961 a new Alte Synagoge (Synagogenplatz; admission free; h10am-12.30pm & 1.30-5pm Apr-Oct, to 4pm Nov-Mar, closed to visitors Sat morning) rose from its ashes. Men are asked to cover their heads. Around the side, stone steps lead down to the 12th- century, Romanesque Mikwe (ritual bath). Behind the synagogue is the modern Raschi Haus, built on the 14th-century foundations of a community wedding hall. It is named after Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaqi), a brilliant 11th-century Talmudic scholar who studied in Worms. Inside is the Jüdisches Museum (Jewish Museum; %853 4707; Hintere Judengasse 6; adult/student €1.50/0.80; h10am-12.30pm & 1.30-5pm Tue-Sun Apr-Oct, to 4.30pm Nov-Mar), which illustrates Jewish cus- toms, ceremonies and festivals and tells the history of the local Jewish community. The singed Torah fragments were burnt on Reich- spogromnacht (Kristallnacht; literally ‘Night of Broken Glass’; see boxed text, p35). Just east of here is the arched Raschitor, a city gate that’s part of the wall that still partially encircles the Altstadt. A bit outside the southwest corner of the Altstadt is the peaceful Alter Jüdische Friedhof (Old Jewish Cemetery; Willy-Brandt-Ring 21; h9am-dusk, to 8pm Jul-Aug), also known as the Heiliger Sand, opened in 1076. The most revered gravestone – it’s one of two topped with especially large piles of pebbles, left by visitors as tokens of respect – is that of Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg (1215–93), who died in captivity after being imprisoned by King Rudolf of Habsburg for attempting to lead a group of persecuted Jews to Palestine. NIBELUNGEN MUSEUM The Nibelungenlied is the ultimate tale of love and hate, treasure and treachery, revenge and death, with a cast including dwarves, dragons and bloodthirsty Überfraus (superwomen). Richard Wagner set it to music, Fritz Lang turned it into a masterful silent movie and the Nazis abused its mythology, seeing in Siegfried the quintessential German hero. The state-of-the-art Nibelungen Museum (%202 120; www.nibelungen-museum.de; Fischerpförtchen 10; adult/child €5.50/3.50; h10am-5pm Tue-Thu, Sat & Sun, 9am-10pm Fri) brings the epic to life in a highly entertaining, multimedia exhibit set up in two towers and along the ramparts of the medieval town wall. In the first tower you can listen to the anonymous poet tell his tale (in flawless English) via a wireless headset while watching excerpts from Lang’s movies. OTHER MUSEUMS Two blocks south of the Dom, the Museum der Stadt (City Museum; %946 390; Weckerlingplatz 7; adult/student/family €2/1/5, more during special exhibitions; h10am-5pm Tue-Sun), housed in the handsome Andreasstift Kirche, chronicles Worms’ tur- bulent history from Neolithic and (especially) Roman times onward. In the corner of a pretty park just north of the Dom, on the grounds of the former imperial and bishop’s palace, is the Museum Heylshof (%220 00; Stephansgasse 9; adult/student/family €2.50/1/5; h11am-5pm Tue-Sun May-Sep, 2-5pm Tue-Sat & 11am-5pm Sun Oct-Dec & mid-Jan–Apr). Its important private art collection includes Italian, Dutch, French and German paintings from the 15th to the 19th centuries, including works by such heavyweights as Tintoretto, Rubens and Len- bach. The Frankenthaler porcelain, Venetian, Bohemian and German glass and beer steins (in the basement) are also worth a look. Sleeping DJH hostel (%257 80; www.jugendherberge.de; Dechaneigasse 1; dm €18, s/d €23.50/47; hreception 7.30am- 11pm; n) In an unbeatable location facing the south side of the Dom. The recently reno- vated rooms have two to six beds and private bathrooms. Hotel Lortze-Eck (%263 49; 273 70; Schlossergasse 10-14; s/d €44/70) This family-run, 14-room hotel is a fairly stylish choice, particularly suitable if you like fake, well-intentioned flowers. Bright colours and tasteful knick-knacks brighten up the public areas. The attached restaurant serves German classics as well as vegetarian dishes (mains €9 to €14). Hotel Kriemhilde (%911 50; www.hotel-kriemhilde .de; Hofgasse 2-4; s/d €48/70) Wake up to the peal of the Dom bells at this unassuming inn. It’s a mere stone’s throw from the mighty cathedral, which is visible from the top-floor rooms and audible everywhere. Parkhotel Prinz Carl (%3080; www.parkhotel -prinzcarl.de; Prinz-Carl-Anlage 10-14; s/d from €75/115; pn) Housed in one-time barracks built – 472 473 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINE-HESSE & PALATINATE •• Speyer B o o k a c c o m m o d a t i o n o n l i l n o e n a e t l l o y n p e l l y a p n l a e n t e . t c . c o o m m B l o o o n k e a l c y c p o ml a mn o e d t a . c t i o o n m o n l i n e a t l o n e l y p l a n e t . c o m RHINE-HESSE & PALATINATE •• Speyer and built to last – during the reign of the last Kaiser, this place has 90 pastel rooms that are spacious, comfortable and impersonal. From the Hauptbahnhof, the hotel, just off Pforten-Ring, is a 500m walk north through the chestnut-shaded park. Eating & Drinking Several Italian restaurants can be found a block southeast of the Dom on Gerberstrasse. Cheap eats are available up towards the Hauptbahn- hof along Wilhelm-Leuschner-Strasse. The Hotel Lortze-Eck has a restaurant. Trattoria-Pizzeria Pepe e Sale (%258 36; Woll- strasse 12; pizzas €2.60-5.70; h11am-midnight) Serves more than 200 different kinds of pizzas as well as pastas, including Spaghetti Robinson (tuna and garlic). Excellent value. Café TE (%234 65; Bahnhofstrasse 5; mains €2.60-10.60; h8am or 9am-1am, to 2am Sat) A trackside bar-café and beer garden half-a-block south of the Hauptbahnhof that’s especially popular with students. Chic in an Italian sort of way, it features 16 breakfast options and a different dinner special each night. Local bands some- times play here. Café Ohne Gleichen (%411 177; Kriemhildenstrasse 11; light meals €4-8; h9am-1am, to 2am on Fri, Sat & holi- days) A long block south of the Hauptbahnhof, this eclectic, student-oriented café-bar has off-the-wall art on the arty walls and serves drinks, cheap meals and, on Saturday, Sunday and holidays, brunch (€6.90). Occasionally hosts live bands. Marktkauf supermarket (Schönauerstrasse 3; h8am- 8pm Mon-Sat) Self-caterers will find the entrance to this supermarket two blocks south of the tourist office on Gerberstrasse. Along the Rhine to the north of the bridges, along the riverfront promenade known as Am Rhein, are several hugely popular beer garden–type eateries, including Hagenbräu (Am Rhein 5; mains €5-10), a microbrewery that serves hearty German fare. Getting There & Around Worms is about 50km south of Mainz and has frequent train connections with Mannheim (€4.50), a major rail hub, as well as Mainz (€7.60, 26 to 44 minutes, twice hourly) and Bingen (€18.30, 70 minutes). Going to Speyer (€7.20) requires a change in Ludwigshafen. There’s free parking in a huge lot just north of the Nibelungsbrücke, Worms’ Rhine bridge, which is currently being doubled. Bicycles can be rented at Radhaus-Mihm (%242 08; Von Steubenstrasse 8; 3-speed/all-terrain per day €5/12.50, weekend €7.50/19, tandem per day €12.50; h9.30am-12.30pm & 1.30-6pm Mon-Fri, 10am-1pm Sat), across the tracks from the Hauptbahnhof. The local ADFC club (www.adfc-worms.de, in German) organises group rides. The tourist office sells cycling maps. SPEYER %06232 / pop 50,000 Speyer, about 50km south of Worms, is a dignified town with a compact, mostly- modern centre distinguished by a magnificent Romanesque cathedral, a couple of top-rate museums and a respected culinary scene. First a Celtic settlement, then Roman market town, Speyer gained prominence in the Middle Ages under the Salian emperors, hosting 50 imperial parliament sessions (1294–1570). In 1076 the king and later Holy Roman Emperor Heinrich IV – having been excom- municated by Pope Gregory VII – launched his penitence walk to Canossa in Italy from Speyer. He crossed the Alps in the middle of winter, an action that warmed even the heart of the pope, who revoked his excommunication. He lies buried in the Kaiserdom. Orientation Majestic Maximilianstrasse, the city centre’s main commercial street, extends from the Alt- pörtel (a medieval city gate) 800m east to the Dom. The numbering of the buildings along Maximilianstrasse begins at the Dom, runs along the south side to the Altpörtel, then it con- tinues along the north side back to the Dom – be prepared for confusion! The Hauptbahnhof is about 1km north of the Altpörtel. Information ATM (Maximilianstrasse 47) Near the Altpörtel. Post office (Wormser Strasse 4) A block northeast of the Altpörtel. Silver Surfer (Schulergasse 2, Königsplatz; per hr €3; h11am-midnight Mon-Sat, 1pm-midnight Sun) Internet access a block south of Maximilianstrasse. Tourist office (%142 392; www.speyer.de; Maximilianstrasse 13; h9am-5pm Mon-Fri year-round, 10am-3pm Sat, 10am-2pm Sun Apr-Oct, 10am-noon Sat Nov-Mar) Inside the historic Rathaus. Sights KAISERDOM In 1030 Emperor Konrad II of the Salian dynasty laid the cornerstone of the majestic Romanesque Kaiserdom (h9am-7pm Apr-Oct, to 5pm Nov-Mar, closed Sun morning), whose square towers and green copper dome float above Speyer’s rooftops. A Unesco World Heritage site since 1981, its interior is startling for its awesome dimensions (it’s an astonishing 134m long) and austere, dignified symmetry; walk up to the elevated altar area to get a true sense of its vastness. Another set of steps leads down to the darkly festive crypt, whose candy- striped Romanesque arches – like those on the west front – recall Moorish architecture. Stuffed into a side room are the granite sar- cophagi of eight Salian emperors and kings, along with some of their queens. The most scenic way to approach the Dom is from Maximilianstrasse. Behind the Dom, the large Domgarten (ca- thedral park) stretches towards the Rhine. MAXIMILIANSTRASSE Roman troops and medieval emperors once paraded down ‘Via Triumphalis’. Now known as Maximilianstrasse, Speyer’s pedestrian-only commercial main drag links the Dom with the 55m-high, 13th-century Altpörtel (adult/concession €1/0.50; h10am-noon & 2-4pm Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm Sat & Sun Apr-Oct), the city’s western gate and the only remaining part of the town wall. The clock (1761) has separate dials for minutes and hours. The views from up top are superb. A favourite with window-shoppers and strollers alike, Maximilianstrasse is lined with baroque buildings of which the Rathaus (at No 13), with its red façade and lavish rococo interior, and the Alte Münze (Old Mint; at No 90) are worth a look. The 18th-century writer Sophie von la Roche (1730–1807), founder of the first magazine for women, lived in the light blue building at No 99 (almost across the street from the tourist office); a new exhibit (admission free; h10am-5pm Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm Sat) il- lustrates her life and work. The same building houses two antiquarian bookshops. A block south of the Rathaus is the Juden- hof (Jews’ Courtyard; %291 971; Kleine Pfaffengasse 21; adult/youth aged 7-17yr €2/1; h10am-5pm, closed Nov- Mar), where, in the courtyard, the excavated remains of a 12th-century synagogue and ritual bath hint at the glories of the city’s storied medieval Jewish community. Signs are in English. A curious fact: everyone with the surname of Shapira (or Shapiro) is descended from Jews who lived in Speyer during the Middle Ages. HISTORISCHES MUSEUM DER PFALZ The truly superb Historisches Museum der Pfalz (Historical Museum of the Palatinate; %620 222; Domplatz; adult/student €4/3, during special exhibitions €8/6; h10am- 6pm Tue-Sun), in addition to hosting world-class special exhibitions, has a permanent collection that values quality over quantity. One of the highlights is the Goldener Hut von Schifferstadt, an incredibly ornate, perfectly preserved gilded hat, shaped like a giant thimble, that dates back to the Bronze Age. The Wine Museum features a bottle containing an unappetizing jellied substance from the 3rd century AD, purported to be the world’s oldest wine. Two floors below is the Domschatz (cathedral treas- ury), whose prized exhibit is Emperor Konrad II’s surprisingly simple bronze crown. TECHNIK MUSEUM It’s easy to spend an entire day wandering around this amazing museum (%670 80; Am Technik Museum 1; adult/child under 14yr €12/10, IMAX €8/6, combined ticket €16/12; h9am-6pm, to 7pm Sat & Sun), 1km south of the Dom (on the other side of the A61 highway). You can explore – and even climb aboard – a variety of aeroplanes, trains and vintage vehicles, including a genuine Boe- ing 747 (how in the world did they get it here and then mount it 28m off the ground?), a U9 submarine and an Antonov-22, the world’s largest prop plane. Kids will love the play- grounds, various motion simulators, the 54m slide and two Imax theatres. SEALIFE SPEYER Situated on the Rhine 700m northeast of the Dom, this somewhat kitschy aquarium (%697 80; www.sealifeeurope.com; Im Hafenbecken 5; adult/child 3- 14yr/senior & student/family €12/8.50/9.50/38; h10am-7pm Jul-Sep, 10am-5pm Mon-Fri, 10am-6pm Sat, Sun & holidays Apr-Jun & Oct, 10am-5pm Nov-Mar), which is privately run with input from Greenpeace, and one of nine ecologically-minded Sea Life aquariums around Germany. For details see p455. Sleeping DJH hostel (%615 97; www.jugendherberge.de; Geib- strasse 5; dm €18, d €47; hreception 7.30am-8pm; n) A modern hostel on the Rhine, a bit east of the Technik Museum. Has 48 rooms, including 13 doubles, all with private bathroom. Linked to the Hauptbahnhof by the City-Shuttle bus. Maximilian (%622 648; info@café-maximilian.de; Korngasse 15; apt €45-50) Also a café-bistro, Maxi- milian rents out two-person apartments. 474   475 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINE-HESSE & PALATINATE •• German Wine Road Book accommodation onlilnoenaet loynpelyapnlaente.tc.com lonelyplanet.com RHINE-HESSE & PALATINATE •• German Wine Road tion, with restaurants serving everything from gourmet New German cuisine to traditional regional specialities such as Saumagen. In the Pfälzerwald (the hilly forest west of the Wine Road), locals often plan a day out-of-doors in order to dine in a Waldhütte, a traditional Palatine eatery found along forest trails. GETTING THERE & AWAY Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, a central hub from which to start exploring the Ger- man Wine Road, is on the twice-an-hour Heidelberg–Mannheim–Kaiserslautern railway line and also has twice-hourly train links to Saarbrücken (€15.50, 11⁄2 hours) and Karlsruhe (€9.10, one hour). The trip from Speyer requires a change at Schifferstadt. The Rhein-Haardtbahn (RHB) light rail line links Bad Dürkheim with Mannheim (€4.50, 50 minutes, at least hourly). GETTING AROUND The German Wine Road is most easily ex- plored by car or bicycle (look for the yellow signs sporting a cluster of grapes). Area tourist offices sell the 1:50,000-scale Deutsche Wein- strasse cycling map (€6.50), which details a multitude of Radwanderwege (bike paths and cyclable back roads). Thanks to Germany’s superb public transport system, it’s possible to get almost everywhere – including to trailheads and from hike destinations – by public transport. Twice an hour, local trains that take bicycles head from Neustadt north to Deidesheim and Bad Dürkheim and south to Landau. Bus options (every half-hour Monday to Friday, hourly on Saturday, Sunday and holidays) from Neu- stadt include bus 512 to Deidesheim and Bad Dürkheim and bus 501 to Landau via wine villages such as Hambach, Weyher and Gleis- weiler. From Landau, buses continue south to Bad Bergzabern and Schweigen. A number of Pfälzerwald villages west of Neustadt, includ- ing Lindenberg, are served by bus 517. Neustadt an der Weinstrasse %06321 / pop 54,000 The busy, modern town of Neustadt has pre- served a rather charming, largely pedestri- anised Altstadt teeming with half-timbered houses. It is anchored by the Marktplatz, an attractive square flanked by the baroque Rathaus and the 14th- and 15th-century Gothic Stiftskirche (open only during services), a red-sandstone structure that’s been shared by Protestant and Catholic congregations since 1708. About 4km south of the centre is the Ham- bacher Schloss (Hambacher Castle; %308 81; admission to grounds free, exhibit adult/student €4.50/1.50; h10am- 6pm Mar-Nov), known as the ‘cradle of German Democracy’. It was here that students held massive protests for a free, democratic and united Germany on 27 May 1832, during which the German tricolour flag of black, red and gold was raised for the first time. Today an exhibition commemorates the event, known to history as the Hambacher Fest. Views over the vineyards and the Rhine plains are best from the tower. Bus 502 makes the trip here hourly. ROAD-TRIP RADIO IN ENGLISH While tooling around Rhineland-Palatinate, the Saarland and much of Baden-Württemberg, you can crank up the car radio and tune in to a variety of often surprising programmes in English. When atmospheric conditions are right (as they almost always are at night), the BBC World Service can be picked up on 648 kHz AM (medium wave) and, if you’re lucky, BBC Radio 4 can be heard on 198 kHz longwave. To feel like you’re in Middle America, just tune to a station run by the AFN (American Forces Network; www.afneurope.net), whose intended audience is US military personnel serving at places like Ramstein Air Base near Kaiserslautern and the Wiesbaden US Army Garrison. Programming you might come across includes NPR (National Public Radio) favourites such as Car Talk, pearls of populism from Rush Limbaugh, and news from AP Radio News, CNN Radio and something called the Pentagon Channel. One music show boasts that it plays ‘music worth fighting for’. The public service advertisements, peppered with unfathomable acronyms, give a flavour of US military life in Germany. The most powerful relay frequencies to check are 873 kHz AM (transmis- sion from Frankfurt), 1107 kHz (from Kaisterslautern) and 1143 kHz (from Stuttgart). There are also a variety of local FM options. Hotel Zum Augarten (%754 58; www.augarten .de, in German; Rheinhäuser Strasse 52; s €44-54, d €65-75; pn) A cosy, family-run, family-friendly hotel where you’ll enjoy German guesthouse hospitality and observe suburban German life up close. Situated 1.7km south of the Dom – from the Technik Museum take Industrie- strasse and turn right on Am Flugplatz. Hotel Trutzpfaff (%292 529; www.trutzpfaff-hotel.de, in German; Webergasse 5; s/d €54/74; hreception 8am-8pm; pn) Centrally situated just a block south of the tourist office, this unassuming hostelry has eight pretty average rooms and a tavern (open Monday to Friday; mains cost €6.80 to €15.90) serving Palatine specialities such as Saumagen (a pig’s stomach stuffed with meat, potatoes and spices that’s boiled, sliced and then briefly fried). Hotel am Technik Museum (%671 00; www.hotel-am -technik-museum.de; Am Technik Museum 1; s/d €55/80; pn) Part of the Technic Museum complex, this place has 108 charmless, institutional rooms with adequate comforts. Those trav- elling by campervan or with a tent can stay at the adjacent Stellplatz (€19 per site), open year-round. Hotel Domhof (%132 90; www.domhof.de in Ger- man; Bauhof 3; s €92, d €112-122, cheaper Sun night; pnai) A hotel has stood on this spot next to the Dom – which is an unbeatable location – since the Middle Ages, once host- ing emperors, kings and councillors. The 49 rooms, wrapped around an ivied, cobbled courtyard, are very 1990s. Eating & Drinking A selection of eateries can be found along Maximilianstrasse and nearby streets. The Hotel Trutzpfaff has a restaurant. Maximilian (%622 648; Korngasse 15; mains €6- 16) Just inside the Altpörtel, this convivial café-bistro serves up 12 different breakfasts, salads, lots of Italian options and cheap dinner specials (€5.80). Domhof-Hausbrauerei (%740 55; Grosse Him- melsgasse 6; mains €6-15; h11am-midnight, to 1am Fri & Sat) Speyer’s loveliest beer garden, shaded by chestnut trees, is just steps west of the Dom and has its own children’s playground. The menu features Palatine and international favourites, some prepared using beer brewed on the premises. Zweierlei (%611 10; Johannesstrasse 1, cnr Salzgasse; mains €6-19; hlunch & dinner Tue-Sat) This trendy bistro-restaurant, a block north of the tourist office, serves German nouvelle cuisine amid minimalist, ultra-modern décor. If you go for the ‘Tender’ dinner offer, the chef will randomly assign you an hors d’oeuvre, a main dish and a dessert (€6 each). Backmulde (%715 77; Karmeliterstrasse 11-13; mains €12-28; hlunch & dinner) Owner-chef Gunter Schmidt has a knack for spinning fresh, local products into gourmet dishes with a Medi- terranean flavour. With an epic wine list, it’s considered one of Speyer’s finest restaurants. A block south of the