Virtual offers – Digital museum visits and more
You can enjoy museum visits, wine tastings and music events in the Romantic Cities from the comfort of your own home. Our overview gives you information on upcoming events.
Agates. Rock crystals. Amethysts. The crystal treasures of the Hunsrück started out in bubbles of molten lava that then cooled down 270 million years ago. They formed the foundation of the gemstone industry around Idar-Oberstein, which is unique anywhere in the world.
“I first earned money when I was a boy. A hill had been dug up to build a road. I found agates by the bucket-load and took them to the polisher,” explains guide Otmar Korb. This is what life is like for the people of EdelSteinLand. Everything has something to do with minerals.
Mining on a grand scale began 500 years ago with the opening of the first polishing works. There were once as many as 56 works along the banks of the Idarbach. Two historic water polishing workshops have been preserved, the Wasserschleiferei Biehl and the Weiherschleife. There is no better way to follow the path of the precious stones than a walk.
In the Weiherschleife, Otmar Korb demonstrates how back-breaking the work of refining rough stones once was: “The polishers lay on their stomachs on folding stools in front of the spinning polishing stone. The cold stream water flowed over their hands and they breathed in the polishing dust. Every day. If you try it for even a minute, you will know why most of them were terminally ill by the age of 40.”
But it was not the hardship of the work that drove many from the region to Brazil in the 19th century. Findings had become scarce. But things look a little different in the Gemstone Mines in Steinkaulenberg, where the rocks are studded with sparkling crystals. The emigrants discovered huge agate reserves in the New World. Which was lucky. They sent their findings back home to be processed and the area began to flourish as a centre for jewellers
More and more polishers, gem cutters and goldsmiths moved in. New techniques were developed, including some for diamond cutting. Beautiful jewellery is still made here today for luxury brands like Tiffany, Cartier and Van Cleef. The real stars of the craft are based here. The museums of EdelSteinLand bear witness to this. There is even a fairy-tale crystal hall to admire.
The ManufakTOUR turns the wonderful craft into an adventure-filled holiday. It takes you to the Jakob Bengal Industrial Monument, a historical factory for chains and fashion jewellery, and into the workshops of outstanding jewellery designers. It also showcases delicious regional specialities, which you can also sample when the German Gemstone Polishing and Goldsmith Market transforms Oberstein into a shopping extravaganza. It takes place in early August every year.
There is also the charming Idar Gemstone Market on Schleiferplatz.
Overall, EdelSteinLand is a real treasure trove with all its interesting events. And a unique piece of your own does not have to be a dream. Many of the workshops offer creative courses on polishing and cutting stone, gold and silver.
Guide Otmar Korb is full of interesting jewellery stories. After a successful career in the international jewellery trade, he is now back in the Weiherschleife, the very place he had his first holiday job as a boy. That is what EdelSteinLand is like. The fascination never stops.
Jetzt Urlaub in Idar-Oberstein buchen und von freundlichen Gastgebern verwöhnt und umsorgt werden. Ob Hotel oder Ferienwohnung, Campingplatz oder Jugendherberge – hier findest du eine Übersicht der Übernachtungsbetriebe in der Edelsteinstadt. Wir freuen uns mit unseren engagierten Gastgebern, dich herzlich in Idar-Oberstein willkommen zu heißen!