Riegel

Numerous archaeological findings being nationwide known prove from the history of the town which is more than 7000 years old. Some of these findings can be seen in the archaeological museum. On the arachaeological circular trail you can also admire the Mithras Temple.
With regard to cultural events Riegel has become known because of its art hall (Messmer Foundation), the private theatre “KUMEDI” and its galleries and artist workrooms.
In Riegel and on the natural trail of the Michaelsberg (Naturpfad Riegeler Michaelsberg) you get interesting impressions of the earth’s million years old history.
Thanks to its own junction to the motorway A5 and the Landesstraße 113 going into direction of France, as well as thanks to the two stations of the Deutsche Bahn and the Kaiserstuhlbahn Riegel is easy to reach.
The brewery of the town is out of operation, but the trademark “Riegeler Bier” and its beer are still very popular. On the surface of the former brewery there are some lofts (the so-called Riegeler Lofts) today. Furthermore, some hobby brewers make the famous Römerbräu there.
Numerous restaurants and hotels guarantee that the guest feels at home in Riegel.

Archaeological museum of Riegel – Romans and rockets

The Roman history is shown in a very impressing way in the araeological museum. Additionally to about 300 archaeological findings, the life of the Romans in Riegel is explained by means of charts and reconstructions. Even things of the everyday life such as the preparing of meals are demonstrated. Certainly, it is the model of the Roman basilica (scale: 1.25) which is the highlight of the museum. When you visit the museum, you even have the possibility to step in the basilica that you get a dimensional impression of the monumental construction of this building (let yourself be surprised!). By the way, the museum has got a new department: Aerospace technology. Opening hours of the museum:
Sundays from 11:00 to 17:00 h; address: Hauptstraße 12, in the back part of the house (Bürgerhaus).
Entrance fee:
  • 2.50 euros for adults
  • 1.50 euros for children
  • 6.00 euros for families
  • 2.00 euros for groups (10 persons at least)
  • 1.00 euros for school classes

Archaeological circular trail

The municipality of Riegel is located in the middle of the rich archaeological landscape of the northern Breisgau. On the district of Riegel traces of nearly all important prehistoric culture groups, starting with the Neolitic Age (from the sixth millenium BC), has been found.

In Celtic times (late second century BC) there was a vast village at the northern edge of the current municipality. It was exactly at this place where a treasure of 27 gold coins had been discovered in 2001. Till today this treasure has been unique in the history of Baden-Wurttemberg.

Riegel had reached the peak of its historic importance in the Roman Age (first to third century AC). At that time the Romans had firstly built castrums; then the corresponding settlements of sutlers were the base for a growing town with big public buildings. This town represented the administrative centre of the region; you can say it was “Freiburg of the ancient world”.

In the early Middle Age (7th/8th to 10th century AC) there was a royal farmhouse with church. This farmhouse represented the centre of the “fiscal company” where many surrounding villages had to pay their duties.

Following the “Hippokampos-Logo” on the archaeological circular trail you can read many interesting things about the Celtic and the Roman Age as well as about the Early Middle Age written on 13 themed notice-boards. The circular trail is about 1 km long.

The Mithras Temple in Riegel

The fragments of the foundation remember the temple for the “light god” Mithras. The cults for Mithras and Kybele were originally from Persia. Due to the expansion of the Roman Empire traders, merchants and sometimes even members of the military brought this cult in the western part of the Roman Empire about 100 AC. Both cults are historically proven in Riegel. The temples for Mithras shall remember the cave where he is supposed to have been born. Therefore, they were purposely dug into the soil. The ritual community consisted of elite men who had to pass several levels of consecration during their meetings. As personification of the light Mithras conquered the darkness. The Mithras cult and the Christianity have many common features such as the common meal.

At the beginning of the 2nd century when they had started building the temple, there were no soldiers in Riegel. After its completion the temple was used for 200 years at least. In 393 all pagan traditions were forbidden and thus the Mithras cult, too.
In 1932 in course of the excavation of the temple in Riegel a sacrifical altar (1.2 m high) with the inscription (Viktor Abascantus, donor of the altar) was found. In 1974 the excavation of the whole system (9.1 m long and 6.4 m wide) was finally completed. Ceremonial tableware made of clay as well as a sword of iron were found in an entrance hall.
In the archaeological museum remainings of the Mithras temple can be seen.

