Idar-Oberstein city break

Gemstones and fine wines

The gemstone city of Idar-Oberstein lies right next to some of the best wine-growing regions in the Naheland, and has a long tradition of fascinating delicacies. The colourful gemstones dominate the town and the surrounding area. They glitter and sparkle everywhere in the walls of the gemstone mine in Steinkaulenberg, which is the only one of its kind open to visitors in Europe. Polishers at the Historic “Weiherschleife” Cutting Mill, a 17th century agate polishing mill, demonstrate how the stones would have been processed in times gone by. The more than 10,000 exhibits at the German Gemstone Museum tell an interesting story. The town’s most famous landmark is the Felsenkirche church, which was built into the mighty cliffs in the 14th century. There are also a range of premium walking routes, including the wonderful Nahe-Felsen-Weg or the Hildegard of Bingen Pilgrimage Trail. In terms of food, the town has a few delicacies to offer, from the traditional spit roast over an open beechwood fire to a fine Nahe Riesling.

In the visitor tunnels at Steinkaulenberg

The only gemstone mine in Europe that is open to visitors

As you enter the gemstone mine in Steinkaulenberg, you feel you are stepping into a glittering fairy-tale world. A tour of the caves reveals unique, fascinating insights, with amethysts, agates, rock crystal, smoky quartz and calcite sparkling in the bedrock, and interesting stories about how the gemstones were formed and the back-breaking work of the gemstone miners of long bygone times.

Above ground, there are prospecting fields and a gemstone camp where treasure hunters large and small can, with a little luck and patience, find their own minerals and gemstones. They can also attempt to crack open a geode using an original stone crusher.

Glimpse of a gemstone mine near Idar-Oberstein, EdelSteinLand

Glimpse of a gemstone mine near Idar-Oberstein, EdelSteinLand

More recommended excursions in Idar-Oberstein:

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Find out everything about events, sights and more destinations in Idar-Oberstein at the EdelSteinLand Tourist Information.

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Idar-Oberstein Gemstone World of Experience Your voyage of discovery into the world of gemstones and minerals

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