Ever heard of the Hessian town Hadamar? No? You don’t know what you’re missing.
The eight local villages that make up Hadamar are conveniently located in the fresh Westerwald and just a stone’s throw north of the high-speed ICE train city of Limburg an der Lahn.
You’ll feel as if you went back in time when you enter the city via the medieval Limburg Gate or when you’re standing in front of the charming town hall that’s been here since 1639 (it replaced an even older one after a fire ravaged the town).
If you’re touring along the touristy German Framework Road a.k.a. Deutsche Fachwerkstraße, you’ll find yourself going right through it. What’s the German Framework Road? It’s a route following along through many small German towns that offer the best look at those historical timber framed buildings. You know the ones — they look like they’re straight from the pages of a fairytale.
And no fairytale town goes without its own fairytale castle. Sadly, not too much of Schloss Hadamar remains, but its stable now houses the town’s local history museum.
A personal favorite is the Gothic Liebfrauenkirche. It was built over 700 years ago and its bells were cast some time during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), making them some of the oldest bells still used in the entire country.
If you like the Baroque, then a visit to the ornate church of St. Johannes Nepomuk will do justice.
However, it’s the St. Gile’s Church and the Herzenbergkapelle that have the most interestingly morbid history. While more than fifteen members of the House of Nassau are interred at St. Giles, the hearts of the Hadamar princes rest at the chapel.
Tip: There’s a beautiful rose garden planted over by the Herzenbergkapelle with over 160 varieties of the beautiful pungent flower!
Hadamar is also home to an old Jewish synagogue, sadly destroyed in the 1930’s. It’s now a museum with exhibitions on Jewish life.
Hadamar is captivating, charming, historical (ok, I know… you get the point) town that’s just perfect for the history lover. It’s also got some lovely walking and cycling paths through the Hessian countryside to keep the whole family busy.
I guess it doesn’t get any better than that.