Daytripping around Frankfurt: Siteseeing highlights

NEW YORK -- The Frankfurt region has a number of towns that are worth a visit, most of which are no more than an hour away by car or by train from Frankfurt's central station.

Heidelberg's castle dates back to the 13th century.

  • Heidelberg, set between wooded hills along the banks of the Neckar River, is famous as the home of Germany's oldest university.
  • It's also known for the Heidelberg Castle, situated atop a hill overlooking the town and accessible by a cable railway or by hiking up the hill.

    The castle dates back to the 13th century, but was largely destroyed in wars of the past few centuries.

    Still, its semiruined state makes the structure even more captivating and picturesque. Public concerts and other events are still held in the castle's remaining shell.

    The rest of Heidelberg escaped bombing in World War II, leaving the city much as it was in centuries past.

    The Romerplatz, Frankfurt's ancient town square, is used for festivals today just as it was hundreds of years ago.

  • Mainz, like Frankfurt, has a history dating back to Roman times, but many of its present attractions came in the 17th century, when several baroque buildings were erected.
  • Renowned as the home of Johannes Gutenberg, whose invention of movable type revolutionized Western society, the town features a Gutenberg Museum with examples of his work, including an original Gutenberg Bible.

    Roman artifacts can be seen in the State Museum and the Antique Shipping Museum, which holds the remains of five Roman ships discovered here.

  • Wiesbaden got its start as a spa town, thanks to its many hot springs. Today its former spa center, the Kurhaus, is a conference center, but there are still thermal baths available for the public.
  • The city also has a popular casino. An attraction on the outskirts of town is Schloss Biebrich, an 18th century baroque palace along the Rhine.

  • Fulda, founded in the eighth century, became renowned as a religious and monastic center, mainly due to its abbey and library. Later, a number of noteworthy baroque buildings were added to its cityscape, including the Fulda Cathedral and other structures in the city's baroque quarter, as well as two palaces, the Residenzschloss and Adelspalais.
  • Other popular attractions are Fulda's extravagant public gardens and its Church of St. Michael, built in the ninth century.

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