Palatinate (German: Pfalz)

The Palatinate is a region in the south of the German province Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate), well-known for tourism and wine-growing. With the Rhine valley, the German Wine Road and the Palatinate Mountains, the region is full of important touristic destinations. The city of Kaiserslautern is the center of the Palatinate Forest and is based on a Palatine constituted by Friedrich Barbarossa. At the Stifts-Square you find the Stifts-Church with the “Pretty Fountain”. Important pieces of art can be observed at the Palatinate Gallery. Visitors of the Palatinate will also do a trip to the town of Pirmasens. The town at the nature park Palatinate Forest is known as the German shoe metropolis. In the old town hall you can visit the Shoe Museum, the most important exhibition of the town.

A worthwhile destination in Palatinate is the ancient imperial city Speyer. Above the roofs of the town the impressive Imperial Cathedral arises. The Jew-bath is a memorial to the former Jewish colony. Adventurous places of interest are the Technical Museum and the nearby amusement park in Hassloch. The Palatinate Mountains are a great place for extensive hiking tours. Stunning views of the region offer the peaks of the mountains Donnersberg and Königsberg. On Shank’s pony (Schusters Rappen) you can discover the thunderous Witch-Gorge and the recreational area Gersbachtal. Not far from the village of Kusel you can visit the Lichtenberg Castle, the biggest castle area in Palatinate.

Places of interest in Palatinate

Sea Life Speyer
The Sea Life Speyer is one of the main attractions in Palatinate. In 40 pools and aquariums you can discover more than 3,000 fascinating animals. Visitors can get in touch with starfishes and crabs, they can learn more about threatened species and watch the feeding of the dangerous Cuba-Crocodiles. Changing special exhibitions, like the “Octopus garden” show the life of exciting animals – always with focus on the protection of threatened species. The Sea Life Speyer is great fun for the whole family.

Speyer Cathedral
The Speyer Cathedral officially got the name Cathedral St. Maria and St. Stephan. It is currently the largest Romanic church in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981. The laying of the foundation stone already took place in the 11th century. After numerous modifications the church is now 134 meters long and has often been pioneer for many architectural developments in Europe. The stunning interior impresses its visitors with its sheer size and several chapels, for example the Afra-Chapel. From the outside, the cathedral is worth-seeing alone for its six towers. Take a closer look at the numerous ornaments and figures at the west front.

Zoo Landau
Since more than 100 years the zoological garden in Landau is a popular family attraction in Palatinate. Discover many exotic and local animals, like cheetahs, squirrel monkeys and paintbrush ear pigs. There are 800 animals in total. A highlight is the new penguin area, opened in 2008. Children will love the petting enclosure or the playground where they can romp. Of course, there are also many gastronomic facilities that offer small refreshments during a long day at the zoo. Here, animal welfare is also respected. The Zoo Landau has been nominated by Greenpeace as one of the twenties committed animal parks in Germany.

The Donnersberg is the highest mountain massif in Palatinate and rises 687 meters above sea with the highest mountain, the Königsstuhl. The region around the bordering Dannenfels is a popular hiking area. Discover the Keltenwall where archaeological evidences of Celtic glass production have been found. The 27-meter-high Ludwigs-Tower offers a great view of Rheinhessen and even of Frankfurt am Main on clear days. Enjoy pure nature and experience Palatinate from its most beautiful side.

German Wine Road
Since 1935 the German Wine Road runs from Schweigen-Rechtenbach to Bockenheim on 85 kilometers. Biker can explore the Wine Road on a parallel running cycling path and visit the numerous wine festivals with culinary specialties during the summer months. Due to the mild climate and 1800 hours of sun per year, not only valuable vines are growing here, but also kiwis, bananas and numerous almond trees. A regional wine is a great souvenir.

Palatinate Forest
The Palatinate Forest is the largest connected forest area in Germany and is called biosphere reserve since 1992. Hikers will love the beautiful landscape with numerous hills and hiking lodges spread all over the place. At the biosphere house visitors can learn more about the region or they can enjoy great heights on the Treetop Path. Discover the amazing number of castles and palaces in the relatively sparsely populated area. At the castle Trifels in Ahnsweiler the British King Richard Löwenherz had once been caught.

Aquabella Mutterstadt
Even on bad-weather-days there is much do to in the Palatinate. Great fun for the whole family is the adventure pool Aquabella. No matter if you prefer the 74-meter-high slide or the relaxing sauna-area – everyone will be found at the Aquabella. In the sport pool you can jump from the three-meter-board. During summer, the adventure pool is fun for small and big visitors.

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