Uhh, hold on a sec, Oberthal wasn’t always a German town; it did belong to France at one time.
But, with four villages with names like Gronig and Güdesweiler (not to mention neighboring Sankt Wendel, Nonnweiler, and Marpingen), it doesn’t sound very French, does it? No, I didn’t think so either.
Though, whatever lies within the Saarland has a French touch for me anyway.
Long before there was a Germany or France, the sandstone Wildfrauhöhle caves were created some 275 million years ago. It isn’t too far from what’s called the Devil’s Pulpit, so hike around the countryside — you never know what you might find.
Go ahead, don’t be shy, Oberthal’s got a number of hiking trails, ranging from moderate to kind of difficult. So find one that’s right for you, and gooooo.
Don’t wander too far, you’ve got to see Oberthal’s Valentines Chapel, built in 1761. And the Millpetersch Haus is an old farmhouse from the very late 18th century, that’s now a museum on weaving and basket making. It does have an interesting coin collection, though.
For those of you out there looking for a quiet place, then you should be heading out to the Oberthaler Bruch, a wetland of ponds and rich plant life spread out over 50 acres.
This all sounds great, but the Römischer Vicus Wareswald did it for me. Rö… what? Yeah, it’s an excavation season that runs from April to October, while guided tours are offered on the first Sunday of the month. Well, between June and September that is. If you can’t tell from its name, it’s a Roman excavation area.
The Romans loved their pottery, so it’s only right that Oberthal hosts an annual Ceramics Market. On the first weekend of May all sorts of potters and artists come to hock their wares. Maybe you’ll find the perfect piece for a friend, or just something that’ll look great in your living room.
You can’t, however, take any of the 22 sculptures found along the Straß der Skulpturen, or Street of Sculpture. And neither can France for that matter, since it’s all German now. ;-)