Altpörtel. Picnic supplies are available at Tengelmann supermarket (Maximilianstrasse 50; h8am-8pm Mon- Sat), next to the Altpörtel. Getting There & Around A new S-Bahn line links the Hauptbahnhof with Ludwigshafen and Mannheim, both key rail hubs. Buses (eg bus 717 to Heidelberg) depart from the Hauptbahnhof but the train is usually faster. Parking costs €2 per day at the Festplatz, 500m south of the Dom and just under the A61 from the Technik Museum. The City-Shuttle minibus (bus 565; day pass €1) links the garden behind the Dom, the Festplatz, the Technik Museum, Sealife and the youth hostel at 10- or 15-minute intervals from 6am (9am on Sunday) to 8pm. Bikes can be hired from Radsport Stiller (%759 66; Gilgenstrasse 24; bike/tandem per day €10/20; h9.30am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-2pm Sat), a block south- west of the Altpörtel. The Kaiser-Konrad-Radweg (35km; Kaiser Konrad bicycle path) links Sp- eyer’s Dom with Bad Dürckheim’s Rathaus. GERMAN WINE ROAD The Deutsche Weinstrasse (www.deutsche-weinstrasse .de, in German) traverses the heart of the Palatinate (Pfalz), a region of gentle forests, ruined cas- tles and Germany’s largest contiguous wine- growing area. Starting in Bockenheim, about 15km west of Worms, it winds south 85km to Schweigen on the French border. Hiking and cycling options are legion. Blessed with a moderate climate that allows almonds, figs, kiwi fruit and even lemons to thrive, the German Wine Road is especially pretty during the spring bloom. The wine festival season from May to October is also a good time to visit, especially around the grape harvest (September and October). In part because of its proximity to France, the Palatinate is a renowned culinary destina- 476 477 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINE-HESSE & PALATINATE •• German Wine Road B o o k a c c o m m o d a t i o n o n l i l n o e n a e t l l o y n p e l l y a p n l a e n t e . t c . c o o m m B l o o o n k e a l c y c p o ml a mn o e d t a . c t i o o n m o n l i n e a t l o n e l y p l a n e t . c o m RHINE-HESSE & PALATINATE •• German Wine Road INFORMATION ATM Across the street from the tourist office in the shopping mall. Internet café (Friedrichstrasse 8; per hr €1; h11am- 10pm) Around the corner from the tourist office. Tourist office (%926 892; www.neustadt.pfalz.com, in German; Hetzelplatz 1; h9.30am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9.30am-noon Sat Apr-Oct, 9.30am-5pm Mon-Fri Nov-Mar) Across the parklike Bahnhofplatz from the Hauptbahnhof. Has ample information on hiking and cycling options. SLEEPING & EATING Neustadt’s nicest lodging options are in Haardt, a suburb northwest of the town centre. There are quiet a few restaurants in Neustadt’s Altstadt. DJH hostel (%2289; www.jugendherberge.de; Hans-Geiger-Strasse 27; dm €18; n) A modern facil- ity with 122 beds in rooms for one, two and four people, all with private bathroom. A 15- minute walk south of the Hauptbahnhof. Hotel Tenner (%9660; www.hotel-tenner.de in German; Mandelring 216, Haardt; s/d from €64/89; pn) Sur- rounded by vineyards, this 32-room hotel, on a quiet suburban street, offers sweeping views of the Hambacher Schloss. In fine weather, breakfast is served on the pebbly panoramic patio. To get there from the town centre, take bus 512 or drive northeast on Maximilian- strasse and hang a left onto Haardter Strasse. Pelgen’s Worschtstubb (%34 420; Hintergasse 14; Saumagen €7.50) Serves prize-winning Saumagen and other Palatine delicacies. Situated two blocks east of the Stiftskirche on a street lined with half-timbered houses, many sheltering restaurants. Liebstöckl (%313 61; Mittelgasse 22; meat mains from €10; hlunch & dinner Wed-Mon) Has a beer garden and a hearty meat-heavy menu complemented by a few vegetarian choices (€8). Mandelhof (%882 20; www.mandelhof.de in German; Mandelring 11, Haardt; 3-course meals €18.90; hrestaurant & perhaps hotel closed Wed; pn) Up on a hill over- looking the town, this gourmet restaurant has a delightful terrace and several lovely rooms (singles/doubles from €50/80). A leisurely walk leads to the Wolfsburg ruin. The Marktplatz hosts a food market (mornings Tue & Sat year-round, morning Thu May-Oct). GETTING AROUND The bus station is next to the Hauptbahnhof. Bikes can be rented from Fahrrad Trimpe (h487 070; Branchweilerhofstrasse 11; per day €10), 10 blocks east of the Hauptbahnhof. Deidesheim %06326 / pop 3800 Diminutive Deidesheim, awash in wisteria and one of the German Wine Road’s most picturesque villages, is home to about 30 wine-makers; look for signs reading Weingut (winery), Verkauf (sale) and Weinprobe (wine tasting). The helpful tourist office (%967 70; www.deidesheim.de; Bahnhofstrasse 5; h9am-noon & 2- 5pm Mon-Fri year-round, 10am-noon Sat Apr-Oct) is 150m across the car park from the Hauptbahnhof. Deidesheim is centred on the historic Marktplatz, where you’ll find a Gothic church, Pfarrkirche St Ulrich (open daily), and the 16th- century Altes Rathaus, noted for its canopied open staircase. Inside is the three-storey Museum für Weinkultur (Wine Museum; %981 561; Marktplatz 8; admission free; h3-6pm Wed-Sun & holidays Mar-Dec), whose displays include naive art por- trayals of the German Wine Road (English brochure available). Down an alleyway across from the Rathaus, the Deutsches Film- und Fototechnik Museum (Film & Photography Museum; %6568; Weinstrasse 33; adult/student & senior €3/2.50; h4-6.30pm Wed-Fri, 2-6.30pm Sat & Sun Mar-Dec) has a truly impressive collection of historical photographic equipment. Veteran shutterbugs may be able to spot every camera they’ve ever used. Galleries and studios can be visited along the Rundgang Kunst und Kultur (art and culture trail); look for the black-on-yellow ‘K’ signs. A leaflet available at the tourist office has details and opening hours. Near the tourist office, the whimsical Geiss- bockbrunnen (Goat Fountain), erected in 1985, celebrates a quirky local tradition. For seven centuries, the nearby town of Lambrecht has had to pay an annual tribute of one goat for using pastureland belonging to Deidesheim. The presentation of this goat, which is auc- tioned off to raise funds for local cultural activities, culminates in the raucous Geiss- bockfest (Goat Festival), held on Pentecost Tuesday. SLEEPING & EATING Gästehaus Ritter von Böhl (%972 201; www.ritter-von -boehl.de in German; Weinstrasse 35; s €45, d €70-85; h reception 9am-6pm, sometimes closed Sun; pn) This 27-room guesthouse, set around a delight- ful, wisteria-wrapped courtyard, belongs to, and occupies part of the grounds of, a char- ity hospital (now an old-age home) founded in 1494. Deidesheimer Hof (%968 70; www.deidesheimerhof .de; Am Marktplatz; s/d from €120/165, low season from €95/125; pna) One of the region’s few ho- tels with five coveted stars, this renowned hos- telry has 28 elegant rooms, each unique, and two fine restaurants: St Urban (four-course meals €39), whose regional offerings include Saumagen, made with chestnuts in autumn; and the gourmet Schwarzer Hahn (five-/six-/ seven-course meals €75/85/95; open for din- ner Tuesday to Saturday), which specialises in creative French- and Palatinate-style dishes. Turmstüb’l (%981 081; Turmstrasse 3; mains €5-14) This contemporary, artsy wine-café, down an alley from the church, serves tasty hot dishes, including regional specialities such as Saumagen. Gasthaus zur Kanne (%966 00; Weinstrasse 31; mains €8-20; hnoon-2pm & 6-10pm Wed-Sun, noon-9pm Sun & holidays) Serves refined regional cuisine. You can sit inside at hand-painted tables or in the leafy courtyard. GETTING AROUND Steinweg (%982 284; www.gepaeckservice-pfalz.de in German; Kirschgartenstrasse 49), 200m from the tour- ist office, rents bikes (€6.50 per day) and ar- ranges cycling tours with Olympic cycling champion Stefan Steinweg. Bad Dürkheim %06322 / pop 18,600 Bad Dürkheim is a handsome, easily walk- able spa town as famous for its salty thermal springs as for the annual Dürkheimer Wurstmarkt (sausage market; www.duerkheimer-wurstmarkt.de), held in the second and third weeks of September, which bills itself as the world’s largest wine festival. Most of the action takes place around the Dürkheimer Riesenfass, a gargantuan wine cask that’s had a restaurant inside since a master cooper built it in 1934. INFORMATION Spielotek (Kurgartenstrasse 10; per hr €2; h9am- 10pm Mon-Sat, 11am-10pm Sun & holidays) Internet access – but only if you’re over 18. Tourist office (%956 6250; www.bad-duerkheim .de in German; h9am-7pm Mon-Fri, 11am-1pm or 3pm Sat & Sun). In the Kurzentrum building. Has a town map in English. SIGHTS Between the Hauptbahnhof and the tour- ist office lies the Kurpark, a grassy, azalea- and wisteria-filled park where you’ll find a children’s playground (in the corner nearest the Hauptbahnhof) and most of the town’s spa and wellness facilities. Classic and exotic treatments range from a full-body massage (30 minutes for €24) to Nuad Tao (Thai foot massage). For reservations (required for all but the thermal baths and sauna) stop by the Kurzentrum (spa centre; %9640; www.kurzentrum-bad -duerkheim.de in German; Kurbrunnenstrasse 14). Vitalis, another spa run by the same company, is next door. The city-run Salinarium (%935 865; www .salinarium.de in German; adult/child over 6yr €5.50/3, saunas €11.50/9), a year-round complex of indoor and outdoor swimming pools (only one of which is saltwater) and saunas, is a few hundred metres to the northeast. Hiking options include Weinwanderwege (vineyard trails) from St Michaelskapelle, a chapel atop a little vine-clad hill a bit north- east of the tourist office, to Honigsäckel and Hochmess; and forest trails to two historic ruins, Limburg (11⁄2 hours) and Hardenburg (two hours). The Kaiser-Konrad-Radweg (35km) links Bad Dürkheim’s Rathaus with Speyer’s Dom. SLEEPING & EATING Several restaurants with warm-season terraces can be found on Römerplatz and along nearby Kurgartenstrasse. Knaus Camping Park (%613 56; www.knauscamp.de in German; In den Almen 3; site €6-11, person €6) A lakeside camping ground about 3.5km northeast of the centre. Marktschänke (%952 60; www.bd-marktschaenke .de in German; s/d from €47/72; p) An especially friendly, family-run hotel with seven extra- large rooms and a playfully cluttered, rus- tic restaurant specialising in regional dishes (mains €6 to €18). About 250m southwest of the Hauptbahnhof. Hotel Weingarten (%940 10; www.hotelweingarten .de in German; Triftweg 11a-13; s/d from €57.50/82; h reception closed after 2pm Sun; pn) This aptly named, 18-room place, 1km northeast of the Bahnhof, offers excellent value. Most of the lovingly cared-for rooms have balconies. Wel- come extras include a sauna (€6). GETTING AROUND Bikes can be rented around the corner from the tourist office at a house (%63447; Schloss- gartenstrasse 3; per day €8) with no sign out front. It’s best to phone ahead. 478   479 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND B l o o o n k e a l c y c p o ml a mn o e d t a . c t i o o n m o n l i n e a t l o n e l y p l a n e t . c o m AHR VALLEY & THE EIFEL •• Remagen lonelyplanet.com AHR VALLEY & THE EIFEL •• Altenahr AHR VALLEY & THE EIFEL The Eifel, a rural area of gentle hills, tranquil villages and volcanic lakes, makes for a great respite from the mass tourism of the Moselle and Rhine Valleys. Its subtle charms are best sampled on a bike ride or a hike, though it also has a few headline attractions, including a world-class car-racing track, a stunning Romanesque abbey and a lovely wine region, the Ahr Valley. The Ahr River has carved a scenic 90km valley stretching from Blankenheim, in the High Eifel, to the Rhine, with which it is confluent near Remagen. This is one of Ger- many’s few red-wine regions – growing Spät- burgunder (Pinot Noir), in particular – with vineyards clinging to steeply terraced slopes along both banks. The quality is high but the yield small, so very few wine labels ever make it beyond the valley – all the more reason to visit and try them for yourself. Getting Around The best way to travel through the Ahr Valley is on the Ahrtalbahn, an hourly train serving most of the villages between Altenahr and Remagen (35 minutes), and, Monday to Sat- urday, Bonn. Bus 841 also travels the route but takes twice as long and is rather infrequent. If you’re driving, make your way to the B266/ B267, which traverses the valley. The scenic Rotweinwanderweg (Red Wine Hiking Trail; www.ahr-rotweinwanderweg.de in German), marked by small signs with grape icons, takes hikers though vineyard country on its 35km route from Bad Bodendorf to Altenahr via the hills above Bad Neuenahr and Ahrweiler. You can walk as far as you like and then return on the Ahrtalbahn. Tourist offices have a detailed trail description and maps. Cycling options include the 46km-long Ahrradweg, which runs parallel to the Ahr and links Sinzig (on the Rhine) with Blankenheim. Bikes can be taken on the Ahrtalbahn free- of-charge. REMAGEN %02642 / pop 16,000 Remagen, 20km south of Bonn, was founded by the Romans in AD 16 as Rigomagus, but the town would hardly figure in the his- tory books were it not for one fateful day in early March 1945. As the Allies raced across France and Belgium to rid Germany of Nazism, the Wehrmacht (armed serv- ices of the Third Reich) tried frantically to stave off defeat by destroying all bridges across the Rhine. But the steel rail bridge at Remagen lasted long enough for Allied troops to cross the river, contributing sig- nificantly to the collapse of Hitler’s western front. One of the bridge’s surviving basalt towers now houses the Friedensmuseum (Peace Museum; %201 46; www.bruecke-remagen.de; adult/ concession €3.50/1; h10am-5pm early Mar-late Nov, to 6pm May-Oct), with an exhibit about Remagen’s pivotal role in WWII. BAD NEUENAHR & AHRWEILER %02641 / pop 28,000 Bad Neuenahr and Ahrweiler are a bit of an odd couple. Bad Neuenahr is an elegant spa town whose healing waters have been sought out by the moneyed and the fa- mous (including Karl Marx and Johannes Brahms) for a century and a half. Ahrweiler, by contrast, is a dreamy medieval village encircled by a town wall and crisscrossed by narrow, pedestrianised lanes that are lined with half-timbered houses. What the two do have in common, however, is wine, which can be enjoyed in both towns at taverns and restaurants. Orientation From Ahrweiler’s Hauptbahnhof, walk 600m west along Wilhelmstrasse to get to the old town; more convenient is the Ahrweiler Markt train stop, just north of the old town. From the Hauptbahnhof in Bad Neuenahr, it’s a five-minute walk to the centre, which is around car-free Poststrasse. Information Let’s Play (Ahrhutstrasse 23, Ahrweiler; per hr €3; h9am-11pm) Internet access near the tourist office; you must be over 18. Post office (cnr Hauptstrasse & Kölner Strasse, Bad Neuenahr) Tourist offices (%91710; www.ahrtaltourismus.de in German) Ahrweiler (Blankartshof 1; h9.30am-1pm & 2-5.30pm Mon-Fri, 10am-3pm Sat & Sun mid-Apr–mid- Nov, 10am-1pm & 2-5pm Mon-Fri, 10am-1pm Sat & Sun mid-Nov–mid-Apr); Bad Neuenahr (Hauptstrasse 114; h9.30am-5.30pm Mon-Fri, 10am-1pm Sat & Sun) Both sell walking and cycling maps of the area. Sights & Activities AHRWEILER Ahrweiler preserves a delightful, pedestri- anised Altstadt almost entirely encircled by a medieval town wall with four surviving gates. The focal point is the Marktplatz and its yel- low Gothic church, Pfarrkirche St Laurentius, beautifully decorated with floral frescoes from the 14th century and luminous stained- glass windows, some of which show farmers working their vineyards. Of the many half- timbered buildings, pride of place goes to Haus Wolff (Niederhutstrasse 42), a block east of the church, which is festooned with a knock-out octagonal oriel. Ahrweiler’s Roman roots spring to life at the Museum Roemervilla (Roman Villa Museum; %5311; Am Silberberg 1; adult/student/family €3.60/1.80/7.20; h10am- 5pm Tue-Sun late Mar–mid-Nov) on the northwest edge of town. Protected by a lofty glass and wood structure are 1st- to 3rd-century ruins – a veritable Rhenish Pompeii – that reveal the remarkable standard of living enjoyed by wealthy Romans. A detailed English pamphlet is included in the price. BAD NEUENAHR The focal point of Bad Neuenahr, bisected by the Ahr, is the stately Kurhaus, an Art Nouveau structure built in 1903 that houses the Spiel- bank (casino; %757 50; www.spielbank-bad-neuenahr.de, in German; Felix-Rütten-Strasse 1; h2pm-2am), the first to open in post-WWII Germany. Night after night, an elegant crowd (jacket required for men) mingles among the roulette and blackjack tables or tries its luck at the ‘one-armed ban- dits’. Bring your passport and a lucky charm. The nearby river banks are great for strolling. Neuenahr owes its ‘Bad reputation’ (ie its spa status) to its mineral springs, whose soothing qualities can be experienced in the Ahr-Thermen (%801 200; www.ahrthermen.de, in Ger- man; Felix-Rütten-Strasse 3; per 2hr €10, day pass €14, sauna extra €4; h9am-11pm). Besides swimming pools, options include a surge channel, massage jets and all sorts of saunas. Various discounts are available. Sleeping & Eating The town centres of Bad Neuenahr and Ahrweiler teem with traditional German restaurants. DJH hostel (%349 24; www.jugendherberge.de; St-Pius-Strasse 7; dm €18, d per person €23.50; n) This modern, 140-bed hostel is on the south bank of the Ahr about midway between Ahrweiler and Bad Neuenahr (1.5km from each). All rooms have private bathrooms. Hotel Garni Schützenhof (%90283; www.schuetzenhof -ahrweiler.de, in German; Schützenstrasse 1, Ahrweiler; s/d from €46/70; pn) Facing the Ahrtor, one of Ahrweiler’s landmark town gates, this un- pretentious family-run hotel has 14 spacious rooms. Offers excellent value. Hotel-Restaurant Hohenzollern (%4268; www .hotelhohenzollern.com; Am Silberberg 50, Ahrweiler; s €65-80, d €108-143; pn) This elegant hillside hotel, right on the Rotweinwanderweg, has unbeat- able valley views and a gourmet restaurant (mains €16 to €28). From Ahrweiler’s Mu- seum Roemervilla, head up the 11⁄2-lane road through the forest. Apbell’s (%900 243; Niederhutstrasse 27a, Ahrweiler; mains €7-15.50; hclosed Mon & Jan) The menu here has something in store for all tastes and budgets, including Haxe (leg of pig) and five options for kids. In fine weather, the chestnut- shaded beer garden has the nicest tables. Eifelstube (%348 50; Ahrhutstrasse 26, Ahrweiler; mains €9.50-15, 3-course lunch €14.50; hclosed Tue & Wed) In the same family since 1905, this is one of Ahrweiler’s best restaurants. Sample upmar- ket German and regional specialities while seated in the cosy dining room with beam ceiling and tiled stove. Around the corner facing the tourist office, the affiliated Bistro (closed Tuesday) has cheaper fare such as Flammkuchen (Alsatian-style pizza), salads and cakes. Getting There & Away Rail travel from the Ahrweiler Markt, Ahr- weiler and Bad Neuenahr train stations to Koblenz (€11 or €12, 42 to 67 minutes, hourly) requires a change at Remagen. Direct trains from all three stations serve Bonn (€6.20, 40 minutes, hourly). ALTENAHR %02643 / pop 1700 Hemmed in on all sides by craggy peaks giving way to rolling hills and steep vineyards, Al- tenahr wins top honours as the most romantic location in the Ahr Valley. The landscape is best appreciated by taking a 10-minute uphill walk to the 11th-century Burgruine Are, a ruined hilltop castle, whose weather-beaten stone tower stands guard over the valley. Altenahr is the western terminus of the Rotweinwanderweg (opposite). A dozen more 480 481 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND Book accommodation onlilnoenaet loynpelyapnlaente.tc.com AHR VALLEY & THE EIFEL •• Nürburgring lonelyplanet.com THE ROMANTIC RHINE •• Activities trails can be picked up either in the village centre or at the top of the Ditschardhöhe, whose ‘peak’, at 354m, is most easily reached by chair- lift (%8383; up/return adult €3/4.50, child 3-14yr €2/2.50; h10am-5pm or later, closes earlier in stormy weather, Easter- Oct). Kids may enjoy the summer Rodelbahn (toboggan run). Altenahr’s tourist office (%8448; www.altenahr -ahr.de in German; h9am-noon & 12.30-4pm or 4.30pm Mon- Fri, to 3.30pm Fri, also 10am-1pm Sat mid-Apr–May & Aug-Oct) is inside the Bahnhof (train station). Sleeping & Eating Campingplatz Altenahr (%8503; www.camping -altenahr.de; Im Pappelauel; per tent & car/person €7/4.50; hApr-Oct). A green, grassy camping ground. DJH hostel (%1880; www.jugendherberge.de; Lang- figtal 8; dm €17; n) Altenahr’s 92-bed hostel, completely renovated in 2006, is beautifully located in the Langfigtal nature park. Hotel-Restaurant Zum Schwarzen Kreuz (%1534; www.zumschwarzenkreuz.de; Brückenstrasse 5-7; s €38-70, d €58-100; pn) In a neat half-timbered build- ing in the heart of town, this 60-bed