The Lahn Valley[dead link] is a romantic river valley with many castles and old towns in beautiful nature.
- 1 Netphen. The Lahn spring is located in Lahnhof, a district of the city of Netphen. Its spring pond once served as a fire water pond and is also known as Lahntopf.
- 2 Bad Laasphe. Bad Laasphe offers its visitors many sights; For example, the almost completely preserved historic old town with its half-timbered houses, continuous cobblestone paving, the old town fountain and fragments of the old city wall. The Rothaarsteig, created in 2001, also runs through the area of the city of Bad Laasphe. In addition, there are numerous themed hiking trails, such as the “Laaspher Bierwegelchen”, the “Mythen- und Sagenweg”, the “Mensch & Hund Erlebnispfad” or the “Märchenwanderweg Kleiner Rothaar”. Unique in Germany are the "Mushroom Science Museum" with over 1,000 freeze-dried mushroom exhibits and the "International Radio Museum Hans Necker" with an extensive collection of historical devices and curiosities from radio history. An industrial museum exists with the Amalienhütte.
- 3 Biedenkopf. In the old town of Biedenkopf, numerous half-timbered houses have survived, the oldest of which is the count's official building at the church, which is known as the “Schenkbarsches Haus”. The castle Schloss Biedenkopf from the 14th century is located above the city. Today it houses the "Hinterland Museum". In addition to the Hinterland Museum in Biedenkopf Castle, the "Schartenhof" in Eckelshausen, the "Dorfmuseum Wallau", the "Dorfstube Engelbach", a private Holder (Tractor) Museum in Engelbach and the private icon and textile museum "Schenkbarsches Haus Museum" in the upper town are part of the Biedenkopf museum landscape.
- 4 Lahntal. Sights include the "Rimberg tower" near Caldern, the defensive tower of the church in Sterzhausen from the 12th and 13th centuries, the "Old Lahn Bridge" in Goßfelden and the "Otto Ubbelohde House" in Goßfelden.
- 5 Cölbe. Inflow of river Ohm. Sights include the "Art Nouveau station" building, now used as a municipal administration, the old church in the Bürgeln district, the old bakehouse in Schwarzenborn and the historic center of Schönstadt.
- 6 Marburg. Marburg and its surroundings offer numerous sights and is one of the highlights along the river Lahn. The main attractions are the "Elisabeth Church", the castle and the historic old town. From April to October there are casemate tours every Saturday through the castle's underground fortifications.
- 7 Weimar (Lahn). Noteworthy buildings in the municipality include the fortified church in the Wenkbach district and the churches in Niederweimar, Niederwalgern, Allna and Roth. The mill in Argenstein and the country synagogue in Roth are also part of it, as are old half-timbered houses, which can be found in some districts.
- 8 Wettenberg. The main attraction is Gleiberg Castle
- 9 Gießen. Due to the devastating destruction caused by the air raids of World War II and urban planning in the post-war period, there are hardly any buildings from the pre-industrial era in the actual centre. The sights in Gießen include a number of reconstructed half-timbered houses, such as the “Zum Löwen” inn on Neuenweg, where Goethe once stayed and dined, the old castle and the new castle of the Landgraves of Hesse (at Brandplatz) and the Burgmannenhaus on Kirchplatz. The main building of the Justus Liebig University is also one of the sights. It is in the city centre and on the Gießener “Feiermeile”, Ludwigstrasse. The arsenal that is used by the university is worth seeing.
- 10 Lahnau. The "Roman Forum Lahnau-Waldgirmes", an open-air museum, shows the oldest stone foundations in Germany, once a Roman forum, the only fragments worldwide of a life-size bronze-gilt equestrian statue of the Emperor Augustus and numerous jewellery and utility objects for which no comparison pieces are known.
- 11 Wetzlar. Inflow of river Dill. The most important sights are in the historic old town with the Romanesque / Gothic cathedral, the museums and the carefully restored half-timbered houses. The old town with its alleys and small squares runs down to the Lahn and the old Lahn Bridge. In places you can still see a well-preserved city wall, the course of which is largely lined with parks.
