What on Earth is that? Is that… Oh yes, it is — a hazardous waste landfill before my very eyes.
Lucky for me, I’m distracted by shiny things, and there are plenty of things here in the town of Billigheim to catch my attention — and yours.
Seriously, waste landfill aside, Billigheim really is a charming town in the Odenwald, located not too far from Mosbach. It has a long history, dating back to before the Romans. They, however, are the ones who left behind quite a number of artifacts that are now housed in the Römermuseum.
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Quite a few centuries later, the Monastery Billigheim as built (around 1000 A.D.); and it remained a holy place until 1803. It was then given over to the Counts of Leiningen who thought the medieval monastery would make a good castle.
They were kinda right, I must say. ;-)
Let’s face it, life in the Middle Ages wasn’t easy. But, you can see what it was sort of like over at the Odenwälder Freilandmuseum. Throughout its sixteen buildings you’ll learn what life was like for folks back in the 1300s, all with modern day conveniences, of course.
The Pfarrkirche St. Michael also comes from Billigheim’s medieval building boom. It was once a monastery church, until it was dissolved in 1584. And the St. Anne Chapel is the only building in the village of Allfeld (one of Billigheim’s districts) to survive the Thirty Years’ War.
Thankfully, no one has to dodge marauding soldiers today, so you’re free to enjoy your pilgrimage along the Way of St. James scenic route (just follow the blue sign with the yellow shell), or to bike along the Schefflenztal Radweg.
A really nice way to see Billigheim is to take the Historical Walk, which follows some fourteen boards that detail specific events, and both village and rural life here in this part of Baden.
Another interesting part is its Katzental district, which, interestingly enough, translates to Cats Valley. ;-) Not that you would find lots of cats here (well, perhaps you will), but its catholic church (built 1751) has a very beautiful altar.
Billigheim is really a friendly town, a place where new residents are welcomed with open arms and a welcome reception. And even if you’re just passing through, the folks over at the Tourist Office are mighty friendly.
A great way to see the community in action is to come for one of its festivals. The Waldfest (Forest Festival) is held in May, as is its Pentecost events. July is a popular month for festivals, hosting both its Fisherman’s Festival and Schlossparkfest. Carnival’s a big deal around these parts, a nice way of enjoying those dark winter days.
Wasn’t I right? I told you there was plenty here to keep you busy. :-)