place of- fers original retro flair with flowery wallpaper; some rooms even have groovy tapestries. The restaurant does regional specialities (mains €9 to €18) and Flammkuchen. Getting There & Away The Ahrtalbahn train serves villages between Altenahr and Remagen (35 minutes, hourly); on Monday to Saturday it goes to Bonn. Bus 841 also travels the route but takes twice as long and is rather infrequent. NÜRBURGRING This historic Formula One race car track (%02691- 302 630; www.nuerburgring.de) has hosted many spec- tacular races with legendary drivers since its completion in 1927. Its 20.8km, 73-curve Nordschleife (North Loop) was not only the longest circuit ever built but also one of the most difficult, earning the respectful moniker ‘Green Hell’ from racing legend Jackie Stew- art. After Niki Lauda’s near-fatal crash in 1976, the German Grand Prix moved to the Hockenheimring near Mannheim but in 1995 Formula One returned to the 5km South Loop, built in 1984. If you have your own car or motorbike, you can discover your inner Michael (Schumacher, that is) by taking a spin around the North Loop for €14 per round. Those who lack a really fast vehicle and/or prefer to let someone else do the driving can take the BMW Ring-Taxi (%932 020, staffed 10am-noon Mon-Fri; http://ring-taxi .bmw-motorsport.com; hMar-Nov, call for exact days). For €175, up to three people (children must be at least 150cm tall) pile into a 507hp BMW M5, which goes from 0km/h to 100km/h in under five seconds, and are ‘chauffeured’ around the North Loop by a professional driver at speeds of up to 320km/h. It’s hugely popular so make reservations early. Right by the track is the Erlebniswelt (%302 698; adult/child 6-14yr €11/7.50; h10am-6pm), an au- tomotive theme park where you’ll learn about the history and mythology of the Nürburgring and can participate in interactive entertain- ments and simulators. One hall houses the 450m Kartbahn (www.karterlebniswelt.de; per 10/30min €11/26; h11am-8pm, shorter hours in winter), a go- kart track where you get to experience what 60km/h feels like with your tail just 3cm above the asphalt. The Nürburgring is off the B258, reached via the B257 from Altenahr. MARIA LAACH About 25km northwest of Koblenz, Abteikirche Maria Laach (Maria Laach Abbey Church; %02652-590; www.marialaach.de, in German; admission free; h5am- 8pm) is one of the finest examples of Roman- esque architecture in Germany. It’s part of a nine-century-old Benedictine abbey, and sits at the edge of a forest and next to a volcanic lake, the Laacher See, which is surrounded by a 21-sq-km nature reserve. You enter the church via a large portico, a feature not usually found north of the Alps. Note the quirky carvings on and above the capitals and the Löwenbrunnen (Lion Foun- tain), reminiscent of Moorish architecture. The interior is surprisingly modest, in part because the original furnishings were lost during the 1800s. In the west apse lies the late- 13th-century tomb of abbey founder Henry II of Palatine (laminated information sheets are available nearby), while the east apse shelters the high altar with its wooden canopy; over- head is an early-20th-century Byzantine-style mosaic of Christ donated by Kaiser Wilhelm II. The entrance to the 11th-century crypt (h9-11am & 12.30-5pm Mon-Sat, 12.30-2pm & 3.30-5pm Sun & holidays) is to the left of the choir. The abbey itself is not open to the public but across the path from the Gaststätte (res- taurant), a free 20-minute film (h9.30-11am & 1-4.30pm except Sun & holiday mornings) looks at the life of the 55 monks, who take the motto ‘Ora et Labora’ (pray and work) very seriously indeed. They earn a living from economic activities such as running the abbey’s hotel, growing organic apples and raising houseplants (avail- able for purchase in the hothouses); and they pray five times a day. Attending Gottesdienst (prayer services; hours posted in the church) is worthwhile if only to listen to the ethereal chanting in Latin and German. Various trails take walkers up the hill into the forest; options for circumambulating the Laacher See include the lakefront Ufer-Rundweg (8km) and two hillier trails (15km and 21km). You can swim near the camping ground. Next to the car park is a grocery (h9am-6pm Mon-Sat year-round, 10am-6pm Sun except sometimes in Jan, Feb, Jul & Aug) selling organic fruits, veggies, cheese and meat grown or prepared by the monks. Maria Laach is served hourly by bus 312 from Mendig, the nearest town with a train station. By car, get off the A61 at the Mendig exit (No 34), 2km from Maria Laach. The car park (€1.50) is across the road from the church. THE ROMANTIC RHINE Between Koblenz and Bingen, the Rhine carves deeply through the Rhenish slate mountains, meandering between hillside castles and steep fields of wine to create a magical atmosphere mixing wonder and legend. This is Germany’s landscape at its most dramatic – muscular forested hillsides alternate with craggy cliffs and nearly-vertical terraced vineyards. Idyl- lic villages appear around each bend, their neat half-timbered houses and proud church steeples seemingly plucked from the world of fairy tales. High above the river, busy with barge traf- fic, and the rail lines that run along each bank are the famous medieval castles, some ruined, some restored, all mysterious and vestiges of a time that was anything but tranquil. Most were built by a mafia of local robber barons – knights, princes and even bishops – who extorted tolls from merchant ships by block- ing their passage with iron chains. Time and French troops under Louis XIV laid waste to many of the castles but several were restored in the 19th century, when Prussian kings, German poets and British painters discovered the gorge’s timeless beauty. Today, some have been reincarnated as hotels and, in the case of Burg Stahleck, as a hostel (p492). In 2002 Unesco designated these 65km of riverscape, more prosaically known as the Oberes Mittelrheintal (Upper Middle Rhine Valley; www .welterbe-mittelrheintal.de), as a World Heritage Site. One of Germany’s most popular tourist desti- nations, the area is often deluged with visitors, especially in summer and early autumn, but it all but shuts down in winter. Activities CYCLING The Rhein-Radweg runs along the left (west) bank of the Romantic Rhine and along some sections of the right bank. It links up with two other long-distance bike paths, the Nahe- Hunsrück-Mosel-Radweg (www.naheland-radtouren.de in German), which follows the Nahe River from Bingen southwest to Idar-Oberstein and be- yond; and the 311km Mosel-Radweg (www.mosel -radweg.de in German), which runs along one or the other banks of the Moselle River from Koblenz to the French city of Metz, passing through Bernkastel-Kues, Trier and Luxembourg. Bicycles can be taken on most regional trains, making it possible to ride one way (eg down the valley) and take the train the other way. HIKING The Rhine Valley is great hiking territory. Each tourist office can supply suggestions and maps for superb local walks. Four long-distance trails parallel the Rhine between Koblenz and Bingen, continuing downriver to Bonn and upriver to Mainz and beyond. Each bank has a Rheinhöhenweg (Rhine Heights Trail), which takes you from hill top to hill top – a bit away from the river – and affords spectacular views. Closer to the Rhine, along the riverbank or on the hillsides just above it, run the new Rhein-Burgen-Wanderweg (on the left bank, ie Bingen and Boppard) and the Rheinsteig (on the right bank, ie Loreley; www.rheinsteig.de); the latter links Bonn with Wiesbaden, a distance of 320km. Festivals & Events Every river village holds at least one wine festival each year, with most of them crammed into August and September, just before har- vest time. The Rhineland-Palatinate Veran- staltungskalendar (events calendar), which 482 483 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND 484 THE ROMANTIC RHINE •• Getting There & Away lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com Rhine, to get to a trailhead, or to return to your lodgings at the end of a hike or bike ride. All local trains take bicycles for no charge. Villages on the Rhine’s left bank (eg Bingen, Boppard and St Goar) are served hourly by local trains on the Koblenz–Mainz run. Right bank villages such as Rüdesheim, Assmanns- hausen and St Goarshausen are linked every hour or two by Koblenz–Wiesbaden services. It takes about 11⁄2 hours to travel by train from Koblenz to either Mainz or Wiesbaden. CAR & MOTORCYCLE The B9 highway travels along the left bank of the Rhine from Koblenz to Bingen, from where the A60 leads on to Mainz. On the right bank, the B42 hugs the river. CAR FERRY Since there are no Rhine bridges between Koblenz and Mainz (though many locals would like there to be; environmentalists and the ferry companies are, predictably, op- posed), the only way to cross the river along this stretch is by Autofähre (car ferry). Services operate between Boppard and Filsen/Kamp Bornhofen (runs until 9pm or 10pm, to 8pm in winter); St Goar and St Goarshausen; Bach- arach and Kaub; Niederheimbach and Lorch (till 8pm, 7pm in winter); and Bingen and Rüdesheim (till midnight, 10pm in winter). Prices vary slightly but you can figure on paying about €3 per car, including the driver; €1.30 per foot passenger (€0.70 for a child); and €0.50 for a bicycle. This being well- organised Germany, the fare tables take into account the possibility, however remote, that you might want to bring along a dog (€0.50), cattle (€3 each) or a horse-drawn cart (€4.50, including the driver). KOBLENZ %0261 / pop 108,000 Koblenz is a modern town with ancient roots that go all the way back to the Romans, who founded a military stronghold here around 10 BC. They called it, quite appropriately, Confluentes for its supremely strategic value at the spot where the Moselle is confluent with the Rhine. Today, Koblenz is the economic and com- mercial centre of the Upper Rhine region. The eminently strollable town, home to two fabulous castles, is the northern gateway to the Romantic Rhine and also affords access to the THE ROMANTIC RHINE •• Koblenz 485 outdoor charms of three low mountain ranges – the Hunsrück, the Eifel and the Westerwald – which converge here. Orientation Koblenz’ core is shaped like the bow of a ship seen in profile, with the Rhine to the east, the Moselle to the north and the Deut- sches Eck right where Leonardo DiCaprio would be kissing Kate Winslet if this were the Titanic. The area’s southern border is Friedrich-Ebert-Ring; to the west it’s delin- eated by Hohenfelderstrasse, which leads north to the Balduinbrücke (a bridge span- ning the Moselle). The Altstadt is around the northern end of shop-lined, pedestrians-only Löhrstrasse, whose southern, cars-admitted section leads 500m to the Hauptbahnhof. Information ATM Inside the Hauptbahnhof. Main tourist office (%313 04; www.touristik -koblenz.de; Bahnhofsplatz 17; h9am-7pm May-Sep, to 6pm Apr & Oct, 9am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-2pm Sat Nov-Mar) Across the square and a bit to the right as you exit the Hauptbahnhof. Has an excellent map in English and sells events tickets. Post office (Bahnhofsplatz 16; h7am-7pm Mon-Fri, 7am-2pm Sat) Rathaus tourist office (%130 920; Jesuitenplatz 2; h9am-7pm Mon-Fri, 10am-7pm Sat & Sun May-Sep, to 6pm Apr & Oct, 9am-6pm Mon-Fri, till 4pm Sat Nov-Mar) Reuffel (Löhrstrasse 62; per 30min €0.60; h9.30am- 7pm Mon-Wed & Fri, to 8pm Thu, to 6pm Sat) A bookshop with English-language books and an internet café upstairs. Waschsalon (Bahnhofstrasse 22; h6am-11pm) Self- service laundry 400m north of the Hauptbahnhof. Sights CITY CENTRE Löhrstrasse, Koblenz’ main shopping drag, is lined primarily with chain and department stores. Its intersection with Altengraben is known as Vier Türme (Four Towers) because each of the 17th-century corner buildings sports a richly detailed façade and an ornately carved and painted oriel. Turning east on Altengraben takes you to Am Plan, a broad square that has undergone various incarnations – as a butchers’ market, a stage for religious plays, a place of execution and an arena for medieval tournaments. The arched walkway at Am Plan’s north- eastern corner leads to the Liebfrauenkirche (h9am-6pm), in the heart of the Altstadt, which ROMANTIC RHINE 0 0 A48 Lahnstein Burg Lahneck Braubach Marksburg 10 km 6 miles Höhr- Grenzhausen Getting There & Away Koblenz (for transport details see p487) and Mainz (p471) are good starting points for touring the region. If you’re pressed for time, you can get a glimpse of the Romantic Rhine on a long day-trip from Frankfurt. Getting Around BOAT River travel is a relaxing and very romantic way to see the castles, vineyards and villages of the Romantic Rhine. A boat trip in one direction can be combined with a hike or train trip in the other. Because of fast currents, shallows, narrow channels and the many passing barges (the Rhine is still an important trade artery), ma- noeuvring a passenger ferry is a very tricky business – and a fascinating one to see up close. Vessels zipping downriver have priority over those steaming slowly upriver. From about April to October (winter serv- ices are very limited), boats that are run by Köln-Düsseldorfer (KD; %Mon-Fri 0221-2088 318, daily 06742-2232; www.k-d.com) link villages such as Bin- gen, St Goar and Boppard on a set timetable. You can travel to the next village or all the way from Mainz to Koblenz (one-way/return €44.10/50.10, downstream/upstream 51⁄2/81⁄2 hours). Within the segment you’ve paid for (for example, Boppard-Rüdesheim, which costs €18.80 return), you can get on and off as many times as you like, but make sure to ask for a free stopover ticket each time you disembark. Many rail passes (such as Eurail) will get you a free ride on normal KD services. How- ever, you still need to obtain a ticket. Children up to the age of four travel for free, while those up to age 13 are charged a flat fee of €3.50. Students under 27 get a 50% discount. Travel on your birthday is free. Return tickets usually cost only slightly more than one-way tickets. There’s a €1.50 supplement for travel on the Goethe, a Mississippi-style paddle-wheeler. Several smaller companies, including Bingen-Rüdesheimer (%06721-14140; www.bingen -ruedesheimer.com) and Rössler Linie (%06722-2353; www.roesslerlinie.de), also run passenger boats up and down the Romantic Rhine. BUS & TRAIN Bus and train travel, perhaps combined with minicruises by boat and car ferry, is a con- venient way to go village-hopping along the River elle Mos To Erbachklamm Gorge (10km); Brodenbach (12km) Boppard Buchholz A61 St Goar B261 Bad Ems Nassau Lahn River Emmels- hausen Burg Sterrenberg Burg Liebenstein ver Ri Burg Rheinfels Oberwesel Schönburg Bacharach DJH Burg Stahleck Burg Sooneck Kaub Pfalz am Rhein B42 Lorch Niederheimbach Rhine Burg Reichenstein Trechtingshausen Burg Rheinstein HESSE Kloster Eberbach Eltville B9 Binger B9 Stadtwald Assmannshausen Niederwald Denkmal Mäuseturm Bingerbrück 260 Mainz Eibingen Bingen Rüdesheim B327 Schloss Stolzenfels B9 Filsen Kamp Bornhofen B49 Burg Maus RHINELAND- PALATINATE St Goarshausen Burg Katz Loreley B274 Sieben Jungfrauen Rocks B260 Geisenheim B42 54 Wiesbaden River Nahe RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND details all the festivals, is available from tourist offices. During Rhein in Flammen (Rhine in Flames), the region’s most famous and spectacular fes- tival series, castles, boats and the river banks, all swathed in glowing illumination, form the backdrop to gargantuan firework displays, best viewed from a boat (www.rhine-river-lights .com for reservations). Events are held every year in five locations: Siebengebirge (seven hills between Linz & Bonn) First Saturday in May. Bingen/Rüdesheim First Saturday in July. Koblenz to Braubach/Spay Second Saturday in August. Oberwesel Second Saturday in September. Loreley rock (St Goar/St Goarshausen) Third Saturday in September. Koblenz B42 Festung Ehrenbreitstein RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND THE ROMANTIC RHINE •• Koblenz B o o k a c c o m m o d a t i o n o n l i n l e o a n t e l o l n y e p l y l p a l n a n e e t t . . c c o o m m B l o o o n k e a c l c y o p m l a m n o e d a t t . i c o o n mo n l i n e a t l o n e l y p l a n e t . c o m THE ROMANTIC RHINE •• Koblenz was built in a harmonious hotchpotch of styles: of Romanesque origin, it has a Gothic choir and baroque onion-domed turrets. Note the painted vaulting above the central nave. A block to the north, Florinsmarkt is domi- nated by the Florinskirche (h11am-5pm Jun-Aug) and is home to the Mittelrhein-Museum (%129 2520; Florinsmarkt 15; adult/concession €2.50/1.50, dur- ing special exhibitions €4/2.50; h10.30am-5pm Tue-Sat, 11am-6pm Sun & holidays), with eclectic displays reflecting the region’s history. The collection of 19th-century landscape paintings of the Romantic Rhine by German and British artists is worth a look. For a bit of whimsy, look for the Augenroller (eye-roller) figure beneath the façade clock, which rolls its eyes and sticks out its tongue on the hour and half-hour. Stroll a block north to the Moselle, turn right and follow the riverbank to the Deut- sches Eck, a promontory built on a sandbank right at the two rivers’ point of confluence. It derives its name from the Deutscher Ritter- orden (Order of Teutonic Knights), which had its headquarters in the 13th-century build- ing now occupied by the Ludwig Museum. A statue of Kaiser Wilhelm I on horseback, in the bombastic style of the late 19th century, dominates the spot. After the original was destroyed in WWII, the empty stone pedestal served as a memorial to German unity – until reunification was achieved in 1990. Bus 1 links the Deutsches Eck with the Hauptbahnhof. Just south, not far from the riverfront promenade, is the Deutschherrenhaus, which once belonged to the Teutonic Knights. Today it’s home to the Ludwig Museum (%304 040; www .ludwigmuseum.org in German; Danziger Freiheit 1; adult/ concession €2.50/1.50; h10.30am-5pm Tue-Sat, 11am-6pm Sun & holidays), whose emphasis is on post-1945 and contemporary art from France and Ger- many. Just beyond are the slender towers of 12th-century Basilika St Kastor (h9am-6pm). Two blocks to the southwest, at Josef-Görres- Platz, the captivating Historiensäule (History Column) portrays 2000 years of Koblenz history in 10 scenes perched one atop the other – the WWII period, for instance, is represented by a flaming ruin. A nearby panel explains all (in English). FESTUNG EHRENBREITSTEIN On the right bank of the Rhine looming above the Deutsches Eck, the mighty Ehrenbreitstein Fortress (%974 2440; fortress only adult/student & senior €1.10/0.50; h10am-5pm) proved indestructible to all but Napoleonic troops, who levelled it in 1801. A few years later, the Prussians took this as a challenge to build one of Europe’s mighti- est fortifications, completed in 1832. Behind the stone bulwarks you’ll find a DJH hostel, two restaurants and the Landes- museum (%66 750; www.landesmuseumkoblenz.de in German; adult/student & senior incl fortress admission €4/3; h9.30am-5pm mid-Mar–mid-Nov), with exhibits on the region’s economic history, local industries such as tobacco, wine and pumice, and pho- tography. There’s also a section about August Horch, founder of the Audi automotive com- pany, who was born in nearby Winningen on the Moselle. Festung Ehrenbreitstein is accessible by motorcar (it doesn’t have to be an Audi). You can also take bus 9 or 10 to the Obertal bus stop, where you can hop on the Sessel- bahn (chairlift; adult/child 4-14yr & hostel guest €4.20/2.50, return €5.80/3.50). Alternatively, take bus 9 to the Neudorf/Bergstrasse stop, from where it’s a 20-minute walk uphill (follow the signs to the DJH hostel). A tiny passenger steamer (adult €1.30; htill 6pm or 7pm approx Easter–mid-Nov) links the right-bank Ehrenbreitstein quar- ter, below the fortress, with the left-bank’s Rheinpromenade. SCHLOSS STOLZENFELS With its crenellated towers, ornate gables and medieval-style fortifications, Schloss Stolzenfels (%516 56; adult/concession obligatory guided tour €2.60/1.30; h9am-6pm Apr-Sep, 9am-5pm Jan-Mar & Oct- Nov, closed on the 1st work day of each week), 5km south of the town centre, exudes the timeless, senti- mental beauty for which the Romantic Rhine is famed. In 1823, the future Prussian king Friedrich Wilhelm IV fell under its spell and had the castle – ruined by the French – rebuilt as his summer residence; during the Victorian era, guests included Queen Victoria. Today, the rooms remain largely as the king left them, with paintings, weapons, armour and furnish- ings from the mid-19th century. To get there, take bus 650 from the Haupt- bahnhof to the castle car park, from where it’s a 15-minute walk. Sleeping Campingplatz