Art hall of the Messmer Foundation

In the unique atmosphere of the closed former brewery of Riegel which is more than 175 years old, the Messmer Foundation presents the visitor being interested in arts, exhibition objects of international standard.
At first the visitor goes through a garden full of sculptures to the entrée of the historical Schwenkhalle where he/she can see the collection of the Messmer Foundation presented in changing exhibitions. Additionnally, there are guest exhibitions of well-known modern artists.
The former brewery is the perfect place for the art hall of the Messmer Foundation. The particular ambiance of this unique building, the fantastic situation directly at the gate to the Kaiserstuhl as well as the perfect connection to the motorway A5 were essential for the decision taken by the foundation, said Mr. Jürgen A. Messmer, president of the foundation.
 

“KUMEDI” the special theatre in the former termini of Riegel

The KUMEDI theatre opened its doors in the new rooms of the former termini of Riegel in 1999. Between 2002 and 2004 the rooms were enlarged that a small theatre with a particular architecture and programme resulted that cannot be found everywhere. In the KUMEDI theatre you can listen to critical and satirical texts corresponding to the concept and name of the theatre (“kumedi” is the Alemannic term for comedy). Regularly there are smaller concerts and matinées, too. After every performance the audiences have the possibility to stay for a while in the theatre or in the foyer to meet friends, guests and actors. The association called KUMEDI Riegel e. V. is the responsible institution. The current programme is available in the town hall and in shops of Riegel as well as on the homepage:  www.kumedi.de .

Educational trail on the Michaelsberg of Riegel – Learn more about the last 170 million years of our earth’s history on this natural trail!

No matter you are alone or in a guided group, come and discover the town of Riegel -also called “the sunny gate to the Kaiserstuhl” - from another perspective.
Have you already known that four rivers (Elz, Glotter, Old and channelled Dreisam) flow together in Riegel to form the Leopold’s channel?
Or are you aware of the fact that you can perceive the last 170 million years of our earth’s history at the bottom of the Michaelsberg (Michael’s hill) with the naked eye?
The Kaiserstuhl is a cold volcano rising up the Rhine valley. Riegel is situated at the northeast edge of the Kaiserstuhl. However, the Michaelsberg of Riegel has no volcanic origin, but consists of limestone from the Middle Jurassic.
We would like to invite you to enjoy numerous beautiful views around this hill and to learn many interesting things about the rich (natural) history of this town.
The trail has 16 notice-boards and the corresponding walking time is approximately 2 hours. Thanks to the continuous numbers of the boards you can start at any place you want to. Actually, the trail starts at the theatre “Kumedi” and ends on the top of the Michaelsberg.
After prior registration guided tours for groups (10 persons at least) are possible on the educational trail. For further information kindly get in contact with the administration of Riegel: Rathaus Riegel, Hauptstr. 31, 79359 Riegel; phone: +49/ 7642/9044-0 or via e-mail:  kreutner@gemeinde-riegel.de, www.gemeinde-riegel.de. “Blessed with sun” that’s the slogan for the wine produced in Baden. This slogan is suitable for the municipality of Riegel am Kaiserstuhl, too. The types of wine grown on the Michaelsberg of Riegel (“Riegeler St. Michaelsberg“) have already got several prizes in different competitions, because they bring the sunshine of the region in your glass of wine. Enjoy a glass of wine or beer (Riegeler Bier) in a nice restaurant in Riegel after you have followed and discovered the natural trail. If you enjoyed your stay, please recommend us to others. We are looking forward to seeing you again. Then you can discover the archaeological trail and afterwards the archaeological museum, if you want. Hereto information is available in the town hall of Riegel.
 

