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Darmstadt Off The Beaten Path: 15 reviews and 30 photos
Groß Umstadt, Renaissance City Hall
In the general section I already mentioned that Darmstadt was heavily bombed and most of what had been a beautiful old town was destroyed. Only some city districts we have half timbered-houses.
BUT: as Darmstadt is close to one of the official scenic or vacation roads, the German Half-Timbered House (Framework) scenic road, it is only a hop in car or bus or on the bike to go to Dieburg or Groß Umstadt, which are located on the southern Hesse part of this road.
Groß Umstadt is located east of Darmstadt, at the slopes of Odenwald hills and called “Weininsel”, which means wine island. I was a bit amazed about this, as the region is not at all known for wine, but local colleagues told me that the wine is not that bad. I will give it a try in summer. The village is quite old, already Romans settled here in 2nd century AC. During Medieval times, it was reigned by dukes, who built several noble courts, some of which are still intact today. The beautiful Renaissance City Hall (main photo and details in photo 5) was built in 1596 and has been restored very beautiful. Around the market square, some lovely half timbered houses are grouped, among them one which hosts a local bank. I found the sign (photo 4) so cute, as it has a memory to our good old Deutsche Mark days – a Pfenning is hanging over the bank icon (the S).
Groß Umstadt’s website shows where all of the half timbered houses are located, and I can tell you that they are all beautiful and worth a walk around in town. It must be quirky and fun in summer, when all the restaurants (there are many) have their tables and chairs outside.
Location of Gross-Umstadt on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., tip date: February 2008 (update March 2011: location on Google Maps added).
Art Nouveau façade - Moosbergstrasse 60
Als already mentioned in the to-do section, Darmstadt was famous for Art Nouveau development end of 19th century. Mathildenhöhe is the most famous part of town for this architecture. However, also in Bessungen, the old district south of the city centre, some superb buildings can be found. It simply needs some walk away from the main streets and a strong will to "get lost in Bessungen" :-) I did it on a beautiful crisp and cold sunny winter day some time ago.
Oh my, I was really surprised to find some real gems of our town..... :-)
This specific building, for those who want to see it in reality and not only on the photos, is in Moosbergstrasse No. 60, which is a left turn from Heidelberger Landstrasse, when heading south (see Google Map screenshot).
It is said to be the only fully preserved Art Nouveau façade in Darmstadt, built in 1905. Look at this exquisite artwork details ! The roses at the lintel for example (main photo), or the peacocks.
Well, and a special thanks to my digicam for being able to zoom in so nicely (and me for standing still when pressing the button, haha).
Location of Art Nouveau House, Moosbergstrasse, on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., tip date: January 2006 (update March 2011: location on Google Maps added).
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