We travelled to Eppstein in early May to collect some furniture we were purchasing from friends. We went a few hours earlier than when we were supposed to meet to explore the area. The town is small and sort of a suburb to Wiesbaden, though it’s over the hills in its own little valley. There is a small train station to connect to the more major regional lines (S2). Eppstein is actually made up of 5 distinct districts, though it is the largest. These little towns are thoroughly situated in the Taunus range and are built along the small rivers and creeks that feed the Rhine.
We took 455 to get into town and this took us straight through the middle. I know you can get there though by going up through the hills and down around from the northern end but this is the most direct route out of Wiesbaden or Mainz. It was still a pretty drive and took us about half an hour. 455 also passes Castle Eppstein which is located in the center of town. We made a note to come back to check this place out.
If you continue through town, you can go up one of the mountains (Staufen) and get a spectacular view. The road name you’re looking for is Gimbacher Strasse, off Staufenstrasse, which is directly off 455. At the top is a restaurant, Kaiser Tempel, which appears to be a more upscale Italian place, though we haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. Alongside of the building is the temple from which it gets its name; a small building with a porch with four busts of various Kaisers. Kaisertempel was built in the late 19th c. and from what I can tell was built mainly to be a beautiful site on top of a mountain and to provide a sheltered spot to take in the scenery. There are only a few parking places up here for the temple or surrounding trails alone, but it’s worth the drive and we were the only drivers there. Mountain biking is also popular on the many trails that criss cross the Taunus and they are well marked; this spot is a common rest point for them.
On our way home, we stopped at the castle. We had to drive down some characteristically old town cobble stone roads that were quite narrow. In the middle of the altstadt is the entrance to the castle with parking spots out front and maps and information about the town. When walking up the main gate, the info and cash register are actually behind you once you enter the garden. We paid 5 euro each to get in. It’s a well preserved plus and a fun one to explore; there are steps up to the tower, an excellent museum of the castle and surrounding areas, and lots of children’s activities. While we were there, there were knights and squires giving a group of kids jousting and swordplay lessons. There’s a little garden with benches at the back that give an excellent view over the half-timbered village below.
The view from the tower is worth the climb; the rolling hills are incredibly green and you can get some excellent shots of the entire village.