The second day started early, with us leaving Heidelberg at 8am to make our way to Lorsch in the state of Hessen. The ruins of the Lorsch Abbey were added to the UNESCO list in 1991. Founded in 764, it was destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War, only leaving the King’s Hall, the monastery church and the monastery wall, as ruins. We opted for the guided tour, which was a great decision, ’cause we got to go inside the King’s Hall. The remains of the frescoes inside are very impressive indeed. What was also impressive, was the varied history of the Abbey. At one point, it was even used as a tobacco warehouse!
The King’s Hall (on the left) as viewed from the Monastery church (on the right).
There is an experimental archeological lab near the abbey, but since we wanted to reach Koblenz before sun-down, we skipped it. Perhaps for another time. After the tour, we had a quick coffee, soaking in the cuteness of Lorsch. We then made our way towards the village of Messel near Darmstadt, to visit what would later become one of my most favorite World Heritage site (it is very difficult to have a favorite actually!)
Fossils and replica of fossils at the Messel Pit
The Messel Pit, is a treasure trove for well-preserved fossils from the Eocene era. During that time in Earth’s history, this area was surrounded by sub-tropical forests. We participated in a guided tour here too, and I was so glad, ’cause we got to touch real fossils! That was the best thing ever. There are several tours that they offer, and I would have liked to do the 3.5hour geological hike, but we opted to the shorter one.
View of the Rhine river, Bingen, Fort Fuerstenberg
Our final heritage site of the day, spans 65kms and was listed in 2002. We decided to start our drive along the Upper Middle Rhine Valley towards Koblenz, in Bingen where we had a wonderful lunch. We walked around Bingen and around the castle Klopp, then started our drive towards the ruins of the fort Fuerstenberg. The day was really wonderful, and the view from the fort was magnificent. There are several other castle and other ruins along the road. But we decided to stop just at this one. After walking around the ruins, and enjoying the view, we continued driving along the Rhine, stopping our journey in Koblenz.