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Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse
The German Gemstone Route

A highlight is undoubtedly the Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route), together with the beautiful restored half-timbered houses of the historic old town of Herrstein and the gemstone capital Idar-Oberstein. Jewellery studios, young jewellery designers and goldsmiths inspire us with creations in precious stone and metal. Visitors from all over the globe value the Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route) as a number one address for brilliant experiences of impressive variety.

1. Location of the Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route) in Germany

The Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route) is located in the Nahe holiday region, approximately 23 km to the south of Frankfurt-Hahn Airport (see map on bottom of page).

The Nahe is one of the nine holiday regions of Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate. This is a landscape full of poetry and colour, dotted with old towns and villages full of history. The region's highlight is undoubtedly the German Gemstone Route, together with the gemstone capital Idar-Oberstein and the German Museum of Precious Stones. The region is also known for its three spa resorts that are located in the Nahe wine-growing area. ... read more about the Nahe holiday region

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2. Route of Brilliant Experiences

By two circular routes the Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route) connects all the sites in the Hunsrück and Nahe region that are characterized by working with gemstones. The origins of gemstone cutting go back to the Middle Ages when rich mineral occurrences were discovered and subsequently mined in the regions. From the traditional craft of gemstone a rich variety of tourism offers have developed. Today's mineral deposits along the Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route) still delight passionate collectors and hobby geologists.

GemstoneThe world of gemstones offers fascination for tourists: there is in fact no other place in the world showing such concentrations of all things to do with gemstones and jewellery! The fascination of precious stones combined with the picturesque scenery and many interesting sights make the holiday route Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route) a unique experience. On a discovery tour of the Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route) you immerse yourselves in the sparkling, shining world of gemstones, enjoy the magnificent scenery and learn about the special culture of this holiday region.

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3. Jewellery Studios, Designers & Goldsmiths

Jewellery Studios
Be a gemstone cutter, goldsmith or engraver

Here, where gemstones and minerals have been processed from time immemorial, a great diversity of creative craftsmanship has grown up. Today the region's jewellery studios, young jewellery designers and goldsmiths inspire us with new creations in precious stone and metal. Visitors from all over the globe value the Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route) as a number one address for brilliant experiences of impressive variety.

Try your hand at being your own designer and craft your personal piece of jewellery assisted by an expert. Would you prefer a rough stone, gold or silver? Classes for hobby gemstone cutters, amateur goldsmiths and engravers will not only offer an insight into the art of working with gemstones, they also provide a wide range of information about the craft.

Or go treasure hunting on a guided mineral excursion: your finds will then be cut open, polished and finished in a cutting workshop. More than 60 cutters and many studios along the Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route) welcome visitors to watch the craftsmen from the gemstone industry at work. Take this opportunity and learn about the secrets of the trade for cutting and finishing stones, or for making jewellery.

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4. Points of Interest

Download our leflet with a list of sigths here.

