Friday, June 13, 2014

Jagdschloss Platte: Wiesbaden's Hunting Lodge

Over a four year period....1823-1826....some gifted home builders came up about five miles north of the hills and forests behind the city, and built one fine hunting lodge for the Duke of Nassau.

What we can generally say is that it was a good hour's ride in a horse-carriage....huffing and puffing to get up the elevation involved.  I'd take a humble guess of 2,000 feet of hillside that you had to climb over that five-mile distance.

What you came to find was this great point on the hillside....surrounded by deep forest, and it had an abundance of hunting material (fox, quail, etc).  What is generally said is that the VIPs who came to Wiesbaden....would sometimes get invited up to the hunting lodge if they were a favored guest of the Duke.  Royalty from Russia, the Netherlands, England and various European countries would make the trip up and have an enjoyable day.  In the hot summer, with the higher was probably somewhat of a relief.

Comments from the locals indicate that if Duke wasn't using it for the VIPs....the lodge was open for the lesser of the crowd include the ultra rich, the bankers, and the other VIPs who might wander into Wiesbaden in the glory years of the spa world.

By the end of 1914....most of this glory period for the hunting lodge came to an end.  Royals and the ultra rich didn't come much anymore.  There's some indication of the lodge going into a negative period.

In the early part of 1945....the air raids came...mostly because the German Army set up a radar site on the hill (the highest ground in the entire region).  The hunting lodge was blasted away.  There wasn't that much left.

Around forty years later (1987)......the locals came back to view what remained and knew of its history.  An effort came up to rebuild it to some degree.  What you will see is the four walls and entryway that look pretty much like the original lodge.  The roof?  A bit different.....plexiglass.

Across the parking lot?  A restaurant that does a pretty good job and is open most days of the week.  The lodge itself?  It's used as a catering site and handles special meetings, weddings, or parties.

How did I come to find it?'s interesting and part of the story as well.  My village is eight kilometers east of the lodge....on a pretty level walking trail.  So I walked all the way over, rested a bit on wooden benches out front, and then trudge down the paved trail to the right side of the north side of Wiesbaden (another seven kilometers), and end up at a bus pick-up point.  Yeah, fifteen kilometers or roughly 11 miles of hiking.  A good walk on a nice day.

Worth visiting?  Well....I won't put the lodge on the top twenty items in Wiesbaden to see......but it might be an interesting place to go on a summer afternoon....sip an apple wine....have a plate of fine food.....and enjoy summer weather.  And if you might have some hiking's five-star in my humble opinion.  

And yes, those are life-sized elk out front in some odd pose.

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