Idar-Oberstein

Oberhambach Travel Blog

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a beautiful walk to the precious stone mines at Idar-Oberstein

 

The next day we went to the scenic villages of Idar and Oberstein (Yes, they are two different villages just like Budapest and Traben-Trarbach etc) and visited the Steinkaulenberg ( a gemstone mine open for visitors) and the German Gemstone museum.

A little information: Idar-Oberstein is currently best known as a gemstone center: until recently, until the 18th century the area was a source for agate and jasper. In combination with cheap labour and with cheap energy resources a true gemstone working industry flourished. The river Nahe provided with free water-powered mills that powered the cutting and polishing machines. When resources dried up the area's industry came into decline until a way was found to provide new material to Idar. This occurred in the 19th century when large amounts of Agates were found in Brazil, and German traders were able to ship the Agate nodules back as "ballast" on empty vessels that had dropped off cargo in Brazil.

a beautiful walk to the precious stone mines at Idar-Oberstein
The cheap Agates were transported to Idar-Oberstein and a new way to create an industry was formed. In combination with their technological knowledge of chemical dyes the industry became bigger than ever at the turn of the 20th century.

After WW II, the region had to redefine itself once more, and the region became a leading hub in the trade of gemstones from Brazil and Africa. That in turn provided local artists with a large selection of material and the region encountered a "third boom" as a gemstone center. More recently however the competition from Thailand, India have hit the region hard.

The Felsenkirche, the Church of the Rock, and two ruined medieval castles are perched on the hills above the town, and are, after gemstones and jewelry, the chief tourist attractions in the city.

a beautiful walk to the precious stone mines at Idar-Oberstein
Schloss Oberstein was the site of "Tschuess Fest," a festival celebrating German-American friendship. It was held on April 21, 2007 and had over 500 attendees. Additionally, it served as a farewell to the area's two main American socialites, Jason O. Waters, an American doughnut guru, and John C. Mooney, Waters' public relations director. Additionally, Kofan Stesovych, a former Ukrainian dictator was also living in Idar Oberstein for several years but then moved to Göttingen because he disagreed with Water's doughnut factory plans for the village of Hattgenstein.

Did you know by the way that Bruce Willis was born here in 1955?

Anyway, we enjoyed our stay here in Idar-Oberstein and went further on a real scenic road to Kaiserslautern but that city wasn't what we had in mind so we went back to our vacation park and after a swim we sat down on our terras in the sun with a couple of drinks and toast on another great day.

a beautiful walk to the precious stone mines at Idar-Oberstein

The next day, Thursday we had a relaxing day in the sun en enjoyed it very much!! And friday it was already time to go home!! But before we got to the Dutch border, we stopped at the big shopping Mall near Antwerp "Wijnegem's shopping mall" and we shopped and had a lunch there!

It was nice, till the next time!!!

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a beautiful walk to the precious s…
a beautiful walk to the precious …
a beautiful walk to the precious s…
a beautiful walk to the precious …
a beautiful walk to the precious s…
a beautiful walk to the precious …
a beautiful walk to the precious s…
a beautiful walk to the precious …
a beautiful walk to the precious s…
a beautiful walk to the precious …
In front of the precious stone min…
In front of the precious stone mi…
enjoying the sun and view
enjoying the sun and view
view on Idar-Oberstein
view on Idar-Oberstein
view on Idar-Oberstein
view on Idar-Oberstein
view on Felsenkirche, Idar-Oberste…
view on Felsenkirche, Idar-Oberst…
view on Felsenkirche, Idar-Oberste…
view on Felsenkirche, Idar-Oberst…
on the way
on the way
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photo by: Petra2111