I was stunned when I found out there were 56 villages to the town of Neustadt (Wied) in the Rhineland-Palatinate; located within the Westerwald along the Wied River (which is a tributary of the Rhine).
Fifty-six? How the hell was I supposed to do all this? Well, as you know, Germans like to plan. Then plan some more. Heck, if planning was an Olympic sport, we’d win the gold every time. ;-)
So, I put on my thinking cap, and figured out what there was to see…
I started off like any normal person, visiting the Heimatmuseum (Local History Museum). They’ve got exhibits within their half-timbered building showing what it was like in a kitchen and simple bedroom from long-ago.
Want to see what was from a real long time ago? Go see the Burgruine Ehrenstein, a castle from the 1300s; and the Kloster — a monastery where the stained glass has survived since the 15th century.
As if a monastery isn’t quiet enough, the Westerwald Nature Park is even quieter. Ever hear the sound of silence? Oh, in this case it’d be the sound of nature.
Maybe this is why there are so many churches in Germany, they’re quiet too.
Hey, it’s just a theory, but take a visit over to the Herz-Jesu-Kapelle (built 1938) in Rahms; the St. Margarita Church (19th century); the Antoniuskapelle (1680) in Etscheid; or the Rochus-Kapelle (1761) in Ehrenstein, then tell me if I’m on to something here.
You know what else there are a lot of in Germany? No, not Germans. Well, that too, but you’ll find a lot of those timber-framed houses that were so popular back through the 15th to 18th centuries. Just about each one of Neustadt’s villages has some, like the Quereinhaus in Brüchen, and along Hauptstraße in Neustadt Proper.
The last stop in Neustadt is Burg Altenwied. Too bad that all you can do is look at the outside since it’s privately owned. Shoot, if I owned a castle from around 1100 A.D. I’d let everyone in to see. ;-)
Before you tell me, I already know that Burg Altenwied doesn’t look all that medieval — it did have to be rebuilt after the Spanish trashed it back during the Thirty Years’ War.
Hmm, I guess I wasn’t the only one they wouldn’t let in. ;-)