Rhein-Mosel (%827 19; www.camping -rhein-mosel.de; Schartwiesenweg 6; per adult/tent/car €4.50/2.50/3; hApr–mid-Oct) On the north bank of the Moselle, right opposite the Deutsches Eck. Linked to the city centre by a passenger ferry. DJH hostel (%972 870; www.jugendherberge.de; dm €17, d €47; pn) A modern, 183-bed place inside historic Ehrenbreitstein Fortress. Some rooms have private bathroom. See Festung Ehren- breitstein (opposite) for transport details. Hotel Jan van Werth (%36 500; www.hoteljanvan werth.de, in German; Von-Werth-Strasse 9; s/d €41/62, without bathroom €23/48) A favourite with backpackers on a budget, this guesthouse-like establish- ment has a lobby that feels like someone’s living room and 16 rooms with 22 beds. Offers exceptional value – no surprise that it’s often booked-out, especially when the weather’s good. Situated four blocks north of the Hauptbahnhof and one block south of Friedrich-Ebert-Ring. Hotel Hamm (%303 210; www.hotel-hamm.de; St- Josef-Strasse 32-34; s €52-64, d €65-93, q €120; pni) Unpretentious and unsurprising, this 35-room hotel, while hardly exhilarating, is popular with businesspeople and offers good value. In a residential area three blocks south of the Hauptbahnhof and 1.5km from the Altstadt, to which it’s linked by bus 1. Contel Koblenz (%406 50; www.contel-koblenz.de; Pastor-Klein-Strasse 19; s/d from €71/76, buffet breakfast €10; pn) This 185-room hotel’s exuberant bad taste begins with the electric blue façade and gets wilder inside – some new outrage against bourgeois good taste awaits around every corner! About a third of the rooms have kitchenettes with tiny fridges and three come with waterbeds. Situated 1km west along the Moselle from the Altstadt; served by bus 3, whose nearest stop is Ludwig- Erhard-Strasse. Diehl’s Hotel (%970 70; www.diehls-hotel.de; Rheinsteigufer 1; s €57-95, d €74-120, breakfast €12.50; pns) A family-run hotel on the Rhine’s east bank. Has a 1980s vibe and 57 com- fortable rooms, all offering watery views of Koblenz. The restaurant has a gorgeous terrace overlooking the Rhine – perfect for a romantic sunset dinner. Situated about 1km south of Festung Ehrenbreitstein. Eating & Drinking Many of Koblenz’ restaurants and pubs are in the Altstadt, eg around and northeast of Münzplatz, and along the Rhine. Diehl’s Hotel has a romantic restaurant. Kaffeewirtschaft (%914 4702; Münzplatz 14; mains €5.50-12.50, salads €4.50-8.50; h9am-midnight Mon-Fri, 9am-2am Sat, 10am-midnight Sun) A hip café with minimalist designer décor, old marble tables and daily specials, including vegetarian op- tions, that take advantage of whatever’s in season. Cafe Miljöö (%142 37; Gemüsegasse 12; salads €6- 8; h9am-2am Sun-Fri, 8am-2am Sat) Miljöö, pro- nounced like the French word milieu, is a cosy bistrolike café, decorated with changing exhibits of original art and fresh flowers. It serves a wide selection of coffees, teas and homemade cakes. Breakfast is available until 5pm. Weindorf (%133 7190; Julius-Wegeler-Strasse 2-4; mains €6-17; h10am-1am, warm food till 11pm, from 4pm Nov-Apr) Sure, this little ‘wine village’, with its four cute, half-timbered German-style res- taurants, is a post-WWII reconstruction of a 1925 replica of the ‘real thing’ (whatever that is), but the quality of the food remains high and prices are fair. Only the service needs improving. Elsa’s Cuisine (%133 8868; Paradies 2; mains €12.50- 26; h6pm-midnight, last order 10pm) Provence meets Joburg at this homy, welcoming restaurant, which serves up innovative French cooking with South African flair. Carnivorous op- tions include crocodile, ostrich, kangaroo and bison. Irish Pub (%973 7797; www.irish-pub-koblenz.de; Burgstrasse 7; h4pm-2am or 3am Mon-Fri, 1pm-2am or 3am Sat & Sun) A Koblenz institution since 1985, this place is a favourite with English speak- ers. Monday is quiz night (from 9pm) and there’s karaoke every Wednesday (from 9pm). Screens major sports events and hosts live music six to eight times a month, usually on Friday or Saturday (9pm to 1am). Self-catering options: Aldi supermarket (Bahnhofstrasse 50; h8am-8pm Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm Sat) Two blocks north of the Haupt- bahnhof. Rizza (Rizzastrasse 49; h7.30am-7pm Mon-Fri, 7.30am- 4pm Sat) Fresh fruit and veggies three blocks north of the Hauptbahnhof. Getting There & Away Koblenz’ Hauptbahnhof is served by frequent IC trains going north to such cities as Bonn and Cologne and south to Mainz, Frankfurt and beyond. Regional trains go to Trier and villages on both banks of the Romantic Rhine, including Bingen (€10, 50 minutes). Some of the Rhine villages are also served by buses that stop outside the Hauptbahnhof – bus 650 goes to Boppard via Schloss Stolzenfels while bus 570 goes to Braubach/Marksburg. 486   487 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND THE ROMANTIC RHINE •• Braubach lonelyplanet.com B l o o o n k e a l c y c p o ml a mn o e d t a . c t i o o n m o n l i n e a t l o n e l y p l a n e t . c o m THE ROMANTIC RHINE •• Boppard CLASSIC, MODERN & TIMELESS Faced with fickle fashion trends, few furniture styles retain their freshness and popularity for long. A rare exception is bentwood furniture, invented by a Boppard-born cabinetmaker named Michael Thonet (1796–1871; tone-et). Whether in modern-day Paris-style cafés or Toulouse Lautrec paintings of real fin de siècle Paris cafés, we’ve all seen Thonet’s minimalist Chair Number 14 looking curvaceous, elegant and sturdy. The secret of this model, of which tens of millions have been produced, and all other bentwood pieces, lies in a production process that involves stacking strips of veneer, soaking them in hot glue so they become pliable, and then drying them in the desired shape in metal moulds. Thonet began his experiments in his Boppard shop in about 1830 but it was the 1851 Great Exhibition in London’s Crystal Palace that catapulted him and his Vienna-based firm, soon to be known as Gebrüder Thonet, into prominence. Exquisite bentwood furniture produced by Thonet during the 19th century can be seen in the Museum der Stadt Boppard (opposite). Gebrüder Thonet (www.thonet.de) is now run by its founders’ great-great grandchildren. three-hour cliffside adventure hike. Decent shoes are a must. If you chicken out at the critical vertical bits – some with ladders – less vertiginous alternatives are available. It’s possible to walk back to town via the Vierseenblick. Even more memorable is the dramatically steep Hunsrückbahn train that travels through five tunnels and across two viaducts on its 8km journey from Boppard’s Bahnhof to Buchholz (adult/child up to 11 years one- way €2.10/1.20, 15 minutes). Many people hike back to Boppard from here, but Buchholz is also the starting point of an excellent 17km hike via the romantic Ehrbachklamm Gorge to Brodenbach, from where you can get back to Boppard by taking bus 301 to Koblenz and then bus 650 to Boppard. Another option: take the hourly bus 626 from Brodenbach to Emmelshausen, and then the Hunsrückbahn back to Boppard (adult/child €3.45/1.75). The tourist office organises wine tastings (5 wines €5; h8pm Thu Apr-Oct), hosted each month by a different Weingut (wine-growing estate). Bikes can be hired from Fahrrad Lüdicke (%4736; Oberstrasse 105; per day €6.50; h9am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm Sat). The tourist office has lots of material on cycling options. Sleeping & Eating Hotels, cafés and restaurants line the Rheinal- lee, Boppard’s riverfront promenade. To get there by car, follow the signs on the B9 to the Autofähre – that is, turn onto Mainzer Strasse at the upriver (eastern) edge of town. Campingpark Sonneneck (%2121; www.campingpark -sonneneck.de; B9 hwy; person/site/car €5.70/3.20/3.20; hEaster–mid-Oct; s) Stretching for 2km along the riverfront about 5km downriver from Boppard, this camping ground has modern facilities and a large pool. From Boppard take bus 650 towards Koblenz. Hotel Rebstock (%4876; www.rheinhotel-rebstock.de; Rheinallee 31; s €31-46, d €46-77; hreception 7am-10pm Wed-Sun, 7am-4pm Mon & Tue; n) This family-run hotel, on the Rhine facing the car-ferry land- ing, has 10 bright, spacious rooms, many with river views and some with balconies. The restaurant is top-notch. Hotel Günther (%890 90; www.hotelguenther.de; Rheinallee 40; s €50-82, d €62-98; hclosed most of Dec; ni) Watch boats and barges glide along the mighty Rhine from your balconied room at this bright, welcoming waterfront hotel. It’s owned by an American fellow and his German wife, which makes communication a cinch – and explains why the breakfast buffet includes peanut butter. Hotel Bellevue (%1020; www.bellevue-bop pard.de; Rheinallee 41; s/d from €86/120, cheaper in winter; pnai) This luxurious, Best Western– affiliated hotel, built in grand style in 1910, has 94 highly civilised rooms, most with views of the Rhine. Weinhaus Heilig Grab (%2371; Zelkesgasse 12; snacks €3.50-7; h3-11pm or later, closed Tue & Christmas–mid-Jan) Across the street from the Hauptbahnhof, Boppard’s oldest wine tavern offers a cosy setting for sipping the local rieslings. In sum- mer, you can sit outside under a leafy chestnut canopy. Also has five rooms for rent (doubles €56 to €66). Weingut Felsenkeller (%2154; Mühltal 21; snacks €4-7; h3-10pm or later, closed Tue) Across the street Several boat operators have docks along Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer, on the Rhine just south of the Deutsches Eck. A number of highways converge in Koblenz, including the B9 from Cologne/Bonn. The nearest autobahns are the A61 (Koblenz-Nord exit) and the A48/A1 to Trier. Getting Around To avoid parking fees you can leave your vehicle at a Park & Ride lot – options include Sporthalle-Stadion Oberwerth, 2.5km south of the Hauptbahnhof next to the stadium, from where bus 1 goes to the city centre. Bus trips in the city centre cost €1.40; longer trips (eg to the hostel or Schloss Stolzenfels) are €2.10. Day passes cost €3.15/4.20 for one/ two zones. BRAUBACH %02627 / pop 3200 Framed by vineyards and rose gardens, the snug 1300-year-old town of Braubach, about 8km south of Koblenz on the right bank, unfolds against the dramatic backdrop of the Marksburg (%206; www.marksburg.de; adult/ student/child €4.50/4/3.50; h10am-5pm Apr-Oct, 11am- 4pm Nov-Mar). This hilltop castle’s main claim to fame is that it has never been destroyed, thanks in large part to several layers of forti- fication added by a succession of counts and landgraves. The tour takes in the citadel, the Gothic hall and the large kitchen plus a grisly torture chamber, with its hair-raising assort- ment of pain-inflicting nasties. Bus 570 goes from Koblenz’ Hauptbahnhof to Braubach, from where it’s a 20-minute uphill walk to the castle. BOPPARD %06742 / pop 16,000 Thanks to its outdoor options, historic sites and scenic location on a horseshoe bend in the river, Boppard (bo-part), about 20km south of Koblenz, is a very worthwhile stop. A gateway to lots of great hikes in the Hunsrück, it’s also a real town complete with a small cinema and travel agencies where locals can book flights to where you’re from. Be sure to sample the excellent riesling from grapes grown near here in some of the Rhine’s steepest vineyards. Information ATMs On the Marktplatz behind the tourist office. Call-Shop (Oberstrasse 99; per hr €2; h10.30am- 8.30pm or later Mon-Sat, 2-8.30pm Sun) Has internet access. Post office (Heerstrasse 177) Tourist office (%3888; www.boppard.de; Marktplatz; h8am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm Sat May-Sep, 8am-4pm Mon-Fri Oct-Apr) Inside the Altes Rathaus. Lists of hotels and cultural events and a map are posted outside. Sights Just off Boppard’s main commercial street, the pedestrianised, east–west oriented Oberstrasse, is the ancient Marktplatz, whose fountain is a favourite local hang-out. Still home to a market on Friday mornings, it’s dominated by the twin towers of the late Romanesque Severuskirche, an elegant 13th-century church built on the site of Roman military baths. In- side are polychrome wall paintings, a hanging cross from 1225 and spiderweb-like vaulted ceilings. Half-a-block east of the church, the cutest of Boppard’s half-timbered buildings, built in 1519, now houses a tearoom called Teehäusje (%5798; Untere Marktstrasse 10; h9.30am-12.30pm Mon- Sat, 2.30pm or 3-6pm daily). A couple of blocks east, in a 14th-century palace, the Museum der Stadt Boppard (%103 69; Burgstrasse; admission free; h10am-12.30pm & 1.30-5pm Tue-Sun Apr-Oct) has displays on local history and an entire floor dedicated to bentwood furniture (see boxed text, opposite). Along the riverfront is the Rheinallee, a promenade lined with ferry docks, neatly painted hotels and wine taverns. There are grassy areas and a children’s playground a bit upriver from the car-ferry dock. A block south of the Marktplatz, the Römer- Kastell (Roman Fort; cnr Angertstrasse & Kirchgasse; admission free; h24hr), also known as the Römerpark, has 55m of the original 4th-century Roman wall and graves from the Frankish era (7th century). A wall panel shows what the Roman town of Bodobrica looked like 1700 years ago. Activities For a spectacular view that gives you the illu- sion of looking at four lakes instead of a single river, take the 20-minute Sesselbahn (%2510; up/return €4.20/6.20; h9.30am-6.30pm Apr-Oct) from the downriver edge of town up to the Vierseen- blick viewpoint. The nearby Gedeonseck affords views of the Rhine’s hairpin curve. The new Klettersteig (admission free; h24hr), which begins near the Sesselbahn, is a 21⁄2- to 488 489 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND Book accommodation onlilnoenaet loynpelyapnlaente.tc.com lonelyplanet.com THE ROMANTIC RHINE •• Oberwesel THE ROMANTIC RHINE •• St Goar from the chairlift station and next to a little stream, this place serves its own and other local growers’ wines. Severus Stube (%3218; Untere Marktstrasse 7; mains €7-12.50; hclosed Thu) Serves up good-value Ger- man food under rustic beam ceilings. The Penny Markt supermarket (Oberstrasse 171; h7am-8pm Mon-Sat) sells picnic supplies. ST GOAR %06741 / pop 3100 St Goar, 10km upriver of Boppard and 28km downriver from Bingen, is lorded over by the sprawling ruins of Burg Rheinfels (%383; Schlossberg; adult/child 6-14yr €4/2; h9am-6pm Apr–mid- Oct, to 5pm mid-Oct–early Nov, 10am-5pm Sat & Sun in good weather early Nov-Mar), once the mightiest fortress on the Rhine. Built in 1245 by Count Dieter V of Katzenelnbogen as a base for his toll- collecting operations, its size and labyrinthine layout is truly astonishing. Not only kids will love exploring the subterranean tunnels and galleries. To get there, you can walk for 20 minutes up the hill from the youth hostel, drive (parking fee required) or, from April to October, take the Burgexpress tourist train (€3 return, every 25 minutes). Another kid-pleasing stop is the Deutsches Puppen- und Teddymuseum (German Doll & Teddy Bear Museum; %7270; Sonnengasse 8; adult/child 4-11yr/youth 12-17yr €3.50/1.50/2.50; h10am-5pm Apr-Dec). The Protestant Stiftskirche (Am Marktplatz), across the street from the Bahnhof, is known for its late Gothic murals, neat vaulting and Romanesque crypt. Walking options include the Panoramaweg – follow the signs from the Rathaus. The tourist office (%383; www.st-goar.de; Heerstrasse 86; h9am-12.30pm & 1.30-6pm Mon-Fri, to 5pm Oct-Apr, closes 2pm Fri Nov-Mar, also open 10am-noon Sat May-Sep), on the pedestrianised main street, can supply you with a map for the Via Sancti Goaris city-centre walking tour. Sleeping & Eating DJH hostel (%388; www.jugendherberge.de; Bismarckweg 17; dm €13.50; hreception 7am-10pm; n) This old- style hostel is at the northern end of town, on the hillside below Burg Rheinfels. Hotel Zur Loreley (%1614; www.hotel-zur-loreley .de; Heerstrasse 87; s €35-45, d €50-68, apt €58-74, all incl breakfast; pn) A central and welcoming place to hang your hat, this seven-room hotel has tasteful, modern décor in natural colours, a garage and repair centre for bicycles, and a variety of lodging options, including eight holiday apartments. Just off the B9 near the Marktplatz. Hotel Hauser (%333; www.hotelhauser.de; Heerstrasse 77; s €26-30, d €52-58; hreception closed Mon Nov-Mar, hotel closed mid-Dec–mid-Jan) Graced with an air of slightly faded gentility, this informal, 13-room hotel, situated next to the Stiftskirche, feels lived-in – and lived-in well, with humour and joie de vivre. The restaurant serves regional specialities, including fish. ST GOARSHAUSEN & LORELEY %06771 / pop 1600 St Goar’s twin town on the right bank of the Rhine – the two are connected by car ferry – is St Goarshausen, gateway to the most fabled spot along the Romantic Rhine, the Loreley. This enormous slab of slate owes its fame to a mythical maiden whose siren songs are said to have lured sailors to their death in the treacherous currents, as poetically portrayed by Heinrich Heine in 1823. At the very tip of a narrow strip of land jutting into the Rhine, a sculpture of the blonde buxom beauty perches lasciviously. The Loreley outcrop can be reached by car, by shuttle bus (one-way €1.45, hourly from April to October) or via the Treppenweg (a steep stairway). At the Loreley Besucherzen- trum ( Visitor Centre; %599 093; adult/student €2.50/1.50; h10am-6pm Mar–mid-Nov), which has a tourist office branch inside, exhibits (including an 18-minute 3D film) examine the region’s geology, flora and fauna, shipping, wine mak- ing, the Loreley myth and the beginnings of Rhine tourism in an engaging, interactive fashion. To the left as you approach the cen- tre, a gravel path leads through the forest to the Loreleyspitze (the tip of the Loreley outcrop; admis- sion free; h24hr), where you’ll find spectacular panoramic views, pay-per-view telescopes and a café. Far below, teeny-tiny trains slither along both banks of the Rhine while miniature barges negotiate its waters. St Goarshausen is also home to two castles. Burg Maus (Mouse Castle; www.burg-maus.de, in German), originally called Peterseck, was built by the archbishop of Trier in an effort to counter Count Dieter’s toll practices. In a show of me- dieval muscle-flexing, the latter responded by building a much bigger castle, calling it Burg Katz (Cat Castle; closed to the public). And so, to highlight the obvious imbalance of power between count and archbishop, Peterseck soon came to be known as Burg Maus. These days, Burg Maus (interior closed) houses the Adler- und Falkenhof (Eagle & Falcon House; %7669; adult/child over 6yr/family €6.50/5.50/20; hfalconry show 11am & 2.30pm Tue-Sun, also 4.30pm Sun & holidays mid- Mar–early Oct), reached by a 20-minute walk from St Goarshausen-Wellmich. St Goarshausen has its own tourist office (%9100; www.loreley-touristik.de; Bahnhofstrasse 8; h9am-5pm Mon-Fri, 10am-noon Sat Apr-Oct). OBERWESEL %06744 / pop 3200 Oberwesel has lost some of its ‘romantic’ feel to modern construction and the railway, built in 1857, which runs between the river and a section of the impressive, 3km-long medieval town wall. The latter, sporting 16 guard towers, wraps around much of the Altstadt; you can stroll on top of much of it. Easily spotted on a hillside at the northern end of town is the 14th-century St-Martins- Kirche, known as the ‘white church’, which has painted ceilings, a richly sculpted main altar and a tower that once formed part of the town’s defences. In the southern Altstadt, the Liebfrauenkirche, known as the ‘red church’ for the colour of its façade, is older by about 100 years and boasts an impressive carved gold altar. Each April, Oberwesel crowns, not a Weinkönigin (wine queen) as in most towns, but a Weinhexe (wine witch) – a good witch, of course, who is said to protect the vine- yards. Photos of all the Weinhexen crowned since the 1940s are on display in the new Kulturhaus (%714 726; Rathausstrasse 23; adult/student €2.50/1.50; h10am-noon & 2-5pm Tue-Fri, 2-5pm Sat, Sun & holidays), whose well-presented local history museum displays 19th-century engravings of the Romantic Rhine and models of Rhine riverboats. An excellent English visitors’ guide is available at reception. High above the town’s southeastern edge is the majestic Schönburg castle, saved from total ruin when a New York real estate millionaire purchased it in 1885 (it’s now a hotel). Legend has it that this was once the home of seven beautiful but haughty sisters who ridiculed and rejected all potential suitors until they were turned into stone and submerged in the Rhine. If you look closely, you can spot the Sieben Jungfrauen (Seven Virgins rocks) from a viewpoint reached via a lovely vineyard trail beginning at the town’s northwestern edge. The tourist office (%710 624; www.oberwesel.de; Rathausstrasse 3; h9am-1pm & 2-6pm Mon-Fri, to 5pm Nov-Mar, 10am-2pm Sat Jul-Aug) is across the street from the Rathaus. Half-timbered Hotel Römerkrug (%7091; www.hotel-roemerkrug.rhinecastles.com; Marktplatz 1; s/d €47.50/77.50), run by two generations of a friendly local family, is in the most pictur- esque part of town, facing the Rathaus. The seven rooms have an antique feel. The restau- rant (mains €12 to €24) is closed on Wednes- day; in January and February it’s only open on the weekend. Picnic supplies are available at the Aktiv Markt supermarket (Koblenzstrasse 1; h8am-7pm Mon- Fri, 8am-4pm Sat). Bicycles can be rented from Höhn (%336; Liebfrauenstrasse 38). BACHARACH %06743 / pop 2200 One of the prettiest of the Rhine villages, tiny Bacharach – 24km downriver from Bingen – conceals its considerable charms behind a time-worn, 14th-century wall. From the B9, go through one of the thick arched gateways under the train tracks and you’ll find yourself in a medieval village that has exquisite half- timbered mansions such as the Altes Haus, the Posthof and the off-kilter Alte Münze – all are along Oberstrasse, the main street, which runs parallel to the Rhine. Also on Oberstrasse is the late Roman- esque Peterskirche (h9.30am-6pm Apr-Oct) with some particularly suggestive capitals. Look for the naked woman with snakes sucking her breasts (a warning about the consequences of adultery) at the end of the left aisle. A path that begins in between the church and the tourist office takes you uphill for 15 minutes to the 12th-century Burg Stahleck, now a hos- tel, and past the filigree ruins of the Gothic Wernerkapelle. The best way to get a sense of the village and its surrounds is to take a walk atop the ramparts – a complete circuit should be possible by 2008. The lookout tower on the upper section of the wall affords panoramic views. Bacharach’s tourist office (%919 303; www .rhein-nahe-touristik.de; Oberstrasse 45; h9am-5pm Mon- Fri, 10am-1pm Sat, Sun & holidays Apr-Oct, 9am-noon Mon-Fri Nov-Mar) has handy information about the en- tire area. There’s an ATM across Oberstrasse from the church. 