If you think you’re going to come to Erbach, a charming town in the foxy Odenwald region, and find only some old timber framed buildings and a castle you’d be only half right.
Erbach (Odenwald) does have both, as its City Hall dates from 1545 and its Protestant Church built in 1750, but it also has so much more all which will pleasantly surprise you. A quick stop to the Tourist Center on the Marktplatz will be your best bet on learning even more about it.
In 2005 Erbach paid a staggering 13 million Euro to purchase Castle Erbach. Now, you no longer have to be a Count or Countess to see this beautiful 12th century original and enjoy its gardens.
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Right outside the castle is a memorial dedicated to one former resident, Count Franz I who is credited with bringing the ivory trade to town — forever making Erbach known as “Ivory Town.” (Please be advised that most of us are aware that the world today is trying to stop the trade of ivory due to poaching, but Franz’s day was back in the 1780’s — so let’s cut Erbach some slack ;-).
To see some of the most beautiful ivory artwork that the town is famous for is the Deutsches Elfenbein Museum; yup, the German Ivory Museum. Opened in 1966, you’ll find some intricately carved ivory from as far away as Asia and Africa, but also as far back as the Middle Ages. There’s even a chance for you to see carvers in action plying their artistic trade.
Erbach’s not all museums and castles, there’s a great spa here too. Alexanderbad is the perfect place to be to swim, play some volleyball, soccer, or relax to a great massage. Massages are extra but, all the rest can be enjoyed for merely a few euros a person making it affordable for the whole family.
After lounging around at the spa all day, get gussied up and head out for a night enjoying some chamber music concerts or theater performance, as Erbach has them, too.