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Sightseeing in Weilburg, Germany, Weilburg Sights and Attractions - Indian Chief Travel
GERMANY  |  Lahn Valley, Germany Travel Guide
Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Sightseeing in Weilburg

Sightseeing in Weilburg

Schloss zu Weilburg

Weilburg’s main sight is the Renaissance-Baroque Schloss zu Weilburg – the residence of the counts and princes of Nassau-Weilburg up to 1816. The residence complex is built high on a rock around which the Lahn meanders. In addition to the buildings, the complex has terraced gardens with lovely views of the Lahn Valley.

The Renaissance heart of the castle dates from 1533-72 and is preserved almost unchanged. The interior or Castle Museum, Schlossplatz 1, can only be seen on a 50-minute, German- only, guided tour. Some 30 richly decorated rooms are seen, including popular highlights such as the modern Baroque kitchen, the huge marble bath, and the hothouse of the upper Orangery.

Even if not taking the guided tour of the castle interior, the Renaissance courtyard, which is used for concerts in summer, can be seen. It looks more like an English stage set right out of Shakespearean times than a castle in the heart of Germany.

Most of the rest of the complex is Baroque and was added or altered in the early 18th century. The French/Dutch-style Upper Orangery connects the main Renaissance palace with the Protestant Schlosskirche (Palace Church) on the elegant Baroque Marktplatz. The church shares a roof with the Rathaus and both date from around 1710.

The main entrance to the castle gardens is next to the church. (An alternative entrance leads directly from the Renaissance courtyard.) The views from the upper terrace are spectacular: on the east side is a sharp drop to the Lahn River and on the west the glassed-in arcades of the Upper Orangery. To the south is a lower terrace with a small, formal Baroque garden. An informal restaurant is here in the Lower Orangery, reminiscent of the Petit Trianon and Orangerie at Versailles. At the north end of the complex is the luxury Schlosshotel with more formal dining options.

Weilburg's Other Sights

Of interest in Weilburg is the former chancellery, located on Schlossplatz, which houses the Bergbau-und-Stadtmuseum (Museum of Local History and Mining). The emphasis is on mining equipment and some 200 m (660 feet) of the original iron ore mining tunnels can be seen. It is especially popular with children and school groups.

Weilburg’s Schiffstunnel (shipping tunnel) is the only tunnel for ships in Germany. It was built between 1841 and 1847 as part of a plan to connect the Rhine and Elbe Rivers, but it was completed late and cost triple the original budget. The tunnel succeeded in bypassing the weirs around Weilburg, but lost its economic significance after only 15 years when the Gießen-Koblenz railroad made the shipping route superfluous. The tunnel is almost 200 m long (656 feet) and is paved with 32,000 bricks. A 4.65-m (15-foot) elevation difference required a sluice inside the tunnel. The tunnel is open to canoes and other leisure crafts and passing through it is considered an essential part of any rowing trip on the Lahn.

Last updated June 28, 2011
Posted in   Germany  |  Lahn Valley
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