35km (21 miles) NE of Frankfurt, 20km (12 miles) NE of Hanau
More attractive than Hanau, Gelnhausen makes a better choice for an overnight stop along the Fairy-Tale Road. Lying in the Kinzig Valley in eastern Hesse, it is situated about midway between Frankfurt and Fulda.
Gelnhausen once stood on the old trading route, the Via Regia, between Frankfurt and Leipzig. For that reason in 1170 the Emperor Friedrich I (Barbarossa) combined three older villages to create this town. The town thrived until the Thirty Years' War (1618-48), which ruined it. In the latter 19th century, it came back. Germans claim that one of Gelnhausen's native sons, Philipp Reis (1834-1874), was the "co-inventor" of the telephone.more local info
Built around 1420, this is one of the guard towers remaining from the city's once-fortified walls. Crowned by a pointed spire, it was named "witches"...
Now in ruins, the castle was built by "Red Beard" Barbarossa at the end of the 12th century, and the German Imperial Diet met here in 1180. Although...