The Strata Montana (“mountain road”), as the Romans called their north-south road between the Upper Rhine and Odenwald, leads from Darmstadt in southern Hesse via Heidelberg to Wiesloch in Nordbaden. The 68-kilometer-long historic road is today the national road, B3. Bergstraße is also the name of its lovely surroundings. A mild and sunny climate, an early spring and fertile soil make it one of the richest fruit gardens in Germany with viticulture, fruits, almonds, sweet chestnuts and walnuts. Mediterranean plants such as figs and olive trees thrive here as well.
Romantic Road: From Munich to the Rhine Valley
Ducal residence and artists' colony
The small city between the Upper Rhine and the Odenwald was once the residence of the Grand Duchy of Hesse. It was also the Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig who founded the city's most important attraction in 1899: the artists' colony Mathildenhöhe. The Art-Deco style buildings were created by seven like-minded artists. The houses all contained an artist's studio displaying interior design, handicrafts and painting. In the middle of the settlement is the 48 meter high wedding tower with an elevator and its entrance hall decorated with mosaics. In the Ernst-Ludwig-Haus, a museum informs about the history of the artists' colony, which came to an end in 1914.
World Cultural Heritage from the time of Charlemagne
When the abbey was consecrated in 774, Emperor Charlemagne was personally present with his family and court. Later he raised the abbey to one of his most important imperial monasteries. Three buildings of the formerly large complex remain: a fragment of the Nazarius basilica, a section of the monastery wall and the famous Königshalle. When Lorsch Monastery was declared a World Heritage Site in 2014, the monastery areas were linked in terms of landscape architecture. An herbal garden was also created – according to the specifications of 1,200-year-old Lorsch pharmacopoeia.