Panorama Board at Wilder Stein
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Built in the 13th century by the archbishopric of Mainz as a backup castle, the Ronneburg came to the counts of Ysenburg-Buedingen as a fief territory in 1476. Starting from 1523 Count Anton and his sons extended it into a Renaissance-style castle and until 1601 the castle served as the residence for one branch of the Ysenburg-Buedingen family. Today the well-preserved, impressive building ensemble, with the landmark "Welschen Haube" (bell-shaped curved roof) atop the keep, is a tourist attraction for the whole Rhine-Main region, well known for the castle festivals and medieval markets that take place throughout the year.
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In 1736, the Moravian Brothers under Count Zinzendorf, who were expelled from Saxony, found a new home at the Ronneburg. Two years later, work began on the Haagberg near Lorbach to build a large self-contained settlement where a self-determined religious community life was possible. Among the inhabitants, which at times numbered 100, were skilled craftsmen. Among those skilled craftsmen was Abraham Roentgen, who, like his son David (who was born here) achieved European fame as a cabinetmaker.
But after disagreements with the government of Buedingen, which feared the emergence of a "state in the state", the Herrnhaag was abandoned in 1750. Some of the inhabitants went to Neuwied, others went as far as North America. Some of the buildings, such as the sister’ house and above all the "Lichtenburg" with the large common hall, have survived to this day as manifestations of Saxon baroque culture in the Buedinger Land. In 2012 the central well house was rebuilt.
Verein der Freunde des Herrnhaag e.V.
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The eye-catching wooded crest of the Hardeck bears the remains of a medieval castle ruin within a steep circular ditch. The direct visual connection to Glauberg suggests a Celtic predecessor. The small castle was probably the backup of the hidden moated castle of Buedingen and temporarily the seat of a bailiff of the Ysenburg rulers. In the 16th century, a residential building was added, probably as a proper residence for illegitimate children of Count Anton zu Ysenburg. After periods of decline the remains of the walls were exploited for the construction of military advance roads in the Napoleonic wars.
The brook, called the Seeme or Seemenbach, rises north of Ober-Seemen in the hills of the High Vogelsberg, running for about 37 km from these hills into the meadowlands of the Wetterau. It passes Büdingen on its way and joins with the river Nidder at Lindheim.
5 Train station
The Büdingen station was opened on October 30, 1870 at the Giessen-Gelnhausen line (Lahn- Kinzig-Bahn), which was completed a short time later. Today it serves as a stop for regional trains of the "Hessenbahn GmbH" and thus is as an important shuttle for commuters in the direction of Frankfurt or Fulda. The former reception building is now privately owned, with the neighboring signal box listed as a historically protected building.
The Büdinger glass factory was built in 1893 by the company Sigwart, Gellrich & Co, as successor to the older glass-works at Breitenborn in the Büdinger Wald. It was situated in a convenient distance to the train station and eventually 400 employees worked there, especially producing champagne bottles. In 1908, the plant was sold to Gerresheim AG in Duesseldorf, which was only interested in the customer base. Production was shut down in 1913. From the industrial plant only a few buildings have been preserved, among them three listed double apartment blocks on the Düdelsheim street, all three of which are registered as historical landmarks.
7 Glauberg with “Keltenwelt” (The World of the Celts)
The Glauberg is a basalt mountain ridge upstream of the Vogelsberg which offered itself as a natural fortress. From the Neolithic to the Middle Ages it was repeatedly secured by ramparts and from time to time there were temporary settlements. The hill had already been the subject of much legend and myth when it gained further fame in connection with the discovery of early Celtic princely tombs, which were carefully studied from 1994 to 1997, revealing rich burials with extraordinary grave goods. Above all, in 1996 a unique find came to light in the area: the life-size, sculptural sandstone statue of a Celtic prince with jewelry and armament and a so-called “leaf crown”. Additionally, the entire burial mound as well as a "processional road", both suspected to be parts of a central sanctuary, were made visible again. By now the "Celtic Prince of Glauberg" has become a symbol of the state of Hesse. The "Celtic world at Glauberg" is an archaeological state museum and research center that are housed in a spectacular exhibition architecture.
