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Travel Insider Tips for Königstein im Taunus
Königstein im Taunus Overview
Königstein im Taunus is a climatic spa and lies on the thickly wooded slopes of the Taunus. Owing to its advantageous location for both scenery and transport on the edge of the Frankfurt (Frankfurt vacation rentals | Frankfurt travel guide) urban area, Königstein is a favorite residential town. Neighboring towns are Kronberg im Taunus (Kronberg im Taunus vacation rentals | Kronberg im Taunus travel guide), Glashütten, Schwalbach am Taunus, Bad Soden am Taunus (Bad Soden am Taunus vacation rentals | Bad Soden am Taunus travel guide) and Kelkheim (Kelkheim vacation rentals | Kelkheim travel guide).
Besides the main town, which bears the same name as the whole, Königstein has three outlying centers: Falkenstein, Mammolshain and Schneidhain. Since 2001, Falkenstein has borne the designation Heilklimatischer Kurort climatic spa independently of the town's status as such.
Things to See
The greatest folk festival in Königstein is the yearly Burgfest, or Castle Festival, at the Königstein Castle ruins. Moreover, early in the year, and in the summer, further events take place there: Ritterturnier ("Knights' Tournament"), Theater auf der Burg ("Theatre at the Castle"), as well as various musical and film events. Since 2005 also a series of concerts called Mittelalter rockt die Burg ("Middle Ages rock the castle").
As a new open-air highlight, from 2006, the Burgfestspiele Königstein ("Königstein Castle Festival Games") will be held, bringing to the stage a multi-faceted cultural program in the unique atmosphere of the ruins: ambitious concerts and operatic and musical productions with large casts under the open sky. As well, business in the outlying communities is shaped by the many festivals and activities.
The Ritter von Königstein ("Knights of Königstein") have committed themselves to the Middle Ages and since 1998 have been staging a yearly Knights' Tournament with a medieval market at Königstein's picturesque castle ruins. The local young people who do this are supported in this endeavour by the club Stadtwache e.V. ("Town Watch").
Furthermore, each of Königstein's constituent communities has its own sport or football club. The biggest in the whole town is TSG Falkenstein, offering volleyball, judo, gymnastics, athletics, Gardetanz (a kind of dancing popular in Germany involving dancers in old, often 18th-century, military uniforms), and football, and having more than 700 members.
The Königstein Fanfare Corps (Fanfarencorps Königstein) won the Europa Musikfestival in Rödemis in 2005 and the Solothurner Marching Parade, in which the Königstein Fanfare Corps was the first foreign club to participate.
Königstein also has, from singing clubs to a mandolin club, a karate and tennis club, and a volunteer fire brigade in every constituent community, more than 100 clubs.
Besides the town's landmark, the Königstein Castle ruins, other buildings are worth seeing, such as the historic Old Town with its Old Town Hall (Rathaus), and Falkenstein Castle, and the Old Town also found there. Also of interest is the Villa Andreae, located at the top of a small wodded hill. Built in 1891 by Frankfurt (Frankfurt vacation rentals | Frankfurt travel guide) Banker Albert Andreae de Neufville, it was transformed into a boarding school (Schülerheim) in the post-war years (1957 - 1987). Thoroughly restored, it became famous as Jürgen Schneider's headquarters from 1987 until his multi-billion-Deutsche-Mark bankruptcy in 1994.
Architecturally important in its time was the Haus der Begegnung ("Meeting House") built in the 1950s. Controversial at the time, in 1977 when the baths were being built, was the blue-orange color scheme.
Former Grand Duke of Luxembourg Adolph von Nassau's stately home is known as the Luxemburgisches Schloss and houses now the court (Amtsgericht Königstein).
At the foot of the Burgberg ("Castle Mountain"), surrounded by a park through which flows the Woogbach and adjoining which is the Woogbach Valley, is found Saint Angela's Ursuline Convent (Ursulinenkloster St. Angela), founded in 1884, and owning a like-named state-recognized private school.
Königstein is likewise well known for its idyllic Old Town. Its exclusive residential areas (also in Falkenstein) are mainly marked by Art Nouveau and its Heimatstil-influenced offshoots as well as 1960s Chic (bungalows). Lot sizes, however, are not comparable to those in other towns owing to new town planning and the building plans following therefrom.
The Castle and Town Museum (Burg- und Stadtmuseum) is found at the historic Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus)
[ source: wikipedia ]
More about the History of Königstein im Taunus
Shrouded in legend, the town's founding date is unknown. The best known legend says that it was the Merovingian King Chlodwig (466-511), who had a castle built on a mountain and a chapel in a neighboring dale, who also founded the town in thanks for a prophecy that came his way there from a maiden who promised him victory over the Alemanni which did indeed come true.
Königstein had its first documentary mention in 1215, making it likelier that the castle was built around the 12th century for the town's and the Frankfurt-Cologne commercial road's security.
Also in that time came the town's first lords, the Counts of Nürings, but they were supplanted in 1239 by the Lords of Hagen-Münzenberg into whose ownership the castle went as an Imperial fief. The Lords of Hagen-Münzenberg were in turn followed by the Lords of Bolanden-Falkenstein from 1255 to 1418, under whose rule Königstein was granted town rights in 1313. The Lords of Bolanden-Falkenstein were succeeded by the Lords of Eppstein, who were themselves followed by the Counts of Stolberg (Stolberg vacation rentals | Stolberg travel guide) in 1535. It was they who introduced the Reformation to the area.
By 1581, Königstein belonged to the Electorate of Mainz (Mainz vacation rentals | Mainz travel guide), which had incorporated the old County by force. Early in the 17th century, in connection with the Counterreformation, the castle was remodelled into a mighty fortress, but this newer military stronghold met its end in the French Revolutionary Wars when the French blew it up in 1796, although this may have been unintentional. (Local legend has it that that gunpowder was hid in the castle's well, and a spark from a careless French soldier's pipe started the explosion).
In 1803, Königstein passed to the Principality of Nassau-Usingen, which itself later merged with Nassau-Weilburg to form the Duchy of Nassau (Nassau vacation rentals | Nassau travel guide). By 1866 it was in Prussian hands, and since 1945, it has been part of Hesse. The three constituent communities mentioned herein were amalgamated with Königstein as part of Hesse's municipal reforms in 1972.
Königstein enjoyed an economic upswing from less wealthy times when the coldwater spa first opened in 1851. It reached its high point just before the First World War broke out. The designation Heilklimatischer Kurort was granted in 1935, and is still borne by the town, and now also independently by the constituent community of Falkenstein.
[ source: wikipedia ]
Königstein im Taunus is a climatic spa and lies on the thickly wooded slopes of the Taunus. Owing to its advantageous location for both scenery and transport on the edge of the Frankfurt urban area, Königstein is a favorite residential town. Neighboring towns are Kronberg im Taunus, Glashütten, Schwalbach am Taunus, Bad Soden am Taunus and Kelkheim.
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