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Hesse

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Hesse (German: Hessen) [1] is one of the states of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Regions[edit]

Cities[edit]

Kurhaus Wiesbaden and Bowling Green

Villages[edit]

National parks[edit]

  • Biosphärenreservat Rhön
  • Geo-Naturpark Bergstraße-Odenwald
  • Naturpark Diemelsee
  • Naturpark Habichtswald
  • Naturpark Hessischer Spessart
  • Naturpark Hessische Rhön
  • Naturpark Hochtaunus
  • Natupark Hoher Vogelsberg
  • Natur- und Nationalpark Kellerwald-Edersee
  • Naturpark Lahn-Dill-Bergland
  • Naturpark Meißner-Kaufunger Wald
  • Naturpark Rhein-Taunus

Other destinations[edit]

  • Großer Feldberg. The highest mountain in Taunus (881 metres). On its summit, there is a 40 metre tall observation tower. A much more remarkable tower on its summit is the telecommunication tower, which cannot normally be visited.

Understand[edit]

You can talk English in Hesse without a problem, but it's better when you speak slowly, as many people are not confident about their English and do not want to embarrass themselves with a native speaker. In smaller towns and out in the country, it's more likely that you will encounter old people who cannot speak or understand English.

However, as students take English as a second language, you'll find that almost all young people speak English well, albeit possibly accented. Even slightly older people usually do have at least some command of English, and in the cities you should not be surprised to find a 60 year old who speaks English quite well.

You may be surprised at how friendly the people can be, as (like most Germans) the Hessians are very friendly and nice when you are friendly too.

You can get some good tips on local events and places to visit from the locals if your take the time to ask.

Feel free to try out any German you have--either you'll get what you want, or at the least impress/amuse your victim!

Talk[edit]

German is the main language in most of the state, although Hessian, the local dialect, is spoken natively by many rural and old people and can sound quite different from standard German. However, since almost all Hessian speakers also speak standard German and most people also speak at least rudimentary English you shouldn't have any problems communicating with them.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

International visitors will arrive mostly at Frankfurt Airport, the second largest airport in Europe and a major hub for the German carrier Lufthansa. Frankfurt's central station is less than 15 minutes away by subway.

Hahn, somewhat misleadingly officially called "Frankfurt Hahn" even though the city is over 100 km away, is a former military airfield being used by "no frills" low budget airlines. Getting from Hahn to Frankfurt takes about 90 minutes.

By train[edit]

Regular and high-speed InterCity (Express) trains connect Hesse to the rest of the nation as well as to various international destinations, such as Paris, Vienna, Basel, Brussels and Amsterdam.

Get around[edit]

There are large regional networks of public transport:

  • Nordhessischer VerkehrsVerbund (NVV)
  • Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund (RMV)
  • "Hessenticket" for day-long on Local trains in Hesse and Mainz for up to 5 people.
  • German National Railways offer the "Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket" for day-long unlimited travel on local trains nationwide on week ends.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Frankfurt's skyline of highrises clustered in the downtown city is a rare sight in Europe.
  • Wiesbaden with Kurhaus (spa house), it is one of the oldest spa towns in Europe with 26 (today: 14) hot springs.
  • Not necessarily touristy Rüdesheim, but the Middle Rhine Valley of the river Rhine with its castles and vineyards
  • Eberbach Abbey, a cistercian monastery where 'The Name of the Rose' was shot
  • Hessenpark, an open-air museum showcasing half-timbered buildings from the land of Hesse
  • Kloster Lorsch, [2]. World Heritage UNESCO  edit
  • Oberes Mittelrheintal, [3]. World Heritage UNESCO (Middle Rhine Valley)  edit
  • Limes, [4]. World Heritage UNESCO  edit
  • Grube Messel, [5]. World Heritage UNESCO  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Shopping, museums, opera, theater and ballet options abound in Frankfurt.
  • Take a boat trip on the rivers Main and Rhine.
  • Go canoeing on the Lahn river.
  • Do some hiking up the Feldberg/Taunus or in the Spessart woods.

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • A vegetarian option for the daring is Handkäs mit Musik, literally: hand cheese with music, a traditional dish where dry, round, low-fat cheese is marinated in oil with caraway and raw onions (hence the "music").
  • Another Hesse specialty is Rippchen mit Kraut, cooked pork chops with loads of Sauerkraut.
  • Not to mention the original Frankfurter Wuerstchen, which are essentially the same as Wiener.
  • For pastries, try the Frankfurter Kranz (Frankfurt Wreath).

Drink[edit][add listing]

Local specialties include wine from grapes, especially white grapes, and from apples (a kind of cider). This apple wine (Ebbelwei or Ebbelwoi) may be enjoyed straight (pur) or mixed (gespritzt). The latter versions distinguish between "sweet" and "sour", i.e. mixed with either some citrus soda (Süßg'spritzter) or sparkling mineral water (Sauerg'spritzter).

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Across the state and the country is a dense network of Youth Hostels (membership required).

Contact[edit]

Internet Cafes[edit]

Good luck if you're out of the major cities like Frankfurt or Wiesbaden.

Telephone[edit]

Public telephones are rare in many areas, and to complicate matters there was a transition from coins to rechargable/disposable cards a few years before mobile phones made public telephones mostly obsolete. You can buy public telephone cards at the Post or some shops. If you have a mobile phone that takes SIM cards, consider buying a disposable SIM at a mobile phone shop. In the case of an emergency, most people would let you use their mobile phone.

Accidents[edit]

The number for the Police (Polizei) is 110, and for the fire department (Feuerwehr) and ambulance service 112. They can often speak some English.

Get out[edit]

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