Tuesday, August 26, 2014


 About thirty minutes northeast of Wiesbaden is the Hessenpark.  If you find Neu-Anspach, it's about two miles outside of the town and numerous signs will lead you onto the park.

It's an odd deal.  Somewhere in the 1970s....Germans were tearing down old houses and storefronts at an alarming rate to replace them.  Folks got peppy and invented various laws and regulations that made it more difficult (citing historical concerns).  To get around this situation....you could donate the house to the state.

The state in turn....would bring in some old-fashioned carpentry experts....dismantle the house....and reassemble at this area near Neu-Anspach.  It's hard to say if there was some kind of real master plan in the beginning.  They wanted to preserve history, and there was going to be a cost associated with this deal.

In the beginning, it was laid out with different sections of a "village", and today....there's roughly three villages in the park.

As you arrive, there's ample parking, and you basically walk around 500 feet to enter the free area of the park.  There's a number of storefronts laid out....selling brooms, cheese, etc.  If you want coffee and cake, there's a shop for that.  And there's a restaurant with a decent menu.

There are a number of displays, and if you were into history....it'd make for a good four-hour afternoon.  Kids?  Well....I have my doubts that any kid under ten years old would find this interesting.  There is a kid's upscale playground deeper into the park (the section where you pay around eight Euro to enter). About sixty percent of the park lies in the paid section, and if you time this around 4PM (they stay open to 6PM in the summer), then you pay half-price.

Teenagers?  If they have an interest in history and architecture.....it might make for a good afternoon trip. Otherwise, I'd leave them at home.

There are three things which you might want to taken note of.....as you walk into these buildings which were erected originally in the 1700s/1800s.  First, the ceilings weren't that high.  They didn't waste space.

Second, the kitchen was the all-in-one room for eating, leisure, entertaining guests, and family moments.

Third, you see an awful lot of master carpentry efforts in almost every house....something that you rarely see today.    

I should note this.....around the backside of the whole park is this collection of sheds with rails, boards, and leftover pieces.  Yeah, it's kinda obvious that after the houses were taken down and reassembled....there were some things left over, and they just didn't want to thrown them away, so they just kept those pieces around.  Guys....you know....always end up with leftover pieces when assembling something.

There is a fair amount of walking....especially over cobblestones.  So be aware of that fact and wear appropriate shoes.  I also wouldn't go on an extremely cold day because it's all outdoors.  And if you have height issues about narrow stairways....avoid the windmill climb to the third floor.  It's a good place to go on a summer or fall afternoon (avoid rainy days).

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