The weather forecast for yesterday wasn’t toooo bad (at least it didn’t mention rain), so we decided to take advantage of that and the fact that it was still the four-day Easter weekend and go to Bad Dürkheim for the afternoon.
Our first stop was in Hardenburg, a Stadtteil (district or quarter) of Bad Dürkheim, where the ruins of the Hardenburg castle are. Again, Hardenburg castle was on our Museumscard (actually, it’s officially the Museumspass in case anyone’s looking for it). Without the card, the entrance fee would have been €3. The castle was originally the seat of the Counts of Leiningen, but after it was destroyed by the French they moved to Bavaria. Here are some photos.
The houses you can see in the background of the last picture are in Hardenburg itself. It looks like a cute little village.
Once we’d had enough of the castle, it was time to head in to Bad Dürkheim proper. And the first thing I saw there was a red telephone box!
Sadly, there’s no phone in it. A sign next to it explains that it was donated to Bad Dürkheim in the ’80s by British Telecom and the town of Wells, one of Bad Dürkheim’s partner towns.
Here are some other things we saw on our walk around Bad Dürkheim.
The Rathaus (Town Hall)
A stone tortoise (or possibly turtle?), complete with rider.
Another church – the Burgkirche. This one is protestant (Evangelical), but if I’ve understood the Internet correctly it’s no longer used as a church, but more of a community centre for the protestant community.
The building in front of it is a very cute half-timbered building, but I couldn’t manage to get the whole thing in with my camera.
By this time, we were freezing, so we decided to go and find something to eat. This is the place we chose:
It’s called Petersilie, which means Parsley (as in the herb). I ate the home-made Frikadellen with potato salad, which was delicious, and Jan had Saumagen (Sow’s stomach). I tried a bit of his and it was much less salty than I remembered. We both drank wine, because that’s what you do in Rheinland-Pfalz! Bad Dürkheim is on the German wine route.
After dinner, we stopped by Bad Dürkheim’s famous giant wine barrel. It’s apparantly the world’s largest, but it was built purely as an advertising gimmick – there has never actually been wine in it! Instead, it contains a restaurant and always has.
We didn’t go in, but through the window the restaurant looked nice.
Bad Dürkheim is not the prettiest town I’ve ever visited, although it does have one or two nice buildings and squares scattered around. I also think it will look a lot nicer once the winter weather finally goes away and the spring flowers have a chance to come out! The few daffodils I saw scattered around looked decidedly sorry for themselves! As I’ve mentioned, Bad Dürkheim is on the German wine route, and as well as having the world’s largest wine barrel, it is also host to the world’s largest wine festival. The Wurstmarkt (which literally means Sausage Market) is held in the second and third week of September each year. We drove to Bad Dürkheim, but for a wine festival you’d be better of taking the train! From Mannheim, there’s a direct regional train that goes via Neustadt an der Weinstraße. Coming from anywhere else, you’ll need to change trains in either Mannheim or Neustadt.