Being a “city slicker” and all, there are virtues to living and visiting big cities. But, there’s also something to be said for small towns. Gorgeous places like Birkenfeld (Nahe) in Rhineland-Palatinate.
OK, so maybe towns like this, a place with just over 6,000 people, doesn’t have a gazillion museums or hundreds of nightclubs. What Birkenfeld does have is a castle ruin. The Burgruine Birkenfeld, to be exact.
When that Frenchman Napoleon came calling the medieval/Renaissance castle had already been kinda destroyed — but that didn’t stop the French from claiming it for its own.
Birkenfeld (Nahe) — Top Areas Of Interest
Birkenfeld has a castle too (not the same thing as a Burg, but close). This is a beautiful pink 19th century building that’s not someone’s house anymore, but a culture center and wedding venue.
Over by the Schloss at Schneewiesenstraße 22 is an old Barracks building, from when the area belonged to Prussia. Its pale-yellow appearance and ornate doorway make it look more like a library or someone’s manor house than some military building. Now it’s an administration building.
What is it with yellow around here? The Alte Stadthaus, or Old Town House, is also yellow — and was once a local 19th century doctor’s home. Now this is where Birkenfeld’s Mayor gets to come to work everyday.
Whewww, I think I’ll run for office if I can work in such fabulous surroundings everyday. Nevermind, I get to experience all of Germany by doing this instead. Isn’t that better? :-)
Anyway, if I was stuck in the office I wouldn’t get to cycle my way around the 180 km of Birkenfeld’s bike trails. Who am I kidding, I’m not biking that far — but it looks good in print. ;-)
I will, however, ride over to the Kirchplatz to see the Evangelical Church; built in the 1750s. And I’ll ride over to the former Marktplatz to see the Schellenmann, where the sculpture vibrates.
One last stop: the Heimatmuseum (Local History Museum, Friedrich-August-Straße 17). Birkenfeld (Nahe) has seen the likes of Celts, Romans, Franks, and a whole bunch of other folks in history — so it’s no wonder they’ve got some 2,500 years of the area’s history all under one roof.
I don’t know how they did it, though it’s definitely worth seeing. So are some more of those bicycle trails — so I better get a move on. ;-)