Idstein- a hidden gem of Hesse
Idestein- the hidden gem of Hessen. It’s a charming little town only 25 min from Hofheim am Taunus and 45 mins drive from Frankfurt.
With trailer of an early summer in March my spirits were high, what seemed to look like wonderful start of the spring was soon loaded with showers on April’s weekends… May brought the much awaited sun back and there I started cherishing the little garden in our backyard. My “travel-me” was poking to go out somewhere but I decided to take a break from longer drives and I started feeding my travel curiosity with some jig-jazz search… and there I found Idstein! The town wasn’t too small and sizeable enough to wander couple of hours there. I was particularly looking forward to appreciate the beauty of centuries old architect, history and experience it with a walk. Idstein is known for its small street and innumerable half-timbered houses. Walking through the old town of Idstein will drift you away in four centuries of beautifully carved half-timbered houses.
As soon as we come out of the parking house, we started off in search for Tourist office. We made a quick stop over at the most beautiful tourist office (I have ever been to- housed in Killinger house) for the map.
I quickly analyzed looking at the map (now I am Pro on looking at the map i.e. came a long a way to hold it at least in right direction of point of interest)
We started our day by visiting the most hotspot eatery in Idstein- Idstein Brauhaus Altefeurwache. This place is a brewery converted from old fire station.
The Idstein volunteer fire brigade founded in 1876, used this building until they moved to their modern fire station in 1982. Since 2004, it has been the Idstein Brewery.
I already knew what I wanted to pick from the menu from one of the recommendation online, unfortunately my taste bud didn’t like it so much. It was however called obazter.
The food here was quite traditional home made own recipes types. They had their own house made beers and exclusive menu cut for the little ones, which little suri totally relished.
Following our most German traditional meal in the longest time, it was time to head on to the Altstadt (old town) of Idstein. Altstadt (Old town) of Idstein is perfectly persevered city center. Due to which, it is listed as part of the Deutsche Fachwerkstraße also known as German timber-Frame road. The town has 15,000 inhabitants and quite a mix population of old and younger generation. The place has a different aura around which walk you in black & white era.
It has so much history that each house placates with some description in a very biblical German (which I didn’t even try reading it) tell the stories they are carrying for centuries. To me, it looked like a perfect little German Christmas toy town .I could imagine that a character like Rapunzel (A German fairy tale) was once lived in , letting down her hair from the tower.
It is a cute little sleeping town and yet quite amazing to see so less people on lovely sunny afternoon in May over the long weekend. It seems to be much forgotten place but we found this to be a great place for a nice stroll and reliving the history of rich decorative features of half-timbered houses of century’s old, spilling the beans of the wealth and pride of its architects and owners.
The town is pocket of lanes full of half-timbered housed date back 13th centuries which encircling around and come back to a common meeting point most times. The first encounter of such building was the Schiefes Haus.
It was Built in 1727 by the mayor of the town, since the house has lot of deficiencies in construction caused it to tilt, hence named the “crooked house”. It is a building which is hard to miss due to very unique appearance of blue and yellow framed windows and appear to be balancing on its foot for centuries.
Once you walk above the castle ground and further crossing the castle gate, you will see a Hexen Turm – a witch tower comes from a common custom of the 19th century that has nothing to with Idstein witch trials of the 17th century of the town. It is the oldest building in the town dates back to 1170 which is the landmark of the Idstein. The tower can be visited and provides a scenic view. The tourist office will give you a centuries old majestic looking like key to open the door of the tower for around 45 min. I, however decided to skip the adventure .For more info, contact the tourist office there.
We scrolled further around admiring the half-timbered housed of its rich architecture with colorful carvings and impeccable detail all around us along the walkways While walking around, stopping and adoring everything from streets full of half-timbered historical colored houses Idestein Rathaus, Union kirche (built in 1340 , pity that we didn’t decide to go inside -figured out afterwards that how beautiful it could have been from inside to look at 38 canvas paintings on the ceiling of biblical senses) , Burgerhaus built in 1596, each one of those houses were so unique that added a majestic charm to this town.
The town indicated that it has survived the difficult times of war and indeed flourished testifying the times of darker phases in its full glory. It is a place where the time has stand still….