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Land of the German ‘Robin Hood’

The ‘Schinderhannes Tower’ is the landmark of Simmern. More than 200 years ago the notorious outlaw ‘Johannes Bückler’ was kept imprisoned here. After his stunning escape from the tower he became known as the ‘German Robin Hood’. Today the history of Germany's most famous outlaw is still alive in the Schinderhannes museum and picturesque Hunsrück landscape. The sights around Simmern invite for a stroll through history. Ideally located between the Moselle River, Rhine River, and Nahe River, the country around Simmern is full of historic monuments. This charming town and its surrounding municipalities offers activities for every age group. Whether it is art, historic monuments, nature, or leisure activities.

1. Location of Simmern in Germany

The town of Simmern is located in the Hunsrück holiday region, approximately 24 km to the east of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (see map on bottom of page).

The Hunsrück is one of the nine holiday regions of Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate. The Hunsrück holiday region is one of Germany's most richly forested areas. Surrounded by the river scenery of the Rhine, the Moselle, the Saar and the Nahe, it is criss-crossed by an extensive network of trails where walkers follow in the footsteps of the Celts and the Romans. There are also quaint little country towns, castles and old mills to visit. ... read more about the Hunsrück holiday region

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2. Discover the Country of Simmern

The rough but beautiful Hunsrück is both romantic and legendary, wild and mysterious. Experience a new way of freedom, a place, where you will meet more trees than walkers, where you will master long distances, long across small streams and have a beautiful picnic in the open countryside. You may start a hiking tour through the fantastic Simmerbachtal from Simmern city centre. This 16 kilometre hiking trail leads you along important sites such as the Hunsrück Cathedral (Hunsrückdom) in Ravengiersburg, the Nunkirche, built in the year 1000, as well as the Bismarck Tower, which is named after the ‘Iron-Chancelor’, back to Simmern. From the gentle slopes at the Nunkirche one can enjoy the wonderful panoramic view across the Hunsrück plateaus and the Soonwald to the Idarkopf.

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3. Recreational Area for Families

On 60.000 square meters, the Nature Resort Schmiedel (located at the gates of Simmern) offers an attractive recreational and leisure area for children and adults alike: It is a home for animals, playgrounds, biotopes, a forest nature trail and a sensory trail, riding arrangement, bicycle-route, barbecue sites, maintenance pavilion and much more.....and everything for free. Children can expect a large number of toys and other attractions. Crawling tubes, a mush arrangement or the sandpit pavilion have been specially installed for little guests. The cable railway, climbing frames or swings teach the elder children’s motor activity and coordination ability. At the petting zoo goats, sheep or peacocks can be observed. For teenagers the marked bicycle route and the half-pipe are a special challenge. The ‘Schmiedel’-resort with its large woodlands, the forest nature trail, sensory trail and the biotopes also offers a place of calmness to enjoy pure nature! In the future an amphitheatre promises cultural pleasures such as music and drama performances.

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4. Points of Interest

Schinderhannes Tower
The Schinderhannes Tower has its current name from the notorious outlaw ‘Johannes Bückler’ called ‘Schinderhannes’. After his capture he was brought to and taken into custody in this former powder tower of the fortification of Simmern in February 1799. From there he succeeded in fleeing during the night in August 1799 from the tower which was considered to be impossible to escape from until then. As one of only a few buildings of the town this dungeon survived the great fire of 1689. The steep baroque conical roof and the western outdoor stairs were added to the tower in 1750. Today the tower with its medieval atmosphere serves as an exposition and conference room and shows the exposition ‘Schinderhannes –reality or myth?’.
Neues Schloss
The medieval castle in Simmern was built by duke Friedrich I. (1459-1480) as residence of the Simmerner dukes, but already 200 years later in the ‘Pfälzischen’ succession war (1689) completely destroyed. The current castle was built 1708-1713 as seat of the Pfaelzischen administrator. The classical style building consists of a main building with two forward built wings. Originally the grounds were surrounded by the castle’s pond on both sides. After Napoleon gave the castle to the town in the year 1802, it was used as a court, later as a school, garrison, detention house and official residence. Today there are a festival room in the building, the Hunsrückmuseum, the Rhein-Hunsrück archives, the historical library, the public library as well as the exhibition of the famous painter and sculptor Friedrich Karl Stroeher.
It used to be the centre of a Middle Age parish. The foundation stone of the current construction of the late Gothic church was laid by Duke Johann I in 1486. In the north of the long choir, the tower and the sacristy were added. In the South the choir is followed by the chapel of the Earls of Simmern. The tombs of the church are the most important pieces of sculpture in this area. They originate from the workshops of Jakob Kerre, Johann von Trarbach and Hans Ruprecht Hoffmann from Simmern. The tombs of Duke Johann I, Johanna von Nassau-Saarbrücken, Emilia von Württemberg and the double-tombs of Duke Johann II and Duke Reichard must also be mentioned. The epitaphs of these tombs reflect the peak of the Renaissance-sculpture at the Mittelrhein (Middle Rhine) around the 15th century.
The church which is situated in the ‘Klostergasse’ was built from 1749 to 1752 after plans of the Palatine master builder Johann Jakob Rischer. The rectangular hall of nave is followed by a semi circular choir, topped by a bonnet crowned bell-tower. A two-floored entrance hall with steps and a portal connects the church with a Carmelite-cloister which was built in 1703/04. Art-historically interesting are the ceiling frescos by Francesco Bernhardini, a famous artist at Mannheim Court; it’s called ‘the worship of the child’ (‘die Anbetungdes Kindes’). The original high altar is attributed to the sculptor Paul Egell from Mannheim.
Hunsrückdom Ravengiersburg
The ‘Hunsrückdom’ (Hunsrück Cathedral) is located in Ravengiersburg. In 1072 a monastery was founded that existed until 1566. In 1699 the estate became a rectory of the catholic church. The cathedral with its 42 metre height towers is a monument of the medieval monastery. Inside the cathedral you will find numerous relief's and sculptures.
Located in Sargenroth, the church is one of the landmarks of the Hunsrück region. The former pilgrimage church is at a picturesque site. Only the tower remained from the medieval church. The nave was reconstructed in 1745. In the basement of the tower you will find mural paintings and painted vaults from the 13th century.
Wildburg Castle
Deep inside the Soonwald you will find the ruins of an castle from the 12th century. The castle was an important base to secure the roads that lead from the Hunsrück to the Nahe River and Moselle River.
Near Sargenroth you will find a ‘Bismarckturm’ (Bismarck Tower) that was built in 1900. It was a monument of gratitude and loyalty to the German emperor in those days. The tower is 17.5 metres height, has two outdoor steps, and a platform. From here you will have a wonderful view of the beautiful landscape of the Hunsrück.
Mühle Niederkumbd
The mill was built by the farmers association in 1887. It was in use until 1952. Many decades later, the mill was renovated by the citizens of the rural commune. Today the mill is in working condition again. Every year, on the second Sunday in September, the ‘Mühlenfest’ festival is held here. On this day the Mill can be viewed in action and culinary delights of the region are served to visitors.
Schönenberg is a hill located at the road between Simmern and Oberwesel. Since the 12th century it was the place of a parish church, court of justice, and a fair. The church belonged to the Martinskirche (church Martin) in Worms. The court of justice was under the jurisdiction of the knights of Schöneberg in Oberwesel. Only the cemetery has been preserved.

