I hope you don’t make the same mistake I did when you get to the Hessian town of Waldeck. Before you go asking me how I could possibly confuse an entire town, I’ll explain…
One of the town’s attractions is the Church of the Marienthal Monastery, once belonging to the Cistercian Order. But, did you know there was another St. Marienthal Monastery that also belonged to the Cistercian Order?
In order not to confuse the two again, you have to know that this St. Marienthal is known as the Church of Marienthal Monastery Netze. As magnificent as Saxony’s St. Marienthal is, St. Marienthal Netze is a wonderful example of Romanesque architecture that was built in the Middle Ages (its altar is a 14th century masterpiece), and is the final resting place of a number of Waldeck Counts.
There once was a tunnel that led directly to Schloss Waldeck, which is our next place to visit. At least I can’t confuse this with any place else.
Schloss Waldeck is the quintessential medieval castle (no romantic Renaissance or Baroque architecture here) built in the 12th century, that was once used as a women’s prison. Today it’s a museum and a restaurant — and right by the gates is a reconstructed pillory, so you better behave yourself. ;-)
Throughout the Middle Ages building around Waldeck was done on a grand scale. The St. Nikolaus Church came along in 1290, and the Klinger Kirche was built but is now in ruins.
I would also recommend seeing the 19th century Rathaus, and the Church of St. Boniface which is where the Old Synagogue originally stood in the 1860s.
It’ll be hard not to run off straightaway to the Erdsee and the Naturpark Kellerwald Erdsee. Lake Erdsee is located along some fantastic looking real estate, which you can also see from Waldeck Castle, and is a popular swimming, rowing, SCUBA, and fishing area.
Hiking around the Erdsee is also popular with the Urwaldsteig (68km) and the Kellerwaldsteig (156km) running along its edges. The lake’s also the location for the annual Edersee Triathalon in July.
I’ll take the annual Oktoberfest that takes place every year in early October. Which, by the way, might explain how I got a bit confused in the first place. ;-)