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Simmern In the centre of the Hunsr端ck region Culture, history, nature and leisure time activities


Simmern In the centre of the Hunsrück region

Special cultural and historical features A tour of a town with an exciting history

Located in the heart of Europe and with the international Frankfurt-Hahn Airport close by, Simmern has a lot to offer you.

At thirty points during the cultural and historical tour of the town you will find information on people, buildings and events featured in the history of the town of Simmern. In this respect, an engraving made by Matthäus Merian in 1645 shows how the town developed after its destruction between May and September 1689 during the War of the Palatine Succession [the Nine Years’ War].

Follow the trail taken by the legendary outlaw Schinderhannes or explore and enjoy the picturesque scenery in the nearby Soonwald Nahe Nature Reserve. In addition to the unspoilt scenery and the healthy climate, there are a large number of sport and leisure time facilities in Simmern as well as undreamt-of possibilities for an activity holiday. The Schinderhannes and Soonwald cycle tracks in the region are available to cyclists as are many other extensive cycle tracks.

Der Schinderhannesturm (Schinderhannes Tower)

There are a lot of sights to be discovered and lingered over – the churches, the Neue Schloss [The New Castle] with the Hunsrück Museum, the Schinderhannesturm [Schinderhannes Tower] and much more. A modern leisure time pool with an attractive sauna landscape and the outdoor swimming pool provide a great deal of variety.

Simmern’s main landmark bears the name of Germany’s most famous outlaw, Johannes Bückler, known as “Schinderhannes”. In February 1799, he was detained in the former gun powder tower. In August 1799, he made a spectacular escape from the tower, something which had been considered impossible up until that point. The tower was one of the few buildings in the town to survive the destruction of 1689.

Experience the friendly atmosphere of a small town during a good long shopping excursion in the pedestrian precinct and enjoy the variety of pubs and restaurants. Enjoy the heart of the Hunsrück!


Contents SPECIAL CULTURAL AND HISTORICAL FEATURES The Schinderhannesturm [Schinderhannes Tower]

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The churches

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Das Neue Schloss [The New Castle] with the Hunsrück Museum

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Culture in the surrounding area

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Cultural variety

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The Soonwald [The Soon Forest]

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The Simmersee [Simmer Lake]

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The outdoor swimming pool

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The leisure time pool

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Today, with its medieval atmosphere, the tower is used for exhibitions and conferences. In the former dungeon the Hunsrück Museum displays the exhibition entitled “Schinderhannes – Myth and Reality”.

Schinderhannes Johannes Bückler (1778/9-1803) is one of the most well-known robbers in German history. At the age of 15 he began his criminal career as a petty thief. Imprisoned several times, he was always able to escape. With his band of thieves he stormed the houses of wealthy merchants or extorted large sums of money by means of begging letters, signed “Johannes durch den Wald” (“Johannes through the Forest”). He issued “safety cards”, which were meant to guarantee the holders safe passage through the forest. For many years all attempts to arrest him failed. It wasn‘t until June 1802 that he was arrested near Limburg and handed over to the French in Mainz, where he and 19 fellow prisoners were sentenced to death by guillotine on 20 November 1803. They were executed one day later.



Römerberg Bastion Römerberg Bastion, which was restored in 2005/6, was the angle tower of the town’s former fortifications, with a round cupola. The old bastion had only one entrance, through a hole in the vaulted ceiling, which probably means that it was formerly used as a prison. The upper part of the tower was used as a guardroom.

Die Stephanskirche (Saint Stephen’s Church) The Protestant Stephanskirche [Saint Stephen’s Church] was the centre of a large medieval parish. Duke Johann I laid the foundation stone of the current building in 1486 (construction was completed in 1510); the church is late gothic in style and has a nave and two aisles. The tower and the sacristy are on the long choir section on the northern side, while the mausoleum of the Prince of Simmern is on the southern side. The tombstones in the Annakapelle [Saint Anna’s Chapel] are among the most important works of sculpture to be found in the Middle Rhine region. They were created in the workshops of Jakob Kerre, of Johann von Trarbach, who lived in Simmern, and of Hans Ruprecht Hoffmann.

