Variety is quite simply the program here. So you can find in the Rheingau Follow in Goethe's footsteps (and drink out-of-this-world Rieslings at historic wineries), enjoy Hanau from the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm be enchanted and in Wetzlar, Marburg and Fulda discover real city beauties. Hesse includes deep forests on the Mountain Road just as basalt rock in the volcanic area Vogelsberg. And a river on which you can paddle more romantically than on the Lahn - you first have to find that in Germany.
In Hesse there are unique beech forests, the documenta city KasselHessen is home to monasteries, castles and palaces, ivory carvers who turn ancient mammoth teeth into jewelry, and chefs who conjure up world-class dishes from a handful of ingredients. Hessen has magnificent spas and UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Lorsch Monastery, the Messel Pit with its unique fossil finds and the Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe. And Hesse is the only federal state with its own chemical, artificial element anyway: It's called Hassia and was first produced in the 1980s by fusing lead with iron atoms. In Darmstadt. Which is also in Hesse.
Hesse is located in the middle of Germany and with its 21,115 square kilometers is almost ten times as large as Saarland. Agriculture is practiced on about half of the area and the forests are almost as large, making Hesse one of the two most densely forested states in the republic. It is a region of green hills, wide fields and endless horizons - although there are, of course, several large cities. Frankfurt with more than 750,000 inhabitants, is by far the largest and, because of its airport, Hesse's gateway to the wider world. The state capital Wiesbaden (approx. 280,000 inhabitants) is only a few kilometers away, with a lot of historic buildings, magnificent old villas and enchanting parks and gardens. But also other big cities like Kassel (famous for numerous magnificent buildings besides the art exhibition documenta), Darmstadt (called science city because of many universities and research institutions) and Offenbach (leading in leather goods and home of the German weathermen) are worth more than just a short visit.
With its 950 meters, the Wasserkuppe is the highest point, located in the Rhöna popular vacation destination for nature lovers. Several of the other low mountain ranges are also well-known vacation regions. For example the Taunusthe Rothaargebirge, the Vogelsberg and the Kellerwald, whose old beech stands in the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park have been placed under protection. Everywhere there is a diverse flora and fauna. However, the official heraldic animal of the state cannot be found in the wild - the red and white striped Hessian lion can only be seen on flags and stationery.
The state's cuisine is as diverse as Hessen's landscapes. Would you like some examples? There is the Ahle sausage, a North Hessian specialty with a pronounced flavor of pork mixed with the spice of black pepper and a hint of garlic or caraway. Wide meadows of scattered fruit are in the Bergstrasse-Odenwald region quasi regional cultural assets and provide them with a great Apple variety, which is enjoyed not only by regional noble fruit distilleries. The Hessian mountain road, Germany's smallest wine-growing region, is home to the Red Riesling. The product of a grape variety that is now very rare, has been enjoyed by crowned heads.
Especially in central Hesse, the famous bacon and onion cakes are served. Further south is the Handkäs with music For this, sour milk cheese is sliced and pickled in a decoction of vinegar, oil and caraway seeds (the exact mixing ratio is, of course, an absolute secret). On top of this, chopped raw onions are added, which for many people then provide the aforementioned music after the meal. Frankfurters (sausages) are of course everywhere and not only in the Main metropolis. And also the Green sauce (or Grie Soß) is a Hessian classic for which seven herbs (borage, chervil, cress, parsley, burnet, sorrel and chives) are chopped and then mixed with sour cream or sour cream. The Hessian specialty is traditionally served with potatoes and boiled eggs.
And Ebbelwoi tastes good with everything. The local CiderAlso called "G'Spritzter" (with mineral water) or "Süßer" (mixed with lemonade), Hessians like to enjoy it as "Stöffche. It is served in a "Bembel," an earthenware jug that comes in sizes of five, seven, or ten - the number indicates how many glasses fit inside. Ebbelwoi is poured from the Bembel into the Gerippte, a half-liter glass with a net-like pattern. It is then poured out of this glass, i.e. drunk. By the way, Frankfurt's Westhafen Tower is also called "de Gerippte" - its facade looks like a glass into which a lot would fit, very, very much.
There is no such thing as one Hessian dialect. Linguists distinguish between Lower Hessian (around Kassel), Eastern Hessian (around Fulda), Middle Hessian (around Marburg and Casting) and southern Hessian (around Frankfurt/Darmstadt and Wiesbaden). Because most Hessians are at home in the greater Frankfurt-Offenbach-Darmstadt area (and people like Heinz Schenk with his Blauer Bock - actually a native of Mainz - and the comedians of Badesalz had and have fans nationwide), it is usually their tongue that is meant when Hessian is mentioned.
A bit of basic information: "Gude" means as much as Guten Tag (good day), whereby "Gude, wie?" also includes the question about the well-being of the other person, which does not have to be answered by him ("Ei Gude, wie?" also expresses the joy and surprise of having met the other person). Many words that are stressed on the second syllable everywhere else are stressed on the first syllable in Hesse; this applies, for example, to music (with Handkäs), the Chaussee or the cousin. Voiced and unvoiced "S" are basically not distinguished, a "weiser Berater" is therefore a "weißer Berater" and vice versa (also applies to ch and sch or to Kirche and Kirsche). A bibs is a cold, "das ist sein Auto" means "dem sei Audo", "Haldemo dei Sabbel!" is a request to please be quiet now. And when the Hessian says that something has an aijereggische form, a square shape, then he actually means: the thing is oval.
Cover photo: Hessian Ebbelwoi (apple wine) is traditionally served in a stone jug called a Bembel ©visitfrankfurt_Holger-Ullmann
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