Historical Old Town of Herrstein
Historical Old Town of Herrstein
Take a guided tour through medieval Herrstein with its historical centre that is famous for its exemplary restoration work. 60 half-timbered houses give you an impression of the living conditions of our ancestors. The clock-tower from the 15th century is the towns quintessential landmark. Above the historical market square towers the 1,000 years old Castle Church. Next to it is the famous tower of the legendary ‘Schinderhannes’ the robber. One part of the guided tour of Herrstein is a visti of the Museum of Local History Herrstein: Here you will find exhibits dedicated to local history and a fully equipped historic bakery. Experience the way of life in past centuries that is illustrated on the basis of housekeeping, farming and the local gemstone trade.
GPS: 7°33'77,471"E, 49°78'04,88"N
Historical Gemstone Cutting Mill Biehl (Alte Wasserschleife Biehl), Asbacherhütte:
Historical Cutting Mill
One of the typical historic mills in the region driven by water. Here you will learn how the cutters used to go about cutting agates and other gemstones while lying on a special chair in front of large wheels made of sandstone.
GPS: 7°27'34,642"E, 49°80'48,955"N
Historic Copper Mine
Historic Copper Mine
Closed at the end of the 18th century the copper mine Fischbach was once one of the biggest and most important ones in Germany. During centuries miners have been working in the twilight of the galleries, mining precious copper ore. Huge hollows grottos of up to 30 m of height and a farreaching system of galleries have been dug into the mountain. Copper Smelter: Once a year, on the first weekend of October, the past comes alive when the old smelting techniques are presented during the “Copper smelting in medieval times”.
GPS: 7°39'21,399"E, 49°74'45,288"N
Circular Mining Route, Fischbach
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Circular Mining Route, Fischbach The Circular Mining Route at Fischbach introduces hikers to geological and metallurgical history of the surroundings. Interesting background information on geological and historical facts is provided on clearly illustrated display tables along the route. Length: 3,5 km
GPS: 7°39'21,399"E, 49°74'45,288"N
Gemstone Garden
Gemstone Garden
In the village of Kempfeld you will find a unique and high-carat sight! Over 100 rough gemstones are displayed there for you to admire and touch. Tables explain the necessary background information to the exhibits. The centrepiece of the garden is an arrangement of the 12 gemstones that decorated, according to the bible, the fundaments of the “New Jerusalem”.
GPS: 7°24'32,732"E, 49°78'93,133"N
Wildenburg Forest Footpath
Wildenburg Forest Footpath
Children and adults alike will enjoy the 3.5 km long route through the forest. The woods around Wildenburg Castle are the ideal scene for experiencing the forest in a playful way.
GPS: 7°25'35,085"E, 49°77'56,176"N
Tower of Wildenburg Castle
Tower of Wildenburg Castle
High above the village of Kempfeld, at a height of 674 m, the tower of Wildenburg Castle reaches up to the skies. Originally constructed on the remains of a Celtic retreat in the Middle Ages, Wildenburg Castle can look back on a vivid history of destructions, reconstructions and changing ownership. As a landmark preserved from pre-Christian times the Celtic ring wall still stretches down from the castle site to the North-East into the national park around the Wildenburger Kopf low range mountain.
GPS: 7°25'35,085"E, 49°77'56,176"N
Wildlife Park Wildenburg
Wildlife Park Wildenburg
At the foot of Wildenburg Castle you will find the wildlife park. It spread out across an area of no less than 40 hectares and gives you the opportunity to watch the native game in its natural habitat. A special pet zoo offers children the chance to actually cuddle with some animals.
GPS: 7°25'35,085"E, 49°77'56,176"N
Wildenburg Historical Path
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It will take you on a tour through 2,000 years of history. Follow in the footsteps of Celts, Romans and the medieval knights all around Wildenburg Castle.
GPS: 7°25'35,085"E, 49°77'56,176"N
Petrified Visitors' Book Veitsrodt
Pertrified Visitors' Book
It's a reminder of the numerous VIP visitors who have come to the German Gemstone Route. Real stones, which have been signed by guest from politics, industry and culture have been erected along a circular route amounting to a 1.7 km hike.
GPS: 7°29'83,336"E, 49°76'51,475"N
Historical Grain Mill Allenbach
Historical Grain Mill Allenbach
It was actually used until 1900 as a grain and oil mill. The different runs for hulling and husking, for producing flour and coarse meal are still intact and have retained full functions.
GPS: 7°16'59"E, 49°75'46,9"N
Nature Path Allenbach
Nature Path Allenbach
 The preservation and protection of nature permeates the site of the Allenbacher Weiher pond. 1 hectare of water surface and about 3 hectares of nature reserve area can be enjoyed. On route you will find information on the numerous and unique specimens of animals and plants.
GPS: 7°16'36,438"E, 49°75'27,551"N
Nature Path Idarbach
Nature Path Idarbach
The Idarbach Nature Path links the recreational areas "Allenbacher Weiher," the "Krahloch GeoPark," and the "Celtic Ringwall Ringkopf." The wooden panels offer information on nature and geology, pointers on the commercial use of the Idarbach and gives a demonstration of the diverse flora and fauna. Length: about 10 km
GPS: 7°16'36,438"E, 49°75'27,551"N
Geological Park „Geopark Krahloch“, Sensweiler
Geological Park
The geological park „Geopark Krahloch“ between the villages of Sensweiler and Wirschweiler offers a 1 km round course where exhibits and boards provide information for those who interested in geology, mineralogy, raw material or aspects of nature and regional landscape.
GPS: 7°18'86,849"E, 49°77'08,852"N
German Gemstone Museum
German Gemstone Museum
In the museum located at the gemstone centre of Idar-Oberstein, all the aspects from the world of gemstones are displayed on three floors — fro Agate to Diamond. Regular special shows illustrate individual features and provide an annual highlight.
GPS: 7°30'42,553"E, 49°71'89,015"N
Historical Gemstone Mines Steinkaulenberg
Historical Gemstone Mines Steinkaulenberg
Until 1870 gemstones were mined here. Some of the smaller tunnels and shafts — all in all 33 — have been expanded and now make up a visitors' mine where gemstones can be mined in a special tunnel.
GPS: 7°27'83,565"E, 49°72'62,824"N
Museum Idar-Oberstein
Museum Idar-Oberstein
At the museum below the Felsenkirche (Church-in-the-rocks), the characteristic products which have made Idar-Oberstein famous are displayed on four floors: gemstones, jewellery and minerals. A very special experience is provided by a visit to the crystal hall and to the fluorescence cabinet.
GPS: 7°32'83,827"E, 49°70'48,586"N
Church-in-the-rocks (Felsenkirche)
Church-in-the-Rocks
Fifty metres above the town of Idar-Oberstein you can see the Church-in-the-rocks, which accommodates a natural cave inside and has been integrated into the natural rock surface. The church shelters several valuable pieces of art.
GPS: 7°32'78,379"E, 49°70'53,221"N
Edelstein-Erlebniswelt, Idar-Oberstein
Edelstein Erlebniswelt
The beauty of precious crystals and minerals presented in a mystic and bizarre world of magic with caves and galleries, the „Grotto of Yearning“, murmuring waterfalls, glowing volcanoes, a smoke spitting dragon and a crystal crypt.
GPS: 7°31'89,3"E, 49°69'96,4"N
Jakob Bengel Industrial Monument, Idar-Oberstein
Jakob Bengel Industieal Monument
Historical factory for necklaces and jewellery with machines from the age of mechanics (1870-1990). Guided tours with a presentation of the machines at work. Jewellery and Art Deco Jewellery produced on Site. More than 20 showcases with exhibits from the company´s production in the 20th century. Changing special exhibitions of modern jewellery design.
GPS: 7°33'27,5"E, 49°70'36,7"N
Gemstone Waterwheel Grinding Mill (Weiherschleife), Idar-Oberstein
Weiherschleife
The Weiherschleife (operation between 1754 and 1954) is the last remaining watermill along the Idarbach. A demonstration offers an insight into the work of the ancient gemstone cutters operating the huge sand stone wheels. In addition an interesting multimedia show, a mineral room and a gemstone-mining zone for young and old can be visited.
GPS: 7°28'72,1"E, 49°72'92,4"N

