"Cycling in and around Friedberg (Hessen)" Friedberg by Nemorino

Friedberg Travel Guide: 29 reviews and 86 photos

I don't think I would ever go out of my way just to see an abandoned US army base, not even the one where Elvis Presley used to be stationed, but it turns out that when you cycle into Friedberg from the south, from the direction of Bruchenbrücken, the signposted bicycle route takes you right past the Ray Barracks, a former American base which was deactivated in 2007.

When Elvis arrived here in 1958 he held a press conference for a hundred and fifty journalists and explained that he was just another typical GI Joe and did not expect any special privileges just because he was a famous rock star. Un-huh.

Elvis was only 23 when he was drafted into the army, and judging from the photos in the Wetterau Museum in Friedberg he was still reasonably slender at that time -- not the obese fast-food addict that he would become a decade later. He died in 1977 at age 42, a victim of overeating and prescription drug abuse.

The one really unusual thing in Friedberg is the Jewish ritual bath or Mikwe from the year 1260. Only half a dozen of these still exist in Germany. The one in Friedberg is said to be the most monumental.

During the Nazi dictatorship several attempts were made to destroy the Mikwe, but according to local historians this was prevented by a courageous high school history teacher and some of his pupils, who managed to convince the Nazi mobs that the Mikwe had been built by Christian stonemasons (who had also worked on a nearby church) and was therefore an important piece of architectural history.

  • Last visit to Friedberg: Apr 2011
  • Intro Updated Jan 8, 2012
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Reviews (18)

Comments (26)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2013 at 11:45 PM

    An interesting page! I imagine this town would see plenty of Elvis fans!

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    May 6, 2013 at 4:55 AM

    Nice looking Castle Friedberg and a lovely path along the river.

  • mindcrime's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2013 at 4:53 AM

    excelent tips here, thanks! who cares about Elvis with so many interesting corners around? :)

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo
    Jan 14, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Thanks Don for the interesting tour of Friedberg. Looks like a pretty area.

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Jan 4, 2012 at 7:07 AM

    "Hajde svojim putem, idi dalje uz naše zagrljaje pa da kažeš: "Maturu sam dobio" - nije to sala, nije to sala" means: "Be on your way, go further from our embrace and say that you graduated, it is not a small thing (not a joke)" roughly translated, maybe a Serbian here can give a better translation.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    Wonderful page Don! As always, your pages are such a delight!

  • kris-t's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2011 at 8:31 AM

    An other cute town. Love Adolf's Tower, even as any russian, don't like name Adolf. :)

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Dec 5, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    Another outstanding page filled with great photographs. I agree, Don, that War Memorial is rather ugly. What an interesting and varied group of tips. The tip about the students preparing for tests was especially great. Also enjoyed the Elvis info. Great work!

  • Sep 15, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    the front gate at ray barricks,that building in the back ground was my barricks in 1987,I haven't thought about that place in 24 years,I had a great time in germany and hope to go back and visit someday.I looked at that ugly war memorial every morning for two years. LOL.

  • MD2nd's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2011 at 1:23 AM

    Love your local custom tips of Friedberg. And I share your like of Fontane. Very much so. Thank you for visiting my Petzow page.

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