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Places of interest

Oppenheim, a historical town on the Rhine known for its wines and festivals, is surrounded by vine-covered hills between Mainz and Worms. The many sights and attractions in the charming old quarter make it a worthwhile destination, but it's not all about quaint half-timbered houses. This small Rhine town also has a secret underground world to explore, and you can visit the Krötenbrunnen (Toad's Well) that gives its name to the popular wine.
Old quarter
Take time to relax in Oppenheim's charming old quarter and discover its picturesque alleys, historical market square and many attractions such as the Gautor (town gate) or Himmelstreppe (Stairway to Heaven). The best way to learn about the history of the town is to enlist the help of a tour guide, who will regale you with tales of chivalry, merchants, medieval life and wine-making. No visit to the old quarter is complete without seeing the ossuary in St. Michael's Chapel. It contains naturally preserved skeletal remains from the cemetery of the earlier churchyard, which guaranteed a safe passage to Heaven for those lucky enough to be buried there.
Underground cellars
With its maze of underground passageways and vaulted cellars, Oppenheim's old quarter is like a piece of Swiss cheese. Walking through this extensive labyrinth is a spine-tingling experience: descend the old stone steps and you'll feel like you've travelled back in time to the Middle Ages. There's even a lift suitable for wheelchair users. This system of historical vaulted cellars, which was only discovered a few years ago, is up to five storeys deep in places. In the early Middle Ages it was used to store food and beer. Along its winding corridors you can see three underground springs, a Lombard-style stone recess depicting the Virgin Mary (500-600 years old), and a vaulted cathedral cellar, which is probably the only one of its kind in Germany. The many twists and turns in this town beneath a town are just waiting for you to explore.
Krötenbrunnen Winery
Oppenheimer Krötenbrunnen wine has helped put this small Rhine town on the map. You can even find this popular number in specialist US shops. At the winery itself, follow the footpath through the beautiful vineyard slopes to the spring that gave the wine its name. The word Krötenbrunnen means "Toads' Well" in German, but the construction around this babbling source of water is quite different to conventional draw wells. Down the years, resourceful locals have made use of the Krötenbrunnen spring to irrigate the vineyard.
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