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5. Leisure Activities

Leisure ActivitiesMany kilometres of hiking trails cover an attractive landscape along the Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route). Suggestions for planning your excursions, also hiking maps for individual and guided tours are available from the tourist office.

Discover the Saar-Hunsrück-Climb – “Germany's most beautiful hiking trail 2009", the Dream Loop “Middle Ages Trail” – “Germany’s most beautiful hiking trail 2010” and the “Charcoal Burner’s Trail at Steinbach”.  The themed hiking trails supplement this offer — experience history and nature on regional tours and longer routes. Several riding stables provide the ideal opportunity for a horseback approach to the attractive Hunsrück scenery. Golf enthusiasts will find an interesting challenge in the 9-holes golf course of the Edelstein Hunsrück Golf Club.

Two supraregional bike trails (Radweg Saar-Hunsrück and Radweg Mosel-Hunsrück-Nahe) run through our region. Due to the hills and mountains here in the landscape there are considerable differences in altitudes which make these trails mainly suited for more ambitious bicyclists. Families will prefer the ‘Nahe-Radweg’ which runs along the riverbed of the Nahe river, without any steep climbs. For skiing there are downhill slopes on the Erbeskopf and Idarkopf summits near Rhaunen. Several trails for Nordic skiing are provided all over the Hochwald mountains. Heated indoor, outdoor and fun-and-game pools in the area offer a welcome chance to cool down and relax after an interesting day spent on the Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route).