Worthy of mention are the tombstones of Duke Johann I, Johanna von Nassau-Saarbrücken, Emilia von Württemberg and the double tombstones of Duke Johann II and Duke Reichard. With the epitaphs inscribed on these tombstones Renaissance sculpture in the Middle Rhine region around the 15th century reached its full flowering.

Die Josephskirche (Saint Joseph’s Church) Saint Joseph’s Catholic Parish Church in the Klostergasse was built in 1749-1752 in accordance with the plans of the master builder Johann Jakob Rischer of the Electoral Palatinate. The rectangular long room adjoins the semi-circular choir, at whose apex the belfry rises with its cupola. A two-storey portico with a portal and a flight of steps connects the church to the former Carmelite convent built in 1703/04. The ceiling frescoes created by the Mannheimbased court painter Francesco Bernardini are interesting from the point of view of the history of art; they illustrate the worship of the Child Jesus. The original high altar is attributed to the Mannheim-based sculptor Paul Egell.

The historical Stumm Organ The Stumm Organ from 1782 was built in the workshop of the Hunsrück-based organ builder Stumm. The Stumm family, whose main representative is Johann Michael Stumm, is one of the most famous organ building dynasties in Germany. They built more than 370 organs (140 of which are still maintained or have been restored) across seven generations.



Das Neue Schloss (The New Castle)

Friedrich Karl Ströher Art Collection

Under Duke Friedrich I (14591480), the former medieval castle in Simmern had been converted into the residence of the dukes of Simmern, but was destroyed 200 years later, in 1689, during the War of the Palatine Succession [the Nine Years’ War]. The Neue Schloss [The New Castle] was built in 1708-1713. The building consists of a main structure with two side wings jutting forward in classical style. Both side wings were originally surrounded by a castle moat. After Napoleon gave the castle to the town as a gift in 1802, it was used as a court, then later as a school, a garrison, a place of detention and as service apartments.

Almost all of painter and sculptor Friedrich Karl Ströher’s (1876-1925) life’s work is exhibited as part of a rotating exhibition in the rooms housing the Ströher art collection. Sketches from his time as a student at the Colarossi Academy in Paris, oil paintings from journeys through Spain and France, works from his time as a student at the Berlin Academy and expressionistic watercolour paintings from the last years of his life, which he spent in his native Hunsrück, are worth seeing as much as the sculptures, coloured woodcuttings and biographical documents.

Today, the building contains the Hunsrück Museum, the art collection of the famous painter and sculptor Friedrich Karl Ströher, the library in the Neuen Schloss [New Castle], a ballroom with a foyer, a room in which civil wedding ceremonies are held and the Tourist Information Office.

The Hunsrück Museum The Hunsrück Museum in Simmern provides insights into the natural and cultural landscape and the economic history of the Hunsrück region and into the history of the Palatine Counts in Simmern, and displays jewellery worn by the Princes of Simmern as well as information on the book printing trade and the minting of coins.

HEIMAT film exhibition The Hunsrück mountain range has been the backdrop for many cinema and television films, including the films “Schwarzer Kies” [“Black Gravel”] and “Schinderhannes”, directed by Helmut Käutner. The director Edgar Reitz made cinematic and television history in Germany with the legendary film and television series “HEIMAT 1, 2 and 3”; in the process he also made the Hunsrück region world-famous. The shooting of the series is featured in the film section of the Hunsrück Museum in the form of props, photographs and documents.

The director Edgar Reitz, an honorary citizen of Simmern and himself a child of the Hunsrück region, is the great epic poet of German cinema. He reinvented the cinematic novel for television. With the Hunsrück-based epic “HEIMAT”, Reitz found his life’s theme. On the last of the 204 days spent shooting “HEIMAT 3”, he said: “I regret that we cannot continue the story until its end...” The man has a vision. Still.


Discover the culture of the surrounding area Hunsrück Cathedral in Ravengiersburg In the tenth century, the Noble Rabangar built a castle here on the steep rocks above the Simmberbach [Simmer Stream]. In 1072, the castle chapel was consecrated and the Augustinian male choir was founded. The 42 metre-high building on the west side, part of the monastery built in the Middle Ages, with two towers and many reliefs and sculptures, has survived the ravages of time. The high altar with a crucifixion group dates from 1722. The organ was set in place in 1738. The instrument used today was purchased from the parish of Saint Nicholas in Kreuznach in 1898; it had been built in the eighteenth century and was overhauled several times during the twentieth century.

