A Tour of Deidesheim

Do you have 1.5 hours to spare?

A tour through the wine town of Deidesheim

A Tour of the wine town of Deidesheim

Starting point: Geißbockbrunnen am Stadtplatz
Duration: ca. 1,5 hrs.

1. Geißbockbrunnen:

This fountain in front of the “Paradiesgarten” community hall was created by Gernot Rumpf in 1985. It alludes to the billy goat auction, which is greatly celebrated in a historical setting on each Tuesday after Pentecost.

2. Castle Grounds:

(Entrance Joh.-Mungenast-Weg)
The Californian sequoia standing on the right-hand side of the entrance can hardly be overlooked.
You are now in the former castle moat, which, until 1739 was filled with water and was used for fish farming. Later, the area was leased as gardens. In 1975 and 1976, the Town of Deidesheim and active residents converted the parts which had not been built on by 1804 into parks. In 1988, the German Wine Route Association awarded these new parks the special prize in the Garden Culture Competition for being the most beautiful gardens on the German Wine Route. The former castle of the prince bishops of Speyer was apparently erected during the 12th/13th centuries in order to protect the bishops’ estates around Deidesheim. It also served as a summer residence for the bishops and housed the administrative staff of Deidesheim’s authorities. After Louis XIV’s troops destroyed it in 1689, Prince Bishop Damian Hugo of Schönborn ordered its reconstruction, which was carried out between 1739-1745. The castle was eventually demolished between 1794-1797 by the French Revolutionary Army and residents from Deidesheim. In 1804, Heinrich Görg acquired the ruins from the French state and, by 1821, had erected the present buildings on the old foundations.
You will hardly find another tree with blooms as peculiar as the Dove Tree’s in the back part of the castle grounds. From a distance, it almost seems as if lots of white handkerchiefs are hanging from it. Native to Western China, the tree usually blossoms for about three weeks in May and June. In this part of the castle grounds you will also find the so-called “Tower Writer’s Tower”. About every other year, a German-speaking writer is invited by Deidesheim to be its guest and is offered the opportunity to learn more about the Palatinate. The experiences of each respective “tower writer” are written in essays and books. During their stay, the tower writer is also granted 2 liters of wine a day in order to ensure the continuous progress of his work. So far, authors such as Wolfgang Altendorf, Rudolf Hagelstange, Ludwig Harig, Herbert Heckmann, Walter Helmut Fritz, Hans-Martin Gauger and André Weckmann have resided in the tower. The round tower at the entrance of the Dr. Kern winery sale, the “Tower Writer’s Tower”, and the recently renovated round tower of the Wehner estate in the Burggasse are preserved parts of the old castle. Next to the “Tower Writer’s Tower”, you will also find a plant from the Tertiary Era, the Ginkgo Biloba, which is also known as the Maidenhair Tree.

3. Town Fortifications:

Even before receiving its town charter in 1395, Prince Bishop Gerard of Ehrenberg had granted the community the right to fortify in 1360. However, the fortifications were only finished in the mid-15th century because the neighboring Electoral Palatinate interfered with the building process. Almost the entire fortification complex with its two gates, fourteen towers and the town wall were demolished during the 18th century.

4. Kaisergarten:

This Mediterranean area full of pine trees, Mediterranean and American cypresses, evergreen magnolias, lavender and much more, entices guests arriving from Forst to visit Deidesheim. On the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the German Wine Route in 1985, the Kaisergarten was awarded a certificate for the artistic design of its fountains, which are made from Haardt sandstone.

5. Dr. Deinhard Winery: (Weinstraße 10)

The Dr. Deinhard Winery in Deidesheim was founded in 1849 by a member of the owner-family of the Koblenz wine and sparkling wine company of the same name. Dr. Andreas Deinhard, son of the founder, brought a high level of quality to the company. After the death of Leopold of Winningen, his son-in-law, the winery passed into the possession of the wine merchant family of Hoch from Neustadt. That is where it still is and today, the winery is one of the best-rated businesses of the “Verband für Prädikatsweingüter”(VDP).