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6. Walking through Picture Book Scenery

Strewing Fruit Experience Path, Mackenrodt
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The traditional cultivation of fruit trees can be seen when you take the strewing fruit experience path at Mackenrodt. On 1,5 km you will learn a lot about the advantages of cultivating different sorts of fruit trees in meadows as in former times, and about the wealth of different varieties and possible uses.
GPS: 7°25'53,697"E, 49°72'56,502"N
The Saar-Hunsrück Climb
Saar Hunsrück Steig
Hike along 114 mi/184 km of magnificent trails ...past bizarre stone formations and idyllic brooks ...through deep valleys and mysterious moor landscapes. Discover romantically situated lakes, enchanted valleys, and fantastic panoramas. The Saar-Hunsrück Climb borders on the Saar Bend near the ceramics centre Mettlach, on the Roman city Trier, and on the gem centre Idar-Oberstein. The Saar-Hunsrück Climb has been certified by the German Hiking Institute as a Premium Hiking Trail. With 58 adventure points, it achieved the TOP position among the long-distance trails in Germany. Its unique feature: More than 70 % natural trails. Much is being done on the Saar-Hunsrück Climb for hikers and nature fans. A dense network of fantastic premium circular trails is being developed for hikes in the region between Moselle, Rhine, Saar, and Nahe, where hikers can literally start dreaming: the "Saar-Hunsrück Dream Loops." The Dream Loops run for the most part on narrow nature-oriented paths, past bizarre stone formations and idyllic brooks to breathtaking panoramic views and impressive natural and cultural monuments. Hikes on the Dream Loops are definitely a richly refreshing nature experience.
Dream Loop “Middle Ages Trail” (Mittelalterpfad)
Mittelalterpfad
Medieval Herrstein with its picturesque half-timbered houses is the starting point for this eventful trail, one with interesting references to the Middle Ages in the region. The Middle Ages Trail offers everything a top trail comprises: almost natural paths, splendid vistas, diverse forests and special features such as the natural monument “Misery Oak” or the “Raven’s Pulpit”. The hike is ideal for adding a sightseeing tour of historical Herrstein. The trail was assessed with 84 adventure points by the German Hiking Institute. (Length: 8,6 km)
GPS: 7°33'45,55"E, 49°78'03,656"N
Dream Loop „Charcoal Burner’s Trail at Steinbach“ (Köhlerpfad am Steinbach)
Köhlerpfad
The “Charcoal Burner’s Trail at Steinbach” introduces hikers to about 8 miles (13 km) of natural beauties on the German Gemstone Road, where dense forests and wide-open landscapes alternate with picturesque views. The medium-difficult trail begins in the charcoal burners’ village of Langweiler, directly on the Saar-Hunsrück Climb and leads around the Steinbach Reservoir over almost undeveloped paths. The reservoir not only provides drinking water for the region but also offers hikers an impressive landscape. It is not surprising that the trail was awarded 67 adventure points by the German Hiking Institute.
GPS: Langweiler: 7°18'51,5"E, 49°78'32,1"N;
GPS: Kempfeld/Katzenloch: 7°22'32,854"E, 49°76'76,561"N

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7. Events Finder

The holiday region along the Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route) offers not only a variety of numerous cultural sights in the traditional sense. There is a long list of many different and interesting events, including traditional festivals and markets featuring traditions, arts and crafts, regional products, but also concerts and musical events or various arts exhibitions to be enjoyed by visitors to the Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse (German Gemstone Route). The open air theatre at Mörschied brings the Wild West to Germany. The tales of 19th century author Karl May depicting noble Indians and brave settlers are brought to life each summer on the open-air-stage there. Enjoy thrilling duels, the special effects of the pyrotechnicians and action packed riding scenes on a special day out for all the family!

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8. Hotel & Holiday Flat Finder

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9. How to get there from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport

9.1 By Rental Car

Google Maps: Route from (A) Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to (B) Herrstein at the German Gemstone Route
(23 km distance / 31 minutes driving time) » get directions

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9.2 By Rail and Bus Services

Buses run from Frankfurt-Hahn Airport to Idar-Oberstein (at the German Gemstone Route).

Bus routes and timetables:

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Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse

Tourist Office Address

Deutsche Edelsteinstrasse e.V.
Brühlstrasse 16
55756 Herrstein
Germany

Tel.: +49 (0) 67 85 - 79 104
Fax: +49 (0) 67 85 - 79 120

Website: edelsteinstrasse.de
Email: info@edelsteinstrasse.de