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Free time on your hands – things to do in Herborn

Half-timbered houses and town wall

Herborn‘s picturesque appearance can be attributed, above all, to its unique historic townscape featuring numerous multistory half-timbered houses that still breathe the luxury and wealth of the commercial and university town from centuries long gone by.

Some of the old town gems shall be mentioned here: "Alte Färberei" (Old Dyeing Factory - Mühlbach 5/7), the Scharfrichterhaus" (Executioner’s House - Schmaler Weg), the oldest residential house dating back to the year 1445 (Mühlgasse 5) and "Haus Bast" (Bast House), standing at the corner of the "Kornmarkt" with its distinctive lion’s beam.

Other points of interest are the marketplaces, such as for instance the "Holzmarkt" (Wood Market) or the remainders of the town wall with the gates "Steinerne Pforte" (Stone Gate) and "Neue Pforte" (New Gate) also called "Leonhardsturm" (Leonhard Gate) as well the "Hexenturm" (Witch Tower), "Bürgerturm" (Citizen Tower), "Speckturm" (Speck Tower), and "Dillturm" (Dill Tower).

In our Flyer "Discover the Old Town" you will find three sightseeing tours passing along many of these points of interest. To access the flyer, please click the tab "Information & Planning".



The residential castle originating from the era when the town’s fortification wall was built, was initially mentioned in a document dating back to the year 1350. Since the hey-day of the "Hohe Schule", the castle has always been used for academic purposes and, among other things, served as an official residence for scholars.

Today, the castle is still inhabited and currently under the administration of the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau, housing the "Seminary for Theological Studies", an institution in the follow-up tradition of the "Hohe Schule". On top of that, the castle is home to an important historic library.  


Protestant Church

It would be somewhat justified to consider the quite impressive "Stadtkirche" (Protestant Church) Herborn’s oldest building, since, back in the day, it used to be the backbone of a rather large parish that also included the Westerwald highlands (Herborn was first mentioned in a document dating back to the year 1048).

Of the original three towers only the bell tower has been left since the 19th century. Inside, visitors can discover an interesting mixture of various architectural styles, from gothic elements via the renaissance to the baroque era. Other things worth seeing are the funeral monuments of quite a few renowned professors of the "Hohe Schule" (High School) as well as the sarcophagus of Princess Isabella Charlotte of Nassau-Dillenburg.

Open May 1 through October 3 each Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and on request (please contact the Kirchberg parish office opposite the church, phone: +49-2772-3337) and any time within the scope of our classic city tour.

Hohe Schule

The "Hohe Schule" was established in 1584 by Count Johann VI. Nassau Katzenelnbogen who was a brother of William of Orange (who fought for the liberation of the Netherlands and is considered the founding father of the modern Dutch royal dynasty).

Due to its religious orientation (Calvinism) the faculty was not eligible for academic degrees but taught all the major fields of study: theology, law, philosophy, philology and medicine. Until its closure in 1817, about 5700 students from diverse European countries had benefited from the university.

City Museum inside the Hohe Schule

Dive down deep into the history of our city. Crafts, commerce, domestic culture, and the education of students and scholars will come to life when they are presented in regularly changing exhibitions.

Open: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1 p.m. through 5 p.m. and by arrangement.

For more information regarding admission fees, tours, and special exhibitions please go to: Phone: +49-2772-573810

Historic Town Hall


On the former "Buttermarkt" (Butter Market), simply called "Marktplatz" today, you can find a number of magnificent patrician houses, former merchant’s houses and, with the house on "Markt 1/2", a house built during the baroque era featuring a gambrel or mansard roof.

The town hall with its distinctive clock tower (originally built in 1589 and rebuilt after the great fire in 1626), once housed the town’s councils, court, as well as the town’s balance and is used to this day as the administrative center of Herborn. In 1994 the town hall received a modern extension. Particularly worthy of note is the frieze around the building (redone in 1914) showing, apart from the town’s coat of arms, also local family coats of arms from the era when the town hall was built.


In the city

Experience nature!

This is the slogan under which the zoological park Herborn, situated in the beautiful landscape of the natural park Lahn-Dill, presents a unique variety of species not to be seen anywhere else in this region.

Animals from all continents and every vertebrate group such as numerous types of parrots, meerkats, kangaroos, cotton-top tamarins, pythons, owls, storks as well as grass snakes, sand lizards, and fire salamanders can be found in natural and sometimes accessible enclosures and aviaries. As a special attraction the zoological park offers daily meerkat, cotton-top tamarin, and parrot feeding events where the visitors can learn tons of interesting facts about the animals.

Various days of wildlife and nature related special activities add to the attractive offer of experiencing nature with all your senses. At the end of each tour visitors are welcome to take a break in the park’s pleasant "Meerkat Café". Open daily from 9.30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and until dusk in spring and in autumn.

More info:

Animal friends

Nosy goats greatly thankful for every visitor petting them. Mouflons and fallow deer living in the same enclosure with greater rheas (ostriches). Friendly donkeys, a picturesque pond with ducks, swans, and geese, a flock of curious llamas, and a red deer with its harem: all these animals can be observed in the spacious enclosure in their natural habitat.

More active visitors are invited to try out the park’s wooden climbing tower, the slackline, the rope tower, the seesaw, and the zipline. Those who seek to take a break from the bustling daily grind will find seats, benches, and little fountains for a little peace, whereas the "braver" ones are welcome to discover the secret of the "Old Castle". Open all year round, no entrance fees.

More info:

Take a dive

Our outdoor pools located "Friedrich-Birkendahl-Straße" (city of Herborn) and in the village of Schönbach are the perfect spots to take a refreshing dive on a hot day. Open daily during the season from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (until 8 p.m. during the summer holidays, from 7 a.m. on Wednesday).

Contact and info:

+49-2772-5814360 (Herborn), +49-2777-811397 (Schönbach)
and on the internet under:

Putting in black light conditions

In Herborn you can also find Hesse’s very first black light minigolf range with 18 holes with a total surface of more than 600 m². 

Contact + Info: Phone: +49-2772-5764331,

High in the skies

Enjoy a bird’s eye view of our beautiful area by booking a trial flight with "Luftsportverein Hörbach" who will be happy to take you to the skies in a glider or a motor glider.

You may either take flight on the spur of a moment, although we recommend to book in advance. Groups are also welcome upon consultation.

Contact + info: Phone: +49-173-6791445‬,