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3 Limburg (Inns: Nassauer Hof; a new hotel, to be called the Bellevue, September 1849), a very ancient town on the Lahn. The superb Cathedral of St. George towers pre-eminently above the other buildings. It was on
with a fine view. Traube.) is beauti-road, is bad. A little above Limburg on fully situated on a high bank above the the rt. bank of the Lahn, is the old ch. river, being built on a peninsula, which of Dietkirchen, standing on a rock, and is joined to the left bank by a narrow containing bones of St. Matthew and neck of land, and has à Castle, an- St. Lubentius, as it is reported. ciently the residence of the Ducal family of Nassau Weilburg, moved since the extinction of the line of Nassau Usingen to Biberich. The gardens extend down to the river. The Dukes of Nassau are buried in a church here. In the vicinity there is an ex-ginally founded 909, but the existing tensive park. The view of Weilburg is surpassed by few scenes in N. Germany, the principal features being the old castle on a rock, the bridge, and the winding river. The hill on which Weilburg stands has been perforated by a Tunnel for the passage of the waters of the Lahn. It is lighted with gas, and serves as a canal. The Lahn is to be made navigable as far as Marburg, at the expense of Prussia, Nassau, Hesse-Cassel, and Hesse-Darmstadt. It was at Weilburg, that in 1836, Mr. Hollond, M. P. for Hastings, Mr. Monk Mason, and Mr. C. Green, descended in the "Nassau Balloon," having made the voyage from London to this place in 18 hours, starting at
edifice is not older than the end of the 12th or beginning of the 13th century. Its architecture is particularly interesting, as it exhibits the latest character of the Byzantine style, mixed with the commencement of the pointed Gothic It contains several monuments of princes of Nassau, and a very old font, but is sadly disfigured by whitewash.
The views of the winding Lahn from this church and from the picturesque bridge, and that of the church itself, from a mill on the bank of the river, are very fine. The MS. called Lin burg Chronicle is one of the oldest sources of German history. A boat may hired at Limburg to descend the river to Ems and Coblenz, Limburg is con nected by good macadamised roads with Frankfurt, 8 Germ. m. (Rte. 45a); [There is a road hence by Usingen, and Wiesbaden, 6 Germ. m. Nieder over the Taunus, and down upon Hom-Selters is about 9 m. off (p. 500.). burg to Frankfurt, 8 Germ. m.=381 Eng. m. A public conveyance runs hrs. daily on this road. The road between Weilburg and Usingen passes through some fine forests, mostly belonging to
14 P. M., and arriving here at 74 on the following morning.
Eilwagen to - Cologne daily, in 15 - Wiesbaden daily, in 5 hrs. At Limburg the high road crosses and quits the Lahn.
3 Montabauer (Schmidts Inn), a the Duke of Nassau, whose park is "very picturesque town, has an old castle, passed. At Usingen is a palace be- which originally belonged to the Elec
longing to the Duke. From the top
tor of Treves."-T.
This stage lies
burg, there is a fine view of the Oden- view of Ehrenbreitstein is obtained of the hill, before descending into Hom-through pretty country; a magnificent from the last hill, before reaching 3 COBLENZ (Route 37. p. 279.).
wald, as far as the Duchy of Baden.]
This part of the valley of the Lahn is picturesque, enclosed by wooded hills, and is interesting to the geologist. It was formerly partitioned out
The Lahn between Limburg and Ems is very picturesque, and well between the 4 reigning houses of worth exploring; but the road along Solms, Isenburg, Nassau, and König- this part of its course is a cross The post road from Weilburg not practicable for English carriages.
to Limburg is for the most part uninteresting that passing by the ancient town and castle of Runkel, being a cross
Diez, 3 m. from Limburg-Inn, Hof von Holland; good and clean; Adler. Is romantically situated on the Lahn,
which is crossed by a bridge 800 years | old, overlooked by the castle of its ancient counts, built on the summit of a rock, now the principal prison of Nassau. Not far off is Oranienstein, a château of the D. of Nassau, not inhabited nor remarkable.
