There’s more to Germany than its metropolitan cities and world famous festivals. This much-loved country boasts a wealth of historic towns and pretty landscapes, many of which have not yet made it onto the tourist radar.
Besides transporting you back in time with their old-world charm, Germany’s little-known towns also offer a sense of respite from the hubbub of major cities. One such place is the old town of Limburg an der Lahn in western Germany. If you’re looking for amazing day trips from Frankfurt or Cologne, make sure you take a trip to this picture-perfect place.
Here are the top things to see in Limburg, plus some information about this fascinating old town.
The old town of Limburg
Situated on the banks of the Lahn River, the old town of Limburg in Germany is one of the best preserved historic sites in the region.
The town is home to a plethora of half-timbered houses built in the 17th and 18th centuries, but some of the buildings date back to the 13th century. In fact, the oldest free-standing house in Germany, Römer 2-4-6, can be found in Limburg. This Gothic timbered house was built in 1289 and remains largely well-preserved.
Limburg developed around a 7th century castle of the same name. The first recorded mention of the town appears in documents dating back to the year 910, when Louis the Child granted Konrad Kurzbold permission to build a monastery dedicated to St. George in what was then known as Lintpurc.
In the 14th century, Limburg was ravaged by several outbursts of the plague, leading to a gradual decline in the town’s population. The town was revived in the early 19th century when it was incorporated into the newly founded Duchy of Nassau and subsequently became the seat of the diocese.
Things to see in Limburg
Its quiet, narrow alleys and stunning, timber-framed houses make Limburg a pleasure to explore on foot. Since the town is just a short drive from Frankfurt-am-Main and Cologne, you can visit Limburg on a day trip or stop off for a few hours on the way to your final destination.
Most of the town’s historic buildings have been converted into cute little cafes, traditional German pubs and quirky gift shops. While strolling through the medieval centre you are likely to come across the Werner-Senger-Haus, a 13th century building which houses one of the oldest restaurants in Germany.
Another site worth visiting is Haus Kleine Rütsche 4, which marks the narrowest point on the old trade route between Cologne and Frankfurt.
I’ve got a golden rule for visiting historic towns, and that is: Always look up!
It’s amazing how many architectural details and adornments go unnoticed by passersby – although an overstatement such as the above would be hard to miss!
Limburg’s star attraction is the colourful Dom St Georg. An excellent example of late Rhine Romanesque architecture, the seven-towered cathedral is visible from miles away. The interior is decorated with medieval frescoes that were discovered during restoration work in the cathedral.
The magnificence of St. George’s Cathedral can be best enjoyed from Old Lahn Bridge, where you get a splendid view of the imposing building.