The talismanic town of Idar-Oberstein glitters and gleams with geological heritage. Surrounded by rugged rocks and smothering forests, the town is famous for the plethora of precious gemstones mined from there in the prosperous past. This outstanding opulence subtly exudes from the sophisticated streets of the town, amalgamating with rich tradition and authentic architecture. Wander the quaint streets in search of artisan treasures and fine foods or delve into the subterranean depths of mysterious mines in order to extract precious gems from the unrelenting rocks.
The Magnificent Mines
An intriguing activity that truly encompasses the incredible history and tradition of Idar-Oberstein is a visit to the Gemstone Mines of Steinkaulenberg. Don a protective hat and submerge yourself into the underground vaults in order to be transported to another world; all around, amethysts, quartz and calcite glitter, providing an ethereal art gallery of colour and value. Expert guides lead visitors around the historic mine, informing of techniques and values as they wander.
Continue the theme of geological decadence with a visit to the German Gemstone Museum, a veritable villa in which glittering gems and stunning stones are displayed over 3 floors. Observe decadent diamonds, sparkling sapphires and rich rubies that neighbour excellent sculptures and artful engravings.
Hailed as the town’s true culinary gem, the Spiessbratenhaus Alte-Kanzlei Restaurants allures locals and visitors alike with its heart and wholesome offerings. The half-timbered façade indicates the rich culinary traditions that are still rife within, most of which are evident in the regional delicacies served. Sample the spit roasted pork rubbed with spices and garlic for a truly traditional taste of gorgeous German gastronomy. (Hauptstrasse 432, 55743 Idar-Oberstein, Germany)