Here I was, sitting on a bench on the Way of St. James that runs through the gorgeous village of Rumbach, just a stone’s throw from the French border in the southwestern Palatinate. While I’m meant to be relaxing, I spent the time formulating my thoughts on how to tell you all about wonderful place I call home since Jan 1st, 2019.
One of the best things about Rumbach is the stunning countryside along the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Palatinate Forest and Vosges du Nord (wow, that’s a mouthful). You’ll find a maze of bicycle trails (26-41 kilometers) and hiking trails (like the Felsenland Sagenweg (Rockland Myth Trail) that bring you past dramatic natural rock formations and castle ruins like the 11th century Burg Drachenfels (the one in the Wasgau).
And as I’ve said before, if a place is old enough for a medieval castle—it’s bound to have its own medieval church. So, guess what? Rumbach has one. Once known as the Church of St. Gangolf, the old fortified Christ Church (as it’s known today) has a 14th century Romanesque origin–although it’s seen an “upgrade” a few hundred years ago.
While not nearly as old, the village is lined with many half-timbered houses from the 18th and 19th centuries on the Ortsstraße and Hauptstraße.
Rumbach might be steeped in the past with its centuries old architecture, it’s quite a modern place–going on to be a Silver Medal Winner of the national Unser Dorf hat Zukunft, or Our Village has a Future, competition.
I gotta tell you, the spa in nearby Dahn is an exceptional modern addition. After a long day of sightseeing (or traveling on the religious pilgrimage Way of St. James a.k.a. Jakobsweg), it’s wonderful to sit around in the steam baths and saunas.
And just when you think you’ve managed to do it all, you realize Rumbach is part of the larger Verbandsgemeinde Dahner Felsenland–so you’re adding more than two dozen other villages in the area to explore, or party at one of its local festivals.
Rumbach itself is well known for its Salztripplerfest, held every year on the third weekend of August. It’s also host to its own Oktoberfest and Kerwe.
But, just so you know, also on the third weekend of August is the City Festival and Krämermarkt in nearby Dahn; and on the second weekend of September is Hiking Week in the village of Bruchweiler-Bärenbach. Ohh, plus there’s the Johannismarkt on the last weekend of June in Bundenthal.
However, I’ll just keep myself right here in my new home of Rumbach–still sitting on a St. Jacob bench watching local friends, hikers and pilgrims pass by. :-)