It is towns like Hermeskeil in the Rhineland-Palatinate that epitomize everything a German town should be. It’s got interesting museums, a dark history to tell, a castle (of course!), nature areas, and festivals that can make the grumpiest person you know crack a smile.
The biggest question regarding Hermeskeil is where do you begin? We could start at the beginning of “history,” going back to the days of the Celts. On the first Saturday of the month (between May & October), come see the old Celtic fortification. They’re not the only people in history to tromp on through — the Romans were here, as were the Gauls.
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Centuries after these guys were gone, along came the medieval builders of Burg Grimburg. The 12th century castle offers guided tours on what life was really like during the Middle Ages; and the Ritter auf der Grimburg (Knights on the Grimburg) every August brings the period’s history to life in a totally fun way.
For the real people of the Middle Ages, maybe they didn’t think it was all fun & games, and many of them were scared for their lives. The Burg- und Hexenmuseum is where you can learn all about the witch hunts, and the ingenious ways of torturing these poor souls.
Life in Hermeskeil couldn’t have been all bad, it sits just 25 km southeast of Trier, and lies within both the Hunsrück and the Saar-Hunsrück Nature Park. Yeah, that’s some mighty pretty real estate, no wonder no one wanted to leave. You’re gonna have to take me out of here kicking and screaming. ;-)
I’ll compose myself long enough to tell you about the Flugausstellung Hermeskeil, that’s an aviation museum; and the Hochwald Museum, detailing daily life in the region. And there’s also the Rheinland-Pfälzisches Feuerwehrmuseum (Rhineland-Palatinate Fire Brigade Museum), showing how fire fighting has changed over the centuries. Hey, someone’s gotta protect the half-timbered houses, right?
Stick around for a while, you’ll want to travel along the Hunsrück Radweg (a Cycle Path), or the Ruwer-Hochwald-Radweg for a while.
Prefer to use your own foot power? Then I’d suggest heading over toward the Catholic Church, there’s a pedestrian zone with shops over there.
You’ll be in luck if it isn’t crowded, as Hermeskeil is quite popular when a festival’s going on. Oh, they’ve got aplenty, too. I counted no less than five Kirmes events (1 in April, 2 in May, 1 in June, another in July); a Summer Festival; the July Bergfest; a June Castle Festival; the Potato Days in October; a Flower Market; a Christmas Market in December…
Chances are I’ve missed something, there’s a lot to take in here.
Oh well, it’ll give me an excuse to come back for another go-around. ;-)