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5. Museums

The museum of local history was established in 1921. It is located in the Neue Schloss (new palace). The museum exhibits objects and documents about the local history of Simmern and the region. Among the exhibits are ethnic studies, historic monuments from early history to Roman times, history of the town and its territory, and natural history.
Ströher Art Collection
Friedrich-Karl Ströher (1876-1925) life's work is displayed in diverse presentations. Sketches from his time at the Academy Colarossie in Paris, oil paintings from his journeys through Spain and France, works from his days with Arthur Kamps, and aquarelle works. Displays explain the artists background.
Kulturhistorisches Museum
Exhibits explain the local cultural developments and history. The museum is located in historic half-timbered buildings and documents the life in the region in former times. Exhibits include housing, agricultural machinery and tools, local trade and craft, and local style of living.

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6. Cycling on Long-Distance Routes

Experience a special attraction — the ‘Schinderhannesradweg’. It is a 38 kilometres former rail road track between Simmern and Emmelshausen, where once the steam locomotive puffed. Far away from heavy traffic you can cycle along smoothly on asphalt paths, enjoying miraculous landscapes with wonderful views over the Hunsrück plateaus. You will find a bike service on the route. Or you can cycle on the ‘Soonwaldradweg’ which is a continuation of the ‘Schinderhannesradweg’ — to the border of the Soonwald and along its mountain range to Gemünden (16 kilometres). Of course the hills and woods of the Hunsrück offer an ideal scenario for extensive mountain biking (meeting point in Simmern). Bike-hire possible (7-gears, all sizes). For rental information contact the tourist office.

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7. Leisure Activities

7.1 Indoor Swimming Pool

Wellness and relaxation, pleasure and recuperation, fun and sport in extensive facilities and a spacious sauna area in the public bath of Simmern! The large pool of 300 square metres offers a lot of different possibilities for sports and relaxation. A special event, not only in winter, is the heated outdoor pool. The large lawn offers much space to enjoy the sunshine, to play games and to have fun during the summer months. The springboards (up to 3 metres high) promise not only action but also an opportunity for professional diving. In the fun and action pool (depth: 0,9 - 1,2 metres), fountains, jets of water, stone hills and a funny slide, can be found. The 46 metres indoor an outdoor slide, also with an outside part, is the main attraction. The little guests can let off steam in the 34 square metres aqua-wonderland with bubbles from the ground, mini slide, waterfall, splashwann and water hollows. The steam sauna, the classical Finnish sauna and the underwater massage in the hot tub are a stimulation for the senses. The tepidarium and a solarium are just one part of the spacious Wellness-area.

7.2 Natural Outdoor Swimming Pool

Enjoy nature and the fun of swimming at the same time, the natural outdoor swimming-pool Simmern offers many events at the pool area for you. Barbecues, kid’s partys, beachpartys, Summi summer, beachvolleyball tournaments and much more!

7.3 Dschungeldorf (Jungle Village)

This leisure facility stands for games, sports and fun! The ‘Dschungeldorf’ (Jungle Village) is an adventure park for children. An indoor adventure world with a size of 1,300 square metres in tropical atmosphere. Your children will love it.

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8. Events Finder

There is always something happening — whether it is art, music, wine festivals or a host of other activities. The Events Finder gives you an overview about what is on, where and when. Here you can search for events and festivals in the region.

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9. Hotel & Holiday Flat Finder

Here you have direct access to the online accommodation reservation service of the Tourist Board of Rhineland-Palatinate. No other hotel reservation system on the Internet offers you such a broad and comprehensive list of accommodation in Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate regions. You can list accommodation, search accommodation, contact accommodation establishments and make online reservations.

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10. How to get there from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport

10.1 By Rental Car

Google Maps: Route from (A) Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to (B) Simmern
(24 km distance / 24 minutes driving time) » get directions

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10.2 By Bus

Buses run from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to Simmern.

Bus routes and timetables:

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Tourist Office Address

Simmern Tourist-Information
Brühlstrasse 2
55469 Simmern

Tel.: +49 (0) 67 61 - 83 71 06
Fax: +49 (0) 67 61 - 83 71 20