490 491 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND THE ROMANTIC RHINE •• Bacharach To Bingen B o o k a c c o m m o d a t i o n o n l i l n o e n a e t l l o y n p e l l y a p n l a e n t e . t c . c o o m m B l o o o n k e a l c y c p o ml a mn o e d t a . c t i o o n m o n l i n e a t l o n e l y p l a n e t . c o m THE ROMANTIC RHINE •• Bingen proudly flies the town’s red-and-white flag. The old Roman well seems bottomless (it’s actually 52m deep). The modern Historisches Museum am Strom (%991 531; Museumsstrasse 3; adult/concession €3/2; h10am-5pm Tue-Sun) occupies a former power station right on the Rhine. One section traces the life and achievements of Hildegard von Bingen (see boxed text below); there are few actual objects on display but the panelling, in German and English, is informative. Another highlight is a set of surgical instruments – from scalpels and cupping glasses to saws – left behind by a Roman doctor in the 2nd century AD. Idealised visions of the Rhine area, both engraved and painted, are the focus of several rooms dedicated to Rhine romanticism. High atop the Rochusburg (Rochus Hill), 2.5km southeast up Rochusallee from the tourist office, is the neo-Gothic Rochuskapelle, a pilgrimage church – last rebuilt in the late 1800s – with a very sharp steeple and a splen- did canopied altar showing scenes from the life of Hildegard von Bingen. About 400m nearer Bingen is the Hildegard Forum (%181 0012; Rochusweg 1; admission free; h11am-6pm Tue-Sun), run by nuns in black-and-white habits, which houses Hildegard exhibits, a medieval herb garden and a restaurant (hlunch 11.30am-2pm, café 2-5pm Tue-Sun) serving wholesome foods prepared just the way Hildegard liked them, including dishes made with spelt, her favour- ite grain. The area is linked to Bahnhof Bingen Stadt at least hourly by City-Linie bus 607. On an island near the confluence of the Nahe and Rhine is the Mäuseturm (Mouse Tower; closed to the public) where, according to leg- end, Hatto II, the 10th-century archbishop of Mainz, was devoured alive by mice as punish- ment for his oppressive rule. In reality, the name is a mutation of Mautturm (toll tower), which was the building’s medieval function. The monumental statue on the wine slopes across the Rhine portrays a triumphant Germania (see p494). Activities Eight short day-hike circuits, including several through the vineyards, begin at the car park across Rosegartenweg from the Hildegard Forum. Possible walking destinations from Bingen include Trechtingshausen (11km). You can also explore the Binger Stadtwald, a large forested area northwest of Bingerbrück. Bingen is the meeting point of two major long-distance bike paths, the Rhein-Radweg, which hugs the Rhine’s left bank, and the Nahe-Hunsrück-Mosel-Radweg, which follows the Nahe River to Idar-Oberstein. Sleeping Quite a few inexpensive places to sleep can be found on and around Basilikastrasse. DJH hostel (%32 163; www.jugendherberge.de; Herter- strasse 51, Bingerbrück; dm €18; n) Totally renovated in 2006, this 119-bed hostel is a 10-minute walk from the Hauptbahnhof. It has rooms for one to six people, all with bathrooms. HILDEGARD VON BINGEN She’s hip and holistic, a composer, a dramatist and a courageous campaigner for the rights of women. She heals with crystals and herbs, her music frequently hits the New Age charts...and she’s been dead for more than 800 years. Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179) was born in Bermersheim (between Worms and Alzey), the 10th child of a well-off and influential family. At the age of three she experienced the first of the visions that would occur over the course of her extraordinary – and extraordinarily long – life. As a young girl she entered the convent at Disibodenberg on the Nahe River and eventually became an abbess, founding two abbeys of her own: Rupertsberg, above Bingen, in 1150; and Eibingen, across the Rhine near Rüdesheim, in 1165. During her preaching tours – an unprecedented ac- tivity for women in medieval times – she lectured both to the clergy and the common people, attacking social injustice and ungodliness. Pope Eugen III publicly endorsed Hildegard, urging her to write down both her theology and her visionary experiences. This she did in a remarkable series of books that encompass ideas as diverse as cosmology, natural history and female orgasm. Her overarching philosophy was that humankind is a distillation of divinity and should comport itself accordingly. Her accomplishments are even more remarkable considering her life-long struggle against feelings of worthlessness and the physical effects of her mysterious visions, which often left her near death. Sleeping & Eating There are places to eat all along Oberstrasse. Campingplatz Sonnenstrand (%1752; www.camping -sonnenstrand.de; Strandbadweg 9; per person/tent/car €5/3/3; hApr-Oct) On the Rhine about 500m south of (upriver from) town. DJH Burg Stahleck (%1266; www.jugendherberge .de; Burg Stahleck; dm €17; n) In a dream setting inside the medieval Burg Stahleck, this hostel has 166 beds in rooms for one to six people, almost all with private bathrooms. Rhein Hotel (%1243; www.rhein-hotel-bacharach.de; Langstrasse 50; €48-57, d €76-90; pn) This homy, family-run hotel, right on the town’s medi- eval ramparts, has 14 well-lit, medium-sized rooms with compact bathrooms and original artwork. Those facing the river, and thus the train tracks, have double double-glazing. The restaurant (mains €9 to €17; closed Tuesday) serves regional dishes. Zum Grünen Baum (%1208; Oberstrasse 63; snacks & light meals €3-7.50) An unpretentious wine tavern serving some of the best wine in town. Try the Weinkarussel, a 15-wine sampler (€13.50). Posthof (%599 663; Oberstrasse 45; mains €7.50-16) In the same building as the tourist office, this restaurant serves German and vegetarian dishes, all made with fresh, local products. On balmy summer nights the most coveted tables are in the ancient courtyard. You can stock up for a picnic at the Rewe grocery (Oberstrasse 66; h8am-12.30pm & 2-6pm Mon-Fri, 8am-12.30pm Sat). BACHARACH TO BINGEN Along the southernmost stretch of the Ro- mantic Rhine, three impressive castles af- fording spectacular views grace the craggy left-bank slopes. First up (if you’re coming from the north) is the state-owned Burg Sooneck (%06743-6064; adult/concession guided tour €2.60/1.30; h9am-6pm, to 5pm Oct-Mar, closed 1st workday of each week, usually Mon & in Dec), carefully restored in the 19th century and filled with neo-Gothic and Biedermeier furniture and paintings. Looming above the village of Trechtings- hausen, the mighty Burg Reichenstein (%06721- 6117; www.burg-reichenstein.de in German; adult/child under 12yr €3.50/2.50; h10am-6pm Mar–mid-Nov, closed Mon except Jul & Aug) now harbours a museum with a prized collection of cast-iron oven slabs, hunting trophies, armoury and furnishings. There’s also a restaurant. The most picturesque of the three is the privately owned Burg Rheinstein (%06721-6348; www.burg-rheinstein.de; adult/child €3.80/2.70; h9.30am- 5.30pm mid-Mar–mid-Nov, 2-5pm Mon-Thu & 10am-5pm Sun mid-Nov–mid-Mar), which in the 1820s became the first Rhine castle to be converted – by Prussian royalty – into a romantic summer residence. The still-functional drawbridge and a portcul- lis evoke medieval times but the interior is mostly neo-Gothic. BINGEN %06721 / pop 24,700 Thanks to its strategic location at the conflu- ence of the Nahe and Rhine Rivers, Bingen has been coveted by warriors and merchants since its founding by the Romans in 11 BC. Scarred by war and destruction many times, these days it’s an attractive town and is considerably less touristy than some of its neighbours. Bingen was the birthplace of the writer Ste- fan George (1868–1933) and, more notably, the adopted home of Hildegard von Bingen (see boxed text, opposite). Locals are immensely proud that between mid-April and mid-October 2008, Bingen has been selected to host Rhineland-Palatinate’s quadrennial Landesgartenschau (State Garden Show; www.landesgartenschau-bingen-2008.de). Orientation & Information Bingen’s centre is along the left (south) bank of the Rhine just east of where it is joined by the Nahe River. The town has two train stations: the Hauptbahnhof, a bit west of the Nahe in Bingerbrück; and the smaller Bahnhof Bingen Stadt, a bit east of the town centre. Post office (Am Fruchtmarkt) Tourist office (%184 205; www.bingen.de; Rheinkai 21; h9am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9am-12.30pm Sat Easter-Oct, 10am-1pm Sun May-Oct, 10am-12.30pm & 1.30-4pm Mon-Thu, 10am-1pm Fri Nov-Easter) Facing the Rhine 250m west of Bahnhof Bingen Stadt. Has brochures and maps for hikers and cyclists. Sights Bingen’s commercial centre is on and around pedestrians-only Basilikastrasse, named after Basilika St Martin, a 15th-century, Gothic-style church – built on the site of a Roman temple – at its western end. Up the hillside is the town’s most prominent landmark, Burg Klopp, an im- posing castle restored in the late 19th century. The views are superb and the terrace is the perfect spot for a first kiss – or a 10,000th. To get a bit higher you can climb the tower (admission free; h8am-6pm in the warm months), which 492   493 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND Book accommodation onlilnoenaet loynpelyapnlaente.tc.com lonelyplanet.com THE MOSELLE VALLEY •• Activities THE ROMANTIC RHINE •• Rüdesheim Hotel-Café Köppel (%147 70; www.hotel-koeppel .de; Kapuzinerstrasse 12; s €45-55, d €65-78, s/d without bathroom €30/50; p) In the heart of town across from the Kapuzinerkirche, this place has a stylish, cheerful café whose cakes will make your eyes go wide; its rooms are modest but spotless and well-kept. Hotel Martinskeller (%134 75; www.hotel-bingen -rhein.com; Martinsstrasse 1-3; s €67-74, d €85-103; pn) Creative use of some rather odd spaces gives this family-run, 15-room hotel, two blocks up the hill from the tourist office, a quirky but personal vibe. The comfortable rooms are big and each is unique – one is African-inspired, another a bit English. Eating & Drinking Gaggianer (%14882; Badergasse 36; mains from €6; h4- 11pm, closed Tue) This friendly, informal restau- rant, a block east of the Nahe, serves salads and full meals in a leafy beer garden and a rustic dining room, the latter chock full of antique kitchen utensils donated by friends and clients. A speciality is Zipfelchen (potato dough filled with fresh white cheese, cream cheese and herbs). Burg Klopp Restaurant (%156 44; Burg Klopp 1; mains €12.50-19.50; hlunch & dinner) One of Bingen’s most elegant restaurants. Right in the castle with lovely city and Rhine views, it serves Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, including fish and vegetarian options. Zum Alten Simp’l (Salzgasse; hfrom 6pm or 7pm, closed Tue) A pub especially beloved by local students. Getting Around Bicycles can be rented from Fahrrad Becker (%922 110; www.fahrradbecker.de in German; Koblenzer Strasse 43-45, Bingerbrück; h10am-6.30pm Mon-Fri, 10am- 4pm Sat, shorter hours in winter). RÜDESHEIM %06722 / pop 9900 Rüdesheim, capital of the Rheingau (famous for its superior riesling), is on the Rhine’s right bank just across from Bingen, to which it’s connected by passenger and car ferries. Administratively part of Hesse, it is deluged by day-tripping coach tourists – three million a year – and for some its most famous feature, Drosselgasse, brings to mind the words ‘tour- ist nightmare from hell’. If you’re looking for a souvenir thimble, this is definitely the place to come. That said, the exuberance can be fun, at least for a while, and the town is also a good place to begin a variety of delightful vineyard walks. At Rüdesheim’s renowned Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market), with its huge Nativity scene, you can stroll among 120 stalls from a dozen countries. It’s held from late November to 23 December. The tourist office (%194 33; www.ruedesheim .de; Geisenheimer Strasse 22; h9am-6.30pm Mon-Fri & 11am-5pm Sat & Sun mid-Apr–1 Nov, 11am-5pm Mon-Fri 2 Nov–mid-Apr, also Sat & Sun late Nov-late Dec) is 600m east of Drosselgasse. Sights & Activities The focus of most visits to Rüdesheim is Drosselgasse, a tunnel-like alley so overloaded with signs that it looks like it might be in Hong Kong. This is the Rhine at its most colourfully touristic – bad German pop hits waft out from the pubs, which are filled with rollicking crowds. The Oberstrasse, at the top of Drosselgasse, is similarly overloaded with eateries and drinkeries, though to get away from the drunken madness all you have to do is wander a few blocks in any direction. One island of relative calm, just 50m to the left from the top of Drosselgasse, is Siegfried’s Mechanisches Musikkabinett (%492 17; Oberstrasse 29; adult/child €5.50/3; h10am-6pm Mar-Dec), a fun collection of mechanical musical instruments, such as pianolas, from the 18th and 19th centuries. Many are demonstrated during the frequent guided tours (in English at 11am and 1pm; English text always available). Near the Bingen car-ferry dock in the 800- year-old Brömserburg castle is the Weinmuseum (Wine Museum; %2348; Rheinstrasse 2; adult/student incl audio-guide €5/3; h10am-6pm Apr-Oct), where you’ll find lots of wine paraphernalia from Roman times onwards. The tower affords great town and river views. For an even better panorama, head up to the Niederwald Denkmal (1883), a bombastic monu- ment on the wine slopes west of town starring Germania and celebrating the creation of the German Reich in 1871. You can walk up via the vineyards (trails are signposted) but it’s faster to glide above the vineyards aboard the Seilbahn (cable car; %2402; Oberstrasse; adult/child €4.50/2, return €6.50/3; hlate Mar-Oct & late Nov-late Dec). From the monument, a network of trails leads to destinations such as the romantic Burg Ehrenfels ruin and the Jagdschloss (hunt- ing lodge). Down below, along the river, is Assmannshausen, 5km downriver from Rüde- sheim, which is known for its red wines. From near the lodge you can catch a trail or the Sesselbahn (chairlift; adult/child incl the Seilbahn €6.50/3.50) down to Assmannshausen and then head back to Rüdesheim either by train or passenger ferry (adult/child including the two lifts €10/5); the latter also goes to Bingen. AROUND RÜDESHEIM Eibingen About 2km north of Rüdesheim, the wine vil- lage of Eibingen is the burial place of medieval power woman Hildegard von Bingen (see boxed text, p493). Her elaborate reliquary shrine, containing her heart, hair, tongue and skull, is prominently displayed inside the parish church (Marienthaler Strasse 3; hdaily). It attracts pilgrims from around the world, especially on 17 Sep- tember, the day of her death, when a proces- sion makes its way from Rüdesheim. The church stands on a site once occupied by the second of the abbeys founded by Hildegard. Nearby, the new St Hildegard Convent, with around 60 nuns, dates back to 1904. Kloster Eberbach If you saw the 1986 film The Name of the Rose, starring Sean Connery, you’ve already seen much of this one-time Cistercian monastery (%06723-917 80; www.kloster-eberbach.de; adult/student €3.50/1.50; h10am-6pm Apr-Oct, 11am-5pm Nov-Mar), where a number of scenes were shot. Dat- ing from as far back as the 12th century and secularised in the early 1800s, this graceful complex went through periods as a lunatic asylum, a jail, a sheep pen and accommoda- tion for WWII refugees. Visitors can explore the monks’ refectory and dormitory as well as the austere Romanesque basilica. Eberbach is about 20km northeast of (ie towards Wiesbaden from) Rüdesheim. If you’re not driving, the only way to get here is to take the train or bus to Eltville, followed by a one-hour signposted walk. THE MOSELLE VALLEY While plenty of places in Germany demand that you hustle, the Moselle (in German, Mosel; moze-l) suggests that you should, well...just mosey. The German section of the river, which rises in France and then traverses Luxem- bourg, runs 195km from Trier to Koblenz on a slow, serpentine course, revealing new scenery at every bend. Unlike the Romantic Rhine, it’s spanned by plenty of bridges. Exploring the vineyards and wineries of the Moselle Valley is an ideal way to get to know German culture, meet German people and, of course, acquire a taste for some wonderful wines. Slow down and experience sublime serial sipping. Europe’s steepest vineyards (the Bremmer Valmont, with a 72% grade) and Germany’s most expensive vineyards (the Bernkasteler Doctor in Bernkastel-Kues) are both on the Moselle. Activities CYCLING With its gentle curves, the Moselle is great for exploration by bicycle – see p483 for informa- tion on long-distance bike paths along the Moselle and the Rhine. Tourist offices and bookshops can supply maps. The Mosel-Maare-Radweg (www.maare-moselradweg .de, in German) links Lieser, on the Moselle’s left bank and about 5km towards Trier from Bern- kastel-Kues, with Daun in the Eifel. From mid- April or May to 1 November, you can take Regiolinie bus 300 up (per person €8, per bike €2, hourly) and ride the 55km back to Bern- kastel-Kues. On weekends and holidays from May to October and daily from mid-July to August and during two weeks in mid-October, it costs €2 to bring your bike on a limited number of Moselbahn ‘RadelBus’ buses (%0651-96 800; www .moselbahn.de) plying the route between Trier, Bernkastel-Kues and Bullay. HIKING The Moselle Valley is especially scenic walk- ing country. Expect some steep climbs if you venture away from the river but the views are worth a few sore muscles. A popular long- distance hike is the Moselhöhenweg, running on both sides of the Moselle for a total of 390km. Good hiking maps are available at most good bookshops and tourist offices – the Moselland-Wanderführer (€6.60) is a compre- hensive guide. Getting There & Away The closest airport to this region is Frankfurt- Hahn (%06543-509 200; www.hahn-airport.de), only 20km from Traben-Trarbach and 30km from Bernkastel-Kues. 494 495 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND 496 THE MOSELLE VALLEY •• Trier lonelyplanet.com lonelyplanet.com both Luxembourg and France can be tasted in the cuisine and felt in the local esprit. About 18,000 students do their part to contribute to the lively atmosphere. Trier was founded by the Romans as Au- gusta Treverorum in 15 BC, becoming capital of the Western Roman Empire by the 3rd century AD. A second heyday arrived in the 13th century, when its archbishops acquired the rank and power of prince-electors. In the following centuries, the city seesawed between periods of prosperity and poverty. Karl Marx (1818–83) lived here until age 17. In 2007 the Luxembourg region, including Trier, will serve as a European Capital of Cul- ture (www.luxembourg2007.org). Local events include a major exhibition (www.konstantin-ausstel lung.de), held from June to November, on the Roman emperor Constantine the Great (AD 275–337) and his role in European history, to be held at the city’s leading museums. Trier is an excellent base for day trips along the Moselle River and to Luxembourg, where quite a few locals, attracted by higher pay, have found employment. Orientation The Hauptbahnhof, in a rather seedy area, is about 600m southeast of the landmark Porta Nigra (Black Gate) and the adjacent tourist office. From there, the pedestrianised Simeonstrasse leads southwest to the Haupt- markt. The Olewig (oh-leh-vig) Wine District is about 2km southeast of the centre. Information ATMs Several are situated at Am Kornmarkt and in the Hauptbahnhof. ES-Telecom (Bahnhofplatz 1; per hr €1; h9am-10pm) Internet access next to the Hauptbahnhof. Internet-Café (Karl-Marx-Strasse 32; per hr €1; h10am-10pm Mon-Fri, 11am-9pm Sat & Sun) Mehrfachkarte (adult/child/senior & student/family €6.20/1.50/3.10/14.80) A discount card good for the Porta Nigra, Kaiserthermen, Amphitheater and Barbarathermen. Sold at the tourist office. Post office (Bahnhofplatz) Just north of the Hauptbahnhof. Tourist office (%978 080; www.trier.de; An der Porta Nigra; h9am-6pm Mon-Thu, to 7pm Fri & Sat, to 5pm Sun May-Oct, 9am or 10am-5pm or 6pm Mon-Sat, 10am- 1pm or 3pm Sun Nov-Apr) Has a hotel vacancies board outside and sells Moselle-area walking maps. Trier-Card (individual/family €9/15) For three consecu- tive days this card will get you 50% off museum and monument admissions, unlimited use of public transport THE MOSELLE VALLEY •• Trier 497 and various other discounts. It’s only sold at the tourist office. Waschsalon (Brückenstrasse 19-21; h8am-10pm) Self-service laundry. Sights & Activities Top billing among Trier’s Roman monuments goes to the Porta Nigra (%754 24; Porta-Nigra-Platz; adult/child to 18yr/senior & student/family €2.10/1/1.60/5.10; h9am-6pm Apr-Sep, to 5pm Mar & Oct, to 4pm Nov-Feb), a brooding 2nd-century city gate that’s been blackened by time (hence the name, Latin for ‘black gate’). A marvel of engineering and ingenuity, it’s held together by nothing but gravity and iron rods. In the 11th century, Archbishop Poppo converted the structure into St Simeonkirche, a church named in hon- our of a Greek hermit who spent a stint holed up in its east tower. The church spawned a monastery whose erstwhile home is now the Städtisches Museum Simeonstift (%718 1459; An der Porta Nigra). Set to reopen in May 2007 after extensive renova- tions, it illustrates eight centuries of city his- tory and also has collections of Coptic textiles and East Asian sculpture. A block southwest is the 13th-century Dreikönigenhaus (Simeonstrasse 19; closed to public), a late Gothic residence with a geometrically painted façade. Originally, the entrance was up on the 1st floor, reachable by stairs that could be retracted in case of danger. Two blocks further on is the Hauptmarkt, where a farmers’ market is still held daily except Sunday. Anchored by a festive fountain dedicated to St Peter and the Four Virtues, it’s hemmed in by medieval and Renaissance architectural treasures such as the Rotes Haus (Red House) and the Steipe, a former banqueting hall that’s now the home of the Spielzeugmuseum (Toy Museum; %758 50; adult/youth 11-18yr/child €4/2/1.50; h11am-6pm Apr-Oct, 11am-5pm Tue-Sun Nov-Mar), a major draw for fans of miniature trains, mechanical toys, dolls and other childhood delights. The Gothic St- Gangolf-Kirche (hdaily) is reached via a flowery portal. A block east of Hauptmarkt looms the for- tresslike Dom (h6.30am-6pm Apr-Oct, 6.30am-5.30pm Nov-Mar), built above the palace of Constan- tine the Great’s mother, Helena. The present structure is mostly Romanesque with some Gothic and baroque embellishments. To see some dazzling ecclesiastical equipment and peer into early Christian history, head up- stairs to the Domschatz (cathedral treasury; adult/child MOSELLE VALLEY 0 0 10 km 6 miles Most people start their Moselle exploration either in Trier or in Koblenz. If you have pri- vate transport and are coming from the north, you might head up the Ahr Valley and cut through the Eifel Mountains. If you’re coming from the Saarland, your route will take you through the Hunsrück Mountains. Getting Around BOAT The river’s winding course and a fair number of locks make water travel rather slow. In any case, passenger boats don’t run frequently enough to make it practicable to hop from village to village. From late April to early October, Köln- Düsseldorfer (KD; %Mon-Fri 0221-20 88 318, daily 06742- 2232; www.k-d.com) links Koblenz with Cochem (51⁄4 hours upriver, 41⁄4 hours downriver) with stops in seven villages (no cruises from Tues- day to Thursday until mid-June). Personen-Schifffahrt Gebrüder Kolb (%02673- 1515; www.moselfahrplan.de in German) links Trier with Bernkastel-Kues (about 41⁄2 hours each way) once a day, except Monday, from early May to October. The company also has a number of short-haul options that can be picked up in Bernkastel-Kues and Traben-Trarbach. In many villages, local boat operators offer additional cruising options. BUS & TRAIN The at-least-hourly rail line linking Koblenz with Trier (11⁄2 to two hours) follows the river and serves its villages, but only as far up the Moselle as Bullay. From there, hourly Moselwein-Strecke shuttle trains head to Traben-Trarbach (€6, 25 minutes). Moselbahn buses (%0651-96 800; www.moselbahn.de) serve all the river villages between Bullay and Trier (eight daily weekdays, five Saturday, three Sunday). CAR & MOTORCYCLE Driving is the easiest way to see the Moselle. From Trier, the B53 and then, from Bullay, the B49 follow the river all the way to Koblenz, crossing it several times. TRIER %0651 / pop 100,000 A Unesco World Heritage Site since 1986, Trier is home to an outstanding assortment of Roman monuments as well as architec- tural gems from later ages. Its proximity to r e v i R n h a L Rhine R i v e r To Daun (30km) B49 Neef Bullay Zell Alf B53 B49 Pünderich B421 B258 A48 Lehmen Landkern B259 Cochem Valwig Bruttig- Fankel Beilstein Burg Metternich B421 A1 B53 B327 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND Wittlich Ürzig Graach Bernkastel-Kues B50 Lieser Monzelfeld Bremm River selle Mo RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND Schweich A602 B53 Trier B53 B49 B53 Koblenz B416 B49 Winningen Lahnstein Rhens Waldesch Kobern- Gondorf B327 Münstermaifeld Löf B416 B49 Burg Eltz Moselkern Karden B49 Treis B50 Platten A1 B53 Brauneberg Burgen Neumagen- Dhron Kyll Riol A1 Kröv Mont Royal Traben- Grevenburg Trarbach Niederfell River Mertesdorf Waldrach Alken Brodenbach Büdlich Frankfurt-Hahn Airport B l o o o n k e a l c y c p o ml a mn o e d t a . c t i o o n m o n l i n e a t l o n e l y p l a n e t . c o m THE MOSELLE VALLEY •• Trier lonelyplanet.com THE MOSELLE VALLEY •• Trier TRIER Kaiser-Wilhel A Brücke INFORMATION E-S Tel��ecom.........................1 D2 Internet-Café.......................2 B3 Post Office..........................3. D2 Waschsalon.........................5 B3 pedestrian-only SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES Amphitheater......................6 D4 Barbarathermen...................7 A4 Bischöf��liches Dom- und Diözesanmuseum.............8 C2 Dom....................................9 C2 Domschatz........................(see 9) Dreikönigenhaus................10 C2 Kaiserthermen...................11 C4 Karl-Marx-Haus.................12 B3 Konstantinbasilika..............13 C3 Liebfrauenkirche................14 C2 Porta Nigra........................15 C2 Prince-Electors' Residence..16 C3 Rheinisches Landesmuseum..............17 C3 m- Moselle Boat Docks B To DJH Hostel (200m) ��To A1; Luxembourg City (48km); Bernkastel-Kues (50km); Traben-Trarbach (63km); Idar-Oberstein (80km); Saarbrücken (95km); Koblenz (124km) 0 0 C SLEEPING Hille's Hostel...................22 D3 Hotel Deutscher Hof........23 B4 Hotel Villa Hügel.............24 C4 Mercure Trier An den Kaiserthermen.............25 C4 EATING Astarix.............................26 B3 Cubiculum.......................27 C3 500 m 0.3 miles D Kaufmarkt Supermarket...28 B3 Textorium......................(see 32) Zum Domstein.................29 C2 DRINKING SchMIT-Z........................30 C3 Simplicissimus..................31 B3 ENTERTAINMENT TuFa................................32 C3 1 Tourist Office.......................4 C2 Many streets �� Pferde- markt Paulus- platz 4 15 10 8 Judengasse 20 Hauptmarkt 3 Bahnhof- str Bahnhof- 1 33 34 Hauptbahnhof 2 Römerbrücke.....................18 A3 Rotes Haus......................(see 20) Spielzeugmuseum............(see 20) St-Gangolf-Kirche..............19 C2 Städtisches Museum Simeonstift....................(see 4) Steipe................................20 C2 Viehmarktthermen.............21 B3 19 9 29 14 TRANSPORT Bus Station.......................33 D2 Radstation Bahnhof.........34 D2 platz 28 5 Korn- markt Hosenstr 27 Konstantin- 30 platz 12 22 �� 2 13 16 Palace Garden 17 3 platz 31 ���� 21 26 Viehmarkt- 18 32 11 4 7 �� ������ Bernhardstr To Olewig Wine District (2km); Weenhaus 24 25 Becker (2km) 23 6 To Campingplatz Treviris (1km) €1.50/0.50; h10am-5pm Mon-Sat, 2-5pm Sun & religious holidays, to 4pm Nov-Mar) or go straight to the Bis- chöfliches Dom- und Diözesanmuseum (%710 5255; Windstrasse 6-8; adult/student €2/1; h9am-5pm Tue-Sat, 1-5pm Sun & religious holidays, also open Mon Apr-Oct), just north of the Dom. The prized exhibit here is a 4th-century ceiling fresco from Helena’s palace that was pieced together from count- less fragments. Just to the south is the Liebfrauenkirche (h7.30am-6pm Apr-Oct, to 5.30pm Nov-Mar), one of Germany’s earliest Gothic churches. The cru- ciform structure is supported by a dozen pil- lars symbolising the 12 apostles and, despite its strict symmetry, has a light, mystical quality. Liebfrauenstrasse leads south to another architectural masterpiece, the brick-built Kon- stantinbasilika (Konstantinplatz; h10am-6pm Mon-Sat, ���� The adjacent prince-electors’ residence, a pink rococo confection, looks south over the lawns, pools and fountains of the formal Palastgarten (palace garden), in the middle of which stands the Rheinisches Landesmuseum (Roman Archaeologi- cal Museum; %977 40; Weimarer Allee 1; adult/child incl audio-guide €5.50/1.50; h9.30am-5pm Mon-Fri, 10.30am- 5pm Sat, Sun & holidays, closed Mon Nov-Apr). The rich collections provide an extraordinary look at local Roman life – highlights include a scale model of 4th-century Trier and rooms filled noon-6pm Sun & holidays Apr-Oct, 11am-noon & 3-4pm Tue- Sat, noon-1pm Sun & holidays Nov-Mar), built in AD 310 as Constantine’s throne hall. Its dimensions (67m long and 36m high) are truly mind- blowing considering how long ago it was built. Later part of the residence of Trier’s prince- electors, it is now a Protestant church. with tombstones, mosaics, rare gold coins and some fantastic glass. Renovations of parts of the complex are set to be completed by June 2007. From the museum, it’s just a coin’s toss south to the Kaiserthermen (%442 62; Weima- rer Allee 2; adult/child to 18yr/senior & student/family €2.10/1/1.60/5.10; h9am-6pm Apr-Sep, to 5pm Mar & Oct, to 4pm Nov-Feb), a vast thermal bathing complex created by Constantine. The striped brick- and-stone arches, once part of the Caldarium, may make you feel like you’re at the Forum in Rome. You can get a sense of the layout from the lookout tower. A 700m walk southeast is the Roman Am- phitheater (%730 10; Olewiger Strasse; adult/child to 18yr/senior & student/family €2.10/1/1.60/5.10; h9am-6pm Apr-Sep, to 5pm Mar & Oct, to 4pm Nov-Feb), once capable of holding 20,000 spectators during gladiator tournaments and animal fights. The dank cel- lars were once used to keep prisoners, caged animals and corpses. For more Roman baths, head to the Vieh- marktthermen (%994 1057; Viehmarktplatz; adult/ senior/student €2.10/1.60/1; h9am-5pm, closed 1st work day of each week). Found by accident in the 1980s during the construction of a parking garage, the excavations are sheltered by a dramatic glass cube designed by the Cologne architect Oswald M Ungers. Diehard thermal bath devotees still have the Barbarathermen (cnr Südallee & Friedrich-Wilhelm- Strasse), closed for renovations until at least 2008. In the meantime you can look over the fence at the foundations, cellars and floor- heating system, all of which survived a 17th- century raid for stones to build a school. Two blocks northwest is the Römerbrücke, successor to a 2nd-century bridge, five of whose original seven pylons are still extant. The respectable bourgeois townhouse in which the author of Das Kapital was born and, quite comfortably, grew up is now the Karl-Marx-Haus (%970 680; Brückenstrasse 10; adult/ concession €3/1.50; h1-6pm Mon, 10am-6pm Tue-Sun Apr-Oct, 10am-1pm & 2-5pm Tue-Sun Nov-Mar), whose exhibits take a look at the man and his oeuvre. Interestingly, early 19th-century Trier was no Dickensian industrial nightmare but rather a small town with just 10,000 residents. Tours City Walking Tour (adult/child €6/3; h1.30pm Sat approx Apr-Oct) A two-hour tour in English that begins at the tourist office. Wine Tastings (4/6/8 wines €4.50/6.50/8.50; h10am- 6pm) Four local vintners take turns as hosts – contact the tourist office for a schedule. Sleeping Campingplatz Treviris (%820 0911; www.camping-treviris .de; Luxemburger Strasse 81; per adult/tent €6/4; hcampers year-round, tents late Mar-late Oct) On the Moselle’s left bank 1.5km south of the Römerbrücke. Hille’s Hostel (%710 2785, 0171-329 1247; www .hilles-hostel-trier.de; Gartenfeldstrasse 7; dm from €15, s/ d €32/38; hreception 8-11am & 4-6pm; n) An in- dependent hostel with colourful artwork, a piano in the kitchen and spacious, brightly decorated rooms with private bathrooms. DJH hostel (%146 620; www.jugendherberge.de; An der Jugendherberge 4; dm €18; pn) Spick-and-span, 242-bed hostel right on the Moselle, about 1km northeast of the tourist office. Rooms have bathrooms and up to six beds. Take bus 12 from the Hauptbahnhof. Weinhaus Becker (%938 080; www.weinhaus-becker.de in German; Olewiger Strasse 206; s/d from €50/80; p) About 2km east of the centre in the wine district of Olewig, this 18-room hotel pairs down-to- earth accommodation with a Michelin-starred restaurant (open for dinner Tuesday to Satur- day, for lunch Wednesday to Sunday). Hotel Deutscher Hof (%977 80; www.hotel -deutscher-hof.de; Südallee 25; s €60-90, d €90-120, q €130; pn) An international-standard business and tourist hotel whose 102 rooms come with sound-proof windows and pretty con- vincing fake orchids. Has a genuine nine-pin Kegelbahn (bowling alley; €6per hour) in the basement. Hotel Villa Hügel (%330 66; www.hotel-villa-huegel .de; Bernhardstrasse 14; s €79-99, d €99-149; pns) At this stylish hillside villa you can begin the day with a lavish champagne breakfast buffet and end it luxuriating in the 12m indoor pool and Finnish sauna. Views are great from the ter- race and from many of the 30 rooms. Served by buses 2 and 82. Mercure Trier An den Kaiserthermen (%937 70; www.mercure.com; Metzer Allee 6; s €70-95, d €80-105; pna) Modern, well-run business hotel with 105 rooms and weekend and seasonal spe- cials. A bit out of the centre. Breakfast is €14. Eating & Drinking Weinhaus Becker has an excellent restaurant. Cubiculum (%451 27; Hosenstrasse 2; light meals €2.50-6.50; h7pm-1am or 2am) This beer hall and restaurant, in a medieval cellar, serves light 498 ���� 499 ���� �� ���� ���� ner Ufer Zurlaube Maarstr Aus Alkuinstr oni Theobaldstr Thebäerstr ustr Maximinstr Paulinstr Ludwigstr Nordallee schherrenstr Kolner Str Kut zba chs tr Moselstr Theodor-Heuss-Allee Jakobstr Christophstr Predigerstr Engelstr amsneustr Simeonstr Glockenstr Dietrichstr Sichelstr Böhmerstr rastr Fland Dewo er str Windstr Windmühlenstr Langstr Fleischstr nstr Krahnenstr ue Deut Johannisstr Palaststr Frauenstr Zuckerbergstr Brotstr Liebfra Ostallee Metzelstr Walr Krahnenufer An der SchellenmauerBalduinstr Güterstr Nag Mustorstr els tr Garten feldstr Brückenstr Neustr -Str Helenenstr -Marx Karl Römerbrücke Schützenstr Wechselstr Bergstr Weberbachstr Hindenburgstr rstenstr Johanniterufer Weimarer Allee Kaiserstr Kurfü Hermesstr Südallee Hettnerstr Friedrich-Wilhelm-Str Martinerfeld Kaiserthermen Lorenz-Kellner-Str Gilbertstr St-Barbara-Ufer rberstr Egbertstr Ge Luxemburger Str Moselle River Olew str iger Str S p Eberhardstr i RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND t Nikolausstr z Saarstr m An den ü Sickingen hle Metzer Allee RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND B l o o o n k e a l c y c p o ml a mn o e d t a . c t i o o n m o n l i n e a t l o n e l y p l a n e t . c o m THE MOSELLE VALLEY •• Bernkastel-Kues lonelyplanet.com THE MOSELLE VALLEY •• Traben-Trarbach meals such as casserole but the unique special- ity here is Pizzasalat (€5.50) – you guessed it, a pizza topped with a pile of salad. Occasionally has live music on Friday or Saturday. Astarix (%722 39; Karl-Marx-Strasse 11; pizza from €5) Popular student hang-out with good pizza and casseroles (€4.20 plus €0.30 for each added ingredient). Extra-cheap on Monday. Enter through the arcade. Textorium (%474 82; Wechselstrasse 4-6; meals from €6) A very popular, industrial-chic restau- rant with outdoor seating and daily spe- cials. Located inside the TuFa cultural events venue. Zum Domstein (%744 90; Am Hauptmarkt 5; mains €9.50-18.50, Roman dinner €15-33) A German-style bistro where you can either feast like the an- cient Romans or dine on more conventional German and international fare. A cook- book printed in Venice in 1498 is on display downstairs. Simplicissimus ( Viehmarktplatz 11; h10am-2am Mon-Sat, 2pm-2am Sun & holidays) An unpretentious café-bar with interesting old photos on the walls, rock on the PR system and waiters who’ve been known to get sloshed. Several other places to drink are right nearby. SchMIT-Z (%42 514; www.schmit-z.de in German; Mustorstrasse 4; h8pm-midnight Thu, 9pm-2am Sat, 4-8pm Sun) A mellow gay and lesbian information centre with a bar. Picnic supplies are available at the Kaufmarkt supermarket (Brückenstrasse 2; h8am-8pm Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm Sat). Entertainment Click ‘events’ on the tourist office website (www.trier.de) for details on concerts and other cultural activities. TuFa (%718 2412; Wechselstrasse 4-6) This vibrant cultural events venue, housed in a former Tuchfabrik (towel factory) – thus the name – hosts cabaret, live music of all sorts, theatre and dance performances. It is home to the Textorium (see above). Getting There & Away Trier has several hourly train connections to Saarbrücken (€13.40, one to 11⁄2 hours) and Koblenz (€17, 11⁄2 to two hours). There are also frequent trains to Luxembourg (€8.40, 50 minutes), with onward connections to Paris. Regional buses to the Eifel and Hunsrück Mountains leave from the bus station outside the Hauptbahnhof. Getting Around Trier has a comprehensive bus system (%01801- 993366; www.vrt-info.de, in German) but the city centre is easily explored on foot. Single tickets/day passes, sold by drivers, cost €1.55/4.25. The Olewig Wine District is served by buses 6, 16 and 26. Bikes can be rented at Radstation Bahnhof (%148 856; per day €7.50-10; h9am-7pm Apr-Oct, 10am- 6pm Mon-Fri Nov-Mar), inside the Hauptbahnhof next to track 11. BERNKASTEL-KUES %06531 / pop 6900 This charming twin town, some 50km down- river from Trier, is the hub of the middle Mo- selle region. Bernkastel, on the right bank, is a symphony in half-timber, stone and slate and teems with wine taverns. Kues (pronounced koos), the birthplace of theologian Nicolas Cusanus (1401–64), has little fairy-tale flair but is home to the town’s most important historical sights. The tourist office (%4023/24; www.bernkastel.de; Am Gestade 6, Bernkastel; h8.30am-12.30pm & 1-5pm Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm Sat, 10am-1pm Sun & holidays May-Oct, to 3pm Fri & closed weekends & holidays Nov-Apr), 100m downriver from the bridge, sells hiking and cycling maps, offers internet access (per half- hour €0.50) and has an ATM. A hotel reserva- tion board with a free telephone is just up Am Gestade (the road running along the river), near the bridge. The bus station is next to the boat docks in Bernkastel. Sights & Activities Bernkastel’s pretty Marktplatz, a block inland from the bridge, is a romantic ensemble of half-timbered houses with beautifully deco- rated gables. Note the medieval iron rings, to which criminals were attached, on the façade of the old Rathaus. On Karlsstrasse, the alley to the right as you face the Rathaus, the tiny Spitzhäuschen resembles a giant bird’s house, its narrow base