Friday, 5 June 2015

daytrip: dreieich

After work yesterday, I took a trip to the nearby village of Dreieich. I had the chief aim of strolling a bit in the countryside and locating the elusive Stangen- pyramide, an outdoor installation of hundreds of graduated wood cylinders that supposedly nicely frame the Frankfurt skyline in the distance—failing that however (though long-wandering through the wheat fields and I will return this time with precise GPS coordinates), I thought to look in town, feeling a bit sorry for the place since I assumed that no one ever visited a place community that’s right off the airport.
I think I might have been mistaken and was pleasantly surprised to find a half-timbered (Fachweck) jewel of a town centre, dominated by the ruins of a fortress. Dreieich has much older Roman roots but the medieval resettlement of the area was owing to a royal hunting-grounds (Wildbann) tended there. Many of the bedroom communities outside of Frankfurt and along the Main originated in the same way—this whole area between Frankfurt and Aschaffenburg having once been a continuous wood, and is reflected in the town’s name and crest—three oaks. Burg Hayn was the stronghold for the bailiff of this estate and a sort of warehouse and armoury.
Dreieich claims to have been Emperor Charlemagne’s favourite stalk and the general layout of the fortification and village that grew up around it were copied throughout the region. Walking through the walled town was also quite nice, with much of the old character preserved, and the residents seem quite house-proud—one could even purchase the town’s half-timbered ensemble in miniature from a shop. I did seem as if it did get its fair share of visitors, bucking my assumptions, and I will return myself to locate that pyramid.