Gernsheim, also known as Schöfferstadt, is a small town with a momentous past that is evident in the various memorials and monuments you’ll find throughout the town. But its history goes way back to the Roman times.
You can still see here the stump of a Roman pillar dating back to 1 A.D. How’s that for antiquity! :-)
Apparently the city used to be the site of a Roman fort. Just knowing that should spur you on to explore this lovely town.
Gernsheim location on the Rhine certainly adds to its attractiveness. The harbor area is quite busy with all sorts of maritime activities going on and is a great spot to spend some time. You can see the remains of the old bridge over the river. A sad sight really, but there it stays as a memorial.
If you intend to visit the neighboring towns, consider taking the ferry service for an exciting change from a beat up old taxi.
Gernsheim’s star attraction is the Gothic Church of Maria Einsiedel. It stands in scenic marshland and is rather nondescript compared to other flamboyant medieval religious architecture you find all over. But this little church draws crowds of faithful from all over. (This is on account of two miraculous statues — a Pieta and a Madonna dating back to the 15th and 17th centuries.)
Gernsheim’s other attractions include the Baroque St. Maria Magdalena Church and the Town Hall.
You should also look out for the Schöffer Memorial statue whose name has been made part of the town’s original name. Schöffer was an associate of the Gutenberg who invented the printing press. You can see how proud the townspeople are of their 15th century celebrity.
Gernsheim’s marshy land has a beauty all its own and the best way for you to discover this for yourself is to get atop a bike and find your own merry way across it on well marked tracks. The surrounding woods are a hot favorite with trekkers and joggers. You can take part in organized hiking trips if you don’t fancy getting lost.
You certainly can’t get lost in the golf course they have here. A great way to get some sun and fresh air.