Der Weiße Turm, Darmstadt

Der Weiße Turm, Darmstadt

Der Weiße Turm

Der Weiße Turm ( Translates to The white tower) is located on the Ernst-Ludwig-Straße opposite the Friedenplatz in Darmstadt and is a historical landmark in Darmstadt.

Der Weiße Turm, Darmstadt
A view of the tower from Ernst-Ludwig-Straße

It can be accessed by the public on specific days (one needs to check the website). A climb up the spiral staircase leads to different tower levels from where one can get fantastic city views. 

Der Weiße Turm, Darmstadt
A view of Ernst-Ludwig-Straße from the tower
Der Weiße Turm, Darmstadt
A view of Friedenplatz from the tower
Der Weiße Turm, Darmstadt
A view of Residenzschloss from the tower.

Also, at each level,  photos depicting the various stages in the life of this tower and its history are displayed. These give the visitor a sense of how this tower came to be. The tower even has a dungeon in the basement, and there are many legends associated with this dungeon. You can read about these stories here:

https://www.weisser-turm-da.de/geschichte

Like many other monuments in Darmstadt, this tower too has a history.

The history of Weiße Turm

Der Weiße Turm is one of the last remnants of the old city fortifications that protected Darmstadt from 1330. For more than 300 years, it served as a watch tower and looked very different from how it looks today. 

Der Weiße Turm, Darmstadt
The tower before it was given the new look

At the beginning of the 18th century, when Landgrave Ernst Ludwig had the new suburb built and got the city walls leveled, the tower lost its purpose. It was decided that the tower be used as a Bell Tower. 2 bells were installed, one of which was only rung when someone from the royal family passed away. The dome we see today was also added as a part of these changes. 

During the bombing of the 2nd world war, the tower was badly damaged. As a part of the restoration activity, the dome was restored, a floor was added, and a nice coat of white paint was given to the outer wall. 

Der Weiße Turm today

Just like the Ludwigs Monument in Luisenplatz, there was a proposal to demolish this tower as it stood in the middle of the street, blocking the traffic. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. Later there were proposals for converting the tower into a cafe, but that did not fructify either. Today, the tower is a historical monument and can be visited by the public. Entry to the tower is free, but one can support it by donating.

Freundeskreis Weißer Turm manages and takes care of the tower. They organize exhibitions and cultural events in the tower. 

Der Weiße Turm, Darmstadt
Inside the Tower: Photos depicting the history of the tower
Der Weiße Turm, Darmstadt
Inside the Tower: Photos depicting the history of the tower
Der Weiße Turm, Darmstadt
Spiral Staircase inside the Tower

All the information about the tower, including its opening timings, current exhibitions, history, etc, can be obtained from its official website:

https://www.weisser-turm-da.de/

The tower is open on all the days of the Heinerfest and can be visited at times mentioned on the official website.

To read about other interesting places to see in Darmstadt, click here.

 

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