Historical tour in the centre

Former station building in the Römerstraße 2
Between 1894 and 18995 the local railway called “Kaiserstuhlbahn” was built from Riegel to Breisach as well as the station building. In March 1999 the KUMEDI theatre of Mr. Klaus Spürkel, actor, and his spouse, Elisabeth Fünfgeld, moved into the station building. In 2002 the building was extended (99 seats and an open-air stage).
 
Former fire station in the Kirchstraße 8
At first it had been built as mansion wine press from 1704 to 1705. Then in 1820 the municipality acquired the one-story house and used it continuously as wine press. The conversion into a fire station was in 1904. Since its renovation in 2002 the former fire station with its high hose towers has been used as artists’ workroom.
 
Catholic parish church of Saint Martin
It is assumed that the Catholic parish church had been moved into the centre in the Middle Age (approximately in 1200 AC). From 1743 to 1749 the Gothic church was replaced by a Baroque one (Franz Rudhart managed the construction). In 1936 the church was destroyed by a fire and in 1944 it was essentially damaged during a heavy bombardment. Finally, there was a complete interior renovation between 2003 and 2004.
 
Vicarage in the 9
It was in 1684 that the current vicarage had been built by the Dominican nuns as convent. In 1721 the building was extended and a connecting passage to the parish church was built. Since 1765 the building of the former convent has been used as vicarage.

”Käppele” (small chapell) at the corner Haupt-/Kapellenstraße
In 1555 the chapel located outside the former village centre, is mentioned for the first time. At this place the street splits up to the south into direction of Bahlingen and Endingen and to the north into direction of Forchheim. The small chapel got its Baroque facade in the 18th century. Next to the chapel there was a cross that can be seen in a painting of 1709.

Protestant Church in the Forchheimerstraße
The nice sandstone building was built in the Neo-Gothic style as Protestant church in 1898. Since its renovation in 1996 the original decoration has become visible again. In 1902 the Wehrle family who had come to prosperity in New York, contributed to the construction of the vicarage being opposite.
 
Gasthof Kopf, Hauptstraße 30
In the oldest archival documents dated from 1484, this historic “Gemeindestube” was firstly mentioned. At that time auctions took place there on the ground floor. The first floor was used for different kinds of celebrations, weddings and funeral receptions. The municipal representatives held their meetings in this building, too. The present traditional house was built in 1781 and transferred into private ownership in 1821. Since 1834 the restaurant “Zum Kopf” has been in private hands.

Rathaus (Town hall) in the Hauptstraße 31
The present town hall was built as common administrative office for the municipal representatives in 1784. Since 1813 it has been used as town hall. There were complete renovations in 1909 (with Baroque parts), 1964 and 1997. In the arch you can see the emblem of Riegel: a male head. It is supposed that this picture resulted from a Roman coin.

Brunnenplatz
Today it is assumed that this open surface area was used as market place with fountain in the Middle Age, too. The present fountain was put up in 1992 and got a bronze artwork made by the sculptor Guido Messer in 2003. The sculptur represents the Roman Emperor Vespasian (9-79, Emperor since 69 AC) taking a chair with him. This chair is the seat of the highest judge at the same time. The sculpture of the fountain represents simultaneously the “Kaiserstuhl” (chair of the Emperor).

Friedhofkapelle (cemetry chapel)
In 1903 before they started constructing the cemetry chapel, they had found the remainings of a Roman house. The directors of the brewery (Ernst, Adolf and Eduard Meyer, constructor of the cemetry chapel) gave the muncipality the chapel in 1907.
Eduard Meyer (1856 – 1909) was laid to rest in the crypt. At the northern wall of the cemetry you can see a cruzifix made out of sandstone (the cruzifix is 2.8 m high). Maria is standing on the left side of the cruzifix and Magdalena on the right side. The group was donated by the widow Montfort in 1746.
 
Michaelschule am Drollberg
On the northern slope of the Michaelsberges the Grund- und Hauptschule was built from 1961 to 1964. The school consists of 5 pavilions, the gym and the house of teachers. As you can see on a painting near the secretary’s office, Saint Martin is the symbol of school. He shall refer to the virtues of sharing and helping.
 
