It’s common knowledge that Germany is known for many things: cars, beer, wine, cuckoo clocks, Black Forest Cake… you get the idea. But, the town of Kirn is known for whiskey.
Yeah, would you believe it? So, if you’re a manly man and appreciate a good swig then you’ve got yourself to the right place.
You don’t have to be a guy to appreciate the stuff, though, even the ladies like to come to the Whiskey Museum to see how the stuff is made.
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Throughout the year whiskey tasting events are held with bagpipes playing in the background. Yeah, for a few minutes you’d think you were in Scotland.
Alas, no, this is all Germany especially after realizing you’re at the start of the Hunsrück Schiefer- und Burgenstraße, a German scenic route showcasing slate and castles through the Hunsrück region (guided tours are available).
One of the castles on this route is also Kirn’s landmark, the Kyrburg. Built in 1128, this ruined castle is the setting for operas, concerts, and festivals.
And another castle ruin is in Kallenfels.
I’m pretty sure you didn’t come all this way just to see some castles, did you? How about the Fürstliche Kellerei, a royal wine building from 1771 that’s now a restaurant. Sit, eat, and have a glass of Riesling while you’re here.
Feel better? I know I do. It’s time to move on to see the Rathaus (built 1752) that was once a convent chapel, and the 19th century St. Pankratius Church whose tabernacle is a masterpiece of the Middle Ages (1482).
Kirn’s Evangelical Church was rebuilt in 1875, but its medieval tower (11th/12th century) still stands. For 200 years the church held both Catholic and Protestant services (1681-1892), and a nobleman (nobleperson?) is buried here.
As you see more of Kirn, you’ll pass many of the town’s half-timbered houses, giving the place a true fairytale feel. If you’re shopping at the Andreamarkt that’s been taking place for 300 years on the last weekend of November, make sure you stop to look around. I’d hate for you to miss something.
Kirn is proud of its history, but it’s not stuck there. Nordic Walking paths, art exhibitions, miniature golf, Puppet Theater, and the annual Summer Party await you. So does Oktoberfest, although that implies more a beer drinking tradition. However, in the case of Kirn, some whiskey will certainly do. ;-)