topped by a much larger, precariously leaning, upper floor. More such crooked gems line Römerstrasse and its side streets. Facing the bridge is the partly 14th-century Pfarrkirche St Michael, whose tower, ringed by a crown of turrets, was originally part of the town’s fortifications. A rewarding way to get your heart pumping is by hoofing it up to Burg Landshut, a ruined 13th-century castle – framed by vineyards and forests – on a bluff above town; allow 30 to 60 minutes. You’ll be rewarded with glorious river valley views and a cold drink at the café- beer-garden (h10am-6pm mid-Feb–mid-Dec). The less robust can catch a ride from Bernkastel’s waterfront on the yellow Burg Landshut-Express (up/down/return €3.50/2.50/5; h10am-6pm on the hour approx Easter-Oct). In Kues, most sights are conveniently grouped next to the bridge in the St-Nikolaus- Hospital (%2260; Cusanusstrasse 2; admission free; h9am-6pm Sun-Fri, 9am-3pm Sat), an old-age home, founded in 1458 by Cusanus, for 33 men (one for every year of Christ’s life). You’re free to explore the inner courtyard, Gothic chapel and cloister at leisure but the treasure-filled library can only be seen on a guided tour (€4; h10.30am Tue & 3pm Fri Apr-Oct), sometimes held in English. The complex also houses the small Mosel- Weinmuseum (%4141; adult/child under 12yr €2/1; h10am-5pm mid-Apr–Oct, 2-5pm Nov–mid-Apr) and the Vinothek (admission free; h10am-5pm mid-Apr–Oct, 2- 5pm Nov–mid-Apr). Here, in the hospice’s historic cellars, you can get thoroughly acquainted with Moselle wines during an ‘all-you-can- drink’ wine tasting (€9). Sleeping & Eating In Bernkastel, places to eat can be found along the waterfront and in the Alstadt’s narrow, pedestrians-only streets. In Kues there are several restaurants near the bridge. Campingplatz Kueser Werth (%8200; www .camping-kueser-werth.de; Am Hafen 2, Kues; site/person/car €4/4.50/1.50; hApr-Oct) About 2km upriver from the bridge, next to the yacht harbour. DJH hostel (%2395; www.jugendherberge.de; Jugendherbergsstrasse 1, Bernkastel; dm €15; n) Fairly basic by today’s standards. Scenically but inconveniently located above town next to Burg Landshut. Hotel-Restaurant Weinhaus St Maximilian (%965 00; www.hotel-sankt-maximilian.de in German; Saarallee 12, Kues; s €34-44, d €58-72; n) Run by a family of wine makers, this place has 12 quiet rooms, many with balconies, that look out on the courtyard of the restaurant, where you can dine on German and moselländische dishes (mains €8.50 to €14). Hotel Moselblümchen (%2335; www.hotel -moselbluemchen.de; Schwanenstrasse 10, Bernkastel; s €39- 63, d €64-98; n) A traditional, family-run hotel on a narrow old-town alley behind the tourist office. Has 20 tasteful rooms and a small sauna and can arrange bike rental. The restaurant’s German and local specialities include sauer- kraut and homemade wurst. Getting Around Hire bikes at Fun Bike Team (%940 24; Schanzstrasse 22, Bernkastel), 500m upriver from the bridge. TRABEN-TRARBACH %06541 / pop 6000 It’s hard to imagine today that this peaceful twin town, 24km downriver from Bernkastel- Kues (but just 7km by foot over the hill), was once in the crosshairs of warring factions dur- ing the late-17th-century War of the Palatine Succession. Two ruined fortresses are all that survive from those tumultuous times, which were followed by a long period of prosperity as the town became a centre of wine making and trade. Traben lost its medieval look to three major fires but was well compensated with beautiful Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) villas – and lots of wisteria. It joined with Trarbach in 1904. Orientation & Information Traben, on the Moselle’s left bank, is where you’ll find the tourist office, the end-of-the- line train shelter (linked to Bullay), the adja- cent bus station and the commercial centre. Trarbach is across the bridge on the right bank. The tourist office (%839 80; www.traben-trarbach .de in German; Am Bahnhof 5, Traben; h10am-6pm Mon-Fri Jul-Oct, to 5pm Apr-Jun & Nov, 10am-noon & 2-4pm Dec- Mar, also 11am-3pm Sat May-early Nov), in the Alter Bahnhof (old train station) 100m west along Bahnhofstrasse from the train shelter, sells the excellent Mittelmosel Rad- und Wanderkarte (€2.95), a map of area walking and cycling trails, and has two internet terminals (per hour €2). There are several ATMs in the im- mediate vicinity. Sights & Activities The ruined medieval Grevenburg, which unlike its Cochem cousin survived the 19th cen- tury without being ‘restored’, sits high in the craggy hills above Trarbach and is reached from the Markt via a steep footpath. Because of its strategic importance, the castle changed hands 13 times, found itself under siege six times and was destroyed seven times. No wonder two walls are all that are left! Across 500 501 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND Book accommodation onlilnoenaet loynpelyapnlaente.tc.com lonelyplanet.com HUNSRÜCK MOUNTAINS •• Idar-Oberstein THE MOSELLE VALLEY •• Cochem the river, the vast Vauban-style Mont Royal fortress, built in the late 1600s under Louis XIV as a base from which to project French power in the Rhineland, proved ruinously expensive and was soon dismantled by the French themselves. Learn more about these castles and their his- torical significance at the Mittelmosel-Museum (%9480; Casinostrasse 2, Trarbach; adult/youth €2.50/1; h10am-5pm Tue-Sun Apr-Oct), housed in a fur- nished baroque villa proud of once having hosted Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The new Haus der Ikonen (%812 408; Mittelstrasse 8, Trarbach; adult/11-17yr €2/0.50; h10am-5pm Tue-Sun Easter-1 Nov, 10am-5pm Sat, Sun & holidays 2 Nov-Palm Sun- day) displays modern Russian Orthodox icons and tries to promote intercultural dialogue. The adjacent, 14th-century Stadtturm (admission free; hdaily), which can be climbed, has a 24- bell glockenspiel (carillon) that was installed in 2004 to commemorate the twin towns’ centenary together. Of Traben’s sinuous Art Nouveau villas, the most seductive – and the only one open to the public – is the Hotel Bellevue (Am Moselufer), easily recognised by its champagne-bottle- shaped slate turret. The oak-panelled lobby and stained-glass windows in the restaurant typify the style, brought to town by Berlin architect Bruno Möhring. He also designed the 1898 Brückentor, above the bridge on the Trarbach side, now home to an excellent res- taurant, Brücken-Schenke. Traben-Trarbach is also a spa town, with hot mineral springs in Trarbach’s southern district of Bad Wildstein. The Moseltherme (%830 30; www.moseltherme.de; Wildsteiner Weg; adult/ child 6-15yr pool all-day €9/5, with sauna €11/7, cheaper for 1-3hr & Jun-Aug; hpool 9am-9pm Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm Sat & Sun, sauna 3-9pm Mon, 3-10pm Tue, 3pm-midnight Wed-Fri, 10am-6pm Sat & Sun) has saunas (women-only on Tuesday) and pools and also offers massages and beauty treatments. The tourist office organises daily wine tastings (4/6/8 wines €4/6/8) and cellar tours with various vintners. Sleeping & Eating Trarbach has quite a few restaurants in the area upriver from the bridge. DJH hostel (%9278; jh-traben-trarbach@djh-info.de; Hirtenpfad 6, Traben; dm €17; ni) All rooms at this modern, 172-bed hostel have private bath- rooms. It’s a 1.2km, signposted walk up from the train station, past the fire station. Central Hotel (%6238; www.central-hotel-traben.de; Bahnstrasse 43, Traben; s €30-35, d €56-66) In the same family for three generations, this 32-room hotel has modest rooms with compact bath- rooms. The owner, Iris, lived in Texas for eight years but somehow returned twang-less. Hotel Bellevue (%7030; www.bellevue-hotel.de; Am Moselufer, Traben; s €80-110, d €125-180; pais) Classy, romantic and historic, this exqui- site Art Nouveau hotel, facing the river, of- fers perks that include bike and canoe hire, pool and sauna. The stained-glass-adorned gourmet restaurant (mains €12.50 to €24.50) serves regional and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine. Weingut Caspari (%5778; Weiherstrasse 17-19, Trarbach; mains €7-12; h5pm-midnight Mon & Wed, 11.30am-midnight Thu-Sun Easter-Oct) Six short blocks inland from the bridge, this rustic, old-time Strausswirtschaft (a winery that serves its own products as well as hearty local cuisine) offers excellent value. Brücken-Schenke (%818 435; in the Brückentor, Trar- bach; meat mains €9.50-14.5, veg mains €6-12; h2-11pm Mon & Wed-Sat, 11am-10pm Sun; n) A range of solid, good-value German and regional favourites are served up inside the tower at the Trarbach end of the bridge. Great views. There is an Edeka Neukauf supermarket (Am Bahnhof 44, Traben; h8am-8pm Mon-Sat) across the tracks from the train shelter. Getting There & Around You can hire bikes at Zweirad Wagner (%1649; Brückenstrasse 42, Trarbach; per day €7.50; h8am-12.30pm & 1.45-6pm Mon-Fri, 8.30am-1pm Sat, also 10-11am Sun & holidays in summer), next to the Brückentor. COCHEM %02671 / pop 5200 Cochem, a picture-postcard village 40km downriver from Traben-Trarbach, spends much of the year overrun with day-trippers. If you’re after narrow alleyways and half- timbered houses – well, there are less jaded locales to find them. But Cochem does have a couple of unique sights. Towering above steep vineyards, the city-owned Reichsburg (%255; www.reichsburg -cochem.de; adult/child 6-17yr €4.50/2.50; h9am-5pm mid-Mar–Nov) – everyone’s idealised version of a turreted medieval castle – is actually a neo- Gothic pastiche built in 1877, making it a full 78 years older than Disneyland (the 11th- century original fell victim to frenzied French- men in 1689). It can be seen on a 40-minute guided tour (ask for a sheet in English). The walk up from town takes about 15 minutes. For great views of the town and river, you can catch the Sesselbahn (%989 063; Endertstrasse 44; 1-way/return €4/5.50; h9.30am-7.30pm mid-Jul–Aug, 10am-6pm Easter–mid-Jul & Sep–mid-Nov), which begins a few blocks west of the tourist office, up to the Pinner Kreuz. It’s a pleasant walk back down through the vineyards. From the train station, on the left bank at the downriver edge of town, it’s only a short walk down Ravenéstrasse to the tourist office (%600 40; www.cochem.de; Endertplatz 1; h9am-5pm Mon-Fri, closed 1-2pm Nov-Mar, 9am-3pm Sat May–mid-Jul, to 5pm mid-Jul–Oct, 10am-noon Sun Jul-Oct). Tucked away uphill from the Markt and its fountain, Zom Stüffje (%7260; Oberbachstrasse 14; mains €7.50-16.50; hlunch & dinner, closed Tue) is richly decorated with dark timber and murals and serves classic German fare as well as four meat-free options. AROUND COCHEM Beilstein pop 170 On the right bank of the Moselle about 12km upriver from Cochem, Beilstein (www .beilstein-mosel.de, in German) is a pint-size village right out of the world of fairy tales. Lit- tle more than a cluster of houses surrounded by steep vineyards, its romantic, half-timbered townscape is enhanced by the ruined Burg Met- ternich, a hill-top castle reached via a staircase. During the Middle Ages, the Zehnthauskeller was used to store wine delivered as a tithe; it now houses a romantically dark, vaulted wine tavern. Burg Eltz Victor Hugo thought this fairy-tale castle, hidden away in the forest above the left bank of the Moselle, was ‘tall, terrific, strange and dark’. Indeed, Burg Eltz (%02672-950 500; www .burg-eltz.de; tour adult/student €6/4.50, treasury adult/child €2.50/1.50; h9.30am-5.30pm Apr-1 Nov), owned by the same family for almost 1000 years, has a compact and impenetrable exterior softened by scores of turrets crowning it like candles on a birthday cake. The treasury features a rich collection of jewellery, porcelain and weapons. By car, you can reach Burg Eltz, which has never been destroyed, via the village of Münstermaifeld; the castle is 800m from the car park (shuttle bus €1.50). Trains link Koblenz and Cochem with Moselkern, where a 35-minute trail to the castle begins at the Ringelsteiner Mühle car park. HUNSRÜCK MOUNTAINS IDAR-OBERSTEIN %06781 / pop 33,000 Agate mining in Idar-Oberstein goes back to at least 1454 but the industry really took off in the early 19th century after local adventur- ers left for South America (especially Brazil), where they harvested raw stones and sent them back home to be processed. The local mines have long since been exhausted, but Idar-Oberstein has remained a major gem- cutting and jewellery-manufacturing centre. If crystals really do have mysterious powers, you’d expect that a town with so many would look a lot better than this one does. Scores of Idar-Oberstein shops have signs reading ‘Schmuck’ – whether you are one (in Yiddish and American English) or just look- ing for some (in German), following them is the best way to find jewellery, minerals and gemstones. Along the Nahe-Hunsrück-Mosel-Radweg, it’s a 75km bike ride to Bingen, on the Rhine. Orientation & Information Idar-Oberstein is an unwieldy town, stretch- ing for about 20km along a narrow, forested valley carved by the Nahe River. Hauptstrasse runs for about 6km (it’s numbered from 1 up to about 500) but the interesting, pedestrian- ised bit – where you’ll find the Marktplatz – is in Oberstein a few blocks northeast of the Bahnhof. The tourist office (%56 390; www.idar-oberstein .de; Hauptstrasse 419, Oberstein; h9am-7pm Mon-Fri, 10am- 4pm Sat, Sun & holidays mid-Mar–Oct, 10am-5pm Mon-Fri Nov–mid-Mar) is near Oberstein’s Marktplatz. Sights & Activities Museum Idar-Oberstein (%246 19; Hauptstrasse 436, Oberstein; adult/child €3.60/2.10; h9am-5.30pm, to 7.30pm Jul, Aug & mid-Oct), 50m off the Marktplatz, has an impressive collection of minerals and crystals, including a model of Manhattan made of rock crystal. Tucked in a niche in the rock face above the museum is the 15th-century Felsenkirche (Chapel in the Rocks; %228 40; adult/child €2/0.50; 502 503 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND Book accommodation onlilnoenaet loynpelyapnlaente.tc.com lonelyplanet.com  SAARLAND •• Saarbrücken HUNSRÜCK MOUNTAINS •• Kaiserslautern h10am-6pm Apr-Oct), said to have been built by a local knight in atonement for the murder of his brother. It’s a 216-step climb from the Marktplatz. From the church it’s a 20-minute uphill hike through a beech forest to the twin castles of Burg Bosselstein, a ruin dating from 1196, and Schloss Oberstein. At the top, you’ll be re- warded with great views over the town, the Hunsrück Mountains and the Nahe Valley. Industriedenkmal Bengel (%27 030; Wilhelmstrasse 42a, Oberstein; adult/student €3/1.50; h10am-noon & 2- 4pm Tue-Fri) is in the charmingly decrepit Jacob Bengel jewellery factory, built more than a century ago. It once serviced the Russian mar- ket (before the Revolution) and, later, made sleek Art Deco pieces. Now it’s a jerry-rigged but engaging museum, where you can watch ancient machines click-clack as they trans- form spools of wire into chains. To get there from the tourist office, cross the pedestrian bridge at Hauptstrasse 466. In a nature park west of Idar are the Edel- steinminen Steinkaulenberg (%474 00; 30min tour adult/child €4/2.50; h9am-5pm mid-Mar–mid-Nov), the only visitable gemstone mine in Europe. You can dig for your own agate, amethyst, jasper and quartz in an outdoor mining area (adult/student €13/5; h3hr sessions at 9am & 1pm) but reservations are required and you must bring your own hammer, chisel and protective glasses (or purchase them). To get there, take bus 303 to Strassburgkaserne. Cutters lying belly-down atop tilting benches demonstrate how gemstones used to be processed at the 17th-century Historische Weiherschleife (Historical Pond Mill; %901 918; Tiefen- steiner Strasse 87, Tiefenstein; 40min tour adult/child €3/2; h10am-6pm mid-Mar–mid-Nov), the last of nearly 200 such water-powered gem-cutting mills that once stood along the Idarbach creek. It’s situated northwest of Idar in Tiefenstein; take bus 1 to the Weiherschleife stop. The Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum (%900 980; www.edelsteinmuseum.de in German; Hauptstrasse 118, Idar; adult/child under 14yr €4.20/1.60; h9am-6pm, to 5pm Nov- Apr, closed Mon in Nov, Jan & Feb) should dazzle even the most, well, jaded of visitors. Highlights include a 12.555-carat topaz from Brazil. Take bus 301 or 302 to Börse. Sleeping & Eating The local meat speciality, Spiessbraten, con- sists of a hunk of beef or pork marinated in raw onion, salt and pepper and then grilled over a beechwood fire, giving it a spicy, smoky taste. It’s available at restaurants around Ober- stein’s Marktplatz. DJH hostel (%243 66; www.jugendherberge.de; Alte Treibe 23, Oberstein; dm €17; pn) All the rooms in this modern, 128-bed hostel have a private bathroom. Situated on the hillside southeast of the Bahnhof. Edelstein-Hotel (%502 50; www.edelstein-hotel.de; Hauptstrasse 302, Oberstein; s/d/tr from €45/60/87; ps) It’s not terribly stylish, but the owners of this 18-room place are enthusiastic and helpful, and the 30°C pool and sauna area offer a perfect retreat on a rainy day. Situated about 600m towards Idar from Oberstein’s pedes- trian zone. Gästehaus Amethyst (%700 01; www.gaestehaus -amethyst.de; Hauptstrasse 324, Oberstein; s/d €49/66; p) This pocket-sized, bike-friendly pension, 200m from Oberstein’s pedestrian zone, has delightful owners, nicely furnished rooms, a spanking-clean sauna and a fitness room (both free). Getting There & Around Idar-Oberstein, about 80km east of Trier and about 90km northeast of Saarbrücken, is con- nected by train with Saarbrücken (€11.70, one hour) and Mainz (€10, one hour). The B41 and the B422 cross in Idar-Oberstein. Local bus 301 regularly shuttles between Oberstein and Idar. KAISERSLAUTERN %0631 / pop 99,000 Better known as a perennial football con- tender (though its once-vaunted team was relegated in 2006) – and, more recently, as a World Cup host – than as a tourist magnet, Kaiserslautern does have a few worthwhile sights. The city’s Hauptbahnhof, on the southern edge of the commercial centre, was recently spruced up to welcome the 2006 World Cup hordes. About 1km to the north, on the north- ern edge of the downtown, is the spacious tour- ist office (365 2316; www.kaiserslautern.de; Fruchthallstrasse 14; h9am-6pm Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm Sat), also a World Cup legacy. Next door to the tourist office is the mid- 19th-century Fruchthalle (market hall), which looks like it was beamed in from Florence (in fact, it was modelled on that city’s Pal- azzo Medici) and is now used as a cultural events venue. Across the street are the ruins of the 16th-century Casimirbau, built on the site of Emperor Barbarossa’s 12th-century palace. The 19th-century, neo-Renaissance Pfalzgalerie (Palatinate Gallery of Art; h11am-8pm Tue, 10am-5pm Wed-Sun), whose focus is on paintings and sculptures, is a few blocks to the north. About 1.5km northwest of the tourist of- fice is the peaceful Japanischer Garten (Japanese Garden; www.japanischergarten.de, in German; Lauterstrasse 18; adult/child 12-17yr €3/1; h10am-7pm mid-Apr–early Oct, 11am-5pm early Oct–mid-Apr), opened in 2000. Approximately 1.5km further west is the Gartenschau (%710 0700; Turnerstrasse 2; h9am or 10am-7pm Apr-Oct), a 22-hectare garden exhibi- tion that springs to flowery life each year in the warm months. Some 34,000Americans live in and around Kaiserslautern (nicknamed ‘K-Town’), form- ing the largest US military community out- side the United States. The area’s best-known installation is Ramstein Air Base, used by both NATO and the US Air Force. That’s where the huge C-17 cargo planes you sometimes see over Kaiserslautern are heading, perhaps on a direct five-hour medical evacuation flight from Iraq. The family-run Hotel Pfälzer Hof (%362 400; www.pfaelzer-hof-kl.de, in German; Fruchthallstrasse 15; s/d €45/70; n), almost across the street from the tourist office, is a modest, old-time place with 18 rooms. SAARLAND The tiny federal state of Saarland, long a land of coal and heavy industry, has in recent dec- ades cleaned up its air and streams and reori- ented its struggling economy towards hi-tech and tourism. The capital, Saarbrücken, is a vibrant city with good museums and an excellent culinary scene. Rolling hills and forest cover much of the countryside, which can be explored not only by car but also on foot or bicycle along sign-posted long- distance routes, including the 362km, cir- cular Saarland-Radweg. In places such as the historic Völklinger Hütte ironworks, the re- gion’s industrial heritage is celebrated rather than downplayed. Over the centuries, France and Germany have played Ping-Pong with the Saarland, coveting it for its valuable natural resources. In the 20th century, the region came under French control twice – after each of the world wars – but in both cases (in referendums held in 1935 and 1955) its people voted in favour of rejoining Germany. Although now solidly within German boundaries, the influence of the land of the baguette is still felt in all sorts of subtle ways. Many locals are bilingual and the standard greeting is not ‘Hallo’ but ‘Salü’, a variation of the French ‘salut’. Their French heritage has softened the Saarlanders, who tend to be rather relaxed folk with an appreciation of good food, wine and company – saarvoir vivre, it’s been called. SAARBRÜCKEN %0681 / pop 200,000 The Saarland capital, Saarbrücken, though a thoroughly modern city, is not without considerable charms. Vestiges of its 18th- century heyday as a royal residence under Prince Wilhelm Heinrich (1718–68) survive in the baroque townhouses and churches de- signed by his prolific and skilled court archi- tect, Friedrich Joachim Stengel. The historic centre around St Johanner Markt brims with excellent restaurants and cafés, and there’s a pleasant promenade for strolls along the Saar River. Orientation Central Saarbrücken is bisected by the Saar River and the A620, an ugly autobahn that disfigures the river’s left bank. From the Hauptbahnhof, at the northwestern end of the commercial centre, pedestrians-only Reichstrasse and Bahnhofstrasse lead 1km to St Johanner Markt, the city’s nightlife hub. Information Several ATMs can be found along Kaiser- strasse. Discount Waschsalon (Blumenstrasse 42; h7am- 11pm) Self-service laundry. Evangelisches Krankenhaus (EvK; %38 860; Grossherzog Friedrich Strasse 44) A hospital whose main entrance is on Niekestrasse. Police station (%962 2233; Karcherstrasse 5) Post office (Hauptbahnhof; h8am-6.30pm Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm Sat) Reisebank (Hauptbahnhof ) Exchanges currency. Telecenter (Dudweilerstrasse 26; per hr €1.50; h9am- midnight) Internet access. Telehouse (per hr €1.50) Kaiserstrasse (h9am-mid- night); Obertorstrasse 1 (h9am-midnight Mon-Sat, noon-midnight Sun) Internet access. 