Fabulous half-timbered architecture and fantastic fairy tales meet and mingle in this delightful town.

By Leah Larkin
Photographs Courtesy Leah Larkin.

 

Homberg (Efze), a small walled town in northern Hesse, has an intriguing American connection. No famous Americans hail from Homberg, nor were there ever American bases in the town. Yet, the town’s history reveals a curious link to America. I wanted to know more.

Homberg is proud of its past and offers fun tours led by cheerful guides in period costumes. Our guide, wearing a vibrant purple gown, met us at the town wall with its whimsical replicas of climbers scaling the structure. “We want to show those who drive by that it is worth seeing the other side,” Ines Eberwein explained.

We followed her up a lane to the market square and its jaw dropping collection of Fachwerk buildings. No wonder Homberg is a star on the Deutsche Fachwerkstrasse (German half-timbered road). It is a living museum of ancient architectural jewels, some 300—all so perfect they seem unreal.

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