Rülzheim — Teutonic Knights Playing With Moby Dick

I’m jealous. The incredibly picturesque town of Rülzheim was once controlled by the Teutonic Knights.

No, I’m NOT jealous because I’m not a Teutonic Knight. I’m jealous because Rülzheim in the sweet Palatinate is so pretty, I want it to be all mine — just like it was theirs.

Megalomaniacal feelings aside, I would be willing to share Rülzheim with you — you can visit anytime you want. ;-)

But, if you want to have a go at the annual Corn Maze you can only do it from mid-July through late September (Wednesday-Sunday 2pm-8pm). Otherwise, you’re pretty much good to go any other time of the year.

St. Diehardt’s church, called the Dieterskirchel, has been a place of pilgrimage for centuries. You see, St. Diehardt (or Theodard Maastricht as he was known before becoming a saint) was murdered here on September 10, 670.

The Dieterskirchel is only a small chapel compared to Rülzheim’s other churches. The spot where you’ll find the 18th century St. Gertrude Church has had a church here since the mid-10th century.

St. Maurice has also been here for hundreds of years, its west tower was built in 1498. Amazing that even that remained standing after the Thirty Years’ War, which destroyed the rest of the church.

Are you starting to see why I like Rülzheim so much?

There’s a Heritage Museum here, in case you’d like to learn more about the town from its Neolithic beginnings, to its location on the Roman Road, right up to days of its famous saintly resident, the Teutonic Knight days, and the more modern times.

Some of its history isn’t all that bright & cheery. Rülzheim once had one of the largest Jewish communities in the region; and its 19th century synagogue was destroyed on Kristallnacht in November 1938.

You can still see the former synagogue (which is now a cultural event center), as well as the 49-acre Jewish cemetery (you need to call ahead for a visit), and a Jewish slaughterhouse.

History isn’t all there is in Rülzheim. The Moby Dick Water Park is around for a splashing good time, and there are a number of Nordic Walking routes.

Hmm, I’m pretty sure the Teutonic Knights didn’t have those when Rülzheim was theirs — but it does now that its mine. Muuaa-ha-ha-ha-ha (sorry, I’m still working on my evil laugh ;-).

 

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