I saw it written somewhere that Heidesheim am Rhein in the Rhineland-Palatinate was a large municipality. Well, if you’re walking every square inch of its 17.5km then it might seem like it.
Oh yeah, it’s one of the biggest in the Rhenish Hesse region.
Heidesheim doesn’t come across as a large town, though; it’s a place of graceful, little lanes with shuttered windows decorating well-kept houses. Heck, even the pizzerias and wine bars are just charmingly Old World in style.
Some folks in the “Old World” lived better than others, and nowhere is that better seen than in or at a castle. Windeck Castle (built 1209) is known as a Lowland Castle, a castle not built on a hill or higher elevation, employing other methods to protect itself. Burg Windeck had a moat at one time, and belonged to the Knights of Herdegen.
Because it’s found on flat ground, you don’t have to trek up the mountainside to take its picture. Outside only, though, as it’s not open to the general public.
You can see the interior of the St. George Chapel, built in the 5th century. It’s actually two pieces of history rolled into one, as it was built over a Villa Rustica. You know what that means, Romans.
They weren’t the first to come calling, Stone Age men & women lived here more than 5,000 years ago. The Heimatmuseum (Local History Museum) is a great place to learn about all those who lived here beforehand, don’t you think?
Afterwards, come see the Town Hall (called a Rathaus) from the 1860s, the Protestant Baroque Church (built 1752), the Baroque Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, the Jewish Cemetery, and the many half-timbered houses scattered around town.
I would not, however, venture out to sightsee while there’s a festival going on. There is a Kirmes on the first Sunday of May, a Harvest Festival on the 1st Sunday in October, and a Christmas Market at the end of November. OK, now you know. ;-)
If you can, check out the Weekly Market every Friday for the best produce and other goodies you can sink your teeth into. You’ll need the food to keep you going while you’re walking here, won’t you?