Bertha Benz, newest official historic theme route in Germany

Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History

The Benz Patent-Motorwagen Nr. 3 of 1888, used by Bertha Benz for the first long distance journey by automobile (more than 106 km or sixty miles)
The Benz Patent-Motorwagen Nr. 3 of 1888, used by Bertha Benz for the first long distance journey by automobile (more than 106 km or sixty miles)

[ source: Wikipedia]

Discover most beautiful landscapes, towns and villages by traveling the about 120 miles long Bertha Benz Memorial Route, which passes through 29 municipalities, including Heidelberg. It stretches between Frankfurt (Frankfurt vacation rentals | Frankfurt travel guide) and the Black Forest, passing the automobile relevant museums in Mannheim (Mannheim vacation rentals | Mannheim travel guide), Ladenburg (Ladenburg vacation rentals | Ladenburg travel guide), Sinsheim (Sinsheim vacation rentals | Sinsheim travel guide), Heilbronn (Heilbronn vacation rentals | Heilbronn travel guide), 2 x Stuttgart (Stuttgart vacation rentals | Stuttgart travel guide) and Speyer (Speyer vacation rentals | Speyer travel guide).

This historic theme route was created in honor of Bertha Benz, who as much as 120 years ago, in August 1888, brought mobility to the world, without which today's modern life on earth would be hard to imagine. The authentic route taken by Bertha Benz not only links almost forgotten original sites she passed on her way, it also leads to one of the world's most beautiful holiday regions. The initiators of this project did not want to erect a static stone monument, but rather a monument that reflects the energetic and dynamic achievement of Bertha Benz.

Bertha Benz Memorial Route links four different, fascinating landscapes

The Bertha Benz Memorial Route comprises the biggest part of North Baden. Discover the Upper Rhine Valley with its favorable climate and the Bergstrasse with the earliest almond blossoms in Germany; enjoy the scenic drive through the Odenwald Mountains with their natural reserve and the often-praised Neckar valley with its many castles. Continue your leisurely travel on the Memorial Route through the region of the Kraichgau, which is often referred to as the German Tuscany. Then make your way to the world-famous northern Black Forest with its Natural Park and mundane Baden-Baden just around the corner. These landscapes are also linked by what makes Baden, the land of the connoisseurs, absolutely unique. The gastronomic culture of Baden, which splendidly competes with Alsatian and French cooking, as well as a wine, that really fits the motto smiled upon by the sun.

When following the route driven by Bertha Benz in 1888, you come across some of Germany's most outstanding sightseeing highlights.

Mannheim, the City of the Squares, with its castle (being the building with the highest number of windows in Europe after the Castle of Versailles), its water tower and Luisenpark; Dr. Carl Benz invented the automobile in Square T 6, which is a residential area today. Ladenburg with its beautiful medieval city center based on Roman foundations, the Dr. Carl Benz Museum, as well as the villa of the Benz family. Schriesheim (Schriesheim vacation rentals | Schriesheim travel guide) towered by Strahlenburg castle, romantic Heidelberg (Heidelberg vacation rentals | Heidelberg travel guide) with its often-praised castle and the vibrating old city center, where you can find one of the oldest universities in Europe founded in 1386. Wiesloch (Wiesloch vacation rentals | Wiesloch travel guide) with the world's first filling station and renowned vineries and Bruchsal (Bruchsal vacation rentals | Bruchsal travel guide) with its baroque castle. In Grötzingen, at the outskirts of Karlsruhe (Karlsruhe vacation rentals | Karlsruhe travel guide), Dr. Carl Benz was born; the Fan city is grouped around the castle from the year 1715, which accommodates the Badisches Landesmuseum state museum today. Pforzheim (Pforzheim vacation rentals | Pforzheim travel guide), the Golden City and the gate to the Black Forest, with its jewelry museum. Bretten (Bretten vacation rentals | Bretten travel guide), where religious reformer Philipp Melanchton was born and which is just around the corner from Maulbronn (Maulbronn vacation rentals | Maulbronn travel guide) monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where Hermann Hesse (Steppenwolf) was a student. Hockenheim (Hockenheim vacation rentals | Hockenheim travel guide) with its Formula 1 race course and the motor sports museum and finally Schwetzingen (Schwetzingen vacation rentals | Schwetzingen travel guide), its castle and the world-famous castle gardens, as well as the world's most delicious asparagus (it must have been invented here).

In 1886, Dr Carl Benz invented the automobile in Mannheim (Reich Patent No. 37435) - but nobody wanted to buy it.

But when Bertha Benz, his wife, went with her 13- and 15-year-old sons on a long-distance trip in 1888 from Mannheim to Pforzheim and back - without her husband's knowledge - to prove that the horseless coach was absolutely suitable for daily use, it became a huge success with almost a billion drivers worldwide today!

Bertha Benz (née Ringer) was born on 3 May 1849 in Pforzheim, Germany. She married inventor Karl Benz on 20 July 1872, and died 5 May 1944 in Ladenburg. She invested in Benz's business in 1871, enabling him to develop the first patented automobile.

About this Article

Monika Petra

This travel guide has been written by Monika Petra.

In her own words: When children are born they receive certain gifts to put them to good use or not. In my cradle there must have been at least music and the curiosity for the world we live in. Luckily I could combine those gifts eventually. My live as a jazz vocalist guided me to see and experience many places in Germany and far beyond. As in my music I like to dive in the historical background of given facts, simply to understand the present. During my travel, my circles got wider and wider and since many years I am now living in Thailand, very interesting to say the least. I grew up in Paderborn, lived and studied Jazz in Cologne's Musikhochschule and worked a while in Bayreuth and Kulmbach. My travels throughout Germany took me to all major cities and small towns. It was the people and local differences, be it language, food, traditions and customs, which made it a lot of fun. When finally the wall came down, I was one of those in Berlin posing on the rests of it for the camera. Off course I took the first opportunity to rediscover the new but old states of Germany and finally understood the impact the wall had on all Germans and in regards to the worst part in German history. Being a German living abroad, I discovered in years what I value most about Germany. Rest assured it is a country of rich cultural background still alive today. I visit my home country regularly and stay in touch with my friends, even those back from school. Another thing I always felt passionate about is writing and sharing my experience and thoughts. The internet provides us all with a great opportunity to connect, tell stories, read and learn from others and grow as a global community.

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Location, Map, and Driving Directions

Location: Friedlandstraße 9, 69221 Dossenheim, Germany

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Contact Information

Phone: + 49 (0) 6221-874357
Fax: + 49 (0) 6221-874358

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Bertha Benz Memorial Route

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