Schauren on the 'Gem Road'
At the edge of Idarwald mountain range lies the village of Schauren with its
half-timbered houses, which are so typical of the Hunsrück region and well
worth seeing. The Baroque church built in 1767, and one of the most beautiful
in Hunsrück, is a special attraction here. It is a hall church, typical of
the villages in Hunsrück, with a three-sided, semicircular apse at the end
of the chancel, a ridge turret across the western gable, and an entry porch
with turned pillars and wooden pilasters. Particularly notable is the onion-shaped
porch roof, which is covered with native slate and which allows something
of the richness of form from the Baroque period to shine through. In the interior
of the church the highly coloured painted heavens on wood, so typical of Late
Baroque style, reflect not only folk art, but also a deeply felt sense of
piety of these ordinary inhabitants of Hunsrück who had such a meagre lifestyle.
In the gallery, where many pictures are artfully arranged, is a valuable Stumm
organ from 1780. Johann Michael Stumm (1683-1747) was an organ builder who
was famous far beyond his immediate area in Hunsrück (Sulzbach am Idarwald)
and was esteemed for his work. He established a dynasty of organ builders,
which produced more than 200 beautifully crafted and superior sounding instruments.
Another highly recommended excursion is to the nearby town of
where another Hunsrück treasure is to be found: a village church, which also
has an elaborate gallery and a beautiful Stumm organ.
A richly rewarding hike leads from Schauren past the nearby village of Kempfeld to
on the top of Wildenburg mountain (675m). There a massive observation tower,
which was erected by the Hunsrück Society (association for the advancement
of cultural heritage), offers you a magnificent view over the entire Idarwald
range with Idarkopf mountain at the eastern end of the massif. An "historic
learning trail" leads you around Wildenburg mountain. On this circular path
through history you will first encounter the remains of a large Celtic settlement
with a castle from the Latène Age (500-20 B.C.). After the Roman conquest
of the area during the Gallic war, a Roman mountain temple stood here for
almost 300 years. The next historical stage you come across is a Late Roman
fortification, which was constructed around the year 350 A.D. to defend against
raids by the Germanic tribes. And finally, on the uppermost heights of the
mountain ridge, are the ruins of the medieval fortress Wildenburg, which was
defended by moats deeply hewn into the rock. This castle was built in 1328
by the Wildgraf (a nobleman with the status of Earl) Friedrich von Kyrburg,
with his administrative seat at Kyrburg Castle in
on the Nahe River. Today at the foot of the castle hill a rustic-style restaurant
sits on the medieval foundation wall of the lower castle.
For additional information: Eduard Finke,
Kirchenbau in neun Jahrhunderten; In: Kunst und Kultur im Birkenfelder Land,
Universitätsdruckerei und Verlag Dr. Hanns Krach, Mainz 1982, p. 49-80.