- 12 Solms. The highlights are the Altenberg Abbey in the Oberbiel district, the "Grube Fortuna" (Oberbiel) visitor mine with field and mine railway museum, the 1000-year-old oak (Albshausen), and the execution site (gallows) on the road between Oberndorf and Albshausen from 1750, a rare Hessian legal mark.
- 13 Weilburg. It has an old town, and a castle from the 14th century with Renaissance parts and a baroque extension. On the "Old Cemetery" there is a "Calvary" and the "Holy Sepulcher Chapel", which is based on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. The “Weilburg Tunnel Ensemble” is unique in the world. Here are tunnels for cars, ships and trains side by side. In particular, the shipping tunnel opened in 1847 represents a building that is unique in Germany.
- 14 Weinbach. Inflow of river Weil. Particularly worth seeing are the Elkerhausen castle in the Weinbach valley, the Neu-Elkerhausen castle on the Lahn near Graeveneck and the castle ruin Freienfels above the Weil in the district of Freienfels.
- 15 Villmar. The Lahn Marble Museum is its highlight.
- 16 Runkel. The remarkable old town with the Runkel Castle and the Schadeck Castle make the place a worthwhile excursion destination.
- 17 Limburg an der Lahn. The main sights are the very beautiful and lively old town with the cathedral and the Lahn riverside promenade
- 18 Diez. Inflow of river Aar. Worth seeing are the old town, the Grafenschloss (museum and youth hostel) and Schloss Oranienstein (museum and military area).
- 19 Nassau. Worth visiting for the Nassau Castle, Stein Castle Ruins, Chain Bridge, City Hall.
- 20 Bad Ems. Spa town with a very nice promenade and lordly bath houses.
- 21 Lahnstein. Very beautifully situated place with castle, and a famous tavern.
The roads that follow the river are collectively signed as the Lahn-Ferien-Straße.
The lower section is navigable for river ships with locks along the way. A large part can be travelled by small motor boats.
As well as the stunning scenery, there are 300 castles, fortresses, churches and other fortified building.
- 1 Wittgenstein Castle. The 12th-century castle served as the residence of the princes of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Hohenstein until 1950. Then it was converted into a school and the Internet and is still used today.
- 2 Fronhausen Castle. In 1367 the lower castle was built as a Hessian fief and in 1917 it was returned to private ownership. The lower castle in Fronhausen is an original moated castle and later a castle. The lower castle, the foundations of which have been preserved in the new building and whose former moats have been lost in today's park, shows the well-preserved castle, a large Gothic stone building with cross-story windows and a baroque mansard roof, the gate construction of which is connected to a farm building.
- 3 Friedelhausen Castle. Nice photogenic castle, but not open to the public. Private. Still worth the visit. The oldest building is the Old Castle, today part of the manor was built in 1564. The New Castle was built in 1851. The estate still belongs to the counts of Schwerin. The new castle is closely based on the English, classicist form of the neo-Gothic, the Tudor Gothic. It is a two-story cubic building with a crenellated crown and a flat roof. The corners of the building are flanked by turrets.
- 4 Castle Badenburg. Castle ruins with a very well-known restaurant (Badenburg Ritterkeller). The castle is located on the banks of the Lahn, slightly above the rapids there. The lords of Badenburg had controlled an important riverside path since the 14th century, which was the most important connection between Lollar and Gießen until the 19th century
- 5 Staufenberg Castle. The castle was first mentioned in 1233 and has been destroyed several times in its eventful history. In 1858 the princes of Hessen-Darmstadt, who studied in Gießen, acquired the lower castle and had it restored. The upper castle, of which part of the palace has survived, has been the property of the city of Staufenberg since 2002. A freely accessible viewing platform has been set up on the north-east corner tower, which is about 13 metres high and can be climbed over the still partially preserved stair tower. The Lower Castle, which had been converted into a hotel, was sold to the State of Hesse in 2002. The lower castle now houses the Hotel Burg Staufenberg
- 6 Treis Castle. Almost nothing is known about the history of the castle. It was probably built in the middle of the 16th century. The approximately 1.1-meter-thick ring walls and a mighty round tower on the south side are evidence of the once strongly fortified castle complex. The facility is privately owned.