The Cultural and Historical Museum in Neuerkirch Typical farm implements and machines, such as ploughs, manual tools, wagons and bridles are on display in what used to be a barn. A flour mill is a reminder of how indispensable mills were for the daily demand of flour. Old village trades are illustrated in different sections of the workshop – blacksmith, thatcher, cabinetmaker, shoemaker, barber, tailor and dressmaker. The implements used for processing flax and cloth processing on the farm, and those used by the butcher, bee-keeper, basketweaver, etc. are also on display. The house dating from 1750 displays aspects of rural living conditions, including an old kitchen and the living and sleeping arrangements.


The Bismarckturm (Bismarck Tower) near Sargenroth Following an appeal made by the German student body after Bismarck’s death in 1898, the construction of monuments in memory of Imperial Chancellor Bismarck began throughout Germany. The 17.5 metre-high Sargenroth Tower, with two staircases and a platform, was built from Soon Forest quartzite in accordance with the plans of the Dresden-based architect Wilhelm Kreis. From the top of the tower the observer can enjoy a beautiful view of the whole Hunsrück landscape.

The Nunkirche (Nun Church) As a former pilgrimage church, surrounded by old trees the picturesque church in Sargenroth is one of the landmarks of the Hunsrück region. Only the tower remains from the medieval church building; the nave was rebuilt in 1745. The paintings in the window reveal and in the choir circle, illustrate the Visitation of Mary and the Wise and Foolish Virgins, date from the fourteenth century.

The mill in Niederkumbd

The old mill was built in 1887 and operated by a cooperative. It was forgotten for decades until the citizens of Niederkumbd replaced the millwheel themselves and made the mill operable once again.


Cultural variety in the Hunsrück region Concerts, exhibitions, readings und theatre Simmern offers a wide range of cultural activities – plays performed by great actors, comedy and cabaret with big national stars, but also with artists from the region, exhibitions and readings, big concerts featuring music from classical through rock, pop and musicals to hits and folk music are all permanent features on the events calendar in Simmern. You will find a cinema with one of the best programmes of films in Germany in the form of the town’s multi-award-winning Pro-Winzkino. The Schinderhannes Festival, which began in 2007, is based on the myth of Schinderhannes. His fleeing from the tower triggered a great deal of speculation. The historical play the “The Escape” is based on these rumours and provides reasons for the way in which human beings behave, which are as relevant today as they were centuries ago.


The Hunsrück Community Hall With the Hunsrück Arena, the largest events arena in the Rhine-Hunsrück district, Simmern offers a wide range of possibilities for cultural events of all types. The Hunsrück Community Hall is located in the centre of the town. A large number of free parking spaces are available in the surrounding area. Regular events, e.g. the “Harmony Concert” featuring the Rhinish Philharmonic Orchestra, concerts involving cooperation with radio and television, balls and musical performances all take place there, as do afternoons for the elderly, the women’s breakfast and regional trade fairs. Discover Simmern, the culture town in the Hunsrück region!

The team in the Tourist Information Office would be pleased to inform you about current events: Simmern Tourist Information Office Neues Schloss D-55469 Simmern Tel. +49(0)6761 - 837 296 Fax. +49(0)6761 - 837 299


Pure nature... on the shoemaker‘s horse Hiking adventures in the Soonwald Nahe Nature Reserve Discover the forests and hills around Simmern. Sometimes romantic and steeped in legend, at other times wild and winding – that is the austere and beautiful Hunsrück region. Start your hike in Simmern in the Soonwald Nahe Nature Reserve. It ranges from the plateaus of the Hunsrück mountain range, over the quartzite crests of the Soonwald [Soon Forest] with its deeply carved river valleys, to the slopes of the Nahe Valley. In the Soonwald Nahe Nature Reserve experience the interplay between the contrasting types of scenery, the unmistakeable character of the region. You can obtain information on the many hiking trails around Simmern and Soonwald Nahe Nature Reserve directly from the Tourist Information Office in the Neuen Schloss [New Castle] in Simmern.

Guided Hikes Would you like to be inspired by the natural scenery in the Hunsrück region? With competent hiking guides let yourself be enchanted by the scenery. Pack some sandwiches and a drink and simply enjoy a nice day in the outdoors with friends!


