There had to have been some good reason that some early 16th century prince decided to plop his castle right here in what is now Birstein. I’m thinking it might be because of its location along the edge of the Vogelsberg Mountains.
Perhaps the Princes of Isenburg-Birstein liked mountain peaks? I think they still do considering the same family line has been living in Schloss Birstein from its construction in 1517.
My attraction to Birstein isn’t limited to its castle. This place has so many festivals, markets, and other going-ons that my inner party animal can be totally satiated.
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Yours will be too if you’re willing to let it out during Birstein’s Blossom Festival and Backfischfest in May; the Fest am Backhaus, Pfarrfest, Bratfest, and Kerb in July.
August is really, really busy with a Biergartenfest, two Summer Festivals (with sixteen villages there’s bound to be duplicates; and who in their right mind would complain), the Birsteiner Fest, a Village Festival, and the Birsteiner Markt. These last three events are multi-day events, so you’ll need to stick around for more than just a day.
September is when Birstein has its Apfelweinfest (yeah, apple wine!), offering guided hikes around the area. Then in October there’s a 2-day Oktoberfest, followed by yet another Oktoberfest, another Kirmes (Church Festival), and a Village Fete.
November is a time of rest, giving you enough time to catch your breath for December’s Christmas Market and Disco Christmas Market.
Let’s just consider for a moment that partying and festivals aren’t for you. I’m not gonna judge, I’ll just tell you that Birstein has something for you too. Nature lovers can head to the Naturlehrpfad Graf Dietrich Weiher, which translates to Count Dietrich Educational Nature Trail, that’s great for catching glimpses of migratory birds, as well as ducks, frogs, and butterflies.
Want a bit of exercise while looking at Mother Nature? Rent a bike — it’s always a good idea. If there’s two of you, you’ll have to learn to work together if you’ve rented a tandem, one of those 2-seater bikes.
Whether single, double, or a group, you’ll love walking the hiking trails through Birstein, with names like Weg des Wassers (Way of the Water).
The Birstein of today might be a tad (OK, a lot) different from when the Princes of Isenburg-Birstein first lorded over the place — but I sure do think they’d love it.