Leisure time in the neighbourhood
Weilburg - a gem on the Lahn
The town of Weilburg with its impressive baroque residence is only 10 km away from Braunfels. This old city and castle were founded on a rock high above the Lahn. Besides the castle with its orangery and the castle garden there are many more attractions such as the old city, the animal park, an exhibition of the terracotta army of the first emperor of China. A particular experience is a canoe trip through the only navigable tunnel in Germany that was built between 1844 and 1847.
The terracotta army of the first emperor of China - an exhibition on the Lahn
One of the most amazing finds in archaeological history was the terracotta army of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huangdi (259 - 210 BC) in Xi An. More than 300 terracotta soldiers, 24 horses, six chariots, two imperial harnessed teams in bronze, weapons, antiques, jars and bowls, paintings and many more things can be seen in the exhibition.
Wetzlar, the town of the German author Goethe and of the optical industry
In Wetzlar history and the future meet. In 1712 when the town was the seat of the superior Court of Justice, Goethe met Charlotte Buff who became his wife. This visit so impressed this trainee in jurisprudence that it formed the basis of his famous novel "Die Leiden des jungen Werther". The Superior Court of Justice and the Lottehause are not the only sights that are worth a visit. There are also the outdoor optical route and the "Viseum". Wetzlar has a long tradition in optics and precision mechanics. The first 35 mm camera was developed and produced here. Today Leica is still renowned as a brand for excellence in photography.
For a different experience pay a visit to the "Dunkelkaufhaus" where sniffing, touching and feeling rather than sight excite your senses.
A world of adventures underground - The Grube Fortuna Mine
There is a long history of mining iron ore in the Lahn-Dill region. Over 2000 years ago the Celts were already mining the raw material in this region. The importance of mining increased with the coming of industrialisation and at one time there were more than 210 iron ore mines. In 1983 the last working mine "Fortuna" closed bringing to an end the rich tradition of iron ore mining in Hesse. The Fortuna mine is regarded as a national industrial monument - former miners act as tour guides offering you an experience of the work underground and introducing you to some of the secrets of mining.
Kubach Crystal Cave
The crystals in this cave are supposed to be unique in Germany. The cave system came into being during the Pleistocene era. Up to now only a small part of the whole cave system had been opened and explored. Countless crystals and stalactites glitter in the light as experts give a 45 minute guided tour explaining the formation and development of the cave.