Homburg is located in Germany’s Saarland, just across the border with France, at the foothills of the Palatinate Forest. It has over 40,000 residents and is the third biggest city in Saarland.
But the city’s chief attraction doesn’t soar above it like a mountain peak. You will find yourself heading in the opposite direction; i.e., underground to experience this unusual highlight. This is the Schloßberg, which consists of eight man-made caves.
Scholars believe that these underground passages were originally created as escape routes for the castle residents. However, the substance found in the caverns was soon prized by many citizens for its use in mortar and cleaning stone or wooden surfaces. It could also be used as a raw material for glass production and in the iron industry. The scratches of their tools can still be seen on the walls.
These caves — or technically, quarries since they are man-made — are red sandstones that show signs of a huge movement of water millions of years ago. They were first excavated from the 11th through the 17th century but then forgotten about. It wasn’t until the 1930s that they were rediscovered.
The quarries of Schloßberg were built below an impressive fortress castle, the Homburg. Today it is not in the best state, but it is still possible to explore the ruins and let your imagination take care of the rest.
More imagining of the old times can be seen at the Roman Museum. This open-air museum gives you a glimpse of what life must have been like two thousand years in the past. Some highlights here include the reconstructed temple to Mercury and a display of traditional Roman handicrafts and jewelry.
Finally, Homburg is perhaps best known as the home of the Karlsberg Brewery. Be sure to sample some of its famed brews like the bitter Ur-Pils, the tequila-flavored Desperados, the coke-and-beer hybrid Mixery and the Kasteel Cru lager.