In the Lowlands of the Upper Rhine and along what’s called the Old Rhine is the 17th century town of Philippsburg. Well, that’s when it had its name changed in honor of a bishop from the same time period. If you were around before 1632, you’d have known it as Udenheim.
Hmm, maybe villages really did it to fool the French, since the area was once seriously disputed territory between the two countries. At least its close proximity to Mannheim and Karlsruhe hasn’t changed.
Regardless of what you call Philippsburg or who was fighting for it, the area has been around for a long time. In the hamlet of Rheinsheim there were Roman ruins and Frankish hill graves found.
Most of everything else that can be seen in Philippsburg can be found along the “Walking Tour of Old Town.” Wide open lanes lead off from the Île-de-Ré-Platz, as the town’s cobblestone square is called, overlooked by St. Maria’s church.
FYI, St. Peter’s Church, a quaint Baroque church from the 1760’s is in the village of Huttenheim. There’s also a monument dedicated to the hamlet’s former name, Knaudenheim (it seems that name changing is a central theme around here).
Follow one of the town’s roads to Slaughterhouse Road 2, to Philippsburg’s Local History Museum (open 1st Sun of the month from 1pm-5pm). One section of the museum has exhibits on Philippsburg’s cultural & historical life in the Upper Rhine Valley. The other, exhibits on historical weaponry.
In keeping with the weapons theme, it’d be a good idea to then see the town’s War Memorial. In case you can’t read German, I’ll tell you what the inscription says: The Courageous Heroes of 1870/71, The Grateful City of Philippsburg. It’ll be a great way to impress your travel companions. Don’t worry, I’ll keep your secret on how you really found out. ;-)