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Meisenheim on the Glan

Meisenheim, which lies on the lower Glan, was expanded with a second residence by the dukes of Pfalz (=Palatinate)-Zweibrücken. The former Castle ("Magdalenenbau") and the late Gothic Castle church with its princely graves (Wittelsbacher Grabkapelle) bear witness to this grand time. It is often called the "Rothenburg of the Pfalz" or the "Rothenburg on the Glan" due to its typically medieval townscape. The narrow lanes, picturesque street corners, beautifully maintained rows of buildings dating from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries, a Catholic Parish Church in "Bauern-Baroque" style (=peasant baroque), and in particular the "Yellow House" (the former commandery of the Order of St. John, built in 1490), the oldest half-timbered house of the Nahe region have all contributed to this reputation. The latter included working quarters, and a huge tithe barn as well as a slate-roofed crossover to the castle church. The name "yellow house" is based on the yellow painting of this half-timbered house in previous centuries. Later the former commandery served Zweibrücker deanery as the site of the princely local record office. A Parish Church, first mentioned in 1297, is supposed to have stood in Meisenheim even before the year 1000. It was replaced in 1479-1504 by the present three-naved castle church. Some of its special treasures are the tomb monuments dating from the late Renaissance, as well as the organ of the brothers Stumm from 1769, which is adorned with tendril carvings.

The very impressive market halls were constructed by the city of Meisenheim between the years 1550 and 1560. These long two-storied buildings with their double window lines dominate the south side of the market-square. The upper story is a rich design of half-timbering supported by columns of worked Tuscan sandstone. The city hall, built in 1517, with its beautifully worked bay window, stands at the western row of buildings on the Untergasse, surrounded by old Bourgeois houses and flanked by two lanes. Three high pointed arches with carved doors, mark the opening of the ground floor to the former market halls. At one time, Meisenheim had three city gates. Two of these were torn down in 1822. The remaining one, a city landmark, is the lower gate with the oldest parts of the gate tower dating from the 14th century. It used to protect the eastern entrance to the town over the Glan bridge.

The area of Meisenheim with its typical "Pfalz" hilly landscape is attractive because of its remoteness. Also in the area, near Schweinschied, one can visit the largest Roman stone monument in Germany.

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