At Diez, a good boat with 2 rowers may be hired for 6 or 7 fl. to descend the Lahn to Ems. The river winds so much as to make the distance nearly double that by the high road, and the passage to take up 6 hours. It is not unlike the Wye, though at first the scenery exhibits a sameness of beauty, the hills on both sides being covered with wood, and not distinguished by much variety of shape; but the numerous villages and ruined castles on its banks contribute to embellish the views. A few miles below Diez is the mineral spring of Fachingen on the left, and, about as far again lower down, Geilnau on the right bank of the Lahn. Many thousand bottles of the water are exported annually: it is very like that of Selters. At a little distance from the Lahn, on its left bank, half-way between Fachingen and Geilnau, are the castles of Balduinstein, built 1325, by a bishop of Treves; and Schaumburg, the residence of the princes of Anhalt-Bernburg. A mile beyond Geilnau, and about 14 from Ems, is Holzappel (Inn, Bär), a small and uninteresting_town, surrounded by fine mountains. On the road not far from it, close to the river, stand the ruins of the castle of Laurenburg, the original residence of the Nassau family, who bore the name of Counts of Laurenburg down to the middle of the 12th cent.
rt. Further on are the village of Obernhof, and the small but very perfect old castle of Langenau, with its walls, gates, towers, and external fortifications complete, but filled with vile modern buildings, seated on a flat which seems to have been once an island.
1. The ruined Abbey of Arnstein, standing conspicuous on the side of a mountain, opposite Langenau, presents a splendid and picturesque front to the gaze of the passenger. It was the
feudal seat of a long line of counts, the last of whom, Louis of Arnstein, having no son, married and portioned off his 7 daughters, dividing among them a part of his estates; then converting his castle into a convent, he endowed it with the rest of his property, and finally became a monk himself. It is still inhabited. There are no remains of the original castle. The Church is entire; its 2 towers date from 1359.
When the Lahn is low, it is fordable opposite to Arnstein; at other times those who come from Nassau must cross by the ferry at Obernhof, higher up.
The road from Diez to Ems, though bad, is practicable for post carriages, and is very picturesque. It does not, however, follow the course of the Lahn until a short distance from Obernhof, about 2 leagues from Nassau. steep ascent it reaches Holzappel; thence, through a beech forest, it passes above Obernhof, and mounting to a great height, occupies the narrow neck of an isthmus between the deep glens of the Lahn and Weinährbach. Next passing Langenau and Arnstein it reaches
3 Nassau (Route 95.).
TAUNUS MOUNTAINS, FROM
The E. extremity of the Taunus chain of hills, though little known to English tourists, will well repay those who may be tempted to explore it, The district here referred to might be nearly included within a triangle drawn between the towns of Wiesbaden, Frankfurt, and Homburg. This part of the chain presents in its narrow pas toral valleys, clear purling streams, and wooded heights, scenery of the utmost beauty, differing from that nearer to the Rhine in its character of sylvan solitude, and perhaps surpassing it in variety.
Roads. - The post road from Wies baden to Frankfurt passes considerably to the S. of these hills; but that from
Frankfurt to Limburg crosses them. There is a carriage road direct from Wiesbaden to Königstein through Eppstein, quite practicable even for a heavily laden German carriage, though it is bad in some places. The part between Nauroth and Bremthal is bad after wet weather. The other roads are scarcely practicable for an English carriage, though passable, with some difficulty, for a light German calèche. The best mode of exploring this country is on horseback or on foot, as the beauties of many of its valleys will be lost to those who confine themselves to carriages and the high roads. Those who do not mind jolting over rough roads may indeed approach them in a country car, and then with the aid of a guide penetrate into their recesses on foot.
Pedestrians may explore the finest parts of this fertile and picturesque hill-country district in 2 days, by adopting the following course. Take the Taunus Railway (Rte. 99.) to Hattersheim Stat., walk thence to Hofheim (2 m.), ascend to the chapel (hour's walk) to Eppstein (5 m.), visit the castle ;-to Königstein (5 m.). In the evening explore the castle, and Falkenstein. Early next morning ascend the less and greater Feldberg (5 m. .), then walk to the Altkönig (4 m.), back to Königstein (4 m.), dine there. In the afternoon take the diligence to Soden, whence a branch railway runs to Höchst. (p. 520.)
