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Darmstadt, Germany

The Ludwigshöhe

A former Nazi lookout tower with a magnificent view of the Rhineland. 

The viewing platform of the Ludwigshöhe tower provides a magnificent vista over the town of Darmstadt and the Rhineland below. On a sunny day, you can even catch glances of the Taunus-Mountains and the Frankfurt skyline. Taking in the beautiful scenery it would be easy to forget the tower’s dark history.

Built in 1882 and named after the Grand Duke Ludewig the 1st of Hessen, the Ludwigshöhe started out as a health resort complete with a hotel, restaurant, and piste ideal for winter sports, which made it a popular trip destination for vacations in the early 1900s. However, during the Second World War, the armed forces of Nazi Germany claimed the Ludwigshöhe due to its strategically advantageous location and used it as a field signal bastion.

When the war was lost, Adolf Hitler gave the “Nero” order to dispose of any technology that could fall into the hands of the enemy, and thus the hotel was destroyed. Any plans of rebuilding and reopening a hotel at the site have thus far failed, but the tower has continued to be a spot where people can come and take advantage of the view.  

Know Before You Go

Since the "Ludwigshöhe" is about 240 metres above sea level, you might find yourself wanting to drive up the mountain by car. However, this is only allowed to a certain point from which on you will need to continue for about 450 metres on foot or bike. It might be closed on Mondays.