The 500 km "Route of Democracy" lets visitors explore the historic roots of today's German government and the liberation movement from the time of the French Revolution to the age of Metternich up to the present day. It runs through southwest Germany from Frankfurt am Main to Lörrach in the Basel region.
Since its birth in 1848/49, the path of democracy in Germany has been far from easy. The "Route of Democracy" is not a reference to specific individual locations, but rather to the birthplace of German democracy as a whole. Here in the southwest, democracy only began with the adoption of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany in the 20th century.
No easy path
The path of the first German democrats was full of obstacles, division and bitter moments as well as liberating ones. The Hambach Festival in May 1832, to which many women were also invited, the Baden Constitution, the National Assembly in St. Paul's Church in Frankfurt, the former Dalberg Court in Mainz, the scene of a treason trial in 1850: all these and many others are sites that commemorate the sacrifices made by "the friends of the constitution", Friedrich Hecker, Gustav Struve, Karl Drais, Franz Sigel, Philipp J. Siebenpfeiffer and supporters of German democracy.
Authentic locations, memorials and museums
Travellers along the "Route of Democracy" will set out on a journey to the birthplace of German democracy and will discover exciting episodes in history, engaging personalities and magnificent sites long the way. They will also hear sensational stories and revolutionary songs, and will learn something about Germany, democracy and the arduous road to freedom.
Food, drink and democratic thought
Fine wines, drinkable beers and delicious regional specialties are not to be missed, so much so that even revolutionaries partook of them themselves at one time. And as is still the case for people now, the pubs and inns were their favourite haunts.
Length: approximately 550 km
Theme: freedom and German democracy
Frankfurt: St. Paul's Church (Paulskirche)
Karlsruhe: history of democracy, Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof)
Lörrach: border town, Three-Countries Museum (Dreiländermuseum)
Mannheim: castle, birthplace of the democratic workers' movement
Neustadt/Weinstraße: castle, Hambach Festival
Offenburg: tour of the Salmen building
Philippsburg: the "Zum Weinberg“ and "Zum Einhorn" historic inns
Rastatt: Bundesfestung fortress, castle, memorial
Sinsheim: birthplace of Franz Sigel, historical "Zum Schwarzen Bären" inn, museum
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