At Hattersheim a tolerable country road, but destitute of shade, turns off to the N. W., and leads to the pretty village of Hofheim (2 m.). The chapel on the height commands a view which will well repay the trouble of ascending to it. The valley of Lorsbach, above Hofheim, as far as Eppstein (5 m.), is very beautiful indeed.
The family of Eppstein seems nearly as old as that of Nassau; many of its members were chancellors of the emnpire and archbishops of Mayence. One of them crowned the Empr. Fredk. Barbarossa, at Aix-la-Chapelle, and afterwards was made Patriarch of Jerusalem. The line became extinct in the 16th cent.: several of their monuments still exist in the village church. The castle now belongs to a gentleman of taste and knowledge of antiquities, who takes care of it, and has planted the little terraces with flowers, and made every part accessible. The castle is cut off from the mountain by a deep dry trench, evidently artificial.
Königstein is about 6 m. N.E. from Eppstein; the way thither lies through the pretty vale of Fischbach. whole landscape, the hanging woods, variously tinted by autumn, the jutting rocks, the sombre sequestered recesses in the glen, and the lonely stillness which pervaded the scene, sometimes reminded one of some of the least wild of Salvator's romantic scenes, or of the cool and lovely valleys of Gaspar Poussin.". Autumn near the Rhine. From Fischbach to Schneidhain the way lies across the open table land,— thence it ascends to
Königstein.—Inns: Post, or Stadt Amsterdam, good; the landlord has a trout stream: Löwe (Lion), which has a garden attached to it. This vil lage is a post station on the high road from Frankfurt to Limburg. Above it, on the height, rises the ruined Castle of Königstein, a modern fortress with bastions and casemates, engrafted on & feudal stronghold of the middle ages with battlements and watch-towers. It belonged originally to the Counts of Falkenstein, and afterwards to the Barons of Eppstein; was taken by Eppstein (Inn, The Oil Mill), de- Gustavus Adolphus in the Thirty lightfully situated at the junction of 4 Years' War, and by the French, who valleys. The wild and sequestered dismantled it and blew up its works village is wedged in a narrow defile in 1796. There is a fine view from between rocks and mountains. The it over the valleys of the Main massy towers and donjons of the old and Rhine, while the neighbouring baronial castle, perched like an eagle's castles of Falkenstein and Kronberg mest on the most accessible point of rock, are most picturesque objects in the overhang it. foreground.
An excellent carriage-road goes from Königstein to Soden, whence there is a branch railway to the Höchst station on the Frankfurt and Mayence Railway. Those who travel on foot, or who do not mind rough cross roads, may continue on to the Falkenstein, about a mile N. E. from Königstein. This bold and picturesque ruin is an imposing relic of a feudal stronghold and baronial residence of the days of chivalry, and the exquisite view from it renders it one of the most interesting points of the tour. It was the cradle (Stammhaus) of a noble family named Nuringen, before it was added to the possessions of the house of Nassau.
A young knight, named Kuno of Sayn, once paid his addresses to a fair daughter of the lord of this castle: he was beloved by her, but found no favour with him; on the contrary, he sternly rejected the lover's suit, and in order to put him off entirely, told him he should have his daughter for wife if he made, in a single night, a road up to his castle (previously accessible only on foot) which should be practicable for horses or carriages. The old lord looked upon this as an impossibility; So did every one else, except Kuno. He summoned his head miner, but he also declared it useless to make the attempt. He then repaired to an elf or cobold, who promised to achieve the task, provided Kuno bound himself to leave him in unmolested possession of a certain quarter of the Taunus hills. This condition was agreed to. In the course of the following night a violent tempest arose, which laid low the highest trees of the forest; the castle was shaken to its foundation, as by an earthquake; its doors and windows opened of their own accord; and its inmates were terrified by a clanking as of spades and pickaxes borne upon the gale, interinixed with shouts of demoniac laughter. The first thing that the old baron beheld next morning was Kuno riding up to the gates in gallant array on his charger, along a road carried over spots where the night before there was nothing but inaccessible rocks. He did not forget his promise
to the young knight, and gave him Irmingarde for wife.
