Hemsbach lies on the Bergstrasse that runs from the northern edge of the Odenwald through the northern wine growing region of Baden-Württemberg. This little town of only about 12,000 residents (and only about half an hour northeast of Mannheim) has plenty to keep its visitors quite busy.
By following along the Hemsbacher City Course (that outlines all of its sites) you’ll get to see it all. Just a tip though, forget about the car keys, Hemsbach is meant to be explored by foot.
Start your sightseeing at the new City Hall. It’s historic in its own right; once an 18th century manor house belonging to the Baron von Rothschild. Next is the Old City Hall. That one was originally built in 1618 with improvements made in 1698 and 1852 due to fire.
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From there you’re able to see the beautiful Baroque church of St. Laurentius and the town’s Protestant Church. The latter is a much younger addition to the town, built only in 1936.
One of the more solemn sites is Hemsbach’s restored 17th century synagogue. Amazingly, it still stands having been spared the burning of the pogroms in 1938 thanks to the town’s residents. Rarer still is that the synagogue even has its own “mikvah,” a Jewish ritual bath. The building now serves as an interdenominational meeting and cultural center. Also, the town’s 17th century Jewish cemetery is still here.
Just when you think that Hemsbach is just some old city with only old buildings to see, you find out otherwise. After walking around all day the best place to cool off is at the Hemsbacher See, a lake great for frolicking and swimming (and folks from all over flock here).
If you visit at the end of April, you’ll be here for the Wine & Bloom celebration. Vino, flowers, food, music — life just doesn’t get any better than that. Expect a good bit of the same on the 1st Sunday in August for the Hemsbacher Kerwe festival.
From the looks of Hemsbach you can’t go wrong on having a grand time.