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Almost 200 years ago, almost 30,000 people demonstrated up here for days for more freedom and popular sovereignty. The castle still has a special aura today - and it houses an exciting exhibition about the Hambach Festival and the early democracy movement in Germany.

Of course, one of the original flags hangs here behind glass, and of course the old posters are shown and the drums and the historical documents - but the most popular exhibit in the exhibition is only a few years old. In a large glass case, more than 400 Playmobil figures walk to a ruin high on a mountain. The march up to Hambach Castle as a tongue-in-cheek toy installation: it takes a bit of courage to depict a historical event with the help of figures that are usually more familiar from children's rooms. Surprisingly (or as expected), however, it is not just young visitors who stand in front of the glass box. Adults usually stay even longer.

Black-red-gold as the color of democracy

There are not many places in Germany where one can feel the spirit of freedom and democracy as much as in Hambach Castle, two hundred meters above the sea of vines of the Palatinate. In order to conceal the true intentions, that historic May 27, 1832, was planned by its makers as a colorful, good-humored folk festival and reported to the authorities in advance. As early as eight o'clock in the morning, the procession formed on the Neustadt market square to the sound of bells and firecrackers. Afterwards, citizen guards, music bands, speakers and delegations from various small German states marched up to the castle waving flags and singing. Nearly 30,000 then demonstrated for days against the repression of the Bavarian administration. Denounced inequality. Demanded freedom of the press. Demanded unity and democracy.

Visiting the exhibition, you can experience the events of those turbulent days from the point of view of various fictional protagonists (each of whom had different, their own expectations and wishes). You can listen to the speeches of that time and let yourself be carried away by the rhetorical élan, you can puzzle maps, make concards and place the events of May 27, 1832 in their historical context. Many reasons for the revolutionary, liberal sentiment of that time are well known. But who knows that food prices had risen by a third in the years leading up to the celebration at Hambach Castle? That people had to cut wood illegally in the Palatinate Forest to avoid freezing to death in winter? And that almost one-fifth of all Palatine residents were reported to the Bavarian authorities because of such "wood felling"? The winegrowers around Neustadt were also protesting their economic situation at the time. As the procession moved up to the castle, the winegrowers were also waiting along the way. With flags that read "The winegrowers must mourn!". The main flag of the Hambach Festival later became a symbol of democracy in Germany - and is the template for today's flag of the Federal Republic.

Up, up to the castle!

Anyone who visits Hambach Castle today will discover an exciting exhibition about one of the most important places of origin and symbol of German democracy. But that's not the only reason to visit Hambach Castle: the great wine is also always an unbeatable argument, because after all, Hambach Castle watches over one of the most famous wine-growing regions in the world on its ridge. And in the castle's own restaurant "1832" you can not only eat exquisitely, but also drink a selection of the best Palatinate wines. The view of the rolling sea of vines is the same as on that 27th May almost two hundred years ago. What a feeling!

By train comfortably and without traffic jams to Hambach Castle: Plan arrival.

In collaboration with Rhineland-Palatinate Tourism GmbH

For a Vacation in Rhineland-Palatinate there are many good reasons. Some of them are the several castles and chateaus, great Vineyards on the Moselle and Rhine and historic cities like Trier and Mainz.

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