Hochheim/Main

St Peter & Paul, photo: town of Hochheim/Main

Wine, art and culture form a unique symbiosis in Hochheim. The town on the banks of the Main is a stronghold of the Riesling and many things bear witness to the regency of the bishops from Mainz. The canons of Mainz controlled the town’s destiny for five hundred years, and in 1273 they purchased the town together with the land and its people from the chapter of Cologne. The new owners invested in their property and built a fortified circular wall with five towers, in order to protect the profitable new acquisition against aggressive neighbours. The prosperity of the fast-growing small town quickly did the rounds in the social circles of Electoral Mainz. In the years that followed clergy and aristocrats settled in Hochheim/Main and together improved the distinctive face of the wine village. Many buildings have been preserved until today and a side trip into the old, narrow streets of Hochheim is like a journey into the past. Proud estates and magnificent portals bear witness to the splendour of former times. The old facades of half-timbered houses  in new, light colurs, present themselves on the market place around the Rococo Madonna from Hochheim and in the cosy wine taverns and Straußwirtschaften wine from Hochheim and typical regional dishes can be savoured.
But the town’s landmark has a much more prominent location. The parish church of St Peter and Paul, built in 1732 is located above the vineyards and it seems as though the church’s exposed position was symbolising the wine’s significance for the Rheingau.
Hochheim has also entered the international language of wine: in England the word “Hock“, derived from “Hochheim“, is the synonym for wine from the Rhine. The history behind the word “Hock“ is connected to Queen Victoria’s Rhine voyage in 1850, in the course of which she stopped in the little wine village of Hochheim. She seemed to like the wine so much that she gave the permission to the people of Hochheim to name a vineyard ”Königin Victoria Berg“ henceforth. Even today, this is the vineyard’s name and at the historical place a neo-Gothic monument with turrets and a golden inscription commemorates the royal visit – the Queen Victoria Monument. Very much influenced by this wine culture the first winegrowing museum  of the state of Hesse is also located in Hochheim and in the well-known Art Collection Hochheim paintings, sculptures and graphics from the classical modern period are on display among others by Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Max Ernst, Joan Miró and Wolf Vostell.
In the midst of idyllic nature the Regional Park is also worth seeing with its well-maintained cycling and hiking paths. At some places artworks and viewpoints such as the “bird's nest“, can be admired and interesting facts about the region are provided in this way. There’s a lot to discover for children in the Regional Park with its big playground. In the course of a ochildren’s guided tour of the town children can try on different costumes and can go on a fairytale-like exploration tour through the historical district of Hochheim.
Three big festivals are the highlights of the town of Hochheim/Main. The Wine Festival of Hochheim in the middle of July is among the biggest and most significant wine festivals of the Rheingau.
The Market of Hochheim on the first weekend of November after All Souls' Day has a tradition going  back to more than 500 years; it is one of the biggest fairs of Germany and folk festival at the same time and offers great sales and leisure opportunities as well as great events for the whole family.
The second weekend in Advent traditionally is the time of the Christmas market in Hochheim. The historic centre of Hochheim with its narrow, winding streets provides the right background for a Christmas market with charm and flair.
More information about the wine-growers from Hochheim  and the wine majesties can be obtained here.
Learn more about Hochheim/Main at: www.hochheim.de.

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