German Wine Route: Bad Duerkheim
Bad Dürkheim is a town with 19000 inhabitants and an area of 102 km².
Celtic tribes settled in the area of Bad Dürkheim around 1200 BC, the Heathen Wall (Heidenmauer), a celtic settlement with a 2,5 km long fortification wall and numerous artifacts and grave sites have been found in and around Bad Duerkheim.
Bad Duerkheim was first documentary mentioned as "Turnesheim" on 1th June 778 in the Lorsch Codex, a document created by monks in the Abbey of Saint Nazarius in Lorsch.
In a fiefdom letter by the bishop of Speyer from 946 the town is named "Thuringeheim". About 1030 the construction of Limburg Abbey started.
The town ordinances that where conferred on 1th january 1360 where detracted in 1471 when prince elector Friedrich from the Electoral Palatinate captured the town and caused massive destruction. After slow reconstruction Bad Duerkheim went into the possession of the counts of Leiningen.
In 1689 Bad Duerkheim was almost completely destroyed when french troops burned down the Electoral Palatinate in the War of the Palatinate Succession. This time the reconstruction was faster, so Count Johann Friedrich of Leiningen conferred town privileges again in 1700.
On the end of the 18th century, when the french revolution reached the south western part of Germany, Bad Duerkheim was part of the french Department Donnersberg. In 1816, after the wars of Napoleon Bonaparte, the town went under the reign of the Kingdom of Bavaria.
Due to its seven mineral springs Duerkheim had the addition "Solbad" (=Mineral spring, spa) in its name, 1904 it was renamed in Bad Duerkheim.
- Limburg Abbey
The ruins of the former Benedictine Monastery of Limburg are situated on the edge of the Palatinate Forest. In the 9th century the salian Dukes of Worms built a fortification on the "Linthberg". About 1030 the fort went into reconstruction to a monastery with a basilica. The Abbey existed until the middle of the 16th century.
- Hardenburg castle
The ruins of this castle are situated overlooking a valley of the Isenach, a small stream that rises in the Palatinate Forest. The castle was constructed about 1200, illegally on grounds of Limburg Abbey, by the counts of Leiningen. The castle is one of the few palatinate castles that where not destroyed in the War of the Palatinate Succession, although it was destroyed by troops of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1794.
- Heathen Wall
The Heathen Wall (Heidenmauer) is a former celtic fortification, a 2,5 km long fortification wall constructed about 500 BC. The remnants are the inner fillings of the former wall that was constructed of wood. Due to numerous artifacts that where found in and around Bad Duerkheim it can be said that this area was - for celtic times - densely populated.
The Kriemhildenstuhl is a Roman quarry, that was in use about 400 AD by a roman legion that was based in Mainz what is proved by remaining marks that once were scratched in the rock.
- Giant Barrel (Riesenfass)
The Giant Barrel is the biggest wine barrel in the world, with a volume of 1 700 000 litres - but it was never filled with wine. Today it contains a restaurant inside and is situated on the fairground of the Wurstmarkt, the biggest wine fest worldwide.
The Wurstmarkt - literally translated the Sausage fair - is the biggest wine fest in the world. The Wurstmarkt takes place at the end of september; from 12-16 and 19-22 september in 2008; and is visited by 600 000 visitors each year.
Vineyards of Bad Duerkheim, Bad Dürkheimer Weinlagen
- Feuerberg, Grosslage; 867 ha
- Hochmess, Grosslage; 92,5 ha
- Abtsfronhof; 3,3 ha
- Fronhof; 84 ha
- Fuchsmantel; 24,4 ha
- Hochbenn; 52,3 ha
- Michelsberg 5 ha
- Nonnengarten; 299 ha
- Rittergarten, 15,75 ha
- Spielberg; 16 ha
- Steinberg; 55,8 ha