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Statues at the Holocaust memorial in Oberursel, Germany, represent Jewish citizens lost during World War II under the Nazi extermination program.
Statues at the Holocaust memorial in Oberursel, Germany, represent Jewish citizens lost during World War II under the Nazi extermination program. (Dan Stoutamire/Stars and Stripes)
Statues at the Holocaust memorial in Oberursel, Germany, represent Jewish citizens lost during World War II under the Nazi extermination program.
Statues at the Holocaust memorial in Oberursel, Germany, represent Jewish citizens lost during World War II under the Nazi extermination program. (Dan Stoutamire/Stars and Stripes)
A typical street in Oberursel, Germany's old city, leading to the Hospital Church, seen in the center background. Oberursel, about 20 minutes north of Frankfurt, boasts a rich history and nearby hiking and mountain biking trails through the wooded Taunus mountains.
A typical street in Oberursel, Germany's old city, leading to the Hospital Church, seen in the center background. Oberursel, about 20 minutes north of Frankfurt, boasts a rich history and nearby hiking and mountain biking trails through the wooded Taunus mountains. (Dan Stoutamire/Stars and Stripes)
Oberursel, Germany's central plaza, the Marktplatz. Oberursel's old city hall, built on this plaza in the 15th century, is a fine example of traditional German architecture.
Oberursel, Germany's central plaza, the Marktplatz. Oberursel's old city hall, built on this plaza in the 15th century, is a fine example of traditional German architecture. (Dan Stoutamire/Stars and Stripes)
A trail winds through the wooded Taunus mountains near Oberursel, Germany. Oberursel's Hohemark district is home to the Taunus tourist information center, which has information on the variety of hiking and biking trails in the area.
A trail winds through the wooded Taunus mountains near Oberursel, Germany. Oberursel's Hohemark district is home to the Taunus tourist information center, which has information on the variety of hiking and biking trails in the area. (Dan Stoutamire/Stars and Stripes)
A stream moves through Taunus mountain woods near Oberursel, Germany. Oberursel's mix of outdoor and cultural activities makes it a perfect place to visit in the warm summer months.
A stream moves through Taunus mountain woods near Oberursel, Germany. Oberursel's mix of outdoor and cultural activities makes it a perfect place to visit in the warm summer months. (Dan Stoutamire/Stars and Stripes)

While it’s become something of a bedroom community for Frankfurt in recent years, the town of Oberursel maintains its distinct identity derived from its location at the base of the Taunus mountains and its charming, winding and narrow alleyways and picturesque churches.

During the summer months, Oberursel serves as something of a home base for explorers, hikers and mountain bike enthusiasts — its Hohemark district is home to the Taunus tourist information bureau, a bicycle repair shop and several restaurants for hungry travelers as they take a break before pressing on to the Grosser Feldberg or Altkonig peaks, each well over 2,000 feet above sea level.

Hohemark also serves as a useful place to park your car before embarking on any number of trails which pass through the region, collectively called the “Muehlenwanderweg Oberursel-Frankfurt.” The shade of the heavily-wooded trails is perfect for wandering in the warm German summer, and the elevation helps reduce the heat by a few degrees as well.

If you’re more in the mood to see half-timber homes and narrow medieval streets, the city’s Altstadt should be more to your liking. Oberursel’s old city hall — built in the 15th century — is a fine example of traditional German architecture. It sits on a wide-open plaza ringed by shops and restaurants with plenty of outdoor seating for people-watching and simply enjoying the atmosphere.

Located just 45 minutes from Wiesbaden and within range of an easy day trip from Kaiserslautern, Oberursel’s combination of relaxed and active recreational activities means it should be on your list of places to explore this summer.

Stoutamire.dan@stripes.com Twitter: @DKS_Stripes

DIRECTIONS: To Hohemark: From Wiesbaden: Take the B455 south to A66 east, followed by the A5 north toward Hanover, followed by the A661 toward Oberursel/Bad Homburg. Continue on B455, taking the exit toward Schmitten/Oberursel-Hohemark. Paid parking is available nearby. To Oberursel-Altstadt: Take the B455 south to the A66 east, then the A661 toward Oberursel-Nord. Parking is available near the old city at Holzweg 30, Oberursel 61440.

TIMES: Open 24 hours a day all year.

COSTS: Parking at Hohemark and Altstadt costs 0.50 euro ($0.60) per hour or 5 euro ($6) per day.

INFORMATION: Online: oberursel.de (In German only)

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