Dillenburg — Good Hiking, Strong Horses, Royal History

Dillenburg sits on the edge of the stunning Westerwald mountains, which provide the area with a strong backdrop.

Of course, it takes a strong backdrop to compete with the strong personalities that have roamed the region since its earliest days. Most notably, Dillenburg was the birthplace of the House of Orange.

Members of Europe’s famed royal family still come through periodically for a visit, so you’ll be able to get a chance to admire them from a distance. Yet you can certainly appreciate why they come, even when they aren’t here. The historical center, with its churches, cobbles, and half-timbers, does have a way of luring you in for hours.

You can survey it all from the top of the Wilhelmsturm tower. From the summit, you can view the collected hamlets that have been added to the main town, and start scouting out your hiking trail of choice. There are four major trails that touch here — the Rothaarsteig, the Schl√∂sserweg, the Dillweg, and the Uplandweg.

As you begin hiking about, you’ll want to be sure to trek over to the Carriage Museum, located in the old castle orangerie. It’s a good way to brush up on the local horse culture, which you need to understand is important. There is a major stallion breeding program in the area.

In odd numbered years, a week-long horse festival is held in the middle of September. This is a way to showcase the new horses and also show off the locals’ horsemanship. Dress events, races, and jumping competitions draw a refined and international crowd.

The summer months in both even and odd years will be full of festivals. You can try the Maypole Festival, the Cherry Market, the Jazz Fest or the Aquarena Night.

The locals are proud to show off their spirit to guests, as they don’t forget their own royal heritage or their beautiful landscape.

 

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