Schiffweiler in Saarland is a quiet residential town, not too far from Saarbrücken and once a booming mining town. Mining had fueled the local economy for almost 500 years, from around mid 15th century up until the early 20th century.
The local residents of Schiffweiler during the Middle Ages had to rebuild the entire town when it was completely leveled from the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648).
Schiffweiler is quite family friendly and everyone of all ages will enjoy the Prähistorium — a museum dedicated to the 4 1/2 billion year history of Earth and how climate and meteorite conditions affected life here. The exhibits on dinosaurs are wonderful with great animatronic audio and visual effects. For a real live look at the beauty of Earth’s history, head over to the “Landmark of Stennweiler,” a 1000 year old lime tree.
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For more outdoor activities, the Friends of the Holy Forest a.k.a. Theaterfreunde Heiligenwald have theatrical performances in the outdoor community center.
There’s also the Nordic Walking track with four different degrees of difficulty among many other recreational areas in the forest. After all that, there’s always a chance for a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool or a fun trip down the waterslide in the summer months of May to September.
One prominent resident of Schiffweiler was the famous German artist, Walter Amber. Mr. Amber, after serving as a soldier on the Eastern Front and a stint in the Bretzenheim Prison Camp, painted many pieces of art that reflected the somewhat darker side of daily life in a mining town. A few of his paintings now hang in the Saarland Museum in Saarbrücken but many have been lost to time.
Another remarkable resident was Johannes Hoffman, the editor-in-chief of the Saarland National Newspaper, who was driven from his home because of his anti-Nazi beliefs. After almost a 5 year exile, he was allowed to return to his home in Schiffweiler and went on to become the first Saarland Prime Minister in 1947.
While Schiffweiler isn’t a town filled with medieval buildings or Roman ruins, it is a town with a big heart and a great love of the outdoors. A town that the entire family (including you!) can enjoy! :-)