How many vampire movies have you seen where the undead was like a thousand years old? A lot, right?
As interesting as it would be to live (or, would that be eternally undead) for that many years — it got me to thinking about places that are that old. Welcome to Dietzhölztal, a town in Hesse that’s been around since the year 800 A.D.
Excuse me, for the sake of German precision, the village of Mandeln in Dietzhölztal has been around for the last twelve centuries. And to be even more precise, I’d say the village of Rittershausen is actually older, proven by the Ringwall Rittershausen. It goes back to Celtic times, dating from around the 5th century B.C.
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Hmm, sounds much older than the Middle Ages to me. I don’t care that the historians say Rittershausen didn’t come along until the 10th century or so. ;-)
The funny thing about the Middle Ages is it has given us some of the most amazing architecture, albeit mostly churches and castles.
Ok, so maybe there aren’t really any castles nearby — but there are plenty of churches. A Romanesque one awaits in the village of Ewersbach, as well as chapel (now Protestant) built sometime in the 1200s.
Despite not being truly medieval, famous framework houses give Dietzhölztal a true Old World feel. Ewersbach has some great half-timbered houses fromm the 18th century. These architectural gems aren’t limited to just Ewersbach either, you’re able find them in Rittershausen, Steinbrücken, and Mandeln.
Mandeln is big on tradition, by the way. For more than 400 years this village has been holding its famous markets (the Autumn Market is held on the last Monday of October). Come, shop, eat, and be part of centuries old history. The MayPole festivities are also a big deal around here, and come June when you can see how charcoal was made the old-fashioned way.
I’m pretty sure they’ve got it spot on for the way it was done back in medieval times, but if I find a thousand year old vampire from Dietzhölztal — I’ll be sure to ask them. ;-)