[ source: Wikipedia ]

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Popular Points of Interest in and near Idstein

  • Rhine-Taunus Nature Park
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Rhine-Taunus Nature Park

    The Rhine Taunus Nature Park (German: Naturpark Rhein-Taunus), located in the Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis and Wiesbaden district of Hesse, Germany was founded in 1968. It includes the western part of the Taunus and extends over the Idsteiner Becken to the Rhine. It is characterized by a roughly 60 percent forested low mountain landscape, which falls away steeply toward the Rhine Gorge.

  • St. Martin, Idstein
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    St. Martin, Idstein

    St. Martin in Idstein, Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis, is the church of the local Roman Catholic parish. The official name is Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Martin. The parish is part of the Diocese of Limburg. The present building of architect Johannes Krahn was consecrated in 1965.

    Restoration in 2003

    The walls of the church were completely restored in 2003. At the same time the altar was moved closer to the congregation, making more room for the choir. The baptismal font was moved from the chapel to the front, opposite the ambo. The tabernacle was moved from that position to the chapel, also the crucifixion scene, creating a chapel for adoration. The works were directed by Franz Josef Hamm from Limburg. The new cross above the altar was created by a group of young people in preparation for confirmation. During the restoration the organ had to be taken apart. The parish decided not to restore it, but to have a new organ built.

  • Unionskirche, Idstein
    [ source: Wikipedia ]

    Unionskirche, Idstein

    The Unionskirche (Union Church) is the active Protestant parish church of Idstein, a major town in the German Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis. Idstein was a residence of the Counts of Nassau. The church building in the center of the historic "Altstadt" (old town) dates back to the 14th century, but its interior was changed in the 17th century to a Protestant "Predigt- und Hofkirche" (church for sermon and court), notable for 38 paintings of the Dutch Golden Age school of Rubens which become part of the architecture.

    The church was named Unionskirche in 1917, commemorating the union of Lutheran and Reformed Protestants in the Duchy of Nassau in 1817. The Unionskirche is a monument marked according to the Hague Convention. It is used by the Evangelische Kirchengemeinde (Protestant Congregation), and it is open as a concert venue for other institutions.



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Idstein Overview

Idstein is a town of about 25,000 inhabitants in the Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis in the Regierungsbezirk of Darmstadt (Darmstadt vacation rentals | Darmstadt travel guide) in Hesse, Germany. Idstein lies in the Taunus north of Wiesbaden (Wiesbaden vacation rentals | Wiesbaden travel guide). The town’s landmark is the Hexenturm (“Witches’ Tower”), a castle keep from the 12th century.

The Old Town is found between the two brooks running through town, the Wolfsbach in the east and the Wörsbach in the west, on a high ridge reaching up to 400 m above sea level. This comes to an end in the Old Town’s north end with the castle and palace crags, behind which the two brooks run together. On the Wolfsbach, remnants of the like-named, now forsaken village can still be made out. The estate Gassenbach in the town’s south goes back to an old settlement called Gassenbach; for the last few years, it has belonged to the Domäne Mechtildshausen, an environmentally friendly, organic agricultural operation.

Things to See in Idstein

Unionskirche, whose outer appearance is quite plain, holds within its splendour. The building history of the church, originally consecrated to Saint Martin of Tours as a monastery church, reaches back to the 13th century. In the mid 14th century arose a new building in the Gothic style.

Residential Palace, the Renaissance-style Schloss that stands today, built in the years 1614-1634 by Jost and Henrich Heer (Höer) for Count Ludwig (d. 1627) and his son Count Johann (d. 1677) by incorporating old building materials, stands on a craggy massif between the town’s two brooks, which behind Idstein run together. It is believed that the crags on which the palace is built were already built up in the 11th century.

The castle in the area stretching from the gateway arch building on the town side to the bridge over to the Schloss arose between 1497 and 1588. With the remodelling done on the palace itself in the 17th century, this area also underwent far-reaching changes, partly losing its defensive functions, which, it is worth noting, were no longer up to date anyway.

The castle’s keep, known as the Hexenturm (“Witches’ Tower”, 42 m tall, walls more than 3 m thick, even given overall diameter of just under 12 m), is Idstein’s oldest building. Dendrochronological borings show that work began on the tower as early as 1170 (not, as had long been assumed, about 1350). Its “butter churn” shape it received, built in stages, about 1500. (Building researchers see in it a rare time capsule, because in the 20th century, almost nothing was changed beyond the last work in 1963, which entailed nothing more than some new plastering outside and small touch-ups with cement inside).

Right at the Nassau (Nassau vacation rentals | Nassau travel guide) castle’s gateway arch building, standing over König-Adolf-Platz, is the Town Hall (Rathaus) from 1698, in a rather odd way over the passage that separates the Old Town from the castle. Also worth mentioning is the carillon (Glockenspiel). A rockslide from the crags destroyed the Town Hall in 1928, but it was rebuilt between 1932 and 1934.

König-Adolf-Platz is seamlessly ringed by representative timber-frame houses, mainly dating from about 1600. To the Town Hall’s left stands the Schiefes Haus (“Crooked House”), which was renovated a few years ago, and which the major of the town militia Nicolay had built in 1527. On the way out of the square towards the Unionskirche, the richly adorned Killingerhaus, which since 1987 has served as a museum and tourism office, was built in 1615. It is one of Germany’s most important timber-frame houses with regards to art history. According to one story, the building was originally built in Strasbourg, and when the owner moved to Idstein, he brought the house with him.

As a yearly event highlight, the Hessen-Jazz Festival or more recently Idstein JazzFestival has been drawing thousands of visitors for 20 years into the Old Town’s laneways. On three days, each time the first weekend in the Hesse summer holidays, up to 75 different jazz groups on a dozen stages play from Friday evening to Sunday live and as an open-air concert.

[ source: wikipedia ]

More about the History of Idstein

Idstein, which had its first documentary mention in 1102 as Etichenstein, was granted town and market rights in 1287 by Rudolph of Habsburg. Besides the Hexenturm near the old Nassau (Nassau vacation rentals | Nassau travel guide) castle that has already been mentioned, the town has a mediaeval town centre with many timber-frame buildings. The towns oldest preserved house was originally built in 1410.

From the late 18th century to the mid 20th, Idstein was the centre of an important leather industry. During the Second World War, many women forced labourers were set to working in the tanneries. In 1959, the dominant tannery in the middle of the town core was shut down for economic reasons. In 1956, a devastating flood had overwhelmed it. The lands right at the edge of the Old Town lay empty and were used until the 1980s as a carpark. Today, new shops and apartment houses stand there around the Löherplatz, which at the same time has also taken on the function of a marketplace. In the outlying centre of Ehrenbach is still found one tannery.

[ source: wikipedia ]

Idstein is a town of about 25,000 inhabitants in the Rheingau-Taunus-Kreis in the Regierungsbezirk of Darmstadt in Hesse, Germany. Idstein lies in the Taunus north of Wiesbaden. The town’s landmark is the Hexenturm (“Witches’ Tower”), a castle keep from the 12th century.

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