Am Glauberg 1
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8 Remigiuskirche and Cemetery
As the oldest preserved sacral building of the Wetterau, the Remigiuskirche is one of the most important historical monuments of Hesse. The mighty west building can be dated to the middle of the 11th century which is undoubtedly proven by archaeological tree ring examinations of the wood used. The church was dedicated to the Franconian Saint Remigius, the bishop of Reims. Also unique are ten circular windows. During excavations inside the church a predecessor building from the 8th century was discovered. For a long time the Remigiuskirche was the parish church for Buedingen equipped with late Gothic murals. In 1491 these functions were transferred to St. Mary's Church in the Old Town. After the Reformation, the church located in the middle of the old cemetery only served as a funeral church. In her apron, later called Großendorf, historians suspect the Franconian origins of Buedingen.
The Büdingen Stadtschule (city school) was built in 1910 designed by the architect Prof. Ernst Vetterlein from Darmstadt as a model school, which also includes a gymnasium. The Friedberg sculptor Hugo Siegler created its Art Nouveau decorations. On the side of the Brunostraße a small park was created, which today is named after Max Halberstadt, a Jewish teacher acting in Buedingen. Here you will also find a memorial for the victims of the Second World War, created in 1960 by the sculptor Dieter Paffrath with Michelnauer Basalt. Today, the city school serves as a primary school for the first four grades, including preliminary education.
Due to the "Tolerance Patent" of Earl Ernst Casimir of 1712, which offered new settlers and religious refugees freedom of conscience and special benefits, a new street was laid westwards in the following years. It shows two-story half-timbered buildings with pitched roofs and “dwarf houses” (Zwerchhäuser), as well as some younger mansard roofs. Behind these houses there were outbuildings and workshops. In front of the Jerusalem Gate, where the local Law Court lime tree had been, in 1755 the quarter received its own tavern called "Zum Stern".
11 Bastion and Witch Tower
At the dominant position of the new fortress the Great Bulwark was built around 1491. At a height of about 20 meters and up to 4 meters thick walls, it has 16 gun chambers on four levels to protect the vulnerable flank in the northwest of the city. A multi-story covered side weir ("Streichwehr") joined the bulwark with the witch tower ("Hexenturm") to the east, a corner tower of the older city wall, which then served as a prison. Its vaulted dungeon was only accessible from above through the "fear hole". From the domed domes of both towers you have a magnificent view of the city and over to the rock formation "Wilder Stein"(wild stone).
12 Jerusalem Gate & Sandrosen Museum
In the 19th century when traffic increased Buedingen gate system fell victim. Only the outer Lower Gate (Untertor), the representative entrance to the city from the west, was preserved, and only after citizen protests to keep it. Today it forms the landmark of Buedingen. The machicolation (Senkscharte) above the arch opening, dated 1503, shows the alliance coat of arms of the city lord Count Ludwig II of Ysenburg and his wife Maria von Nassau-Wiesbaden. The rich fish bubble tracery of the parapet and the stone dome cover the gate and the stair towers form unusual architectural elements. The name commonly used for the Lower Gate is related to the pilgrimage of an Ysenburg count to the Holy Land, but it could also be traced back to religious "separatists" in the Vorstadt, for whom the city, rich in towers and gates, appeared as an image of the Heavenly Jerusalem.
Today, the towers of Jerusalem Gate house the Sandrosenmuseum.
The stately Baroque building was built in 1732 in the enclosure of the Lower gate. It soon came into the possession of Prince Friedrich Ernst, who belonged to the family branch of the Isenburg- Birstein, which in 1744 was raised to the rank of imperial countdom (“Reichsfürstenstand”). As a result the most well-known building was called "Fürstenhof". The house then went through different hands, served from 1844 as a sophisticated inn and since 1851 as a stagecoach station. Because of this tradition, the handsome building was honored in 1991 by a stamp of the Federal Post Office. Until 2016, the "Fürstenhof-Lichtspiele" were also home to two movie theaters. In future, the Fürstenhof will be used as a hotel and restaurant with beer garden.
14 Garden Kölsch and Western Towers
Gardens were a precious commodity in the closely-built old Buedingen. When the fortress lost its function in the 18th century, the extensive "enclosure" between the walls in the west was transformed into garden land. One of the properties came to the physician Dr. Ludwig Westernacher and finally to his granddaughter Edith Kölsch (1894-1985). She was an emancipated and enlightened woman who set out with knowledge and passion to create a paradise garden kingdom. To preserve her life's work, she bequeathed the garden to the city. After the failure of a hotel project, a newly designed old town parking lot was created and in May 2003, a city garden of a special kind was opened to the public, which garden has been specifically designed to flower all year-round. Since then, the flowering garden and the rose garden have been voluntarily cared for by citizens. They form a green oasis, which allows an impressive view of the walls of the fortress.
