How many times have you walked into a church (or someplace else for that matter) richly decorated with marble? Do you ever give any thought as to where it might come from?
Yeah, sure, Italy’s famous for its marble; but Germany’s got some gorgeous marble of its own. And you’ll find it in the Hessian town of Villmar.
Villmar’s Lahn-Marmor-Museum is a great place to start, as it highlights the history of the town’s marble quarry. You’ll find it right on the Brunnenplatz, making it convenient as well as informative.
Now that you’ve learned about marble, you can now see where the marble comes from. Follow the Lahn-Marmor-Weg and you’ll see exactly where it all comes from. Pretty cool, I must say.
If someone’s going to quarry all that marble, they got to put it somewhere, right? The Church of Saints Peter & Paul is a good start. You might be looking at an 18th century Baroque church today, but had you been here before this one was built in 1746 you’d have seen the Romanesque original (built 1282).
This really is the town that marble built, and you’ll see they went to great lengths to protect it. Villmar’s fortification wall dates to the 13th and 14th century, but too bad not much of it remains today. As you follow it keep a look out for the Matthias-Pforte and Valerius-Pforte. They’re not gates in the traditional boxey sense, they’re delicate and quite unique.
Look around for the King Konrad Memorial — he was a 10th century king, whom the townsfolk honored almost a millennia later. I guess I should have said initially that Villmar was the town that marble and King Konrad built, huh?
Being outside here in Villmar seems to be the central theme (how could it not, you’re in the Taunus mountains), so how about continuing out on the many marked hiking and bike trails. The Lahnradweg is short, only 5.5km, but there are longer ones if you’re feeling more adventurous.
With any luck maybe you’ll find a fossil or two — the oldest one ever found here is 380 million years old. So, good luck hunting for something older. ;-)