Kusel — A Pleasant Surprise In The Palatinate

The absolute joys of having the power of the keystroke, because not only do I get to write the praises of the town of Kusel, but I get to write about the joys of the Collective Municipality as a whole and the Nordf├Ąlzer Bergland, or North Palatinate Uplands — where the place is located.

Finding Kusel was an absolute pleasure, and quite unexpected. Now don’t get me wrong, I always think I’m gonna find something spectacular in every town — but I was pleasantly surprised by the green countryside (it’s summertime right now) found along Nordic Hiking trails, and regular hiking routes like the 60km Veldenz Trail.

Hahaha, no I didn’t go the distance — but don’t let my short hop stop you from looking out for the outdoor sculptures and such.

Speaking of the Veldenz, the family itself once lorded over Burg Lichtenberg. While the castle might be a ruin today, at one time it was a whopping medieval castle from the early 13th century. It’s believed the castle is one of the largest of its kind in all of Germany — and statistics say the castle has never been conquered in all its 800 years; it was a fire that ultimately destroyed the castle 1799. Despite being a real ruin, the castle is part museum and part living history.

What’s living without a good party, I ask you? I guess it’s a good thing Kusel has quite the number of parties and cultural events taking place throughout the year. July is one of the most lively months, with a number of Kerwe (church festivals) events going on throughout the month — and it’s also the time of year for the Summer Festival.

September is a good month, too. That’s when Kusel holds both its Autumn Fair and Oktoberfest, followed by the St. Martin events, Bockbierfest, and Nikolausmarkt in November. I truly am going to come back for the medieval Christmas Market (held at the castle), and there’s yet another one in later in December.

And what’s the Christmas season without a church or two? Come see the Church of St. Giles (located at Lehnstra├če 10), a pretty neo-Gothic church from the 1880s. The Protestant Pfarrkirche (Parish Church) looks almost identical — because it was also built around the same time.

My last stop is the town’s Local History Museum, housing exhibits on the city’s history and a local boy done good. Kusel was the hometown of Fritz Wunderlich, a German Opera singer who died tragically at the tender age of 35. His tenor voice might be remembered for playing the Count in the Barber of Seville, but I love listening to his velvet voice singing Mozart’s The Magic Flute. You judge for yourself while you’re here.

As an Opera fan, it just made me love Kusel all the better — and even if you’re not into Opera, you’ll love it, too. I promise! ;-)

 

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