If you look for Dautphetal on a map it would seem like a lesson in geography. It’s located west of Marburg, between the rusty Rothaargebirge and the refreshing Westerwald.
There’s an extensive train network to bring you to this delicate and pretty area. Most trains allow bicycles, so grab one from where ever you’re coming from and ride to your heart’s content. Dautphetal sits along a huge network of walking and biking trails, so it’s only a guess where you might wind up.
Dautphetal isn’t an all outdoors experience kind of place, it does have some historical and cultural things to do. One of the more interesting places is the Mini Museum with a look into daily 12th century living. Don’t romanticize too much, though, they had it rough in the Middle Ages. ;-)
At the Local History Museum you’ll jump ahead eight centuries with a look at early to mid 20th century living. That’s right, you’ll find yourself right in a German kitchen from 1920.
In the village of Buchenau (more specifically in the Old Town of Buchenau) is where you’ll find something from between those two eras. There are plenty of half timbered buildings, giving it a real Old World feel. The Alte Kirche is another great source of the area’s history with an archive, photos, and special exhibitions held throughout the year.
Nothing like that over at the Wehrkirche, a military church in Buchenau that can stand on its own historic laurels.
Buchenau is also where the Grenzgangfest is held once every seven years. The one in 2006 brought thousands of partygoers from all over the area for revelry, food, and an all around good time. Dautphetal’s Christmas Market is another big hit with both resident and visitor alike.
It’s probably a good reason that so many trains and trails run through the area; it’s a great living history and geography lesson.