Ranstadt — More Than Frankfurt’s Bedroom Community

Some people might consider the Hessian town of Ranstadt in the Wetterau region a bedroom community of Frankfurt am Main, but I’d say it has a bit more to offer than just a place to come home to after a long day’s work.

Trust me, I know these things.

Also located at the Vogelsberg Mountains, Ranstadt’s five districts are either historical, great for outdoor recreational fun, or both. That’s not a bad combo, is it?

Let’s see… As for historical, the Keltenwelt am Glauberg isn’t that far away. The museum is an educational way to learn more about the Celts from the 5th century B.C., filled with artifacts from a few Celtic graves.

And if you think a few thousand years is old — wait. The Vulkan Radweg comes on by, a 94km scenic route that highlights the volcanoes that were quite active thousands upon thousands upon thousands of years ago.

If volcanoes freak you out, remember that they’ve been dormant or extinct for so long. So, relax… Better yet, distract yourself on the Niddaroute Radweg R4, a great route through the Vogelsberg and Niddatal.

Another thing to distract you from thinking about volacanoes here in Ranstadt are all the fun festivities. There’s a Kirmes (in Bobenhausen) every August, followed by the Pfarrfest (Parish Festival) at the end of the month. The village of Ober-Mockstadt has its own Kirmes in September, and everyone seems to have a grand time at the Oktoberfest — that’s actually held at the end of September.

One of Ranstadt’s totally cool villages is Dauernheim, whose Old Town dates back to the 13th century. Actually it started out as a Neolithic age settlement, but these days it’s full of half-timbered houses, an old church, and great wildlife.

Now that I think about it, Ober-Mockstadt also has some great half-timbered houses, a medieval church from the 13th century, and an old Jewish cemetery. Oh, and it’s got a toboggan run that’s perfect for just having some good, clean fun.

There’s even a museum of sorts, the (take a deep breath to pronounce this) M├╝hlenmodellausstellung, located at Weidgasse 12. Here you can learn the inner workings of an old mill — so long as it’s on the first Sunday of the month from April to November between 1pm-5pm. Of course if you call ahead, they can arrange to open the museum up for you.

I told you to trust me that Ranstadt was more than just Frankfurt’s sleepy bedroom community, didn’t I? So, maybe you should forget the big city, and come right on over.

 

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