Not far from Garden Kölsch a Geological Sculpure Gallery offers impressions of the geological past of the region.
15 Melior's house
In 1860, the painter and architect Victor Melior (1820-1910) erected a house for himself and his wife Berta, née Block, in the place of the laid-down outer Mill Gate on the bridge over the Seemenbach. The sandstone building in neo-Gothic forms leans upon the southwestern bulwark, which was given a cast-iron parapet, and integrates a guard oriel of the old gate of 1494. Seen from the Lohsteg, the ensemble is part of one of the most popular photo motifs in Buedingen.
16 Schlaghaus and Butcher's Museum
The Schlaghaus am Seemenbach was originally an outwork to secure the Mill Gate, which was converted in 1500 in a half-tower of the new fortress. Shot marks of musket balls are the result of Croatian attacks during the Thirty Years' War. Then, the Schlaghaus became a small prison ("Betzenkammer"). From 1777 onwards it served as a slaughterhouse for Buedingen butchers following the old Schirn am Küchenbach (open sales stand at the kitchen brook). There the waste could be disposed of conveniently in the creek until 1895, when a modern slaughterhouse was built. In 2006 the butcher's museum was established, supported by the traditional butchers of Buedingen. Here the old slaughtering devices and a wealth of corresponding exhibits are displayed. The presentation in the Schlaghaus is complemented by a historic sausage kitchen and a small butcher shop with a historic majolica sale-counter nearby. The museum by now is well known beyond the borders of Buedingen.
17 Stone house
The late Gothic hall house was built in 1510/11 as a city residence for Count Johann V. of Ysenburg. The prestigious front with the high corbie gable (stepped gable) and an original gallery effectively closes the Altstadtstraße to the south. The stone house leaned structurally against the medieval Mill gate (Mühlpforte). The guard`s walkway of the walled yard was directly connected to the gate through the house. The bay window with its elegant fishbone decoration, added in 1544, was given its restored pointed roof finish in 1996. Since time immemorial, a legendary boar head has hung next to the gate.
18 The former city tavern The Swan ("Zum Schwan") & The Fifties Museum
The huge late Gothic stone building, originally with corbie gables (stepped gables), was built around 1500 as an inn of the old town and hostel. It matched the tavern The Crown ("Zur Krone") situated in the new town (originally in the house Marktplatz 1) which had come into being a little later. Both inns also served to distribute the manorial and municipal wine. The "swan" leaned against the Karl`s gate (Karlspforte), the inner gate to the old town, in whose tower construction the guardian bell hung and a clock struck the hour for the citizens. In 1839 the gate was taken down. The ground floor nowadays houses the “Museum of the Fifties” with its impressive exhibitions and various cultural events.
19 The Market Square
Originally an embankment existed on a vacant terrain between the walled Old and New Towns. On the north side of the square the kitchen brook was the "wet border" between the royal ban forest area and the Buedingen march. It was not until the 17th century that half-timbered buildings in the west and east gave this place the character of a closed space. Since the early 18th century it has been marked by the baroque fountain with its stone benches. This fountain was commissioned by Count Ernst Casimir, not only as decoration, but also for the supply of fresh drinking water supplied by the tubes. A few years ago, an open market hall was built to serve the many events that take place in the heart of the old town. It is situated in the place of a former pavilion, which itself had replaced the old butchers' Schirn and citizens’ school.
20 Historic Town Hall & Heuson Museum
According to Diether of Ysenburg’s coat of arms the historic town hall was built in 1458. It still dominates the old town street with its corbie gable (stepped gable) and the high cross windows. It is one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings of this kind in Hesse and still bears proof of the civic pride of the people of Buedingen. In connection with a street market held in front of the building a department store was located on the ground floor with mighty wooden pillars. The upper floors offered space for a ballroom as well as the council and court rooms. The half-timbered structure in the eastern part shows elements of the transitional style of the time around 1500. Today the historic town hall is a particularly beautiful setting for the activities of the Buedingen Historical Society presenting its exhibitions of the renowned Heuson Museum. The upper floor is still used as the traditional meeting room for the town parliament (municipal board of aldermen).
