Idstein is a small town in Hesse, about 20 minutes from Wiesbaden. The most famous landmark is probably the Hexenturm („Witches' Tower“), but Idstein has a beautiful historical town center with a large number of very old timber-frame houses.
Idstein is a small town in Hesse, about 20 minutes from Wiesbaden. The most famous landmark is probably the Hexenturm („Witches’ Tower“), but Idstein has a beautiful historical town center with a large number of very old timber-frame houses.
Most of the houses in the historical town center were built in the 16th and 17th century, with the oldest one dating back all the way to 1410. If you walk around you will notice all houses are painted individually in a very colourful way and are decorated with various forms of carvings and additional wooden sculptures. Almost all of these decorations have stories behind them and tell you about the people who built and lived in the houses. If you have some time, get a guided tour around town, it’s pretty interesting (plus they’ll show you corners you might not find yourself and you can take pretty pictures).
Also interesting is the Unionskirche, a church that looks pretty plain from the outside, but which is – very unusual for an Evengelical church – very richly decorated with paintings from the school of Rubens on the inside.
And of course you should check out the Hexenturm, it’s actually the keep of a castle and Idstein’s oldest building (construction began in the 12th century). If you walk over a bridge from there you get to the Residence Palace, a renaissance-style building with a nice garden/park around it. It’s used as a school today, but you can visit it with a guided tour.
When you need a break, try one of the numerous cafes/restaurants/inns that are all around the town center – if the weather is nice, you can sit outside and enjoy the scene with a cool beer.