I’ll be on my way. A small weekend trip to the Southern Palatinate. Well, where South Palatinate isn’t quite right either. The hotel is located in the West Palatinate on the border to Saarbrücken, my destinations for excursions are located between Southern Palatinate and Western Palatinate in the middle of the Palatinate Forest, which is a nature park and biosphere reserve. So let’s agree on the southwest Palatinate! Come with me and I’ll show you some attractions in the southwest Palatinate.
When I arrive I think of “no man’s land” or, as Mrs. Lösch, the owner of the hotel, says:”In the Outback of Germany”. When I look at what I can do here in the region, I notice the numerous castles and castle ruins. At least in the Middle Ages there must have been a lot going on here.
List of my TOP sights in the southwest Palatinate
- Lösch für Freunde
- “Pure nature” on the Baroque road Saar-Pfalz
- Maiden vault (Jungfernsprung)
- Dahner Castle Group Altdahn
- Devil’s table and devil’s kitchen (“Teufelstisch” and “Teufelsküche”)
- Outlet Zweibrücken
… and more.
Travel Tip “Lösch für Freunde”
But as we all know, the true treasures can only be discovered at second glance. And one of these treasures in the southwestern Palatinate is the “Lösch für Freunde”. This hotel is not only a treasure, there are many treasure chests. When you open them, each one conceals another precious impression. Let me tell you something: the extinguisher is not a hotel. It is so unique that I would like to tell you more about it elsewhere on my blog. I’d like to open a treasure chest right here: my studio. Yeah, that’s the name of my room. No number, but an individual name -- and so are the rooms inside. “Yeah, sure!” some of you will think. “Individual rooms?! “There’s the curtain in one room red and there’s green in the other.” This is how I experienced it in many hotels that talk about “individual rooms”. Deleting for friends is different. Here,”individual rooms” have been designed down to the smallest detail. But see for yourself -- my room or My studio (“Mein Atelier”):
After I have put down my things, I first roam the room and look at the many details that family Lösch used to create this room. I don’t like to be separated from my room. But we want to see some other sights in the southwest Palatinate, right? There is no special destination for the time being.
Travel tip “Pure nature” on the Barockstraße Saar-Pfalz
“Now Saarpfalz is also coming in?” you will wonder. But a small branch of the Barockstraße Saar-Pfalz (only in german) leads through Hornbach, because the Protestant parish church is one of the stations of this excursion route. And on this route I first drive through the countryside, before I take the A8 via the B10 to the B427 to reach the Dahner Felsenland. In the southwest Palatinate, hikers and castle fans get their money’s worth. There are countless hiking trails that lead through the hilly and wooded region. In addition, there are numerous castles and castle ruins in this region, some of which are large in size and can be explored on foot. I drive to one of these castle ruins today -- rather it is a group of castle ruins, which belongs to my top sights in the southwest Palatinate.
Travel Tip Jungfernsprung (Maiden Jump)
First of all, we go to the municipality of Dahn, which is situated in the Dahner Felsenland. Coming from the north on the B 427, I’m also struck by the Jungfernsprung.
This 70-metre-high promontory is also the landmark of Dahn. “Jungfernsprung?” There’s a legend, isn’t there? Right! There are also. The Executive Summary:
A virgin wanders through the forest to pick berries. Suddenly, an ogre is lying in wait to take virginity away from her, of course. So she falls away from it without paying attention to the path and then stands before the abyss. Even now she is not willing and chooses the abyss, because the fiend is blocking the only other way for her. Miraculously, the flowing skirts help her to land gently on earth like a parachute, where a spring springs from today.
Biif you’re standing up there. At the Jungfernsprung you can also see the typical type of rock that prevails between the southern foothills of the Palatinate Forest and the northern Vosges Mountains. These rocks have also given the region its name: Dahner Felsenland. I drive to a special specimen, which has been worked by nature over thousands of years, later still. First of all, we go to Altdahn Castle.
Travel Tip Dahner Castle Group Altdahn
This is meanwhile a castle ruin and is actually the Dahner Burgengruppe Altdahn consisting of Grafendahn, Tanstein and Altdahn. You can get a first impression of the imposing castle ruins in this video.
You can imagine that this is one of my top sights in the southwest Palatinate. The entrance to the castle is free of charge. If the weather is fine, you can spend a wonderful day with the whole family and a fantastic view over the whole region.
