Self Guided Walking Tour of Alsfeld (With Maps!)
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Prepare yourself for a magical journey as you step into the medieval German town of Alsfeld. Here, time stands still, offering an enchanting experience that transports you back centuries. Immerse yourself in the unchanged charm of this town, where the simple pleasures of life reign supreme. And, as if by some extraordinary twist of fate, you might just encounter your beloved childhood companion, Little Red Riding Hood herself!
Alsfeld beckons you to embrace a slower pace, inviting you to relish in the timeless delights it has to offer.
Arriving by car: There are many places to park to the south of the town centre by the Leonhardsturm Tower.
Neurathhaus & Tourist Information
The Neurathhaus stands as a remarkable testament to history, situated in the charming town of Alsfeld, in the state of Hesse, Germany. This historic half-timbered house, erected in 1619 by the affluent cloth merchant Johannes Neurath, proudly retains its splendor as one of the finest-preserved examples of half-timbered architecture in the town.
Greeting visitors with its captivating façade, adorned with intricate carvings and a distinctive stepped gable, the Neurathhaus showcases the quintessential charm of traditional German half-timbered design.
Step inside, and a world of wonders unfolds. Within its walls, visitors are invited to explore a series of rooms adorned with original furnishings that offer glimpses into the past. Admire the grand ceramic stove and be captivated by the beauty of the painted wooden ceiling. The house has been thoughtfully transformed into a museum, dedicated to preserving and sharing the rich history of the town and its traditional crafts, such as textile weaving and blacksmithing.
In a testament to its enduring importance within the community, the Neurathhaus underwent extensive renovations, and since May 2022, it has become home to the Tourist Center, serving as a gateway for visitors to embark on their Alsfeld adventures.
A visit to the Neurathhaus immerses guests in the splendor of a bygone era, offering a glimpse into the lives of those who once inhabited its halls. It stands as a cherished link to the past, inviting visitors to appreciate the craftsmanship and heritage that have shaped Alsfeld throughout the centuries.
Location: Neurathhaus, Rittergasse, Alsfeld, Germany
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Alsfeld Town Hall
Alsfeld Town Hall is a remarkable architectural gem nestled in the heart of the medieval German town of Alsfeld. With its origins dating back to the 14th century, this historical structure showcases an exquisite blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles, captivating visitors with its unique charm.
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Weinhaus, or Wine House
The Weinhaus, or Wine House, in Alsfeld was established by Hans von Frankfurt in 1538, the wine house of Alsfeld played a significant role as a storage and serving facility for wine, holding a privileged position within the municipality. The architectural design of the building showcases a blend of Gothic and Renaissance influences, evident in the distinct steep stepped gables adorned with fan rosettes. Over time, modifications were made, replacing the charming yet irregularly arranged “curtain arch windows” with round arch windows in 1840/43, although remnants of the original structure can still be seen.
Located at the corner of the market square, the wine house also features the former “pillory,” a historical fixture associated with punitive measures, not limited to market days alone. This enduring presence serves as a reminder of the town’s past practices.
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The Schwalmer Brunnen, affectionately known as The Little Red Riding Hood statue, graces the town of Alsfeld in northern Hesse as an enchanting ornamental fountain. Constructed in 1958, the Schwalm fountain symbolizes the deep-rooted bond between Alsfeld and the traditional attire of the Schwalm region.
This captivating fountain showcases the iconic Gänseliesel, donned in the distinctive and traditional Schwalm costume, complete with the signature red cap. The sculpture beautifully captures the essence of this folkloric character, evoking a sense of nostalgia and connecting visitors to the rich cultural heritage of the area.
The Schwalmer Brunnen stands as a testament to the town’s appreciation for its traditions and serves as a charming reminder of the enduring stories and customs that have shaped Alsfeld’s identity. It is a cherished landmark, attracting both locals and visitors alike, and adding to the town’s captivating atmosphere.
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The Walpurgiskirche is a historical church located in Alsfeld, Germany. This sacred edifice bears the name of Saint Walpurga, a revered Christian saint known for her piety and contributions to the faith. The church itself holds a significant place in Alsfeld’s history, dating back to its construction in earlier centuries. With its impressive architecture and notable features, the Walpurgiskirche stands as a testament to the town’s enduring spiritual heritage. The church’s design reflects a harmonious blend of architectural styles, showcasing elements of Gothic and Renaissance influences. Its grandeur is evident in the soaring spires, intricate stonework, and beautifully crafted stained glass windows that adorn the sanctuary. Beyond its architectural beauty, the Walpurgiskirche serves as a spiritual sanctuary for the local community. It offers a place of worship, contemplation, and reflection, providing solace and a connection to the divine for those who enter its hallowed halls.