6. "Zollhäuschen":

The late Baroque summerhouse, affectionately named “Zollhäuschen” (small customs house) by Deidesheim’s residents, was located outside of the town in the late 18th century as part of the estate gardens of the Bawyr family.

7. Reichsrat von Buhl Winery:

This winery also celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1999. Throughout this long period, it has constantly been family-owned and has been considered on of the most renowned wineries in Germany for just as long. It is another top-rated business of the “Verband der Prädikatsweingüter (VDP)“.
From the High Middle Ages, the building was the farming estate of the Speyer Bishops’ properties. Like many other buildings, it too was secularized in 1805. The mansion from the late Baroque is a two-storey, plastered building; its interiors still feature a few preserved stucco-ceilings from the 18th century.

8. Stadtmauergasse:

The small alley, lush with flowers and vines, fascinates visitors with its houses which have become part of the former town wall. The sandstone building Nr. 17 houses the studio of Lotte Reimers, a potter who holds exhibitions there from time to time.

9. St. Bernhardushof:

(today’s parish house of the Catholic parish, Heumarktstr. 18)
This erstwhile monastic estate of the Otterberg Cistercian monastery (near Kaiserslautern) was dissolved after the Reformation and was run by the ecclesiastical administration of the prince elector of the Electoral Palatinate from then on. During the French Revolutionary Wars, all former church property in the hands of the ecclesiastical administration became secularized and this also included the monastic estate. It was later turned into private property and, in 1969, it was passed over to the Leutersdorf monastery near Neuwied. However, the monastery was not able to satisfy the condition laid down by the testator of establishing an institution for the education of young people in Deidesheim. Thus, the estate was sold to the Catholic Church Foundation. In order to comply with the will of the testator, the newly renovated building now comprises the parish library, the church choir, the Kolping family, the parish youth group, the Schönstatt family and the Catholic Women’s Society.

10. Bassermann-Jordan Winery:

(Corner of Ketschauerhofstr. / Heumarktstr.)
The Jordan family emigrated to the Palatinate from Savoy in 1718. By introducing high-quality winegrowing, Andreas Jordan (1775 – 1848) laid the foundation for the winery’s excellent reputation. This tradition was to go on throughout the centuries. The wines of Bassermann-Jordan have been classic examples of traditional Palatinate Rieslings for decades.
Since the 15th century, the winegrower’s estate has been the seat of several gentry families. Among these were the Barons of Ketschau, from whom the property derived its name. After it had been burned down in the Revolutionary Wars, it was acquired and reconstructed by Andreas Jordan. In the middle of the last century, a modern, historicizing, and mansion-like building was created.

11. Archway: (Heumarktstr. 3)

This residential building of a large, late Baroque winegrower’s estate features a sandstone-framed archway in the style of the Renaissance. The frame of the archway is unique in this region due to its very detailed design.

12. Historical Town Hall / Museum of Wine Culture:

The symbol of Deidesheim is its Baroque town hall. It was constructed in the 16th century, destroyed by the Great Fire of 1689 and restored to its original splendor at the beginning of the 18th century. Today it is one of the most beautiful and well-known buildings on the German Wine Route. The large, two-sided flight of steps beneath the canopy is particularly amazing. The building’s magnificent council hall on the upper floor with its colorful glass paintings offers insight into the town’s history. The history of winegrowing is illustrated in the Museum of Wine Culture in the rooms of the historic town hall. Among other things, the museum exhibits parts of a 50 million year old vine, ancient amphorae and drinking vessels from the Roman Period. (Opening Hours: Wed. – Sun. and Holidays 16.00 – 18.00)

