Every time I get to see a new town or village in Germany there’s no telling what it might be to jump out to catch my attention. Sometimes I’m floored by the number of festivals, or gasping in awe at the natural beauty of the place. And then… sometimes I find myself totally enamored with all the history and stunning architecture. Which is exactly what happened in the Hessian town of Diemelstadt.
Within each of Diemelstadt’s nine villages are centuries upon centuries of history seen within its many buildings. Despite the Alt-Rhoden being a desolate ruin, there’s a serene beauty its crumbling medieval walls. It takes but a small imagination to see its once imposing Romanesque walls from a thousand years ago.
The district of Rhoden, established in the year 1020, has more than a church ruin, it’s home to Schloss Rhoden. Its early-Baroque facade belies its 13th century beginnings; and its family vault is the final resting place for many of its noble residents from yesteryear. No trip to Rhoden is ever complete without a stroll around its Church Square, with the town’s old Rathaus (Town Hall); nor should you miss a stop by the town’s old Jewish Cemetery.
Diemelstadt’s medieval growth didn’t end there — that’s when Burg Brobeck was built around 1185. It wasn’t around too long, since it was totally abandoned before the 1500s came to an end; sadly there’s nothing left. When you can’t get enough of the Middle Ages, then it’s off to the Siedlung Gaulskopf for you to see an early medieval settlement.
The town’s history is actually much (much, much) older, as Celtic burial mounds were found in the village of Dehausen, by the way. Still, that’s not to take anything away from the 4-steepled tower of the 16th century church in Wrexen.
History isn’t just what happened hundreds of years ago, ya know. Back in 1976, the village of Helmighausen won the Unser Dorf soll schöner werden, or Our Village is Beautiful award. Yes, Helmighausen, you are beautiful.
I was so enthralled by Diemelstadt’s history, I forgot to look for anything else — although I hear they have a wonderful Harvest Festival and Laternenfest. Hmm, that’s just an excuse to come back again, isn’t it? ;-)