- 7 Nordeck Castle. The castle, which is documented to date from the 12th century, still shapes Nordeck's image today. It often changed hands, is now owned by the Counts of Schwerin zu Friedelhausen and has been the home of the Nordeck country school since 1925. Lebenshilfe Gießen has been operating a dormitory at the castle since 2015. The keep can be visited by prior appointment.
- 8 Gleiberg Castle. Built in 946, it was destroyed in the Thirty Years' War in 1646 after an eventful history. Since it was no longer of military importance, it was not rebuilt. It is a popular destination, also because of the 2 restaurants on the castle grounds.
- 9 Vetzberg Castle. It was probably built in the first half of the 12th century. The castle was besieged and destroyed several times, the last time in 1463 and not rebuilt. There is a restaurant on the castle grounds.
- 10 Fortuna mine. A visitor mine with field and mine railway museum.
- 11 Laneburg. Ruined castle with restaurant. The castle was built in 1321 on the rocky outcrop of the Schletsberg above the town and was converted into a Renaissance castle at the end of the 16th century. The castle burnt down in 1900 and was not rebuilt.
- 12 Philippstein castle. The castle was built in 1390 and served primarily to protect the territory and the mining mines. The castle lost its strategic importance at the latest in the 16th century and fell into disrepair after the last administrator left. In the 19th century, the ruin was used by the villagers as a quarry, so that large parts were removed and the stones were inserted in newly constructed buildings. Still worth seeing, especially the beautiful view from the keep.
- 13 Kubacher Crystal Cave. The crystal cave is a chasm in the Upper Devonian limestone. Large parts of the walls are covered with countless calcite crystals and pearl sinter. In this form, the crystal jewelry on the walls is considered unique in Germany. With a length of about 170 m, a width of up to 26 m and a height of up to 30 m, the cave is the largest natural underground single cavity that can be visited in Germany. It is one of the highlights along the Lahn.
- 14 Hadamar castle. In its current design, it is shaped by the Renaissance. The castle, which is well worth seeing, is now used as an administration building, the adjoining farm buildings as a city museum and court seat. The castle church located in the east wing. The old town of Hadamar is also worth a visit.
- 15 Dehrn castle. The most striking part of the castle is the round 34-m-high keep with an octagonal battlement. While the tower with its walls up to three meters thick probably dates from the 13th century, the octagonal battlement was added in the 19th century. The residential building, south of the keep, is still of Gothic origin (13th century). This part was rebuilt in the late Gothic style in the 16th century.
- 16 Schaumburg castle. The castle is a three-wing complex on a mountain top. It received its present appearance during the expansion from 1850 to 1855 and is designed according to the ideal of the romantic Rhine.
- 17 Oranienstein Castle. It was built between 1672 and 1681 on the ruins of the former Benedictine monastery in Dierstein. Until 1815 it belonged to the counts or princes of Nassau-Dietz, from whom the Dutch royal family descended.
- 18 Balduinstein Castle. In 1319 the construction of a castle under the foam castle began. With the construction of the Niederburg within the city in 1443, Balduinstein Castle became increasingly less important. After several phases of expansion of the castle in the 14th and 15th centuries and the connection to the city fortifications, decay began in the middle of the 17th century. After the end of the Thirty Years' War in 1648, the Elector of Trier granted permission to demolish in 1665, and in 1680 only the walls stood. In the 19th century, the ruined castle was used as a quarry.
