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Travel Insider Tips for Wachenheim
Wachenheim lies in the Middle Haardt at the eastern edge of the Palatinate Forest and is also the seat of the like-named Verbandsgemeinde, to which also belong the neighbouring places of Friedelsheim, Gönnheim and Ellerstadt, themselves also characterized by winegrowing and also partly by fruitgrowing.
Things to See in Wachenheim
Wachtenburg – Worth seeing are the Wachtenburg castle ruins, which owing to the view over the Upper Rhine Plain is also known as the “Balcony of the Palatinate”. From here, one can see the Rhine Valley, the Odenwald and, on a clear day, the Black Forest. The Wachtenburg, lying above the town, has its roots in the 12th century and was all but destroyed in the 15th century. In 1689, a half of the keep was blown up by French troops. Since 1984, the Förderkreis zur Erhaltung der Ruine Wachtenburg e. V. (“Promotional Circle for Maintaining the Wachtenburg Ruins”) has been working on the care and restoration of these ruins. The castle is a popular outing destination for hikers, who can drop into the castle inn also found there.
Villa rustica – The villa rustica is a Roman country seat unearthed in the 1970s during the Flurbereinigung. The foundation walls were reconstructed and convey an impression of the size of the complex that once existed.
Villa Wolf – The Villa Wolf is a uniquely designed country villa from the mid-19th century. It was completed in 1843 to plans by Karlsruhe (Karlsruhe vacation rentals | Karlsruhe travel guide) architect Friedrich Eisenlohr. An extensive estate complex and a stately garden with impressive tree growth harmonically round out the whole of the estate.
Saint George’s Church – St. Georgs Kirche was used, until the new Catholic church was built in 1989, by both Catholics and Protestants as a simultaneous church. The sharing came about in the course of the Electoral-Palatine church division in 1707. The Catholics got the quire and an outbuilding, and the Protestants got the nave.
Town Wall – Soon after town rights were granted in 1341, Wachenheim was fortified with a town wall. The roughly 1 200 m-long wall encloses the historical town centre and is shaped like a clothes iron. The town wall was about 9 m high and at the foot 1.5 m thick. In the north and the south stood town gates. Today, the town wall’s course is still easy to make out and in places outside the town centre can also be viewed. In the town centre itself, however, the town wall has been widely incorporated into other structures and only parts can be directly seen.
Schloss Wachenheim – The Schloss is said to be a cultural monument. Today it houses the Sekt cellar named after it, the Sektkellerei Schloss Wachenheim. The Schloss is located at Kommerzienrat-Wagner-Straße 1 and represents an extensive winemaking estate in a landscaped park. It was built in 1730, although later buildings were built about 100 years after this, and some even as late as the 20th century.
[ source: wikipedia ]
More about the History of Wachenheim
Wachenheim’s first documentary mention – as Wackenheim – dates from Carolingian times and is found in the Lorsch (Lorsch vacation rentals | Lorsch travel guide) codex. There, on 30 March 766, the donation of a Wachenheim vineyard is noted.
In the 11th century, Wachenheim’s lords were the Salians. The town passed on Emperor Heinrich V’s death to the House of Hohenstaufen. From this time comes the castle complex, which nowadays is only ruins, but which at one time belonged to a system of castles planned and built by the Hohenstaufens.
On 24 June 1341, Wachenheim was granted town rights by Emperor Louis the Bavarian. In 1436, Emperor Ruprecht III’s (1398–1410) son, Duke Stefan built a mint, which was in operation until 1471. In that year, Wachenheim, after hitherto having been under Duke Louis the Black’s ownership, was taken over by Frederick I, Elector Palatine. At the time of this conquest, Wachenheim Castle was burnt down and mostly destroyed, with only partial reconstruction taking place later. The castle and town weathered the War of the Bavarian-Palatine Succession, emerging relatively unscathed. During the German Peasants' War, the castle was used by marauding peasants as a base for their raids.
During the Thirty Years' War, Wachenheim was occupied beginning in 1621 by Spanish troops, who were driven out in 1631 by Swedish troops under King Gustav II Adolf. After the Swedes’ defeat in 1634, little is known about the years that followed. There are, however, indications that the townsfolk had to flee several times to the nearby Hardenburg (castle) near Dürkheim.
Even after the Thirty Years' War, the region was time and again beset with war. One of the highlights was the Nine Years' War (known in Germany as the Pfälzischer Erbfolgekrieg, or War of the Palatine Succession, 1688–1697), in the course of which Wachenheim was completely burnt down.
In the 18th century, Wachenheim was newly built and was developing favourably when along came the turmoil of the French Revolution with its attendant hardships and destruction. In 1794, French troops invaded the village and plundered it. Thereafter, and until 1815, Wachenheim belonged to the Department of Mont-Tonnerre (or Donnersberg in German), the Arrondissement of Speyer (Speyer vacation rentals | Speyer travel guide) and the Canton of Durkheim (without the umlaut) in the French Empire. After Napoleon’s downfall, the Palatinate on the Rhine’s left bank, and thereby Wachenheim as well, was governed by the Kingdom of Bavaria beginning in 1816. In both the Franco-Prussian War and the First World War, Wachenheim was spared further destruction and was occupied by France at the end of the latter war, until the French pulled out of the Rhineland on 1 July 1930.
[ source: wikipedia ]
Wachenheim an der Weinstraße (formerly called Wachenheim im Speyergau) is a small town in the Bad Dürkheim district in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, roughly 1 km south of Bad Dürkheim and 20 km west of Ludwigshafen. It is known above all else for its various businesses in the field of winegrowing, and in particular for Sekt.
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