Illingen (the one in the Saarland) has been batted back and forth between France and Germany over the years, but whichever side of the line it was officially on the residents went about their business.
They developed a walkable community with a series of summer festival offerings, and an open attitude toward change. When the community reforms added in smaller hamlets to the Illingen party, they were welcomed with opened arms.
You will feel quite relaxed and welcome as well here. You can enjoy indoor or outdoor attractions during your stay, and you are sure to find something nice to eat. The pastry shops here have a great mix of lower Black Forest treats influenced with French baking secrets… just figure out how to say delicious in as many languages as you can!
In addition to a mandatory baked goods stop, you will also want to swing by St. Stephan’s church. It has a distinctive tower that looks a bit like a pear, and is considered a local treasure. You will also want to check out the ceiling work at the community hall.
Then, you will want to head to the gravel pit. Yes, the gravel pit! It has an unassuming name, but this long stretch of low hills is home to a number of quality walking and hiking trails as well as some community organic projects. Illingen keeps its own herds, and you can take the kids quite close if they’re interested in checking out the goats and sheep.
From there, you will want to hike over to the Castle Kerpen complex. It has a pond of its own and a park area where events are held. Each summer there is a Castle and Pond festival the first weekend of July, as well as concerts and fun fair activities on an ongoing basis. You’ll also want to note the many smaller community events held each week in the warm months.
How to keep on top of it all?
The town may be more than 1000 years old, but the latest technologies have been leveraged by the town council to share information and keep everyone up to date on even the small happenings in the area.
Illingen is one town that is almost as interesting online as it is offline.