Stepping inside the Walpurgiskirche, visitors can admire the ornate altar, adorned with religious artwork that depicts biblical scenes. The serene atmosphere and the ethereal light filtering through the stained glass windows create a tranquil and reverent ambiance. As an integral part of Alsfeld’s cultural and architectural heritage, the Walpurgiskirche stands as a timeless symbol of faith, spirituality, and the enduring presence of the divine in the lives of the town’s residents and visitors.
Location: Walpurgiskirche (Stadtkirche) - Evangelische-luth. Kirchengemeinde Alsfeld, Kirchplatz, Alsfeld, Germany
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Originally constructed in 1368 and subsequently reconstructed in 1510, the Late Gothic Chapel stands proudly on the north side of the churchyard in Alsfeld. This historical gem bears witness to the passing of time and the significant events that unfolded within its walls. Initially serving as a repository for the remains from the surrounding cemetery, the chapel played a solemn role during periods of immense loss, such as the devastating 30 Year War and various plagues when the cemetery became insufficient to accommodate the deceased. Unfortunately, as time progressed, the chapel was subjected to misuse for profane purposes, straying from its original sacred intent. However, at the turn of the 20th century, renovations were undertaken, including alterations to the attic roof, breathing new life into the structure. In 1982, the chapel underwent a meticulous restoration process, reclaiming its historical significance. Today, it fulfils a different purpose, as it has been repurposed to house the city archives. Within its walls lie valuable documents and records that chronicle the town’s rich history, preserving the collective memory and heritage of Alsfeld.
Location: Beinhaus, Kaplaneigasse, Alsfeld, Germany
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The square known as Grabbrunnen, named after the enchanting fountain that graces its centre. This fountain holds a historical significance as it was once utilized for the dyeing of cloth, a testament to the town’s textile heritage. Legend has it that the nearby ‘Storks’ Nest’ was the gathering place for storks who would visit the well to collect newborn babies, delivering them to the families who eagerly awaited their arrival. This charming tale adds an air of whimsy and wonder to the fountain’s lore. To honour this captivating tale, the old well base has been imaginatively redesigned, incorporating elements that depict the story of the storks and their precious deliveries. It stands as a delightful symbol, celebrating the folklore and traditions that have become woven into the fabric of Alsfeld’s cultural identity.
Location: Grabbrunnen, Alsfeld, Germany
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Leonhardsturm, also known as Leonard’s Tower, stands as the sole surviving testament to the fortified defenses of the city. Rising proudly at a height of 27 meters, this rounded tower with its distinctive cone-shaped roof and battlement crest carries a rich history within its sturdy walls.
Access to Leonard’s Tower was once granted through a doorway positioned halfway up the tower, providing a strategic vantage point within the city wall. At the tower’s base, a dungeon awaited, serving as a grim enclosure for prisoners condemned to death. The echoes of their captivity still resonate within its depths.
Interestingly, the tower has acquired a local moniker, “Storks’ Nest,” derived from a captivating legend that weaves a tale of whimsy and hope. According to local lore, the storks nesting in the tower were believed to be responsible for delivering babies to families who had ordered them, adding an element of enchantment to the tower’s mystique.
As you gaze upon Leonard’s Tower, you can’t help but feel the weight of history and the stories it holds. It serves as a poignant reminder of the city’s fortifications and the endurance of the past. Let your imagination soar, envisioning the storks perched in their nests, as you embrace the captivating legends that have become intertwined with the tower’s identity.
Location: Leonhardsturm, Alsfeld
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Constructed in the latter half of the 14th century, the Dreifaltigkeitskirche, or Trinity Church, was originally established as a monastery church for the Augustine hermits. Throughout its history, the church has undergone significant architectural additions and renovations. The church’s notable features include an elongated choir section dedicated to the clergy, while an asymmetrical hall with naves and side aisles was added around 1435. As the monks belonged to a mendicant order, the absence of a church tower is a distinctive characteristic.