By car I drive quite close to the castle and park it in the parking lot below the castle group. Then it is a steep but short ascent to the castle. Those who already need a refreshment can stop at the castle tavern, which is open from Easter to the beginning of November and offers flame cake or homemade cakes, depending on the season.
Here you can also get the audio guide. At many places in the castle you can get information about the individual positions with the device and the headphones.
So, let’s make our first steps in the castle grounds. The Dreierburg castle is one of the largest in the Palatinate and was gradually built at the beginning of the 13th century on this federal sandstone cliff. In the west there are the remains of Tanstein Castle, the oldest area of the castle complex.
The former farm building is located in the section of Grafendahn Castle, which today houses the small, honorary guided museum. There is also the Salic Cistern and the Shield Wall.
For an entrance fee of 1,50 Euro you can see a castle model and some archeological finds. Opening hours Burgmuseum Dahner Burgengrupp: April to October from 11 am to 5 pm -- closed on Mondays.
Among them a gothic pocket sundial made of ivory. I was a little surprised by the fact that pocket watches already existed at that time.
On this day Mr. Kircher from the museum association and his dog were on duty in the museum. He could tell me some things about the castle. The castle area with the remains of Altdahn is also the largest area. Here you will find the flanking tower, the northern tower, the rock gate, the rock staircase and the gate with a moat and an old mill wheel. I would like to stay longer, but the sky is slowly closing and I would like to see another sight in the southwest Palatinate. So I’m off to the Devil’s Table, which is not far away.
Travel Tip Teufelstisch
I can park the car here in a relaxed way on a parking lot underneath the Teufelstisch. There are also some restaurants that invite you to stop after the ascent. For families there is a playground and miniature golf course at the foot of the Teufelstisch. But now it’s going up for the time being. At the top, I’m a little confused at first. “Is this the Devil’s table?” I haven’t seen a photo before.
But it turned out to be a signpost to the Teufelstisch, well placed by nature, which is much more impressive. It is really fascinating what the different influences of nature have shaped.
Mr. Kircher from the Burgmuseum thinks that the Teufelstisch would soon fall over. But the numerous climbers who use it as a training object disagree. There is also a legend about the Teufelstisch. The saga in short:
A dark fellow, the devil, wanders through the countryside and wants to rest. But nothing fitting to see. Then he takes two rocks and places them on top of each other as a table, eats there and leaves everything standing. The next day, people discover the table. A brave man makes his way, you can only hear him screaming. From now on this is the Teufelstisch.
And where did the devil prepare his food? On the way to the Teufelstisch I noticed some signs to a “Teufelsküche”. Well, let’s go, see the rocks.
Travel Tip Teufelsküche
Shortly before the signpost, a couple comes to meet me with whom I had already spoken at the Teufelstisch:”It’s not worth it. They don’t have to go there.” Okay, let’s have a look. I still have time. Following the sign, I walk in the direction of the road and find the…
“The kitchen’s a bit messy,”I guess. Or maybe the stove exploded. Well, that can’t have been it. And indeed, it goes a little further to the devil’s kitchen.
This rock of sandstone is already impressive enough to give it its own name. Again I find these wash-outs like in the castle grounds.
It looks as if they are small rock villages and at the next moment someone will come out of the cave. So, these were my sightseeing attractions in the southwest Palatinate. After so much nature and culture, I plunge back into civilization…. and right. It goes to the nearby temple of consumption.
Travel tip The Style Outlets Zweibrücken
The Style Outlets Zweibrücken houses 120 stores with a total of 130 brands, making it the largest outlet in Germany. And if you really can’t find anything for yourself here, just go to the Lindt shop and get some chocolate… it always helps.
If you still need some tips for shopping at the outlet, you can have a look here: The 5 best tips for a shopping day at Zweibrücken The Style Outlets (in german).
Further sights in the southwest Palatinate
- Pirmasens is located in the middle of the administrative district of Southwest Palatinate. Here you can see the parade ground, the Science Center “Dynamikum”, the WAWI chocolate world or the Westwall Museum.
- Bitche is located in neighbouring France and with the citadel of Bitsch, it is an imposing fortress with a distinctive cityscape.
I was impressed by the southwest Palatinate -- at second glance. There is a lot of nature in the region and an infinite number of hiking trails, some of which pass historical sites. Here you can relax in a beautiful landscape. As this was always a border region between principalities and later nations, numerous castles and fortresses can be discovered here, some of which have been destroyed by fighting. But just Lösch für Freunde is worth a trip to this region.