21 Oberhof & Modeling Museum
The Oberhof was built in the years 1569-1574 as an independent court for Count Georg of Ysenburg and his wife Barbara Countess of Wertheim. Constructor Conrad Leonhard was from Eisenach in Thuringia. His building inscription can be found on the front to Obergasse. The main building is accessed by a staircase tower with a stone spindle. On the entrance side, it features an emblem-decorated pillared portal and a four-story oriel with an antique-style décor. The south side reveals remnants of the painting. Inside, the original kitchen with chimney and a rib-vaulted hall are particularly remarkable. The ensemble often served the Ysenburg counts as a widow's seat. When the Oberhof passed in the ownership of the city, it was extensively renovated and now serves as a cultural center, with the outbuildings also used for residential purposes. Nowadays it houses the Modeling Museum and the Buedingen School for Music and the Arts.
22 St. Mary's Church
A wooden chapel, first mentioned in 1367 and consecrated to the Mother of God, was replaced in 1377 by a stone building oriented north-south. From 1476 to 1491 Count Ludwig II of Ysenburg had the simple basilica extended by his church masons' guild (Bauhütte) into a representative residence church. His coat of arms decorated portal can still be seen in the tower basement. The now east-facing, light-flooded choir and the nave were adorned at the intersection of the vault ribs with heraldry of the families Ysenburg and Nassau, the triumphal arch with a picture of the Last Judgment. The rich interior was lost with the transition to Calvinism in 1601, but the spatial structure as such, having received the old color scheme again, is still impressive. In the prayer room of St. Anne’s Chapel (Annenkapelle) there is still a remnant of the choir of the previous church. In 1556 a Latin school and in 1602 the New Consistory with curved gables were added. The tower carries a baroque helmet from 1777.
Evangelische Kirchengemeinde Büdingen mit Calbach und Orleshausen
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23 Lutheran Church & Gallery Lo Studio
In 1770-1774 under the sponsorship of Countess Auguste Friederike von Ysenburg née Stolberg- Stolberg a separate church was built in the Schlossgasse for the growing Lutheran congregation in the otherwise reformed Büdingen. Outwardly it stands as a simple hall construction in good proportions, but it is distinguished by a baroque roof rider. After the union of the two Protestant denominations in 1817, the building served as a Hessian grammar school from 1829 and from 1879 to 1994 it housed the district court, today it is privately owned. The ground floor, with its large, bright rooms, creates an excellent ambience for the art gallery Lo Studio.
24 The Luckische Hof
in the Schlossgasse The stately building that characterizes the Schlossgasse takes its name from the Luck family, an Ysenburg civil servant, which acquired it in the 17th century. Judging from the wood, the main building was built shortly after 1507. The design and construction of the half-timbered framework form an elaborate network, in which the head and foot braces surrounding a center post are accompanied by quarter-circle arches. This design is among the best examples of carpentry in the transitional period between late Gothic and early Renaissance. The attached gatehouse is dated 1593. The building in the back courtyard still shows remnants of the medieval St Nicholas Chapel (Nikolauskapelle), which was converted into a rectory after the Reformation.
25 Büdingen Castle and Castle Museum
Towards the end of the 12th century, the Noblemen of Buedingen built an imposing moated castle to protect the imperial forest of Buedingen in accordance with the policy of the Hohenstaufen emperor Friedrich Barbarossa. The core castle is surrounded by a mighty thirteen-corner humpback cuboid wall as well as some buildings, such as the keep, palas and Romanesque chapel, all of which still have elements dating back to their original constructions. There are also buildings of different times and artistic styles, which are grouped around the inner courtyard in a picturesque way. In the late Middle Ages, the outer bailey was added. The outer bailey is today known as the rotunda, which housed workshops and servants’ quarters, but it also has a Renaissance gatehouse with a guard building. Since the middle of the 13th century, more than 20 generations of the counts and present princes of Ysenburg-Büdingen have lived here. Part of the ensemble has been transformed into a museum and can be visited as well as some still inhabited rooms. The tour also includes a series of Renaissance paintings and, as an artistic highlight, the late Gothic castle chapel from 1495/97 with its carved choir stalls.
