Road Trip

Bertha Benz Memorial

  • The ultimate pilgrimage for the car enthusiast

    This two-part journey into Automobile history takes you from Mannheim to Pforzheim, following the synonymous steps taken by Bertha Benz and her two sons; completing the first ever long distance car journey.

    The route is populated with charming villages showered in German history; this is the ultimate pilgrimage for the car enthusiast, offering a glimpse into the Baden region of Germany, passing the Odenwald mountains and ending at the entrance to the fabled Black Forest. A truly historical road trip.

  • Mannheim

    Beginning in Mannheim, head south towards Feudenheim and then IIvesheim where you should definitely visit Ilvesheim Castle. Built originally in 1511 the modern structure was rebuilt in 1700, with the beautiful building used as a school for the visually impaired ever since.

  • Ladenburg

    Ladenburg, the city where Dr. Carl Benz spent his final days and is buried, is an old town dating back to Roman times. It offers a wealth of sights, including the Dr. Carl Benz Museum, dedicated to automobile history; from the first combustion engine to the modern day Mercedes.

    If you fancy a spot of lunch whilst in Ladenburg, Die Kartoffel (translates to The Potato) is considered one of the best places to get a steak in Germany. Served at your table on piping hot stone in charming traditional German surroundings it is the perfect stop off point before embarking on the rest of the Memorial route.

  • Heidelberg

    Leave Ladenberg on Schriesheimer straße and follow the countryside spectacle on the Bergstraße (Mountain Road) southbound until you reach the picturesque city of Heidelberg. Situated in one of the warmest regions of Germany, this Altstadt, or Old Town, is bursting with history. The ruins of Heidelberg Castle remain, with its gothic structure that survived both the Thirty Year War and the Palatine War of Succession mostly intact.

    As soon as you reach Heidelberg, the scale of its beauty and history should overwhelm even the most reluctant of children, however if you are looking to entertain any younger passengers you may have with you, the ExploHeidelberg is a science and media centre where children can learn about various science phenomena through interactive experiments. Perfect for the juniors in your party.

  • Wiesloch

    From Heidelberg continue down the Bergstraße and then Rohrbacherstraße, through the towns of Leimen and Nußloch until you arrive in Wiesloch. Probably the most significant stop on Bertha Benz’s journey as here she stopped off at the local pharmacy in order to buy Ligroin (a form of petroleum) to keep the small rear-mounted engine powering all the way to her Mother’s house. The small pharmacy essentially became the first ever ‘filling station’ and is commemorated today with a signpost out front.

    The town is largely pedestrianised so feel free to park up and wander about the old ruins. There’s also a vast array of small cafés and shops and, being a wine region, most residents have their own small vineyards. Ask around, and you never know, you may find a recommended bottle to take home.

  • Pforzheim

    Head out of Wiesloch on the L594 until you reach the B3, continue south through various towns; Bruschal, Weingarten, Kleinsteinbach along the L570 and L621 until you reach ‘The Golden City’, Pforzheim. Famous for its jewellery and amazing views on top of Wallberg hill, this beautiful city is definitely one for the romantic stop off with an incredible selection of restaurants to also sample (Restaurant Pyramide being one of the main standouts).

    To continue the Automobile theme pop to the Vehicle museum for a wonderful, if not mismatched, experience. Alternatively, if you’ve had enough of cars Pforzheim has an amazing ‘Wildpark’ with animals from all over the world. If, as we can imagine, you don’t fancy the return leg of the route until the next day Pforzheim has a huge amount of hotels to choose from, but if you’re going for the full return leg, head out of the city north towards Bruschal.

  • Schwetzingen

    Once through Hockenheim and Ketsch you’ll find yourself in Schwetzingen. Famous for its annual classical music and opera festival, this truly spectacular town features a palace with elegant gardens so treasured they are labelled a cultural heritage site of European significance. The palace’s large, traditional rooms are a time-machine into the 18th and 19th century with the Rokokotheater being an unmissable highlight.

    If all this travelling has finally taken its toll head to Bellamar, a series of indoor and outdoor pools perfect for children. For the adults, a well-earned sauna awaits.

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