"A real gem!" Top 5 Page for this destination Idar-Oberstein by smirnofforiginal
Idar-Oberstein Travel Guide: 21 reviews and 123 photos
The production of gem stones, in Idar-Oberstein goes back to the middle ages. Records show that agate was mined from 1454. It was, however, in the 19th century, when adventurers went to South America (Brazil, in particular) and harvested stones to send home, when the industry took off.
There are no gems left in the local mines but Idar-Oberstein is still a major gem sutting / jewellery manufacturing centre. It is also the only place in Europe to have a combined diamond & gemstone exchange.
The streets are simply lined with shops selling gems, jewelleryetc...
In the rock face is the wonderful 15th century Felsenkirche. It is said to have been built by a knight in atonement for... more travel advice
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