Groß-Gerau and its immediate vicinity have been settled since the Middle Stone Age, prior to 5,500 B.C. A fort once stood nearby, before the Romans camped here in the 1st century and colonized the area through the 3rd century.
In time, a marketplace village developed. You can still see remnants of the Neolithic Era, the Bronze Age and Iron Age in abundance.
The town you visit today is the seat of the district bearing the same name. It counts a number of major multinationals as resident businesses, including Procter and Gamble, a Nestlé subsidiary called Erlenbacher Backwaren GmbH, and a division of deepfreeze manufacturer Nordfrost AG.
Be sure to stop by the Town Museum for a good dose of local history. Or go to the Handicraft Museum, which houses displays of artisans and tradesmen since 1871.
Town tours are also available, conducted by guides dressed in medieval garb. You will not want to miss the Town Hall built in 1578, the renovated gothic-style church dating back to the 13th century, and the old Wirtshäuser tavern, where merchants and traders have been meeting for hundreds of years.
For scenic atmosphere, Groß-Gerau is certainly not lacking. For example, the Sandböhlplatz section is lined with sidewalk cafes; it has developed an almost Mediterranean character.
Also, every Wednesday and Saturday at the centrally located farmer’s market, you can enjoy browsing the produce and wares of some 30 colorful booths. Try some fresh fruit, smoked fish, homemade goat cheese or beer, while live music accompanies your shopping.
Numerous galleries, cinemas, concerts and stage plays contribute to the local culture. You can also enjoy sports and recreation, from hiking and biking to boating and swimming.
The surrounding environs feature 77 hectares of green woods and blue lakes, a major portion of the Niederwald preserve. Also, manmade Lake Hegbach can be visited just to the east, for camping and canoeing.