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German Wine Route

One of the oldest tourist roads in Germany and the first of its kind. The idea for the foundation was born due to big wine sales problems. The ceremonial opening took place with a mass event in Bad Dürkheim on October 19, 1935. On October 20, an opening drive with 300 motor vehicles took place. Within a short time, tourism and sales increased enormously. The Wine Route extends through the Palatinate wine growing region in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate from Schweigen-Rechtenbach on the French border in the south to Bockenheim in the north on the edge of Rhinehesse over a length of 85 kilometres. It is marked by a square yellow sign with a triangular stylized grape made of ten berries. From the opening, the communities were able to use the addition "an der Weinstraße", which replaced the old "an der Haardt". Two striking buildings mark the beginning and end. These are the "Eingangstor zur Deutschen Weinstraße" in Schweigen-Rechtenbach, inaugurated in 1936, and the "Haus der Deutschen Weinstraße" in Bockenheim. The swastika was chiseled out of the former in order to erase its National Socialist origins.

There are numerous striking buildings along the entire route. The oldest is the remains of the 2,000-year-old Roman vineyard on the Weilberg north of Bad Dürkheim. The famous Dürkheim barrel is also located here. The road, also known as the "mule track of bliss", is an important economic factor today. The approximately 23,500 hectares of vineyards on both sides of the road are cultivated by 5,500 wineries. There are 22 winegrowers' cooperatives, 11 producer associations and 1,500 self-bottlers. The German Wine Route is the most famous tourist route in Germany. Since 1985 (except 1986) the "Erlebnistag Deutsche Weinstraße" (German Wine Route Experience Day) is held on the last Sunday in August. During this event the wine route is closed for motorized traffic for eight hours. Between March and October numerous wine festivals take place. At the German Wine Harvest Festival in Neustadt an der Weinstraße the German Wine Queen is elected.

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