A small town, winding streets, a Christmas market, glühwein, baked chestnuts, apfelstrudel with vanilla sauce and a lot of quietness. We spent a few delightful hours in one of oldest towns in Germany, Limburg an der Lahn.
Limburg is 27 kilometres away from Rennerod, the place where Deian’s uncle lives. One morning, we decided to visit the small town so that Alina could see it. After a short, half-hour car ride, we arrived in Limburg an der Lahn, left a car in a parking lot next to the train station and walked around the city centre. Here, the Christmas market is open until December 30th, one week longer than in most cities in Germany.
Once we arrived in the centre, in started snowing. We walked through narrow, paved streets, surrounded by huge snowflakes, that made the coloured buildings even more charming. The river Lahn runs through the city and we wanted to walk along it but the road was completely frozen.
A short introduction to the cities history
The city Limburg appears for the first time in official documents in 910. However, the castle has been built earlier. In 1150, the first wooden bridge was built over the river Lahn and the road from Köln to Frankfurt am Main passed through Limburg an der Lahn. For four years, Limburg was the capital of a free state named Freistaat Flaschenhals because it was the closest unoccupied town next to the Weimar Republic.
Walking around the city centre, we admired the beautiful buildings and also decided to go up to the Limburg Cathedral, a charming Catholic building, founded in 1200 and consecrated 35 years later. The impressive cathedral stands tall on a cliff over the river Lahn, therefore, you can see it from miles away. The interior of the four stories high building is relatively simple but very luminous. The cathedral has recently been renovated and painted to look like back when it was constructed.
The city centre of Limburg and der Lahn
The city centre is full of half-timbered houses, that have been build between the 13th and 19th century. All buildings look alike, are very tall and many of them now have shops on the ground floor.
The entire city centre has been carefully restored in 1972. It was great to see houses like Haus Kleine Rütsche 4, Haus der sieben Laster (The House of the Seven Guilty Pleasures), Werner Senger Haus, Rathaus (townhall), the houses in Fishmarket; the squares name in the 13th century was Fismart. In the Limburger dialect, that word means the square of wool.
Another interesting house is Römer 2–4–6, built in 1289. Its one of the oldest half-timbered houses in Germany. Years ago, a mikvah has been found in its garden. A mikvah is a traditional bath used for ritual immersion in Judaism.
In Limburg an der Lahn, there is an old bridge made out of stone, called Alte Lahnbrücke, which was built in the 14th century. If you visit the bridge, make sure to go all the way to its centre to have a look at the statue of Johann von Nepomuk, who is supposed to guard the bridge. Another beautiful place we saw was Walderdorffer Hof, a private residential building, built in 1665.
Another highlight in the city centre is the monument dedicated to the baron Friedrich von Hattstein, who in 1357, was elected as the captain of the town.
There were many more buildings we spotted along our short visit. We hope to come back one day in Spring or Summer, to visit some of the cities festivals.
Window shopping in Limburg an der Lahn
Before we left Limburg, we did some windows shopping in the city centre, ate some fish from Nordsee, shared two tasty desserts (apfelstrudel and a cheesecake) and visited the Christmas Market.
Alina really liked the town, the smell of lavender and the little chocolate shops. The coloured, restored buildings sparked an interested in her to visit this town once again in the future. Deian, on the other hand, remembered the years he had spent driving to get to his high school. He was quite happy to return to Limburg an der Lahn, a town, that he didn’t like very much when class started but loved once the bell rang.