3 m. S. E. of Königstein lies the watering-place of Soden, well provided with lodging-houses: brine springs rise near it. There is a good road down the hill from Königstein eastward to Cronberg, 2 m., a village of about 1400 inhab., prettily situated, surrounded by orchards and nursery gardens. Here is another ruined Castle; its owners, a knightly family, were engaged in constant feuds with the city of Frankfurt. A painting, still existing, represents a victory gained by its barons over the burghers of the free city. There is a mineral spring at Kronthal, a little farther on, to which people resort in summer; and the Kurhaus affords good quarters.
The Great Feldberg, the highest of the Taunus mountains, rises immediately to the N. of Falkenstein and Cronberg. The summit, 2600 feet above the sea, is accessible for carriages, and is about 3 m. distant. It commands one of the most extensive panoramic views to be met with in N. Germany, including the Rhine and Main, the great cities and towns on their banks as far as Strasburg, whose spire is said to be visible in clear weather, and the mountain ranges of the Black Forest, Vosges, Mont Tonnerre, Odenwald, and Taunus.
A huge fragment of quartz rock at the top of the Feldberg is called Brunehilda's bed, from a tradition that a beautiful Frankish queen of that name took refuge here from her enemies. Upon the Altkönig (2400 ft.), the nearest neighbour S. E., and the mountain next in height to the Feldberg, are the remains of ancient entrenchments, made either by the Romans, or by the aborigines of this country.
There is a direct road from Cronberg to Frankfurt; but the journey may be agreeably extended by continuing onwards through a pretty country to Ober Ursel, where the old church is curious, and thence to
Saisons, new and large, with a table d'hote at 5. 2d class Inns: Golden Adler; Engel; H. de Frankfurt. The rent of good lodgings in good situations varies from 15 to 20 florins per week for 3 or 4 rooms, and from 5 to 7 fl. for a single bedroom, from June to Sept. House rent has risen considerably within the last few years. Homburg is a small town of 3500 inhab., prettily situated on an eminence in the midst of cultivation, and half surrounded by projections from the Taunus. The discovery of Mineral Springs, partly by boring Artesian wells, has, within a few years, converted Homburg into a frequented watering-place. The waters are very valuable in cases of disordered liver and stomach. There are 5 springs: that of Elizabeth, compared with the Ragozzi at Kissingen, contains more carbonic acid than any other saline spa known, and on that account sits lightly on the dyspeptic stomach; the Stahl Brunnen, like the ferruginous water of Spa; Kaiser Brunnen, similar to the Carlsbad water; Badequelle, a salt spring like that of Kreuznach, and Ludwigs Brunnen. Dr. Prytherch is the resident English physician.
On the strength of this some French speculators have built, at a cost of 20,000l., a Kurhaus, one of the most splendid in Germany, decorated internally with frescoes and stucco work by Italian artists from Munich. It contains halls, dining (table d'hote at 2 and 5), coffee, and smoking rooms; also a reading room, where English and foreign papers and periodicals are taken in. The real destination of the building is as a gaming-house, that disgrace to the minor Princes of Germany. Let those who are disposed to risk their money inquire what is the character of the managers, and be on their guard. The expenses of such an enormous and splendid establishment must be paid out of the pockets of travellers. About 50,000 florins are lost here annually by the public in play. By way of tickling the trouts, an admirable band, provided by the managers, plays thrice a day on
the walks, and the establishment affords great accommodation to strangers.
The chief building is the gloomy Palace of the Prince of Hesse Homburg, or Schloss. Its most conspicuous feature is a lofty detached tower in the principal court, resembling an old Scotch castle, a remnant of a former building. The gardens immediately attached to the castle were tastefully laid out in the style of English pleasure grounds, by the late Landgravine Elizabeth (daughter of George III.), but are neglected and going to ruin. Between these and the foot of the Taunus extend a succession of flower gardens and shubberies on either side of the public road, itself an avenue of fine Lombardy poplars. Beyond this lies the Park, and on the slopes of the hills are many pleasant walks and drives cut in all directions through the woods and forests around, which clothe the sides of the Taunus; so that the wanderer may penetrate for miles under the refreshing shade of the forest, and may at last find himself on the summit of some eminence, commanding the country far and wide.
The salt works
of Nauheim, with the interesting natural fountain, are distant 1 hour's drive N. E. from Homburg. The road runs through Friedberg, see Rte 70.
English Church Service every Sun