The Taunus, an old fortress, and home of the world's oldest protestant university
Feldberg im Taunus:
Friday afternoon was an excursion to the tallest point in the Taunus range north of Frankfurt, the Feldberg, which comes in at just under 800 meters above sea level. The views were beautiful and the drive through the countryside leading up to the summit reminded me a lot of roads in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The radio towers on the top are all part of the radio system of Hessen, and as with many peaks, a cross marks the summit. Looking to the south, you could see the skyline of Frankfurt, the only city in Germany with a multitude of skyscrapers.
Burg Breuberg im Odenwald:
On another sunny afternoon we made a trip to the Odenwald, the forested hills located to the south, to see the fortress on a hill near the village of Breuberg. A fortress in German is a Burg, while a mountain is a Berg, so we saw Burg Breuberg. It dates back to around 1200 and today is used as a youth hostel. Once again, the sky was stunning and the walk up the hill to the fortress featured beautiful views of the trees turning colors.
For the last full day in Germany I made use of my rail pass and traveled 90 minutes north to the small city of Marburg, home of the oldest protestant university in the world. It’s positioned on a hill along the Lahn River and features a picture-perfect medieval town center complete with numerous half-timbered houses, a five-hundred-year-old town hall that has a rooster on top that calls out at the top of each hour, and an impressive castle on top the hill that overlooks the valley below. The two-and-a-half-hour visit turned out to be the perfect amount of time for an introduction to this city. You could immediately sense it is a university town due to the young people everywhere. The majestic old university building constructed in gothic architectural style provides a commanding presence as you make your way up towards the market square and the city hall. There are many more steps to climb before making it to the protestant church and finally to the castle with its commanding views. It was a fitting place to end this month-long sojourn to Germany.
Photos 1: Feldberg
Row 1: Cross at summit; Frankfurt skyline; Radio towers
Row 2: View to the north; Schmitten
Row 3: View to the north
Photos 2: Burg Breuberg
Row 1: Looking up at fortress; Valley to the northeast
Row 2: With Lydia and Hermann Schifferdecker; Fortress Breuberg
Row 3: With the painted mushrooms; Looking to the west
Photos 3: Marburg
Row 1: Elizabeth Church and part of Lahn; Part of castle; Altar of Protestant church
Row 2: North side of castle; Old university building; Rooftops of old part of city
Row 3: Fountain and market square looking north; City Hall