Schlossmuseum Schloss Büdingen
26 The street "Am Hain"
The castle park, "the grove", modeled into the valley landscape, is bounded by a wall. Until the construction of a bypass, the street above this wall formed the old exit of the city from the Upper Gate (Obertor) to the east in the direction of Vogelsberg. The Bandhouse in the Bandgarten, once part of the Oberhof, has a vaulted wine cellar dating back to 1572. Situated next to it is the Rentkammer built in 1902 by Hofbaumeister Tamm, drawing on traditional Büdingen style elements, followed by the late Classicist "Villa Alfred". The coveted residential area at the foot of the former vineyards includes a number of historically registered buildings dating back to the Art Nouveau and Gründerzeit periods (Gründerzeit: .period in the last third of the 19th century when many industrial firms were founded in Germany).
27 Buedingen youth hostel (Jugendherberge)
In 1963, construction work began on the (new) Buedingen youth hostel under the management of Jean Wolf, who had his architectural office in Himbach. On August 29, 1964 the official opening of the hostel took place. In a 15-month construction period three buildings had been erected: the general sleeping wing, the Offenbach school campus and a utility wing. A total of around 150 guest beds were now available on a usable area of 1,600 m². The construction costs amounted to 1.8 million DM. Of this, the State of Hesse contributed 1 million DM, while the City of Offenbach and the Hessian Youth Hostel Association each provided 400,000 DM. The City of Buedingen added the building site of 10,000 m². The youth hostel was named "Luginsland am Sonnenhang" (“look into the country on the sunny slope”). Initially it counted around 16,000 to 18,000 overnight stays a year. Under the aegis of the “hostel parents” (Herbergseltern) Gertrud and Robert Spies, these numbers increased at the beginning of the 1970s; in 1971, 25,000 overnight stays were registered.
In 1974 Renate and Gerd Schroth took over the management of the hostel. When the youth hostel, the only hostel in the Wetterau district, celebrated its 20th anniversary in 1984, a total of around 100,000 guests had stayed on the premises. The annual numbers again were around 17,000 to 20,000 overnight stays, which made up almost half of all overnight stays per year in Buedingen. These numbers remained more or less constant well into the 1990s. In 1988 the paved access road from Vogelsbergstrasse was opened and replaced the previously graveled access road to the youth hostel. In late 1989 and throughout 1990 renovation work was carried out, and new beds were purchased. In 1995 Gerd Schroth retired, and in 2001 his wife Renate, after six years of managing the hostel by herself, handed the hostel over to Franz-Eduard Basquitt and his wife, Anneliese. In 2001 there were 14,500 overnight stays and 121 beds in 24 rooms, with a tight knit team of 15 caring for Buedingen’s guests.
On the grounds of the youth hostel its guests can enjoy large green areas, a soccer field, a basketball field, an outdoor chess game, a campfire area and a barbecue hut – to name just a few of the amenities. But this is not the end of all the pastime possibilities: The must-do entertainment offerings include Castle tours, city rallies, trips to the Ronneburg castle, mediaeval themed attractions, experimental archaeology or museum tours. Today, in 2020, this "first environmental youth hostel in Hesse", which is now under the management of Michael Klinge, offers further attractions in addition to those already mentioned: a neighboring forest rope course, a fully equipped workshop, table tennis and much more. Forest and nature experiential education programs - notably in the nearby wildlife park with its forest adventure trail, or “dream forest”, and its barefoot path - round off the wide range of options.
28 Sandstone Quarry
Since the Middle Ages, a succession of small quarries, owned by the rulers or individual stonemason families, has sprung up at this easily accessible lower step of the Lower Buntsandstein (red sandstone) formation. The high-quality cut stone (Haustein) can be found in most of the buildings in the old Buedingen, from the moated castle of the time of the Staufer kings, to the walls and towers of the fortress, including the formative buildings of the period between 1500 and 1600 as well as the basements of almost all half-timbered houses. But the sandstone from Buedingen was also a sought-after export commodity, which was used on numerous Renaissance buildings in the Rhine-Main region. The stone – which was easy to process – also formed the basis for sculpturing and stone masonry, which flourished since the 16th century in Buedingen. In modern times, the small private quarries were abandoned. The high sandstone wall required other mining methods and it supplied stones until the 60s of the last century. Today Main sandstone (named after the river Main) from Miltenberg must be obtained, for example for renovations.