There is so much to discover to the right and left of the German Wine Route: impressive architecture, theatres, historical events, curiosities, small, hidden towns and villages and so much more.
The experience provides an overview of everything that the German Wine Route has to offer. However, we'd like to bring five highlights to your attention:
The Dürkheim Giant Barrel in Bad Dürkheim
The barrel was built of wood using traditional methods in 1934. It has a diameter of 13.5 metres and a capacity of 1,700,000 litres. However, no wine is stored in the barrel, as it now houses a restaurant.
Hambach Castle near Neustadt a.d.W.
The history of the castle dates back to late-Roman times. A refuge castle was constructed on the site back then. A high point in the history of this building was surely Hambach Festival in 1832, which is known as the symbol of the German democracy movement. Today the castle is home to an exhibition on the German democratic movement as well as a restaurant.
Villa Ludwigshöhe near Edenkoben
The Villa Ludwigshöhe was the summer residence of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. An "Italian-style villa, only intended to be used during the fine season in the mildest part of the kingdom." You can now view the rooms, which house various exhibitions. The vista from the Villa over the Rhine Plain is also wonderful, accompanied perhaps by a delightful glass of good wine in the new café in the interior of the Villa.
Trifels Castle in Annweiler
The castle's heyday was probably when it was used as an Imperial castle around 1113 to 1310. Its most famous prisoner was Richard the Lionheart, who resided here between 1193 to 1194. Following its collapse, the castle was rebuilt from 1841 onwards and again during the National Socialist era – but this time not as a realistic reconstruction but rather as a glorification of German history.
The German Wine Gate in Schweigen-Rechtenbach
Since 1936, the German Wine Gate has marked the beginning and the end of the German Wine Route. The Wine Gate and the Wine Route were created during the National Socialist era to make the Palatinate wine-growing region better known. Today it is owned by the "German Wine Gate" Vintners' Cooperative, and it houses a wine store and a restaurant.