[ source: Wikipedia ]

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Dirmstein Overview

Dirmstein lies at an elevation of 108 m above sea level on the Upper Rhine Plain in the northeast Palatinate. Twelve kilometres to the east (as the crow flies) flows the Rhine, while 9 km to the west begins the Palatinate Forest and 2 km to the north runs the boundary with the neighbouring region, Rhenish Hesse.

Things to See in Dirmstein

The historic heart of the Upper Village represents in the monument protection authority’s eyes quite a homogeneous monumental zone. It consists of Mitteltor, Affenstein, Laumersheimer Straße, Herrengasse, Kirchenstraße and Metzgergasse. At the Obertor (“Upper Gate”), and with the two park complexes, it reaches somewhat farther out. The village’s appearance in this zone is mostly compact and is defined mainly by Late Baroque building from the decades that followed the great blaze in the Nine Years' War. It gives one the impression of a wealthy village characterized by the nobility’s and the fashionable citizenry’s buildings and that its structure even withstood the upheaval of the French Revolution.

The three castlelike manor houses preserved almost unscathed by time also convey the tradition of this village that was jointly ruled in the Middle Ages by noble families. Right near each other and both singular are the English Gardens in the Upper Village’s northwest and south. Asserting itself as at least the architectural peer of the noble buildings is the simultaneous church from 1746, which with its tower dating from the Middle Ages and built even taller in 1904 on the one hand forms a structural midpoint in the municipality, and on the other hand reflects the religious relations of this village that was ruled for three centuries as an Electoral Palatinate-Worms condominium. Together with the former infirmary chapel across the street to the west, the church forms a homogeneous building group.

Typical for the town and country buildings that convey wealth within the monumental zone are buildings with hipped roofs with timber-frame construction upon walled ground floors, which mainly characterize the inner village. With structural elements such as hewn-stone pilasters, the lordly buildings clearly served as a model for some of the houses; the flawless execution documents the local stonemasons’ craftsmanship. The homesteads with buildings on two or three sides on Affenstein and Hauptstraße and on the eastern section of Metzgergasse, on the other hand, tell of the less wealthy class of the population.

One conspicuous gap in the otherwise cheek-by-jowl buildings came about in the 1960s on the corner of Marktstraße and Metzgergasse on the north side of the Castle Square (Schlossplatz) when the building that once housed the Worms (Worms vacation rentals | Worms travel guide) Episcopal faïence factory was torn down. It had begun life as the Reigerspergischer Hof in 1592, and in 1689 it had withstood the great fire that had burnt the rest of the village down. Until its demolition, it was the village’s oldest building. Since the foreseen replacement, a block of flats, was never built, the plot became a featureless carpark, mostly covered in gravel.

Saint Lawrence’s Church (Laurentiuskirche) was built as a simultaneous church during the Baroque era to building master Balthasar Neumann’s plans, which were modified on site, beginning in 1742; it was consecrated in 1746. The Voit organ in the Catholic part of the church, built in 1900 and renovated in 1986, draws connoisseurs from far and wide. As well, the even older instrument in the Protestant part, which has at its disposal a work by Eberhard Friedrich Walcker, is of good repute among experts. The Ältestes Haus – Dirmstein’s “Oldest House” – stands at the corner of Metzgergasse and Salzgasse. Chiselled into it is the yeardate 1596. In 1689, it was one of only six or seven buildings that were left standing after the French burnt the village down. It is now the only one left of those that escaped that blaze. At the turn of the millennium, it was attractively restored.

The Sturmfedersches Schloss and the Koeth-Wanscheidsches Schloss were the Sturmfeder and Koeth-Wanscheid noble families’ castlelike manor houses, and were recently restored.

Hardly any original trace is even left of the two monasteries, one Augustinian and the other Jesuit, that once stood side by side in the north of the village centre. On the site of the Augustinian monastery, the Quadtsches Schloss was later built, which nowadays incorrectly does business under the name Jesuitenhof (“Jesuit Estate”). Of the Jesuit monastery, which historians regard as the true Jesuitenhof, only an outbuilding is left of the original complex.

Across the street from the church in the Spitalhof, which formerly was a hospice, and to which belongs the Gothic and now deconsecrated Kapelle St. Maria Magdalena, the municipal kindergarten is now housed.

