Historic Old Town
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updated: 07.06.2020 11:8:30am
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From the car park on the bank of the Mosel it's only a short distance to Bernkastel's historic old town. The absolute highlight is the medieval market square with its 400-year history – each half-timbered house more impressive than the next. Whether it's the Renaissance town hall, the Spitzhäuschen (pointed house), the Heinz'sche House or St. Michael's Fountain – the market square radiates pure splendour. Probably the most photographed and oldest half-timbered building in Bernkastel is the Spitzhäuschen. It was built in 1416, even then as high and crooked as it is today – at that time taxes had to be paid on building land. Today the Spitzhäuschen houses a wine bar owned by the Schmitz-Herges family who cultivate the finest vineyards in the Bernkastel-Kues and Lieser areas.
We proceed on foot to Karlsbader Platz (Karlsbad Square), which owes its name to the Czech partner town Karlovy Vary (Karlsbad). Here, restaurants, cafés and wine bars beckon us to enjoy. Leaving Karlsbader Platz in the direction of Hebegasse Street, we arrive at the Graacher Tor (Gate). With its Baroque shaped arch, it was built in 1300 as one of eight passages in the town fortifications in the north of Bernkastel. It leads, as the name of the gate suggests, in the direction of Graach, a neighbouring village.
Following the Graacher Street back into the town centre, we come next to the Bärenbrunnen (Bear Fountain). The sculptor Johannes Scherl from the town of Wittlich twice immortalized the town's heraldic animal in bronze on this fountain which was newly built in the year 1968. A walk through this medieval town is a thing not to be missed. The Mosel thinks this too, as we can see from the flood water markings recorded on the walls of certain buildings.