Bismarck tower above Ingelheim
View over the Rhine
"To Bismarck's honor" is carved in stone on the balcony above the entrance to the massive tower in Ingelheim. Its interior is empty - except for the staircase that winds its way up along the wall. Over 100 steps lead up to the viewing platform.
And it truly deserves this name: The view stretches across the Rhine into the Rheingau and to the mountain ranges of the Taunus. A hilly landscape with vineyards, fields and villages lies at your feet. The castle church of Ingelheim can be discovered as well as the "Germania", the national monument, which is enthroned on the Rüdesheimer Niederwald and reminds of the foundation of the German Empire in 1871.
A trail can hardly begin more impressively. Here is also the starting point for the round trip "Bismarck Tower" - one of several "Prädikats" hiking trails in Rheinhessen. Hiwweltouren are called. Over its ten-kilometer length, the trail offers many more panoramic passages, but the view from the 31-meter-high observation tower, which was inaugurated in 1912 on the Westerberg above Ingelheim, is particularly magnificent.
The idea for these towers arose during Bismarck's lifetime - and was pursued even more intensively after his death in 1898. The aim was to erect such structures in many cities of the German Empire in honor of the "iron chancellor" and to light a fire on them twice a year.
Today, there are still almost 150 towers bearing Otto von Bismarck's name throughout Germany, and the one in Ingelheim is one of the tallest. Hikers and walkers will find many beautiful paths around it, in addition to the Hiwweltour, for example, the shorter Forest view round or the Westerberg circular route, which among other things leads to the Winery Westerberg Castle with wine shop leads.
The Bismarck Tower is open daily - and a visit is also worthwhile in winter. Then it has been shining in red light for several years, for which the locals gave it the name "Ingelummer Kerz".
Whether hikers start the tour with the ascent to the observation tower or save the panoramic view as a highlight for the end is, of course, up to each individual.