13. St. Ulrich Parish Church:

The St. Ulrich Parish Church was erected between 1440 and 1480. It is the only large mid-15th century church building in the Palatinate. Its leaning tower is about 70 meters high. Inside, on the nave’s keystones, you can see the coats of arms of wealthy noble families from Deidesheim as well as some guild signs. A number of the 15th century windows still give testimony to the church’s former interiors. Despite the demolition of the high altar and the pulpit, the church, whose furnishings were renovated in a neo-Gothic style, retained its rich general effect. On the outside of the eastern end of the southern aisle you will see the former Mount of Olives Chapel which was built by the local baker’s guild. In the chapel there is a pietà with a memorial to the fallen of World War I. 
The charnel house is a unique building of its kind in the Palatinate. Today, it serves as a memorial to the fallen of both World Wars. The building also contains tombs and stone crosses from the 15th century.
Between the charnel house and the church you will find the erstwhile cemetery cross that has been carved from one stone block. The rocks, plants, skulls and bones at the base of the cross allude to Golgatha. The anatomy of the crucified figure of Christ is shown in an amazing detail. Right next to the town church, there is a Tree of Heaven, which is native to Eastern and Southern Asia. The tree is very undemanding and grows quickly, even on poor soils. In China, its leaves are used to provide food for silkworms.

14. Inn “Zur Kanne” / Museum of Film and Photo Technology:

The “Kanne” is the longest-established inn in the Palatinate, having accommodated guests since the 12th century. In the course of the destruction of the Palatinate, the inn was burnt to the ground in 1689. The reconstruction that followed was done gradually. Between 1847 and 1876 the business came to a standstill, but since 1876 the inn has been constantly in operation. Today, it is owned by the Bürklin-Wolf Winery from Wachenheim.
The Museum of Film and Photo Technology, next to the inn, offers a unique overview of the development of photo and film technology. It places particular emphasis on the role of inventors in the fields of optics and precision mechanics. (Opening Hours: Wed. – Sun. and Holidays 16.00 – 18.30)

15. Spital:

The nursing home, which was founded in 1494, is located on the Weinstraße and was set up to care for the aged and the sick. It was founded by the knight Nikolaus v. Böhl, who is also known as “Übelhirn” (wicked brain). To ensure the continuance of the prebendal hospital and shelter, he endowed the prebend with rich domains. The hospital’s occupants were to be granted the right of residence and a simple meal with a mug of wine. Furthermore, they were to attend the nursing home chapel’s service on fixed dates. The neo-Gothic hall was built in the late 15th century. The form of the interior buttresses and the tracery mandorla windows are very typical of that period. Inside, you will find late 18th-century figures of John and Mary with the crucifix, as well as St. John of Nepomuk and Charles Boromaeus on the side altars. At the entrance of the estate’s court there is also a recently restored death lantern.

16. Spitalgasse:

Looking to the right from the corner of the Wassergasse and the Spitalgasse you will see remains of the original town wall. On your way to the Turmgasse, you will pass the Rothenturm, a three-quarter town wall tower, which consists of an unplastered rubble masonry wall.

17. Marktplatz:

The most imposing building on the Marktplatz is certainly the Deidesheimer Hof hotel. The Baroque estate features lots of interesting architectural details such as its curved pediment, the flat oriel and the sandstone-columned, barrel-vaulted canopy. The center of the square is characterized by the Andreasbrunnen, which is surrounded by plumbago, pomegranate trees, bay trees and oleander. The design of this fountain, donated by the Jordan family in 1851, is based on Italian Renaissance fountains; it was manufactured in the Gienanth ironworks in Eisenberg.
Before the large estate at the corner of Marktplatz and Schloßstraße was built, it was the former location of the “Dienheimer Hof”, the “front castle” between the town and the actual castle. In 1744, the farm estate went to the diocese of Speyer and was converted into an office building. After the secularization, it then passed into the possession of Johann Spindler from Forst. The present building was, for the main part, constructed in the early 19th century. A magnificent Chinese wisteria adorns the front of the main building.

18. Synagogue:

Replacing an older religious building, the new synagogue was erected in 1853/1854 by the Jewish community of Deidesheim. The community was first mentioned in a document from 1309. As a cultural monument, the synagogue became listed on a historic register in 1987 and became the property of the Town of Deidesheim in 1992.

Return to the Geißbockbrunnen

Tourist-Service GmbH Deidesheim
Tel. +49 (0)6326 9677-0 Fax +49 (0)6326 9677-18


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