In southwestern Germany, Kaiserslautern is a picturesque town in the wooded hills of the Platinum Forest. This landscape has been a royal estate since the days of Charlemagne, and the “Kaiser” in the name of the city comes from the Holy Roman emperors Frederick I (Barbarossa) and Rudolf I who lived here in the 12th and 13th centuries.
Fast forward to 2000, and Kaiserslautern hosted the first Rhineland-Palatinate garden show, which devised a magical theme park with dinosaurs and a real Japanese garden. For culture, the papal gallery is full of high-profile Impressionist, Expressionist, and high-profile German works.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Kaiserslautern:
In 2000 Kaiserslautern staged the first state garden show of the Rhineland-Palatinate (Landesgartenschau), and designed this park for the event.
Combining Kaiserberg Hill, the park was built on the site of a former slaughterhouse and spinning mill.
Kids who are in their dinosaur stage will love Gartenschau because there are life-size models of dinosaurs all over the park.
There is also an adventurous golf course, a cactus garden, a variety of colorful flower beds, while in Kaiserberg there is a church made of willow branches.
The Lego exhibition has also been hosting Lego exhibitions since 2015.
2. Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern Museum
In the center of Kaiserslautern near the town hall is a museum of art from the 1800s to the 2000s.
The Pfalzgalerie was established in the 1970s and was the brainchild of Palatinate President Paul von Braun.
The permanent exhibition is a comprehensive journey through the last 200 years of German art, from neoclassicism (Anselm Feuerbach), through romance (Karl Spitzweg), Impressionism (Lovis Corinth, Max Lieberman), Expressionism (Kirchner, Heckel, Pachstein,) New. Objectivity (Otto Dix, Knoldt) and post-war art by Luciana Fontana, Hans Erp, Kiki Smith, to name a few.
On the second floor there are also decorative arts from the 14th century to the present day, with goldsmithing, glass, furniture and textiles.
3. Japanese Garden
Also completed in 2000 for Landesgartenschau one of the largest Japanese gardens in Europe.
In the late 90’s the city set out to create a completely authentic garden and a delegation from Kaiserslautern even visited its sister city, Bunkyō in Tokyo for advice.
The garden created in the end is not only a peaceful place to relax, but also holds Japanese festivals like Hanami and Tanabata, holds tea ceremonies and hosts readings of Japanese literature.
There are moss gardens, ponds, waterfalls, rock gardens with gravel, all imbued with hidden meaning.
On the former Kaiserslautern market is the oldest Gothic hall church between the Rhine and Saar rivers.
This seductive sandstone monument has its roots in a monastery from the 12th century and was built from the middle of the 13th century on the foundations of the previous building.
Then the oldest part, the elongated choir, was formed, while the ship’s hall arrived a few decades later in the 13th century.
In 2009 Krylon was installed with 47 bells in one of the western towers and it rings seven times a day between 09:31 and 20:01.
5. Hohanken screw
You will recognize the ruins of this castle from the Hohenstaufen period from a great distance.
The citadel is elevated on a 365-meter-high rocky spur on Schlossberg Hill, southwest of Kaiserslautern.
In 1689 during the Nine Years’ War, the Hohenken castle was erased by the French army.
But more than 300 years after this destruction there is a lot of medieval architecture to see.
It dates back to the early 12th century, when the pentagonal main tower (Bergfried) and the Defensive Wall were raised, both in surprisingly good condition.
6. Homberg Tower
At the beginning of the 20th century, the developers and manufacturers of Kaiserslautern banded together to build the Wilhelmina Observation Tower on Homberg Hill southeast of the city.
The sandstone building has a medieval bloom like a false deed, and at 425 feet above sea level there are far-reaching views to the north and west across the city.
There is a spiral staircase of 130 steps to the 28-meter-high observation deck, where a toposcope indicates the landmarks from a distance.
In the Mainzer Tor in the east of the city center, the Kaiserbrunnen is a bronze and sandstone sculpture from 1987. With a whimsical style, the fountain is an expedited route in the history of Kaiserslautern, as well as its modern peculiarities, but it is also laden with the hidden. symbolism.
There are hints from the past like the Napoleonic hat and chest of the Holy Roman Emperors Frederick I and Rudolf I. Take a good look and you will find the seal of the city, as well as contemporary hallmarks like a sewing machine made by the Pfaff brand, and an engine for an Opel car.
Among the animals in the fountain can be found Pike, who is the heraldic beast of Kaiserslautern, and the mouse the personal signature of the fountain maker Grano Rump.
8. Theodor-Zink Museum
An amazing 19th-century house with a courtyard has been home to the Kaiserslautern City Museum since 1978. The museum itself was founded in 1934 and for over 80 years has housed an excellent range of artefacts that tell the Kaiserslautern story.