Johannes Nepomuk-Statue (1769), Am Gemeindegarten
It was in spring 2005 that the renovation of this statue was completed. The parish priest, Mr. Siegfried Flaig, required the renovation of the statue before leaving the parish in autumn 2004.
You can see the statue on the brigde going over the river Elz. It was donated by the Princess Elisabeth von Baden-Baden (1726 – 1789) in 1769. She was the granddaughter of Louis William, Markgrave of Baden and lived in the castle of Riegel (Riegeler Schloss); today’s address: Leopoldstraße 6-18. Joseph Kaltenbach von Triberg was the sculptor of the statue.

Michaelskapelle (Chapel of Saint Michael)
The chapel is dedicated to the same person as the hill: Saint Michael. It is the symbol of Riegel. In documents it was mentioned for the first time in 996. The today’s building was made as castle chapel at the end of the 13th century. Temporarily the city’s founders of Endingen, the Usenberger family, lived in the castle. After they had disappeared in 1379 the castle decayed. In the second half of the 15th century the chapel was extended by a choir of the late Gothic style. At the beginning of the 18th century there were some reconstructions and improvements of the chapel: extension of the vestry (in 1712), renovation of the campanile as well as the installation of the upper gallery. The chapel was often used as pilgrimage church for example. Kaiser Joseph II (1780 – 1790) intended to close the church in 1787, but he had not expected the resistance of the population. Since the 19th century the chapel on the hill is not only used for worships, but as touristic destination, too (installation of the “Camera obscura”). The integrated appartment was demolished in 1930; the facade of the chapel as renovated in 1984 and the roof of the chapel in 1993/94. Since 2005 services have regularly taken place in the chapel.
 
Stammhaus der Riegeler Brauerei (head office of the former brewery), Hauptstraße 29
On this area the first brewery was built by Wilhelm Meyer in 1838. It was in 1840 that they started serving beer in their own restaurant. In 1875 the brewery was moved at the foot of the hill called Michaelsberg. In 1991 on 16th July the restaurant “Stammhaus Meyer” was destroyed in a fire. The present building was made in 1995.

Erzbischöfliches Kinder- und Jugendheim St. Anton, Kirchliche Stiftung, Hauptstraße 63
In the period from 1765 to 1779 there was the convent of the Dominican nuns of Sainte Katharina on this place outside the village. Later the buildings were transferred in private ownership. In 1861 the archibishop Hermann von Vicari founded an institution for children being in trouble. This institution was dedicated to Saint Martin. In the following years the whole former convent was converted into a children’s home with up to 100 places. The nuns of the Poor Clares (arme Franziskanerinnen von Mallersdorf) took care of children. Today the foundation is church-sponsored and is still acting according to its original mission. It is currently called: Jugendhilfezentrum St. Anton.
 
Administration office of the Abt von Ettenheimmünster Hauptstraße 12
Landolin Flum (Abt des Klosters Ettenheimmünster) ordered the construction of the impressing house with its entrance in Baroque style in 1777. After the secularization the custodian of the monastery lived here till his death. In 1837 the municipality acquired the building to use it for some teacher flats. The “Zehntscheuer” on the back side was converted into classrooms. The archaeological museum was in the ground floor of the front part from 2006 to 2011. The Association for History is responsible for this museum. From August 2011 the whole area was renovated and reconstructed. The courtyard became the Mauritiussaal, the former museum was converted into a room called “Landolin” and the Bürgerstube is used as coffee bar today. These new rooms were inaugurated in January 2012.
Today you can visit the new and extended archaeological museum in the rear section of the building.

Ehemaliges Schwesternhaus, Kirchstraße 11
Simultaneously with the parish church a house for the vicar was built in 1743. Since 1870 the teacher and his spouse (Josef and Theresia Lang) lived there. From 1903 to 1980 the house was used by nurses. After its renovation the house transferred into private ownership in 1997.
 
Municipal administration of Riegel

Hauptstraße 3179359 Riegel

rathaus@gemeinde-riegel.de

+49 7642 90440

www.gemeinde-riegel.de

Municipal administration of Riegel ,79359 Riegel,Hauptstraße 31

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