Here it is, folks, time to play “Six Degrees of Separation” again here at MyGermanCity.com. Heck, I don’t even think we’ll get as far as six — but here we go…
Can you make the connection between the small town of Kallstadt (which lies within the Collective Municipality of Freinsheim), a President of the United States, and one of the largest producers of condiments just about anywhere in the world?
I’ll give you a minute…
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Kallstadt is the hometown of Friedrich (a.k.a. Frederick) and Elizabeth Trump — the grandparents of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. His grandparents emigrated from Kallstadt (back then the town belonged to the Kingdom of Bavaria) to the United States in the early 20th century.
Let’s get to Part Two. Kallstadt is also the hometown of Johann Heinrich Heinz, the father of Henry John Heinz — the founder of the H.J. Heinz Company. You might have recognized the name from their ketchup and mustard labels.
And while Johann Heinrich Heinz might have emigrated to the United States in the middle of the 19th century — it turns out Henry Heinz and Frederick Trump were cousins. What can I tell you, it’s a small world and Kallstadt is a small town of just over 1,200 people these days.
As for Kallstadt of the present century, it’s an utterly amazing town known for its wine. Wine growing and viticulture really take center stage here — and it’s no wonder since they’ve been making the stuff in these parts since around the first century A.D. Yeah, that’s a mighty long time.
To celebrate the fermented grape, Kallstadt has more than a handful of cultural events throughout the year. One of the biggest is the Erlebnistag Deutsche Weinstraße, or Adventure Day on the German Wine Route. For one day in August, some 80 (yes, eighty) kilometers of road is closed to car traffic — and you’ll find people just strolling from wine stand to food stand and back again.
Another popular event is the Fest der 100 Weine, or Festival of 100 Wines. Held near the Church Tower, this festival is 4 days of wine (of course), music, and all-around good cheer.
Four days sounds like a long time, but it’s nothing compared to the 50-day Wine Festival — known as the Kallstadter Herbst held from September into November. Almost two months of drinking wine? Oh yeah, Baby, I am so lovin’ this.
Wine festivals aren’t the only thing wine related (seriously, it lies along the German Wine Route for a reason, a good one). Guided vineyard tours are available for anyone who’s interested, and quite a number of Wine Houses to see (I mean drink at), too.
There’s more to Kallstadt than just wine, though. As I mentioned before, wine making dates back to the Romans — so you know it’s a historical place to visit. Remnants of a Roman Villa were found here, and its Church of St. Salvator dates back to sometime in the 15th century.
Kallstadt even once had a thriving Jewish Community, and its synagogue was built in the 1830s. These days the Jewish house of worship is long-gone, so you can’t visit it — yet it’s most definitely worth mentioning.
Another thing worth mentioning is the Bismarckturm (Bismarck Tower), located within the Palatinate Forest. Its viewing platform from its location on the Peterskopf offers outstanding views of the Rhine-Neckar Metro Region.
Hiking and bicycling are two other ways to enjoy the idyllic countryside, and you most certainly will be happy no matter in which direction you travel.
It’s been said the nice people who live in Kallstadt are a bit stressed of all the Trump hype. Nonetheless has Director Simone Wendel produced a humorous movie in 2014 called Kings of Kallstadt. According to Oscar winner, Kathleen Glynn, it’s a film with “a great sense of humor.” :-)
That all being said (written), rest assured if you come for its wonderful atmosphere, its serene countryside, and its fabulous fun festivals you’ll be welcomed with a heartfelt smile, open arms, and a glass of wine. ;-)