Romantic Cities Rheinland-Pfalz

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Idar-Oberstein in 24 hours - the perfect stopover for your Rhine or Moselle trip

From young to old, fun for everyone who loves going on a treasure hunt in one day. There's no better way to distract yourself on the way to the Rhine or Moselle region. Let's try the famous, original Idar-Oberstein rotisserie meat cooked on an open beech fire for lunch.

More than 500 years ago

One man, one year, one meter - this is how long a gemstone prospector takes to get one metre into the mountain to prize sparkling precious stones out of the hard
bedrock. More than 500 years ago, agates, amethysts, rock crystals, jasper and smoky quartz were already being mined in the gemstone mines in Steinkaulenberg.

Take a look at the grinders at work

The second stage of your round trip will take you to the historical Weiherschleife, the last water-driven historical agate grinding mill from the 17th century. This is where you can take a look at the grinders at work just like their grandfathers used to work and see how they make sparkling jewels from raw stones.

Don't miss the German Gemstone Museum!

The journey continues to the suburb of Idar. In the unique German Gemstone Museum, the finest treasures and most precious jewels to be made by human hand will be waiting for you. There is probably no other place in the world in which the fascinating world of gemstones shows itself in its diversity and mysticism.

Castles not only along Rhine & Moselle

The enthralling journey continues to the old part of the city of Oberstein. They tower like two siblings high above the city, Oberstein Castle and Basselstein Castle. This is where brothers Count Emich and Count Wyrich of the House of Daun Oberstein lived. Their love for the same woman was so strong that Wyrich pushed Emich out of a window in the castle, and he fell to his death. 

The landmark of Idar-Oberstein

On the place where Emich died, Wyrich built the Felsenkirche, the church in the rocks, as a sign of repentance. This construction is almost unique worldwide, and even today it is still the landmark of the gemstone city.

The seven dwarfs

After you have climbed down the many stairs, the seven dwarfs will be waiting for you in the German Mineral Museum. The seven-stage amethyst cavity, in which adults could hide if they wanted to, is only one of the many curiosities and features of the Crystal Hall in the impressive Mineral Museum, in which precious stones and minerals from all over the world, some of them weighing tons, are to be found. In addition to the fluorescent cabinet, the biggest collection of reproduced historical diamonds is on show for you.

The Jakob Bengel Industrial Heritage Monument

The Jakob Bengel Industrial Heritage Monument is only a stone‘s throw away. It is 1900 A.C., and the workers are just taking their lunch break. The former chain and jewellery factory, also the place where art deco jewellery originated, is fully operational. Machines are operating, there‘s a smell of metal and chain oil; the factory and its history are alive. You can see, hear, smell and feel hands-on industrial culture.

Gemstone Adventure World

Once you have strolled through the Oberstein pedestrian area with its numerous jewellery, souvenir and jeweller‘s shops, you will reach the breathtaking Gemstone Adventure World located past the station. Visitors will experience the mysterious beauty of precious gemstones, crystals and minerals in the caves and grottos of the Gemstone Adventure World. Mystical caves show magical light and colour effects, gurgling springs and a fiery, glowing volcano.

Don't forget the local specialty!

The time will now have come to bring the day to a close with a generous portion of „original Idar-Oberstein spit roast pork“. Taste the national dish in one of the many traditional spit roast restaurants, where it is cooked on an open beechwood fire. Its existence is thanks to the gemstone grinders who emigrated and brought the recipe and the method of cooking with them from Brazil.