~ Herschbach, 21.04.2022 ~

Herschbach is a strange one. Its size on the map and its belt of industry and suburbs suggest a respectable small town; as does its beautiful baroque cchurch.

Humble from outside, inside it is open, bright, and richly ornamented. Confessionals and statues of saints line the walls, and an almost too big organ towers over the wide nave.

Outside is a small square, again suggestive of a typical small town. But the road doesn't lead very far in the other direction; the older buildings – mostly postwar by the look of it, though the layout is older, and nary a store – quickly give way to a more suburb-like arrangement, and their backsides are cluttered by a dense mesh of more houses.

Straying from the main street, past old farmsteads surrounded by single-family homes and very recent apartment blocks, there is a shallow lake, and… a treeless open space with a bunch of sleeping deer (and geese, and ducks).


The artificial pond, typical for this area, is quite large, and leads to one edge of the town, where, over a bridge, the houses give way to landscape.

The underdeveloped old town “centre” is dwarved in surface area by suburban(?) sprawl, mostly unremarkable modenr single-family homes with a smattering of old farmsteads and 19th century houses.

Finally, at the entrance to what turns out to have been a Straßendorf, or linear village, with suburban sprawl on all sides (save for the side with the pond and deer), stands this remarkably tasteful garage – attached to an equally remarkably decreprit building grafted onto the front of another.

All in all, Herschbach is a somewhat confusing and desorienting little place, a village masquerading as a town without any of a town's qualities – however full of surprises.