Without a doubt, two of the things I love most about moving and living in a new country is that there is ALWAYS something new to learn!  And there is always somewhere new to explore!  Case in point: I only just recently learned about German Fachwerkstrasse, aka the Half-Timbered House Road.  Also, I stumbled upon it completely by accident!  What is more, there are a couple of gorgeous daytrip destinations from this iconic route, right on our doorstep here in Frankfurt.

What is the Half-Timbered House Road (German Fachwerkstrasse)

In short, it is A MORE THAN 3000 KILOMETER LONG ROUTE which stretches from the river Elbe to the Black Forest through eight federal states (Saxony, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Hesse, Rheinland-Pfalz, Thuringia, Bavaria and Baden Wuerttemberg).  Subsequently, it is further divided into eight regional routes.  More to the point, this route seeks to showcase and preserve this much-loved and iconic German architectural style.

The German Half-Timbered House Road was founded in 1990 to unite over one hundred charming historic old towns under the umbrella of “Half-timbering connects”.  A celebration of not only the idyllic half-timbered towns, stunning scenery, historic sites and carefully restored monuments but also the people who live and work there.

As a result of the sheer magnitude of the route we cannot possibly cover it all in this article.  Thus, we have chosen to cover only a few of its charming towns, specifically those that fall on our doorstep here in Frankfurt.


Idstein is a town that perfectly encapsulates the charm of the Fachwerkstrasse. Stroll through the historic market square, where colourful half-timbered houses create a postcard-worthy scene. The well-preserved Altstadt (Old Town) of Idstein is a treasure trove of architectural wonders, with buildings dating back several centuries.

Highlights of Idstein

The Hexenturm (Witch’s Tower): Standing tall and proud, this medieval tower offers panoramic views of Idstein and its surrounding landscapes. Despite its name, this medieval tower has nothing to do with witches but is rather a charming relic of the past.

Killingerhaus:  Definitely one of the most magnificent examples of the half-timbered structure I have seen. So take a minute to admire its intricately carved wooden façade and step inside the now Tourist-Office and Municipal Museum to discover the rich history of the town within its walls.

Unionskirche (Union Church): A rather unassuming-looking church from the outside. However, the church’s interior has impressive vaulted ceilings featuring 38 canvas paintings of biblical scenes in the Rubens school style.

Das Schiefe Haus (The Crooked House):  Literally a crooked house and fun to see.

Wander the Streets: Wander through the town’s streets and alleys, letting the allure of half-timbered houses capture your imagination. Snap photos of the charming homes, each telling a unique story of the families that once called them home.  Streets and squares to visit in particular are König-Adolf-Platz, Kreuzgasse, Markplatz and Obergasse

Half-Timbered House Road German fachwerkstrasse

Hessenpark in Neu-Anspach

Hessenpark, located in Neu-Anspach, Germany, is an open-air museum dedicated to preserving and showcasing the cultural heritage of the Hessen region. Spanning over 160 acres, this unique museum transports visitors back in time, offering a glimpse into rural life and architecture from the 16th to the 20th century.  Not only is it an educational experience, but it doubles as a great family day out with plenty of space for children to run around!

half-timbered house road
half-timbered house road

Höchst Frankfurt am Main

Höchst is a historic district located in the western part of Frankfurt, Germany. Once an independent town, Höchst became a part of Frankfurt in 1928. It boasts a rich history, evident in its well-preserved medieval architecture and charming cobblestone streets. The Alt-Höchst (Old Höchst) area is particularly notable for its half-timbered houses, the Höchst Castle, and the Saint Justin’s Church (the oldest building in Frankfurt).  During the summer months, the Höchst Mainufer becomes a hive of activity, and the SMS beer garden is an absolute treat.

Explore the German Fachwerkstrasse, also known as the German Half-Timbered House Road, for a unique travel experience. Witness the beauty and craftsmanship of medieval German architecture and the ongoing efforts to preserve this rich cultural heritage. It’s an unforgettable adventure for architecture enthusiasts, history buffs, and anyone seeking a charming journey through time.