On this side of the “Pond” bigger is usually better. Bigger cars, bigger cities, well just bigger everything. Sometimes, however, smaller is better; as in the Hessian town of Erlensee. Located about 25 km east of the BIG city of Frankfurt, Erlensee isn’t out in the middle of “nowhere” and more than easy enough to get to by car or public transport.
The Romans found this place easy enough; they even built a couple of castellets while they were here. In its village of Rückingen they’ve managed to reconstruct the original 2nd century foundations. A smaller castellet is found in the village of Langendiebach.
Langendiebach is where you’ll find some buildings from the Middle Ages, too. Come stroll the village’s streets along the old Stadtmauer (defense wall), past the military towers, and along some timber-framed houses.
Don’t count out Rückingen, ’cause that’s where you’ll find the castle. Right, this is Germany and this was once a medieval city, so it has to have a castle. Today it’s only a partial castle (can’t have everything!) the original part is just about a thousand years old, but what you see comes from 13th century and later.
One of the more unique places to visit in Erlensee is (and was) the old Luftwaffe Air Base. After 1945 the Americans came and used the base, but it now sits abandoned.
More can be learned and seen at the local history museum.
Erlensee’s awesome indoor pool & sauna isn’t deserted. Besides having a dip in the mineral water pool, a massage or stint in the sauna is a great idea.
Every few years Erlensee throws itself a huge (size does matter in this regard) City Celebration. It’s only held every two or three years, so being here for it is a special treat. Otherwise, you’ll find some smaller markets and fairs held on the Festplatz throughout the year, but great nonetheless.
All in all, Erlensee isn’t some huge city, but it’s a great town created from two small villages; each with its own history.
See, good things do come in small packages. ;-)