Pure nature... on a bike Cycling fun and activy routes Experience cycling fun where steam locomotives once panted and puffed – 38 kilometres of cycle tracks on the former train line between Simmern and Emmelshausen, known as the Schinderhannes cycle track. Far from busy streets, cycle along completely asphalted tracks through wonderful scenery with fabulous views of the Hunsrück hills. Or cycle along the Schinderhannes-Soonwald cycle track to the edge of the Soonwald [forest] and alongside this chain of hills to Gemünden. The hills and forests of the Hunsrück offer ambitious cyclists ideal terrain for extended mountain bike activity trips.


Pure nature... in Schmiedel Park Right at the gates of Simmern An attractive, varied range of leisure time and recreational activities await children, teenagers and adults in Schmiedel Park. A system of large metal climbing pipes, a “mud complex” and the sandpit pavilion are perfect for the very small ones. A cableway, climbing frames and swings test the motor functions and coordination skills of older children. Goats, sheep and peacocks can be seen in the petting zoo. “Luck on horseback” can be tried live in the riding arena. The well-tested mountain bike track and a half pipe represent a special challenge for teenagers. And admission to all of this is free!

Being young in Simmern Great opportunities for children and teenagers The broad range of leisure time activities for children and teenagers in Simmern offers all their hearts could desire and is based on the interests of young people. Amongst other things, many play areas and an indoor activity park are available for children. Teenagers can, for example, go wild in the skater park and the streetball park. You can find an overview of all the leisure time activities for children and teenagers on the Simmern children’s map.


Pure nature... in the Soonwald (forest) Adventure and relaxation in the Sargenroth Youth Hostel Discover a love of the forest and choose from a wide range of ideas and activities for young and old contained in the Sargenroth Youth Hostel’s annual programme. In addition to fabulous experiences, for example abseiling from a 17 metre-high observation tower or an evening camp fire followed by bivouacking, an exciting programme of adventures is created, resulting in fun being had in and with nature. Explore a stream while out and about with a sieve and a magnifying glass, and build a two metrehigh watchtower with the professionals. Discover the animals that come out at night during nocturnal rambles with the ranger. Or let the forest inspire you as you paint and draw from nature.


Pure nature... by the Simmersee (Simmer Lake) A long cherished dream became a reality in 2006 – Simmersee [Simmer Lake] was created, a scenic pond divided in two at the gates of the town, with a surface area of around 12,000 square metres. Due to developments with a focus on the ecological aspects, the Simmer Stream, which runs diagonally across the town was also enhanced with recreational activities in particular in mind.

Simmern top f it! In the Nature.Fitness.Park six selected, wellmarked routes are available for different types of fitness sports practised close to nature, e.g. nordic walking. Here you have the opportunity to experience close up all of the facets of the scenery in the Hunsrück region. The Hunsrück marathon represents a special sporting challenge involving running, walking and skating on the different sections of the Schinderhannes cycle track located between Simmern and Emmelshausen.


The outdoor swimming pool Swimming fun in the summer Enjoy the outdoors and swimming fun at the same time. The outdoor swimming pool in Simmern, which covers a total area of 20,000 square metres and 6,300 square metres of water, is situated in a wonderful location surrounded by spruce and broad-leaved trees. The large swimming area with a diving platform, water trampoline, island, catwalk, tree trunks and an iceberg also includes a separate paddling pool for little children and a non-swimmers area with a water slide and toys. Rubber boats, flippers, snorkels and other types of toys for waterfun are really the order of the day here! As additional attractions, the grounds around the outdoor swimming pool include a children’s playground and an area where beach volleyball can be played. Numerous summertime events such as beach parties, beach volleyball tournaments, children’s parties with inflatable castles and many other types of events are held there.


The leisure time pool

Romantic winters in the Hunsrück region

Sport and relaxation for everyone

Leisure days with or without snow

The leisure time pool in Simmern, with its extensive facilities and the wellness sauna landscape laid out across a wide area, offers fun and games, enjoyable sports and relaxation for every taste. The large multi-purpose pool offers various possibilities for sports and also for relaxing activities. The heated outdoor pool offers a special experience and not just in winter. In the summer, the large sunbathing lawn provides a lot of room for sunbathing, but also opportunities for fun and games. Diving boards up to three metres high are available for exercises ranging from free falling to more elaborate forms. With fountains, rocky hills, torrential showers and a slide, the fun pool does great credit to its name. The 46 metre-long slide, part of which runs through the outer area, is one of the main attractions at the leisure time pool. The water games garden awaits the very young, with its bubbling pool, spray wall, mini-slide, waterfall and water pool.