Upon closer examination, visitors will marvel at the well-preserved cross-ribbed dome, an exquisite stone chancel adorned with a pulpit ceiling dating back to around 1660, and late Gothic frescoes from the early 15th century. Although the church underwent restoration efforts between 1960 and 1962, its historical allure remains wonderfully intact.
The Augustine monastery, believed to have been established in the late 13th century, once housed the Eremite Hermit Monks. Notably, Tilemann Schnabel, a friend of Martin Luther and a significant reformer in Alsfeld, resided and worked within these monastery walls. However, following the Reformation in 1527, the monastery and church were closed down. The buildings eventually found new purpose as a hospital but sadly fell into disrepair over time.
Today, a surviving fragment of the monastery walls serves as a poignant reminder of the monks’ former living quarters. The monastery itself was situated alongside the city wall, which was largely demolished in the 19th century. A small section of the city wall can still be observed on the south side, offering glimpses into Alsfeld’s past.
Location: Dreifaltigkeitskirche - Evangelische-luth. Kirchengemeinde Alsfeld, Roßmarkt, Alsfeld, Germany
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Alsfeld Fairy Tale House
The Alsfeld Fairy Tale House, known as the Märchenhaus in German, stands as a captivating half-timbered house nestled in Alsfeld, Germany. This remarkable building dates back to 1628 and is renowned for its ornate façade, adorned with intricate carvings and paintings that bring beloved fairy tales to life. Among the enchanting scenes depicted on the façade are beloved stories like Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty, and Hansel and Gretel.
Today, this historic house has been transformed into a museum that pays homage to the renowned Brothers Grimm and their timeless fairy tales. Visitors are invited to embark on a journey through the various rooms and exhibits, immersing themselves in the world of fairy tales. The museum offers interactive displays, captivating audio installations, and a collection of original manuscripts and books from the Brothers Grimm.
Beyond its exhibits, the Alsfeld Fairy Tale House hosts a range of special events and workshops throughout the year, catering to visitors of all ages. These events may include engaging storytelling sessions, where the magic of the fairy tales is brought to life, as well as creative crafting workshops that allow children to explore their imagination.
A visit to the Alsfeld Fairy Tale House is an enchanting experience, transporting visitors into the realm of fairy tales and celebrating the enduring legacy of the Brothers Grimm. Whether you are young or young at heart, this museum offers a delightful and immersive journey through the captivating world of storytelling.
Location: Sackgasse 2, 36304 Alsfeld, Deutschland | Hours: Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. | Price: Adults € 3.00, Children € 2.00
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Alsfeld City Museum
Situated within a picturesque half-timbered building in the historic old town, the Alsfeld City Museum, also referred to as the Regional Museum Alsfeld, stands as a gateway to the rich cultural history and evolution of Alsfeld and its surrounding region in Germany.
Immersing visitors in a captivating journey through time, the museum houses several permanent exhibitions that delve into diverse aspects of the city’s heritage. These exhibitions encompass the intriguing history of Alsfeld, exploring its architectural marvels, local artistic traditions, and the lives and contributions of notable individuals from the area.
A particular highlight of the museum is its remarkable collection of regional costumes, showcasing the traditional attire worn by women in the Schwalmtal region, which served as the inspiration for the iconic cape of Little Red Riding Hood.
In addition to this, visitors can marvel at displays featuring ancient crafts such as pottery, blacksmithing, and weaving, providing insight into the skilled craftsmanship of bygone eras. The museum also proudly exhibits artifacts from Alsfeld’s medieval past, including coins and weaponry, granting glimpses into the lives and endeavors of those who once inhabited these lands.
To further enhance the visitor experience, the Alsfeld City Museum regularly presents temporary exhibitions on various themes closely tied to the cultural history of the region, offering fresh perspectives and engaging narratives.
A visit to the Alsfeld City Museum unveils the captivating tapestry of the region’s past, allowing visitors to gain a deeper appreciation for the city’s cultural roots and the stories woven into its fabric over the centuries.
Location: Geschichts- und Museumsverein Alsfeld e.V. Rittergasse 3-5 36304 Alsfeld Germany | Hours: Mon – Fri 10 a.m. to 4 p.m Sat 10 a.m. to 4 p.m Closed on Sundays and public holidays | Website
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