Neroberg: Offering a window on Wiesbaden

A car of the Nerobergbahn reaches the lower station to unload passengers and its water ballast. The cable car makes the journey every 15 minutes.


Ascend the 800-foot hill via cable car for a perfect view of the city

By PETER JAEGER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 12, 2005

It is the window on Wiesbaden.

From atop Neroberg hill, there are marvelous views of the capital of the German state of Hesse. Therefore, it should be no surprise that the wooded hill is the first destination for many city residents when giving visitors a sightseeing tour of Wiesbaden.

On a clear day, from the 800-foot-high hill it is possible to see the city of Mainz on the other side of the Rhine River. One also can see as far as the slopes of the Odenwald.

But it is not the view alone that is attractive. The Neroberg has a wonderful mix of nostalgic transportation, nature, leisure and outdoor activities garnished with a touch of culture.

One of the biggest attractions is the Nerobergbahn. It is a water-powered cable car that has been going up and down a steep slope since 1888.

Even in the 19th century the health resort was concerned about the environment, so it came up with a quiet, pollution- free source of power. It uses water as a ballast to move twin cable cars up and down hills.

The downhill wagon is filled with up to 7,000 liters of water, and as it slides down the slope it pulls the second yellow-and-blue wagon uphill with the help of a strong steel cable. When it reaches the ground level, the water is released into a sewer and pumped uphill to fill the empty wagon at the the top of the hill.

Once passengers reach the top of the Neroberg, they have the choice of visiting an outdoor cafe or fancy restaurant, or enjoying a swim in a beautiful outdoor pool.

The pool’s location is breathtaking. Located close to the top of the Neroberg, it is surrounded by woods and a vineyard and offers a great view over Wiesbaden. Built in 1934, it was named the Opelbad after Wilhelm von Opel of the carmaker dynasty, who donated it to the city.

Nearby is the Russian chapel — often called the Greek chapel after its Greek Orthodox construction style — with its five golden cupolas. The chapel is the burial site of a Russian princess, Duchess Elisabeth Michailovna, who died with her child shortly after giving birth. Her husband, Adolf of Nassau, erected the chapel in her honor between 1847 and 1855.

When the sun hits the cupolas just right, one of the city’s famous landmarks glows between the dark green of the surrounding woods.

And when it does, the view is almost as striking as the ones that look down from atop the hill.

On the QT ...

DIRECTIONS: Neroberg is in the northern part of Wiesbaden. Follow signs to the Kurhaus on Wilhelmstrasse. At the end of Wilhelmstrasse, turn left onto Taunusstrasse. After about 100 meters, follow signs to left to Neroberg. For the cable car, follow Taunusstrasse to the end into the Nerotal. At the end of Nerotalanlage, or park, is the viaduct of the Nerobergbahn, where parking is available. Or take ESWE bus No. 1 from the main rail station to Nerotal.

TIMES: The cable car runs 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily May through August, with departures every 15 minutes. The Opelbad is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily May through September. When the weather is good in September and in October, the cable car and pool are open in conjunction with each other. During these months, the cable car runs noon to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The Russian chapel is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except during Masses or weddings.

COSTS: One-way tickets for the Nerobergbahn are 2 euros for adults, 1 euro for children 14 and younger; round-trip tickets are 2.80 euros for adults, 1.40 euros for children. Family tickets for two adults and up to two children and group rates are also available. Admission to the Opelbad is 6 euros for adults, 3 euros for youths 14-17 and 2 euros for children 3-16; reduced rates available after 5 p.m. Admission to the Russian chapel is 1 euro for adults, 50 euro cents for children.

FOOD: An outdoor cafe — with inside rooms — called Der Turm is at the highest point of the Neroberg and offers a variety of food and drinks at reasonable prices: a half-liter of Hefeweizen beer is 3.40 euros, a liter of apple wine 5.60 euros and soft drinks are 2.20 euros. A beef steak with fried potatoes, mushrooms and herb butter is 13.80, and plain schnitzels with fries cost 7.80 euros. The restaurant Wagner, next to the Opelbad, offers a splendid view over Wiesbaden and displays an extensive — and expensive — menu and wine list.

INFORMATION: For the cable car, call 0611-780-2222; for the Opelbad, call 0611-1729-885 or e-mail opelbad@wiesbaden.de.

Wiesbaden’s Opelbad sits on the Neroberg and offers views of the city below. The pool was built in 1934 and donated to the city by Wilhelm von Opel.

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