The wellness landscape Take some time out from your everyday life in the large wellness sauna landscape. Relax, feel good and spoil yourself! The steam sauna with its extremely high humidity stimulates the senses and cleanses the body. The whirlpool spoils its visitors with underwater massages. The classic Finnish sauna bath strengthens the immune system and cleanses the body. The solarium and the different wellness facilities and massages on offer, such as the hamam, round off the offer. Enjoy the wellness sauna landscape with all of your senses!


Winters in the Hunsrück region can be enjoyed in a very relaxed manner. A winter nature holiday can take in one of the many agricultural holdings, baking bread in the old baking house, outings in covered wagons with the romance of the great outdoors or winter hikes followed by sandwiches and a drink in one of the many cosy restaurants and cafés. And if it snows, in the nearby Hoch and Soonwald hills you will find well-preserved slopes, prepared cross-country courses through snowy woods, toboggan runs which excite children’s hearts and outdoor ice rinks with a fun factor. Enjoy a couple of winter days in the Hunsrück region – with or without snow, fun and relaxation are guaranteed here!


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reachable by aeroplane, car or train In the past the way to the centre of the Hunsrück led you through forests where robbers lurked... This is how you reach Simmern today: By plane: Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (20 km), hourly bus shuttle. Frankfurt Airport (100 km). Cologne/Bonn Airport (150 km) By car: A61 motorway (Rheinböllen exit, B50 in the direction of Simmern) By bus: Via the Regio-Linien [regional lines], e.g. from the main station in Koblenz to Simmern (line 3200) By train: Cologne-Koblenz-Frankfurt connection with links to buses.

The Simmern region The most important adresses in and around Simmern: Simmern Tourist Information Office Neues Schloss [New Castle] · Schlossplatz · D-55469 Simmern Tel. +49 (0 ) 67 61 / 837 296 · Fax. +49 (0 ) 67 61 / 837 299 · Hunsrück-Museum Neues Schloss [New Castle] · Schlossplatz · D-55469 Simmern Tel. +49 (0 ) 67 61 / 70 09 · Fax. +49 (0 ) 67 61 / 90 80 44 · The leisure time pool in Simmern Schulstraße 16 · D-55469 Simmern Tel. +49 (0 ) 67 61 / 97 06 78 · Fax. +49 (0 ) 67 61 / 97 06 79 The outdoor swimming pool in Simmern Am Hindenburgpark · D-55469 Simmern Tel. +49 (0 ) 67 61 / 90 80 69 · Fax. +49 (0 ) 67 61 / 96 55 36

Simmern, situated in the heart of the Hunsrück region, is in a central location between the Rhine, the Moselle and the Nahe rivers. At present, the town of Simmern has a total of more than 90 hectares of attractive commercial and industrial space at its disposal. The four-lane B 50 provides a good link to the A 61 motorway and thus to the Rhine-Main region as well as to other important economic regions and the nearby Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. The association of local authorities in Simmern is made up of 31 local authorities and the town of Simmern itself. Around 19,000 people live in an area covering 165.48 km2, 57.89 km2 of which is forest.

Hunsrück-Touristik GmbH Hunsrückhaus · D-54411 Deuselbach Tel. +49 (0 ) 65 04 / 95 04 60 · Fax. +49 (0 ) 65 04 / 95 04 31

Impressum: Herausgeber: Verbandsgemeinde Simmern · Brühlstr. 2 · D-55469 Simmern/Hunsrück Tel. +49 (0 ) 67 61 / 837 - 0 · e-Mail: · Konzeption & Texte: Ulli Piel, P!EL media ( Konzeption & Gestaltung: Sirka Luschert ( Fotos: Herbert Piel, Werner Dupuis, Archiv der Verbandsgemeinde Simmern Druck: Prinz-Druck, Idar-Oberstein, Erscheinungsjahr: 2008

Simmern - In the centre of the Hunsrück region  

Simmern - In the centre of the Hunsrück region: Culture, history, nature and leisure time activities.