The House at Marktstraße 1 was built in the early 18th century as a stone and timber-frame building. For model renovation, the owners were recognized in 2006 with the first Balthasar-Neumann-Preis of the Kulturverein St. Michael Dirmstein. The St.-Michael-Apotheke was likewise built in the early 18th century as a timber-frame building. The predecessor building in the Middle Ages contained a great hall in which the local nobles, who formed a condominium (or Ganerbschaft in German), held their meetings. The Altes Rathaus (“Old Town Hall”) from 1714 is used as a “House of the Clubs”, those being the ones who restored the building by doing unpaid work.

Marktstraße (“Market Street”), whose southernmost portion is laid out as “Germany’s smallest pedestrian zone”, runs between the Sturmfedersches Schloss and the Hotel Café Kempf – known locally as das Kempf – which after growing out of a winemaker’s house in 1926 has taken back its place after a thorough renovation as the village’s biggest gastronomic business and is also now quite eye-catching. In the front guestroom is found a Madonna figure from the 18th century which is under monumental protection. Functioning as a small, but fine, addition to the Café Kempf is the former Backhaus (“Bakehouse”) around the corner on the way into Herrengasse, which has now been converted into a wine parlour. Newest among the village’s leading restaurants is the Roosmarin, which was set up in an old winemaker’s house in 2006 in the Lower Village, and whose name comes from the herb rosemary (Rosmarin in German) and the owner-operator’s family name.

The Fechtschule (“Swordfighting School”) stands south of the village centre at the edge of the Kellergarten. A predecessor building to this Classicist one, die Burg (“the Castle”), was from 1602 Caspar Lerch’s house. For several decades, the Landesfechtschule des Südwestdeutschen Fechtverbandes (“State Swordfighting School of the Southwest German Swordfighting League”) has been run there, leading to the building’s current name. One peculiarity, also found on the grounds of the Kellergarten, is the Bathhouse of the Countess of Brühl (Brühl vacation rentals | Brühl travel guide), whose comital bathtub nowadays stands in the front garden as an oversize flowerpot.

The Schlosspark, laid out in the style of a landscaped English garden and renovated at the turn of the millennium, furnishes a venue for events, especially musical ones. It was planned beginning in 1824 by the landscape architect Johann Christian Metzger. In 2009 began restoration work on the grotto, which lies in the park and was built in 1840. Responsible, about 1790, for the Kellergarten, which is also undergoing renovations and is another of the once seven English gardens in the municipality, was Metzger’s even more famous professional colleague Friedrich Ludwig von Sckell.

The many local clubs bring the municipality a well filled calendar of events. Above all, the Kulturverein St. Michael Dirmstein (cultural club) busies itself in many fields and invites the public to appearances by its historical dance troupe, to literary evenings and music at the Schlosspark. Bigger events are held at the Unterhaardter Festhalle (UHF), which stands south of Saint Lawrence’s Church on the edge of the village centre and can seat several hundred visitors. It was structurally and technologically refurbished by unpaid helpers at the onset of the new millennium. For events with no more than 80 to 100 visitors, the Eux-Stocké-Ratssaal is available at the Sturmfedersches Schloss. Specially for organ music, Saint Lawrence’s Church (Laurentiuskirche) offers itself up with its two historic instruments, the Walcker organ from 1869 and the Voit organ from 1900.

[ source: wikipedia ]

More about the History of Dirmstein

In the 8th century, Dirmstein had its first documentary mention, although this was undated. The first dated documentary mention came in 842. Although it never belonged to the Counts of Leiningen, it is today counted as part of the Leiningerland, the name used for those noblemen’s old domain. The historical and well restored village centre has been raised to a monumental zone by the monument protection authority. Of the 58 protected objects, 48 lie within this zone. With few exceptions, they go back, like the village’s foremost landmark, the Baroque simultaneous church St. Laurentius (Saint Lawrence’s), to the municipality’s heyday in the 18th century, towards the end of which Dirmstein apparently held town rights for two decades, although some sources are disputed.

[ source: wikipedia ]

Dirmstein is an Ortsgemeinde – a municipality belonging to a Verbandsgemeinde, a kind of collective municipality – in the Bad Dürkheim district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. With its roughly 3,000 inhabitants, it is the biggest Ortsgemeinde in the Verbandsgemeinde of Grünstadt-Land, whose seat is in Grünstadt, although that town is itself not in the Verbandsgemeinde. Dirmstein lies in the outermost northeast of the district and the northwest of the Rhine-Neckar urban agglomeration.

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