504 505 RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND SAARLAND •• Saarbrücken  lonelyplanet.com B l o o o n k e a l c y c p o ml a mn o e d t a . c t i o o n m o n l i n e a t l o n e l y p l a n e t . c o m TOURISM WITHOUT BORDERS Astride the frontier between Germanic and Romantic Europe, the Saarland, neighbouring Luxembourg and the French département of Moselle (part of Lorraine) promote themselves to visitors as a single, culturally diverse area known as the Grossregion (Greater Region). The word grenzenzlos (without borders, boundless) is often bandied about and this will be especially true in 2007, when the whole region – sometimes referred to as SaarLorLux or QuattroPole (www.quattropole.org) – plus Trier will serve as a European Capital of Culture (www.luxembourg2007.org). It’s remarkably easy to add an international flavour to your stay in the Saarland. From Saar- brücken’s Hauptbahnhof, you can pop over to Luxembourg by bus (€13 return, 11⁄4 hours, four daily), rail it south to the French cathedral city of Metz (€13.30, 70 minutes, hourly) or hop on the S1 tram line to the French town of Sarreguemines (Saargemünd; €3.90), which has a delightful farmers market every Tuesday morning. Cyclists can take advantage of the 340km, trans-frontier VeloRoute SaarLorLux. Thalia Bücher (%388 30; Bahnhofstrasse 54) Bookshop. Tourist office (%938 090; www.die-region -saarbruecken.de; Saar-Galerie, Reichsstrasse 1; h9am- 6pm Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm Sat) Facing the bus station outside the Hauptbahnhof. Sells tickets for cultural events. Waschhaus (Nauwieserstrasse 22; per wash €3; h8am- 10pm Mon-Sat) Self-service laundry. Sights NORTHERN SAAR BANK The heart of Saarbrücken (and its nightlife hub) is the historic St Johanner Markt, a long, narrow public square anchored by an ornate fountain designed by Stengel and flanked by some of the town’s oldest buildings. The city’s main commercial street, pedestrianised Bahn- hofstrasse, heads northwest – as you cross Betzenstrasse, look to the northeast and you’ll spot the cathedral-like Rathaus, a red-brick neo-Gothic structure. At the southern end of St Johanner Markt is the Stadtgalerie (%936 8321; www.stadtgalerie.de in Ger- man & French; St Johanner Markt 24; admission free; h11am- 7pm Tue & Thu-Sun, noon-8pm Wed), which puts on temporary exhibitions of the latest in contem- porary art, including video and performance art. Another example of Stengel’s work awaits a block east and north on Türkenstrasse, in the form of the Catholic Basilika St Johann. Heading south on Türkenstrasse will bring you to the massive yellow Staatstheater (%30 920; www.theater-saarbruecken.de in German; Schillerplatz), a grandiose Nazi-era structure with neoclassical touches. It opened in 1938 with Richard Wag- ner’s The Flying Dutchman and today presents opera, ballet, musicals and drama. A short walk southeast is one of Saarbrück- en’s cultural highlights, the Saarland Museum (%996 40; www.saarlandmuseum.de; Bismarckstrasse 11-19; adult/student €1.50/1, more for special exhibitions; h10am- 6pm Tue & Thu-Sun, 10am-10pm Wed). The Moderne Galerie tracks the development of European art over the course of the 20th century and is especially noteworthy for its German impres- sionists (eg Slevogt, Corinth and Liebermann) and expressionist works (eg by Kirchner, Marc and Jawlensky). The Alte Sammlung (Old Collection) across the street, goes back fur- ther in history with a millennium’s worth of paintings, porcelain, tapestries and sculptures from southwest Germany and the Alsace and Lorraine regions of France. SOUTHERN SAAR BANK Crossing the Saar River via the pedestrians- only Alte Brücke takes you over the auto- bahn and up to the Stengel-designed baroque Schlossplatz. The dominant building here is the Saarbrücker Schloss, which mixes elements of several architectural styles, from Renais- sance to baroque to neoclassical; the mod- ern glass tower was added in the 1980s and, alas, doesn’t do for the Schloss what IM Pei’s pyramid did for the Louvre. Its basement and a modern annex house the Historisches Mu- seum Saar (%506 4501; Schlossplatz 15; adult/concession €2.50/1.50; h10am-6pm Tue, Wed, Fri & Sun, 10am-8pm Thu, noon-6pm Sat), which has interesting exhibits about the region in the 20th century, with a focus on WWI, the Third Reich and the post- WWII years. Fans of the Romans, the Celts and their predecessors won’t want to miss the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte (Museum of Early History & Prehistory; %954 050; www.historisches-museum .org in German; Schlossplatz 16; admission free; h9am-5pm Tue-Sat, 10am-6pm Sun). The late Gothic Schlosskirche (%950 7638; Am Schlossberg 6; admission free; h10am-6pm Tue & Thu-Sun, 10am-10pm Wed) is now a museum whose focus is religious art from the 13th to 19th centu- ries; highlights include statuary from the 15th and 16th centuries and the elaborate tombs of three local, 17th- and 18th-century princes. The original stained-glass windows were de- stroyed in WWII and – as is obvious from the style – replaced in the late 1950s. Some of the panes had to be repaired after being blown out in 1999 by a bomb – presumably planted by extreme right-wing militants – aimed at a controversial historical exhibition on the role of Wehrmacht soldiers in WWII atrocities. To the northwest is Stengel’s handsome Ludwigsplatz, flanked by stately baroque townhouses. Ludwigskirche (h10am-4.30pm Tue- Sun), built in 1775, sports a façade festooned with Biblical figures and a brilliant white interior with stylish stucco decoration. If the church is closed, you can sneak a peek through the windows of the vestibule. Sleeping DJH hostel (%330 40; www.jugendherberge.de; Meer- wiesertalweg 31; dm €18; n) Near the university northeast of the centre, on the Prinzenweiher lake in Saarbrücken’s green belt. Served by bus 19 from the Rathaus and, Monday to Friday, by buses 49 and 69 from the Hauptbahnhof. Hotel Schlosskrug (%36 735; www.hotel-schlosskrug .de in German; Schmollerstrasse 14; s/d €39/66) A rather or- dinary hotel with some of the cheapest rooms in the city. Just a short walk from the centre. SAARLAND •• Saarbrücken SAARBRÜCKEN A B Hauptbahnhof C SLEEPING Hotel am Triller......................21 B4 Hotel Madeleine....................22 C2 Hotel Schlosskrug .................23 D3 EATING Café Kostbar..........................24 D2 Gasthaus Zum Stiefel.............25 C3 Kulturcafé............................(see 20) Oro........................................26 C3 1 0    200 m 0  0.1 miles D 4 29 10 Hauptbahnhof 5 To DJH INFORMATION Discount Waschsalon ..............1 D2 Evangelisches Krankenhaus .....2 D3 Police Station...........................3 C2 Post Office..............................4. B1 Reisebank................................5. B1 Telecenter................................6 C2 Telehouse................................7 C4 Telehouse................................8 C2 Thalia Bücher...........................9 B2 Tourist Office.........................10 B1 Waschhaus............................11 D3 3 Kaiserstr 6 8 15 25 26�� 27 12 St Johanner Markt 20 Hostel (2.5km) Beethoven- platz ��Echelmeyer- park 1 24 DRINKING Wally's Irish Pub....................27 C3 ENTERTAINMENT Staatstheater.........................28 C4 TRANSPORT Bus Station............................ 29 B1 Der Fahrradladen.................(see 24) 2 ���� 9 22 Johannes- kirche To A1; Völkinger Hütte (10km); Mettlach (50km); Perl Nennig (70km); Idar-Oberstein (90km); Trier (95km); Johanneskirche Luxembourg City (100km); Traben- Trarbach (130km); Koblenz (200km) 3 Wilhelm-Heinrich- Brücke A620 Basilika St Johann...................12 C3 Historisches Museum Saar...(see 16) Ludwigskirche........................13 A3 Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte...................14 B4 Rathaus.................................15 C3 Saarbrücker Schloss................16 B4 Saarland Museum (Alte Sammlung)........................17 C4 Saarland Museum (Moderne Galerie).............................18 D4 Schlosskirche..........................19 B4 Stadtgalerie...........................20 C4 ��Landwehr- Platz 2 Schmollerstr 13 Ludwigs- platz 11 Max- Ophüls- Platz 23 SIGHTS & ACTIVITIES Am Schlossberg Alte Altes Brücke ������ 17 To A6; Saarbrücken Airport (14km); Europäischer Kulturpark Bliesbruck-Reinheim (25km); Kaiserslautern (70km); Mannheim (127km) Rathaus 19 Schillerplatz 7 (Tifliser Schlossplatz Boat Platz) 14 Landing 28 4 16 18 To Hotel Meran (300m) 21 506 507 ������                               �� �� �� ������ Triererstr Karcherstr Reichsstr Viktonastr Beethovenstr Lortzingstr Richard-Wagner-Str Dudweilerstr Kaiserstr Westspange RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND Sulzbachstr Blumenstr Johannisstr Försterstr Cecilienstr tr Futterstr Berliner Promenade Saar River Bahnhofstr Nauwiesers Nassauer Str Seilerstr Brentanostr Grossherzog-Friedrich-Str Rotenbergstr Stengelstr Betzenstr Bruchwiesenstr Gerberstr Eisenbahnstr bachstr n RHINELAND-PALATINATE & SAARLAND Katolisch-Kirch-Str Kalte Am Stadtgraben Frös ch Wilhelm-Heinrich-Str Kappen- str Neikestrasse Am Stiefel engasse Saarstr Bleichstr Kronenstr Obertorstr Rosenstr Franz-Josef- Schlossstr Mainzer Str Fassstr Türkenstr Talstr Bismarckstr Röder-Str Book accommodation onlilnoenaet loynpelyapnlaente.tc.com lonelyplanet.com  SAARLAND •• Mettlach SAARLAND •• Völklinger Hütte Hotel Madeleine (%322 28; www.hotel-madeleine.de; Cecilienstrasse 5; s €61-69, d €69-79; ni) This central and friendly family-run hotel has 28 recently renovated rooms that are smallish but bright and comfortable. Hotel Meran (%653 81; www.hotel-meran.de in Ger- man; Mainzer Strasse 69; s €55-66, d €74-95; sn) Despite its plain beige façade, this 43-room hotel, about 500m southeast of St Johanner Markt, has some nice touches, such as an 11m pool, sauna, and fireplace lounge. Rooms are fairly standard. Hotel am Triller (%580 000; Trillerweg 57; www .hotel-am-triller.de, in German; s/d from €108/146, Fri-Sun from €69/105; pnis) This 114-room, al- most-boutique hotel, on a quiet street uphill from Schlossplatz, has airy and artsy public areas and a Franco-German restaurant. Eating & Drinking Saarbrücken’s lively restaurant and bar scene centres on St Johanner Markt and nearby streets such as Saarstrasse, Am Stiefel and Kappenstrasse. Several pleasant cafés with out- door seating can also be found at and around Schlossplatz. Local dishes revolve around the humble potato but are well worth trying – look for Hoorische (tasty potato dumplings some- times stuffed with ground meats) and Dib- belabbes (a potato casserole with dried meat and leeks). In the French tradition, meals are served with a basket of baguette slices. Café Kostbar (%93 86 366; Nauwieserstrasse 19; mains €6-10; h11am-1am, meals served noon-3pm & 6-11pm) In a neighbourhood with a counter-culture vibe, this small place that’s in the courtyard and adored by impoverished but hungry students, serves a small selection of inexpensive but filling salads and mains. Kulturcafé (%379 9200; St Johanner Markt 24; light meals €6-8; h9.30am-1am) A café by day (meals are served until 6pm), this place attracts a youngish crowd after dark with its stylish minimalism-meets-gothic décor. Gasthaus Zum Stiefel (%936 450; Am Stiefel 2; mains €9-19) Saarbrücken’s oldest microbrewery, in a building associated with the Bruch beer- brewing family for three centuries, features good-value classic German and local dishes alongside delicious home-spun creations such as Bierhähnchen (chicken in beer sauce). Next door is a rustic brew-pub, Stiefelbräu. Oro (h938 8663; St Johanner Markt 7-9; daily specials €6, mains €12.50-20; h10am-1am, to 3am Fri & Sat) A chic and very popular wine bar and restaurant with generous salads and a leafy courtyard. Wally’s Irish Pub (%938 0587; Katolisch-Kirch-Strasse 1; hnoon-2am or later 365 days a year) A welcoming pub, popular with English-speakers, that’s owned by an Irish fellow whose name is not Wally. Monday is quiz night (9pm) and there’s whiskey tasting on Sunday (7pm). Getting There & Away Saarbrücken Airport (%06893-832 72; www.flughafen -saarbruecken.de), about 14km east of the city, offers mainly holiday charters and short hops within Germany, many operated by locally-based Cirrus Airlines (0180-444 4888; www.cirrus-airlines.de). Saarbrücken’s Hauptbahnhof has at least hourly rail connections to Trier (€13.40, one hour), Idar-Oberstein (€11.70, 50 minutes) and Mainz (€24.30, 13⁄4 hours). The city’s main bus station is outside the Hauptbahnhof. Saarbrücken is on the A6 from Kaiserslautern and Mannheim and the A1 from the Moselle Valley. The city is bisected by the A620, which goes north along the Saar River to Merzig. Getting Around The Saarland has an extensive integrated bus and rail network (%500 3377; www.saarbahn .de, www.vgs-online.de) that includes one tram line, optimistically named S1. Tickets within the city (Zone 111) cost €2 (€1.60 for up to six stops); a day pass for one/ five people costs €4.10/6.80. Bus R10 goes out to the airport (€2, 20 minutes, hourly Monday to Saturday). You can book a taxi on %330 33. Bicycles can be hired from Der Fahrradladen (%370 98; per day €15, weekend €30; h2-7pm Mon, 10am- 7pm Tue-Fri, 10am-2pm or 3pm Sat) in the courtyard at Nauwieserstrasse 19. VÖLKLINGER HÜT TE The former ironworks of Völklinger Hütte (%06898-910 0100; www.voelklinger-huette.org; adult/ concession/family incl audio-guide €10/8.50/21; h10am-7pm May-Oct, 10am-6pm Nov-Apr), about 10km northwest of Saarbrücken on the banks of the Saar, is one of Europe’s great industrial monuments. Opened in 1873, this vast foundry complex produced iron and steel until 1986. In recogni- tion of its historical significance, it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1994. In recent years, the complex’s towering blast furnaces and massive smelting facilities have taken on a new life as a cultural venue. Its halls regularly host intriguing art and pho- tography exhibitions and in July and August, the sweet sounds of jazz ring out every Friday night from 6pm to 7pm at Zimmerplatz. The Gebläsehalle (blowing hall), with its original red-and-white tiled floor, is also used for concerts. At night the compound is often lit up like a vast science-fiction set. Trains link the town of Völklingen with Saarbrücken (€2.70, nine minutes, several times an hour) and Trier (€11.70, one hour, at least hourly); the ironworks are only a three- minute walk from the Bahnhof. METTLACH %06864 / pop 11,500 Mettlach, on the Saar River about 50km north- west of Saarbrücken, is at the heart of the pret- tiest section of the Saarland. For the last 200 years its history has been tied to the ceramics firm of Villeroy & Boch, which moved its fac- tory and administrative headquarters into the Alte Abtei, a former Benedictine abbey, in 1809. Today, the abbey houses a predictably com- mercial, though not uninteresting, multimedia exhibit called Keravision (%811 020; h9am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9.30am-4pm Sat, Sun & holidays, closed Sun Nov- Mar), which introduces the company’s history and products. Also here is the Keramikmuseum (%811 294; h9am-6pm Mon-Fri, 9.30am-4pm Sat, Sun & holidays, closed Sun Nov-Mar), with its collection of historical porcelain. Beside it, the millennium- old Alter Turm (Old Tower), burial place of the town’s founder, Merovingian Duke Luitwin, is a refreshingly quirky piece of walk-in pub- lic art called Living Planet Square. As you walk through the installation – a giant bird topiary called the Earth Spirit which overlooks six giant-tile walls representing the continents in a rather, shall we say, explicit fashion – your movement activates jungle noises. The tourist office (Saarschleife Touristik; %06864- 8334; www.tourist-info.mettlach.de; Freiherr-vom-Stein- Strasse 64; h8.30am-4.30pm Mon-Fri), has information about the town and region. Frequent regional trains link Mettlach with Saarbrücken’s Hauptbahnhof (€6.50, 40 min- utes). By car, take the Merzig-Schwemlingen exit off the A8 and then follow the B51 north. AROUND METTLACH The most scenic spot along the Saar River is the Saarschleife, where the river makes a spectacular hairpin loop. It’s in the community of Orscholz, in a large nature park about 5km west of Met- tlach. The best viewing point is Cloef, just a short walk through the forest from the village. To experience the loop from the river, you can take a 11⁄2-hour cruise from Mettlach of- fered by Mettlacher-Personenschifffahrt (%06864- 802 20; www.saar-schifffahrt.de, in German; adult/concession €7/3.50), with several daily departures from March to December. PERL-NENNIG %06866 / pop 6350 Perl-Nennig, on the Luxembourg border about 20km west of Mettlach and 40km south of Trier, is the Saarland’s only wine- growing community; the local specialities are made with grape varieties from Burgundy, introduced after the war when the region was under French control. On weekends between April and October, wine growers open up their cellars for tastings on a rotating basis. The main historical sight here is a stunning 160-sq-metre floor mosaic in the reconstructed 3rd-century Römische Villa (Roman villa; %1329; Römerstrasse 11; adult/child €1.50/0.75; h8.30am-noon & 1-6pm Tue-Sun Apr-Sep, 9-11.30am & 1-4.30pm Tue-Sun Oct, Nov & Mar). Composed of three million tiny chips of coloured stone, it’s the largest and best pre- served such mosaic north of the Alps. The tourist office (%1439; www.nennig.de, in German; Bübinger Strasse 1a, Nennig; h9.30am-12.30pm & 2-5pm Mon- Fri), right by the Bahnhof in Nennig, can provide information on the villa, wine tastings and ac- commodation. It also hires out bicycles. Perl-Nennig can be reached from Merzig by bus 6300. The train to/from Trier runs every hour or two (€6.20, 40 minutes). By car take the A8 from Saarbrücken or the B419 from Trier. EUROPÄISCHER KULTURPARK BLIESBRUCK-REINHEIM Flanking the Franco–German border about 25km southeast of Saarbrücken in the charming Blies Valley, the Europäischer Kulturpark Bliesbruck- Reinheim (European Archaeological Park; %06843-900 221; www.kulturpark-online.de, in German, www.archeo57.com, in French; Robert-Schuman-Strasse 2; adult/student €4.60/3.10; h10am-6pm Tue-Sun mid-Mar–Oct) showcases the ruins of a 1st- to 4th-century Gallo-Roman crafts town. Most of the artisans’ houses, with their ovens, cellars and heating systems, as well as the thermal baths, are on the French side, but the area’s most spectacular discovery, the tomb of a Celtic princess from AD 400, was discovered on the German side of the line. In 2007 the park will host an exhibit on life in Roman Europe. From Saarbrücken, take bus R10 to Blies- kastel (€4.60, one hour) and then bus K501.Wernigerode (Saxony-Anhalt)     Wertheim (Baden-Württemberg)     Werther (Westf.) (North Rhine-Westphalia)     Wertingen (Bavaria)