If I were to plan the ultimate German getaway, I’d make sure Gudensberg would be on the itinerary. Gudensberg? Surely, one of the much larger (and better known) German cities might make for a better tour of Germany, wouldn’t they? Well, yes & no… depends on how you look at it.
However, if you just went to those big cities, you’d miss out on a pretty awesome prehistoric town where a pottery settlement was found, dating back to 4,000 B.C; and later on an Iron Age Settlement. There’s even a “graveyard” that dates to around 100 B.C. and a stone ax from around 3,000 B.C. that was found in one of Gudenberg’s hamlets.
Post-Christian times is when Gudensberg’s history (and even some legends) really took shape. Look for horseshoe print in the town’s churchyard, said to have been made by none other than the steed of Charlemagne.
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From the 14th to the 18th centuries, Gudensberg experienced a building boom. Not in the traditional sense, but many of the town’s sites today come from those centuries.
There are lots of framework houses (they make awesome pictures and they’re the stuff of fairytales), the oldest being the Ackerburgerhaus (built 1596) with the Pfarrhaus or Rectory (built 1642), and the Resthof (built 1643) not too much younger. The Amtshaus is a beautiful example of Renaissance architecture, too. I can’t leave out the town’s Gefangenenturm (Prison Tower) — it makes for a fine photo-op!
But, as old as these buildings are they aren’t anywhere as old as the 14th century Gothic Evangelical St. Margarete Church and the Hospital of the Holy Ghost (located on Fritzlarer Straße), built in 1365 for the town’s lepers.
Oh, I’m sorry… the ruins of the Castle Obernburg (on the Schlossberg) are older! The views of the heath and the Odenberg from atop this vantage point will leave even the most ardent jabberjaw speechless. ;-)
For a bit of a Jewish heritage tour, Gudensberg is a perfect stopover. There was a Jewish presence here dating back to the 17th century — although the last of the community (124 persons) were deported in May 1938. The town’s former synagogue is now a cultural meeting place; and there are memorial blocks found around town honoring its former citizens.
Yeah, yeah… while you go to one of those big cities in Germany, I’ll be right here in Gudensberg. Hopefully I won’t get lost while I’m out hiking in the Habichtswald Nature Park. ;-)