- 19 Laurenburg Castle. The plant was built around 1090. Already in the middle of the 17th century it was a ruin. Only the pentagonal keep has been repaired several times. Laurenburg Castle was built below the castle in 1800. There are no remains of the original hill castle. The 22-m-high four-story keep probably dates from the 12th or 13th century. On its west side, an external wooden staircase leads to the high entrance, behind which the knight's hall is located. From here you can reach the upper floor via a wooden staircase and from there in a stair tower built into the eastern corner of the keep via a spiral staircase to the viewing platform. The castle is now privately owned, but is freely accessible outdoors. The keep can be viewed and climbed. From its platform there is a very good view of Laurenburg and the Lahn valley. The Knights' Hall now houses a small military museum and can be used as a wedding room for weddings.
- 20 Hohlenfels Castle. Before 1353, the construction of Hohlenfels Castle started. The castle was supposed to control the trade route between Aachen and Nuremberg (Kemel-Limburger Strasse) and Hessenstrasse, which passed in the immediate vicinity. During the Thirty Years' War, Hohlenfels was temporarily abandoned and partially destroyed. In 1712 the main building of the castle, which is still habitable, was rebuilt. Already in 1768 parts of the old wooden structures were demolished; in the period that followed, large parts of the castle continued to deteriorate. In the course of the Rhine romanticism, the already largely ruinous castle served several times as a motif for painters and draftsmen. Extensive security measures have been implemented since 1980 and are open to the public again in the summer.
- 21 Burgschwalbach Castle. The castle was built in 1368. In 1737 repairs would have been necessary. In view of the high costs, the decision was made to let the castle decay. Inventory, wooden components and the roof were therefore auctioned off and removed. The castle has been under renovation since 2010.
The valley is a popular place for hiking, cycling and canoeing. The lower and middle sections of the river can also be used by small motor boats. If you drive by car along the Lahn in summer, you can take a refreshing dip in some lakes.
- 1 Niederweimar lake park. Popular organized bathing lake with nudist area.
- 2 Silbersee. A small lake, also nudist.
- 3 Lake Dutenhofen. A popular bathing lake with nudist area.
- 4 Diez quarry pond. A beautiful small quarry lake, also nudist.
- 5 Ruppertsklamm. The Ruppertsklamm is an approximately 1.2-km-long gorge along a right tributary of the Lahn, originally called Michelsbach, in the area of the city of Lahnstein. A fun scrabble up rocks in a narrow ravine.
- 6 Lahnhöhenweg (marker as white L on black background.). A 295-km hiking route that runs above both sides of the river valley. The left bank route is also part of the Lahn-Camino pilgrim way a section of the Camino de Santiago (Jakobsweg, Way of St. James) pilgrimage route through Europe.
- Lahnwanderweg. 65-km-long marker walking route.
- 7 Lahntalradweg. 278-km marked cycle route.
- Lahn-Dill-Berglandpfad. Hiking trail.
- Boating. Between Gießen and Limburg, the Lahn is one of the most beautiful water hiking routes in Germany for paddlers. Between Löhnberg and Limburg it flows quietly and idyllically through a lovely landscape away from traffic. There are numerous locks that have to be operated by hand. From Limburg the locks are electrified and a few motor yachts and excursion steamers use the river. It has less gradient here, so you have to exert more strength when paddling. The Diez – Laurenburg section is particularly scenic and traffic-free. The highlight of the route is the ship tunnel in Weilburg with the subsequent double lock. Important: For nature conservation reasons, only the official entry and exit points may be used to insert boats! Disadvantage of the river: Especially during the holiday season and on weekends / public holidays, the river is now quite populated by canoes. This is particularly true of the popular and really beautiful route between Weilburg and Runkel (ideal for a day tour). It is therefore advisable to complete tours between Monday and Friday if possible. Then the rental prices for the boats are usually cheaper.
The local Lahntal wines are Lahntal as Middle Rhine wines.
As wells as hotels in towns there are a number of camping and caravan sites next to the river along the valley.
- Campingplatz Runkel, Auf Ahl 1, near Lahnstein, ☏ .
- Camping Wolfsmühle, Hohenrhein 79, 56112 Lahnstein, ☏ .