It’s sad to consider the only experience with the town of Landstuhl that some folks have is with its Regional Medical Center (the largest United States medical center outside the country), where critically injured U.S. soldiers from the Middle East are taken after arriving from the nearby Ramstein Air Force Base.
But, long before the advent of the United States army the area of Landstuhl was occupied by another military, the infamous Romans. How do I know? The two Roman columns tell the tale! And over at the Heidenfels the site had been considered “holy” from their time all the way back to the Celts. ;-)
Actually, the entire village of Landstuhl is even older than that as it started as a small settlement back around 500 B.C.!
Now I know that the Nanstein Castle, compared to the Romans and the Celts, isn’t very old. But, something that’s over 800 years old deserves a bit of awe. Well, it’s not quite that old because the Burg was destroyed by the French in 1689.
The Castle Games that take place here are a bit of whimsical fun with outdoor stage performances by a local theater group.
Another medieval site in Landstuhl is the Alte Kapelle, or Old Chapel, whose choir section was part of the church of St. Andrew. Another great place to see is the Sickinger Schloss, a small castle within the Palatinate Forest.
And since Landstuhl is within this beautiful Forest, the hiking trails and bicycle paths are just fantastic. Keep a lookout for a huge Sequoia that was planted back in 1868, standing 41 meters above the forest floor and is over 2 meters thick in diameter. That’s a mighty big tree!
Come to think of it, that Sequoia is more than twice the height of the Bismarck Tower that’s only 19 meters high. And, the tower isn’t even as old, built only in 1900.
I only hope those brave soldiers who are recuperating at the Medical Center are able to enjoy all the rest of Landstuhl, just as you will.