If stones are not just walls and half-timbered houses more than beams, you will be enchanted by Büdingen's charm. The medieval old town, the imposing fortification wall with the historic Jerusalem Gate and Büdingen Castle, one of the best-preserved Staufer fortifications in Germany, impress visitors from near and far.
Monument and History
Early Celtic settlement in the region is attested by burial mounds north of Büdingen. The original settlement of Büdingen developed as a Frankish foundation around the Remigius Church, the oldest sacred building in the Wetterau.
The Lords of Büdingen, followers of the Staufers, appeared from 1130 onwards. Their castle was built further east to protect the imperial forest (Büdingen Forest) against the expansion of the landgraves of Hesse, the Fulda prince abbey and the archbishopric of Mainz. The old town of Büdingen developed as a settlement to the west of the moated castle and received its first town wall. The family of Isenburg permanently established itself in the Ganerbenburg of Büdingen. However, the prospering town soon became too small. The new town was built from the middle of the 14th century. In 1422, Emperor Friedrich III declared the territory of the Counts of Ysenburg an imperial county.
During the long reign (1461-1511) of Ludwig II of Ysenburg-Büdingen, Büdingen's townscape, which is still characteristic today, was created. The count ensured the architectural security of the town. He made the proud citizens of Büdingen themselves responsible for its protection. The county was divided among the count's heirs. As early as 1521, the Büdingen line and with it its subjects became Protestant.
Calvinism finally prevailed. With it began a long and dark period of witch trials. More than 400 executions are documented between 1532 and 1699. It became necessary to counteract the depopulation and economic decline caused by war, epidemics and persecution. In front of the Jerusalem Gate, the suburb came into being as a result of Ernst Casimir I von Ysenburg's edict of tolerance in 1712. Religious refugees of various origins and confessions settled there, in Büdingen mainly inspired people, in the surrounding area also Huguenots, Waldensians, Herrnhuters and brought their crafts and trades with them. The religious refugees, saved and relieved from persecution, gave the Lower Gate (also known as the Cross Gate) the name "Jerusalem Gate", which they named after the Heavenly Jerusalem.
Quelle: Roentgen-Museum Neuwied, Stadtarchiv Büdingen Quelle: © C.Braunwarth Quelle: ©Thomas Appel Quelle: ©Verena Holland
Today's Büdingen Castle developed from a moated castle from the 12th century. To the west of the castle, a settlement developed which was later called the old town of Büdingen. In the middle of the 14th century, the settlement was secured by a town fortification consisting of a town wall, gate towers, ramparts and ditches. To the north of the old town, a new part of the town was created by immigration. Around 1390, this new town was also enclosed by a fortification. For both settlements, care was taken to ensure that the streets ran at right angles. There was an undeveloped area between the two parts. The political amalgamation to form the town of Büdingen took place in 1428 and from 1490 onwards a new, double-skinned ring of walls, more massive ramparts and a moat were built around the town as a common fortification for the old and new towns. The Seemenbach stream was also relocated to the south for this purpose. The front gate (Schlaghaus) became part of the outer ring of walls and the former stream bed became the Zwinger.
When it was completed, the characteristic lower gate (Jerusalem Gate) formed the new main access. Later forced settlements took place outside the gates of the town wall in the suburbs from the early 18th century onwards.
As Büdingen's fortifications suffered no significant damage from war, they were preserved as a self-contained historical complex. A model of the fortified town from around 1640 can be seen in the Red Tower.
While many fortified towns dismantled their fortifications to promote industrial and urban development, around 1850 Ernst Casimir II of Ysenburg-Büdingen and his court architect Victor Melior decided against this.
Today, the historic town of Büdingen is listed as a whole. Extensive renovations are helping to preserve this unique treasure of fortified cultural heritage piece by piece.
Quelle: © Christiane Braunwarth Quelle: © Verena Holland Quelle: ©t Büdinger Tourismus und Marketing GmbH Quelle: © Büdinger Tourismus und Marketing GmbH
Garden Kölsch is a perennial garden, now open to the public, in the historic fortress farms of Büdingen's old town. This year-round flowering idyll invites you to relax next to the old town car park. There is direct access from the market square.
Flyer Garten Kölsch
The impressive rock formations of the Wilder Stein geotope is a side vent of the Vogelsberg in the middle of Büdingen above the historic old town. The Sand Rose Museum in the Jerusalem Gate and the Geological Sculpture Gallery provide information about the geological features of the region.
Flyer Wilder Stein
The geotope Sandstone Quarry Büdingen with its red sandstone already served as a source of material for Celtic inhabitants of the region.
This natural resource was also used for Büdingen Castle and many impressive buildings in Büdingen and the surrounding area.
The quarry, which is now disused, is an interesting stop on nature walks in northern Büdingen.
The Wilderness Park Wildpark in the Kälberbach Valley with the Forest Mammal Sculpture Trail and its wooden sculptures, puzzle boards, movement elements and sensory modules invites visitors to marvel and experience. The trail has information boards in Braille and leisure facilities such as a leo hut, game park, bubbling pool, forest adventure trail, forest stage and an adventure orchard.
The Büdingen nature, educational and recreational forest attracts visitors to the "TraumWald" (Dream Forest) on over 300 ha around the game park with a concept of forest and environmental education.
An experiential forest ropes course and team course "Laubfrosch"(Tree frog) offers a challenge to those hungry for exercise at Büdingen Youth Hostel.
Erlebnispädagogischer Wald-Seilgarten und Team-Parcours „Laubfrosch“
Quelle: © Verena Holland Quelle: © Verena Holland Quelle: © Vanesse Dippel Quelle: © V. Holland