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Battenberg-Mountbatten special



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Although the weather was not that nice (cold, wet, windy), we went uphill to enjoy the view from the ‘Goldenes Kreuz’ onto the Rhein Valley


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close to the Schloss Heiligenberg on the Heiligenberg (‘Sacred Mountain’)



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On the Jugenheimer Hauptstrasse, the road from the Alte Bergstrasse towards Steigerts, there are some beautiful “Fachwerkhäuser” and other monumental houses:

The ‘Jugenheimer Altenheim; Haus Krone’



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In 1778 the ‘Gasthaus’ became a ‘Schildwirtschaft’, the Schild (shield) can still be found above the entrance of the house. The owner of the Gasthaus had to pay a different amount of tax when it became a Schildwirtschaft. Currently it is an old people’s home.

Entrance to the road towards Schloss Heiligenberg:



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This is Jugenheims Historical Rathaus (Historisches Rathaus) build in 1556
It contained a scale and a fruit/Wine press. On the top floor it was the place where the “Haingerichtes” and the “Gemeindeversammlung” locals had their meetings.

During Restaurationworks in 1983/1985 old paintings have been found in the ‘Ratssaal’, between the wood. They are estimated to date from 1580/1590.

In front of the house there is a little fountain, the “Siegfriedbrunnen”. This has been built by Daniel Greiner in 1913 for the 50 year celebration of the ‘Verkehrsverein’. On the southside of the building a Sunclock, with the year 1743.

Currently the building contains Jugenheims library (GemeindebĂĽcherei) and the ‘Trauzimmer’, where marriages are being held.

Opposite of the road: the Jugenheimer Forstamt


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This is the oldest building in Jugenheim, dated 1552. It used to be a cellar for the Duke of Erbach (Grafen zu Erbach). It has recently gotten it’s deer’s head back on the wall after renovation.

Ehemaliges Pfarrhaus


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On the right is the Former Pfarrhaus (Ehemaliges Pfarrhaus) (1616)
From 1777 onwards it also became a Schildwirtschaft “Zum Schwanen”, from 1782 till 1882 Pfarrhaus. It is currently in private ownership.

The Mountbatten / Battenberg history
The entrance of the road towards Schloss Heiligenberg and the Evangelische Bergkirche contains a wooden memorial plate for Lord Mountbatten. This is the literal English translation for Battenberg.

Part of the Battenberger Family, one of the latest ‘new’ royal families in Europe, has moved to England and changed their name in “Mountbatten“. And yes, you might know one of them :
Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elisabeth II of England.

The Church (Evangelische Bergkirche).


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This “Evangelische Bergkirche” is built in 1263 and started as a small catholic chapel. It has been rebuild and enlarged in 1856 by Alexander von Battenberg.



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The road was like ice, very slippery .. but fun :)

The Klosterruine

On top of the hill: the (Nonnen)Klosterruine. Build somewhere in the 11th century and rebuild to a Kloster, being used from 1263 bis 1413, most likely by Konrad II. von Bickenbach and his wife Frau Ruda von Falkenstein:



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To our big surprise, there were people in the closed area behind the gate which encloses the
“Kreuzgarten”. We asked if it was allowed come in too and take some pictures, and wow, yes, “sure, no problem”.

The Zentlinde
So.. we first went to the “Zentlinde”; a not so big but very wide tree, hold together by metal rings. The tree, they assume, is over 1200 years old, which means, he was a small tree around 800 AD. It’s called Zentlinde as it refers to the court which was held at that location as well in those ages.

The tree is hollow from the inside and it looks like a whole new tree is growing on it’s left branch. Also they’ve left some new sprouts to grow on the roots.
And Jr. was completely happy, to our surprise he found an Amethyst in between the roots of the tree. It made him feel like he was the king of the area :)



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The Graves
Further towards the Kreuz there is the grave of Alexander von Battenberg, born as Alexander Ludwig Georg Friedrich Emil von Hessen-Darmstadt (* 15. Juli 1823 in Darmstadt; † 15. Dezember 1888) and his spouse Julia von Hauke (* 12. November 1825 in Warschau; † 19. September 1895)



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The Goldenes Kreuz
The Kreuz itself (28. May 1866), viewed from the other side, standing on a foot of black syenit, showed a marmor plate with an inscription.


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It is a memorial for Wilhelmine of Baden (September 21, 1788 – January 27, 1836), Grand Duchess of Hesse and the Rhine, Spouse of Ludwig II von Hessen-Darmstadt (* 26. Dezember 1777 in Darmstadt; † 16. Juni 1848), given to her by her children.



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The Mausoleum der Battenberger
Next to the Goldenes Kreuz there is the Mausoleum, which is built in 1894 for Alexander von Battenberg and his spouse Julia von Hauke.


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I have spent a long time on the internet searching for pictures from the inside, but they are just not there. Well.. These might be the first picture online ever from the inside of the Mausoleum: :)

The window on the north side with a variation of the Hessian Wappe (not sure though)


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Underneath the window a plate:


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The window on the south side:


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And underneath this window also a plate:


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Above the entrance the text
“Lass nicht zu schanden werden, die deiner Harren, Herr, Gott der Heerschaaren”


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The ceiling was also very nice, including a painted window as well, unfortunately broken though:


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But the most impressive part was the altar and the mosaic behind it. It is gold-plated, and with the doors closed and (only) lit by the red light from the 2 windows from the left and right it looks like it glows.


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Inside there was also a scale model of the Klosterruine and some very old leather/dark wooden chairs.


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After having thanked the people who guided us through the Kreuzgarten, we continued our way towards Schloss Heiligenberg.

The Castle is in the middle of a nice maintained garden, which contains very exotic trees and a beautiful ‘balcony’:



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It has been refered to by Goethe as the “German Toscany”; “die Toskana Deutschlands”

A nice lions’ head can be found on the Schlosstur:


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The Gardeners House – aka the Ghosthouse
A bit further towards the road, behind the parkingplaces the Gardeners House can be found.
It looks like a ghosthouse, it has been empty for a while too.
Nebengebäude
Last time we were there it was getting dark, there was fog coming from the hills and forest around it and also some deer and owls made some scary noises. We hope they were deer and owls, and no ghosts though..
We had a walk around the Gardeners House and we discovered this beautiful shaped rusty metal fence in a design we see often see in this area. The funny thing was that this was in a completely broken down barn, in the inside:



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Till so far our historical adventure – and a last note in case you’re curious:
The Goldenes Kreuz is even seen from the Autobahn, best time is just before sunset.
This panorama is taken a bit closer by, from Bickenbach, direction Jugenheim.



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Amazing this all could be just a 15 minute walk, however, we spent over 3 hours rediscovering this place.
If you have any questions about the location, just let me know (see about me) or leave a comment.

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