Wetzlar Travel Guide

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Wetzlar, in central Hesse, features an amazingly well-preserved and restored Old Town (Altstadt), with historic plazas, a 13th century Cathedral (Dom) and scores of half-timbered houses.

Wetzlar's historic Old Town offers plenty of old buildings, museums, and since it was temporary home to the famous writer Goethe back in 1772.

The tightly woven ensemble of historic buildings and houses in the Old Town (Altstadt) with its half-timbered houses and stone buildings from Romanesque (Wetzlar Cathedral) to Gothic to Renaissance and Baroque is to a great extent as it was in the late 18th century, preserved and extensively restored. Thus the great squares of Buttermarkt/Domplatz (Butter Market/Cathedral Square), Fischmarkt (Fish Market), Eisenmarkt (Iron Market), Kornmarkt (Corn Market), and the former Franziskanerhof (Franciscan Yard), now called Schillerplatz.

You definitely want to visit Wetzlar's Dom (Cathedral). It is one of Wetzlar's landmark buildings. Building work began on the cathedral in 1230 and is still not finished. It is the successor to a former Church of the Saviour consecrated in 897. Wetzlar's Dom incorporates so many styles that it is like a stone album of German ecclesiastical architecture. Each master seems to have had his own ideas. Yet, it is remarkably harmonious on the inside with a trove of art treasures, including 14th-century frescoes and an unusual Pieta from 1380.

There are many noteworthy buildings to visit (e.g., the Lottehaus, Jerusalemhaus, and the Reichskammergerichtsmuseum) if time permits. Alternatively, just strolling casually through these old and small streets, looking at the shops, perhaps having dinner in one of the restaurants, and a dessert, for example ice cream at an Italian ice cafe.

At night there are many pubs open, some of them also offer live music.

If you want to spend more time in Wetzlar to explore in more depth we recommend doing so over several days. There is a tourist information booth at Domplatz 8 which provides detailed maps, recommended tours etc.

The tour we recommend initially should take about 2-3 hours and is offered by Wetzlar's tourist information office.

Additional travel info:

Park your car at the Lahninsel (parking is free there). From there you have a good starting point and access through Wetzlar's historic Old-town. You can see the Lahn river there, with a great view to the 13th-century Lahn Bridge (Alte Lahnbrücke.)

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: http://www.live-like-a-german.com/germany_related_articles/show/Visit-Wetzlars-Historic-Old-Town

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October 24, 2010 new by bettina kraft