26 Sep A Solo Traveler’s Guide To Fulda, Germany
Frankfurt is one of the biggest hubs in the world for air travel. Connections are made in this German city, but very few stop in the area to smell the roses. Just northeast of Frankfurt, the city of Fulda makes its home. In between the RhÃ¶n plateau and the Vogelsberg Mountains, Fulda is just a little over an hour’s drive from Frankfurt on the racetrack autobahn. The next time you have a stop in Frankfurt, Fulda is calling your name. The solo traveler can appreciate Fulda for its variety of sights and the ability to make you feel at home, all while in a place that can be bone-chillingly cold.
Feel Grand at The City Palace
After traveling solo for a few days, or even hours, you may feel incredibly small and isolated. Fulda’s City Palace will set you straight again with its grand baroque opulence. It is difficult not to feel important while standing in the midst of the era’s extravagance, from the Chamber of Mirrors to the banquet hall. One of the main assumptions about traveling to Germany is that much of its original architecture was destroyed, bombed out completely. However Fulda’s City Palace proves those assumptions wrong. The site was originally the prince abbots’ residence. Much of what you see here dates back to at least 1706.
Slow Down at the Palace Gardens
Used for the city’s social events and international conferences, the Orangery of Fulda looks out on the Palace Gardens. In typical German fashion, not a single blade of grass is out of place in front of this attractive building. At the center of the Palace Gardens is a large fountain, complimented by colorful flowers surrounding its waters. The gardens were originally laid out in a baroque style. By the 19th century, the Palace Gardens were redesigned in order to reflect and English garden landscape. For the solo traveler constantly on the go, Fulda’s Palace Gardens allow you to just slow down with a good book, surrounded by baroque garden perfection.
Get busy in a Cathedral, of all places
Lording over the rest of Fulda is the town’s Cathedral. Your eye is drawn to its baroque style in design and grand size. It is a sight you can’t miss, especially if you enjoy being near saints. The Cathedral houses the tomb of Saint Boniface. Saint Boniface died a martyr in 754. Architect Johann Dientzenhofer from 1704 to 1712 built the Fulda Cathedral. Even before that construction, an ancient Abbot Ratgar’s Basilica stood here in the 9th century. You can see those foundations in the Cathedral Museum, where Jewish gravestone and apparently a portion of St. Boniface’s skull can be seen. On Sunday, the church bells ring out loudly as little old ladies scurry to get to mass in time. For the solo traveler, you could spend a great deal of time in the Cathedral for what it contains and means to the town, while never losing interest despite being in yet another church in Europe.
Chow Down and Drink Up
Fulda has a number of restaurants and bars to keep the solo traveler happy, healthy and well feed. A large number of Italian restaurants can be found, if you are yearning for something other than German cuisine. In the morning, be sure to grab a pretzel at one of Fulda’s bakeries, hot off the oven. While you aren’t at home and perhaps even alone, the heartiness of Fulda’s cuisine and the warmth of its baked goods are enough to keep the solo traveler happy, healthy and far from hungry.
Written by: Suzy Guese