Going back to the early days, there are mysterious fragments of Neolithic pottery and pieces of jewelry and ornaments from the Bronze Age.
You will see one of the earlier Carolingian capitals of the Stiftskirche, a model of the city from the early modern era and paintings of the bourgeois families of Kaiserslautern.
All the products manufactured by Kaiserslautern factories in the industrial age are on display, from sewing machines to bicycles, while there is also porcelain, faience, pottery and valuable stone tools from Frankenthal factories.
This park was created thanks to the Paltz craft exhibition from 1925. Older residents still call the Volkspark “Austellung” (exhibition). The showrooms that were bombed during the war were replaced in 1959 with lawns, sports facilities, botanical beds and a duck pond.
In 2001, an orchestra stand was established in the park and it performs a line-up of concerts in the summer.
On Sundays the Fühschoppenkonzert is a weekly institution, while in the Volksmarkt there is also a market with a medieval theme in the Volksmarkt in alternating years in August.
10. 1. FC Kaiserslautern
20 years ago, the Kaiserslautern football team was one of the largest in the country, having won the Bundesliga twice in 1991 and 1998. The second title took place under incredible circumstances, as the club were promoted from the 2nd Bundesliga only the season before.
But since 2012 Die Roten Teufel (Red Devils) has been regularly in the second division of German football.
Kaiserslautern has the home ground of a club of the highest standard, and the 50,000-capacity Fritz-Walter Stadium hosted five games during the 2006 World Cup.
If you have the mood for action, it will not be difficult to get a ticket on game days when the arena is only half full.
You can also tour the stadium most weekends to see the VIP area, locker rooms, digging houses and a press conference room.
11. St. Martins-Place
This cute square in the Old Town is surrounded by 18th and 19th century buildings and went through World War II with minimal damage.
At St.-Martins-Platz the scene takes place by a bar terrace under three large chestnut trees and the murmur of the Fontainebrunnen fountain.
This multi-layered monument is the work of a 20th century sculpture, and has swans and gargoyles and is covered by gilded photo.
In the Middle Ages St. Martins-Platz was at the entrance to the old town where grain was stored.
He later introduced the long-gone Zoom Donnersberg Hotel, where famous figures such as King Ludwig I of Bavaria, Victor Hugo and Napoleon stayed or dined.
To the north of the square is the former town hall of Kaiserslautern, and is now a school, but still characterized by the city emblem.
The Catholic Church of Kaiserslautern was once annexed to a Franciscan monastery and has the simple lines and restrained decoration that are trademarks of this order.
The church is located in a historic part of the city, located right in front of the medieval defensive wall, with traces of this structure still visible.
Outside, one of the usual things in the building is the lack of a tower, and instead there is a small baroque spire on the winding roof.
The interior has been renovated many times since the church was erected in the late 13th century, but it was possible to devote a few minutes to appreciating the plaster on the nave ceiling, the sandstone baptismal font (1516) and the polygonal vault and thin ogible windows in the chancel.
The old rectory behind the church is a repository of historic gravestones from the Kaiserslautern cemeteries.
13. Mikveh Tahara Jew
In 1995, excavations at Am Althof revealed a receptive Jewish heritage, a mikveh bath that originated in the 1300s.
It was accidentally found during construction work and dated to a specific window before the deportation of the Jewish population from Kaiserslautern in 1398. The bath is hewn in the rock and measures 2.5 by 2.5 meters.
After its discovery, the mikveh was placed under a small pavilion, and if you are interested in coming to see it, you can request a tour of the tourist office.
14. Freibad Washmala
There were no half indices when the Kaiserslautern Swimming Club built this outdoor pool on the site of an old washing mill in 1908. In a narrow valley and with a total water area of 7,400 square meters, the pool is 165.3 meters long and has Art Nouveau style changing rooms.
The water of Freibad Waschmühle comes from wells and ranges from a refreshing 19 degrees Celsius at the beginning of the season and at the end to 26 degrees in July and August.
The wooded landscape of the valley as well as the lawns and playgrounds of the pool make this place a favorite place for families to spend a relaxing summer afternoon.
15. Wild Park in Szenberg
On a hill east of the city is a wildlife park established in 1970. In the Wildpark Betzenberg park there are several species that used to roam the forests and countryside around the city but are usually not native to the area.
The 250-acre reserve shaded by oaks, beeches and 125-year-old conifers has orcs, mouflons, lynxes, wild boars, owls and red deer.
The Wildpark is also taking part in an endangered bison conservation program in Europe.
Where to stay: The best hotels in Kaiserslautern, Germany
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