Have you ever gone to a place and you’re instantly reminded of somewhere else? That’s what can happen with you in the town of Bellheim. If it isn’t for the fact that people are speaking German here, you might think you’re in Napa Valley, California or something. Why Napa?
Because of the rolling hills of vineyards, with grapes that make some of the most delicious wines. Take that, California, Italy, and France — you’re not the only ones who can make that stuff. ;-)
I’m guessing Napoleon would have tried to take credit for the wines, had his French law (imposed here in 1816) stuck.
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Grapes aren’t the only yummy treats grown in this Palatinate region, even if you’re traveling on the Southern Wine Route (Südliche Weinstraße). The smells from the lemon and almond trees are heavenly, not to mention quite tasty.
FYI, it’s OK if you don’t like wine, Bellheim is home to the Bellheimer Brauerei for a delicious beer if that’s your cup of tea (no pun intended ;-).
Drinking isn’t all you can do in the Palatinate. You’ve got Nordic Walking, hiking trails, and bicycle paths. Or, try canoeing then finishing off the day with miniature golf.
But, I’m guessing you didn’t come to Bellheim just to play around in the woods. Within Bellheim’s town center you’ll see the 15th century 68 meter high tower of the city’s St. Nicholas Catholic Church. It kind of dwarfs the 42 meter tower of Bellheim’s Evangelical Church.
To really experience the cultural side of Bellheim, you’ll need to come during Carnival (usually February) and at Pentecost (about 6 weeks after Easter) for the Gartentage or Garden Days when its all about the flowers. And it’s all about the music and dancing during the annual Ball that’s held in January.
For historical culture the Historische Schmiede in the village of Ottersheim is perfect. It has exhibits on everything from antique equipment to old customs.
Whether you think you’re in Napa or elsewhere, I’m sure you’ll like it in Bellheim.