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The Must-See Sights on the German Wine Route

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The oldest of its kind in the world, the German Wine Route takes visitors right through the heart of the scenic Palatinate Forest and wine-growing region. The road begins in Bockenheim, specifically at the House of the German Wine Route, and ends at the German Wine Gate in Schweigen-Rechtenbach, right on the border with France. Along its 50-plus miles lie a slew of historic sights (including castles), picturesque forests and valleys, and, of course, vineyards. While most people opt to drive the route, you can also hike or bike it thanks to a network of dedicated trails.
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Sankt-Michaels-Allee 1, 67098 Bad Dürkheim, Germany
Built in 1934 from a couple hundred pine boards, the Dürkheimer Fass is the world’s largest wine barrel, and often described as the heart of the German Wine Route. Constructed by barrel maker and vintner Fritz Keller, it could feasibly...
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Schlossgasse 29, 67157 Wachenheim an der Weinstraße, Germany
Although it has just 4,800 inhabitants, the town of Wachenheim is quite well known, both for its vineyards and its castle. Thought to be built in the 12th century by King Konrad von Hohenstaufen, Castle Wachtenburg is popular mostly for its...
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Marktpl. 9, 67146 Deidesheim, Germany
Open since 1986, the Museum of Wine Culture occupies the historic town hall of Deidesheim, a popular stop-off along the German Wine Route. It’s a more interesting museum than one might expect for a small town, examining not just wine...
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Schlossstraße, 67434 Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Germany
Perched high above the Rhine River, this somewhat unassuming castle may not be the most aesthetically striking in Germany, but it’s one of the most historically significant. The site of the 1832 Hambach Festival (a national democratic...
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Augustinergasse 1, 76829 Landau in der Pfalz, Germany
The picturesque village of Landau, located halfway between the German town of Speyer and the French town of Wissembourg, makes for a great stop along the Wine Route, especially to see the Church of the Holy Cross. A former monastery for...
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Deutsches Weintor eG,, An der Ahlmühle 1, 76831 Ilbesheim bei Landau in der Pfalz, Germany
Located in Schweigen-Rechtenbach, the German Wine Gate has marked the southern point of the Wine Route since 1936. It was actually built two years earlier, however, and placed along the Wine Route itself to help draw visitors after the plummeting...
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Königstraße 61, 76887 Bad Bergzabern, Germany
Constructed between 1720 and 1725 on the site of a 12th-century fort, this castle once served as the residence of the dukes of Pfalz-Zweibrücken. Attacked, burned down, and destroyed innumerable times over the centuries, it was restored in...