Schloss Oberstein, castle on the hills above Oberstein|
Schloss Oberstein, castle on the hills above Oberstein
Ever since the state government declared the town of Idar-Oberstein a Große kreisangehörige Stadt (large town belonging to a district) on 1 April 1960, the town’s mayor has borne the official title of Oberbürgermeister.
|In office from||In office until||Name||Party||Remarks|
|1920||1945||Ludwig Bergér||Stadtbürgermeister in Oberstein|
|30 July 1933||Otto Schmidt||Stadtbürgermeister in Idar|
|10 May 1945||29 April 1947||Walter Rommel||Stadtdirektor (arrested and removed from office by French occupational forces)|
|22 September 1946||4 February 1949||Emil Lorenz||Honorary Bürgermeister|
|5 February 1949||1953||Ernst Herrmann||Full-time Bürgermeister|
|15 December 1953||31 March 1960||Leberecht Hoberg||CDU||Bürgermeister|
|1 April 1960||8 April 1968||Leberecht Hoberg||CDU||Oberbürgermeister|
|1968||26 September 1974||Wilfried Wittmann||SPD||Voted out of office.|
|1977||28 February 1991||Erwin Korb||SPD|
|1 March 1991||28 February 2001||Otto Dickenschied||SPD|
|1 March 2001||28 February 2007||Hans Jürgen Machwirth||CDU||First directly elected Oberbürgermeister after the 1994 electoral reform. Machwirth resigned when he reached the maximum age allowed for elected municipal officials, 68, before his 8-year term had ended.|
|1 March 2007||28 February 2015||Bruno Zimmer||SPD||Directly elected on 5 November 2006.|
|1 March 2015||Frank Frühauf||CDU||Directly elected on 12 October 2014 (run-off voting).|
Coat of arms
The German blazon reads: Im halbrunden silbernen Schild befindet sich ein aufgerichteter roter Forsthaken, begleitet im rechten Obereck von einer sechsblättrigen roten Rose mit goldenem Kelch und grünen Kelchblättern, links unten von einer roten Eichel.
The town’s arms might in English heraldic language be described thus: Argent a cramp palewise sinister with a crossbar gules between in dexter chief a rose foiled of six of the second barbed and seeded proper and in sinister base an acorn slipped palewise of the second.
The charges are drawn from coats of arms formerly borne by both Idar and Oberstein before the two towns were merged in 1933. The current arms were approved by the Oldenburg Ministry of State for the Interior. The arms have been borne since 10 July 1934.
Twin towns — Sister cities
Culture and sightseeing
Idar-Oberstein (main centre)
- Burg Oberstein, so-called Neues Schloss (“New Palatial Castle”; see also below) – first mention 1336, expansion in the 15th and 16th centuries; 1855 roof frame and interior destroyed by fire; originally a triangular complex; in the centre remnants of dwellings, among others the so-called Kaminbau (“Fireplace Building”) and the Esel-bück-dich-Turm (“Ass-stoop-down Tower”), both Gothic; of the bailey, possibly built later, remnants of the three towers
- Burg Stein or Bosselstein, so-called Altes Schloss (“Old Palatial Castle”), above the Felsenkirche (see also below) – first mention 1197, from the 15th century incorporated into the town fortifications, a ruin no later than the 18th century; in the northwest at the entrance and in the southwest of the girding wall remnants of dwellings, round keep
- Former Evangelical parish church, so-called Felsenkirche (“Crag Church”), Kirchweg (see also below) – on an irregular floor plan, built into a crag in 1482-1484, renovation of the Late Gothic vaulting with barrel vaulting, 1742, alteration to the tower roof, 1858, master builder Weyer, thorough renovation, 1927–1929, architect Wilhelm Heilig, Langen; polyptych altar from late 14th century, ascribed to the Master of the Mainz Mocking
- Evangelical parish church, Hauptstraße (see also below) – formerly St. Peter and Paul, cross-shaped aisleless church, 1751, expansion with transept 1894-1894, conversion 1955/1956, architect Hans Rost, Würzburg; Romanesque west tower (1114?), Baroque roof, possibly from 1712; gravestone M. C. Hauth, about 1742; in the graveyard a memorial to those who fell in the First World War
- Town fortifications – walling of Oberstein, incorporating the Felsenkirche, built of coarse volcanic rock, on the inside supported by buttresses, arose in 15th and 16th centuries; preserved parts: on the church hill halfway up to the Felsenkirche, tower Im Gebück (a lane) above Hauptstraße 476
- At Alte Gasse 5 – coat of arms of the former Imperial post office, 19th century
- Amtsstraße 2 – hospital and convent; three-floor Gothic Revival brick building, side risalto with chapel, 1900
- Austraße 6 – villa-style house with mansard roof, Renaissance Revival, two-floor conservatory, late 19th century
- Bahnhofstraße 1 – former “Centralhotel”; three-floor Historicist Revival corner building, echoes of Art Nouveau, 1905–1907, architects Gerhards & Hassert
- Bahnhofstraße 3 – sophisticated corner house, three-floor Baroque Revival building with mansard roof, echoes of Art Nouveau, 1908/1909, architect Hans Best, Kreuznach
- Klotzbergkaserne (“Klotzberg Barracks”), Berliner Straße, Bleidornplatz, Juterbogstraße, Klotzbergstraße, Ostpreußenstraße, Pestmüllerring, Pommernstraße (monumental zone) – barracks for two infantry battalions built in the course of Idar-Oberstein’s expansion into a garrison town during the Third Reich, buildings on terraced lands grouped about several yards and stairwells with staff buildings, houses for men, riding hall, partly quarrystone, 1936–1938; characterizes town’s appearance
- At Bismarckstraße 12 – stucco decoration on a residential and commercial house, about 1905
- Bismarckstraße 53 – Baroque Revival villa with mansard roof, 1910
- Dietzenstraße 30 – villa-style house with hipped roof, about 1910; characterizes town’s appearance
- Dietzenstraße 34 – picturesque-rustic villa, early 20th century
- Dietzenstraße 55 – residential and commercial house with several floors, Classicist Revival-Baroque Revival building with mansard roof, 1926
- Dr.-Liesegang-Straße 1 – former commercial hall; building of red brick framed with yellow sandstone, 1894/1895
- Dr.-Liesegang-Straße 3 – representative house, Art Nouveau motifs, about 1905; characterizes streetscape’s appearance together with no. 5
- Dr.-Liesegang-Straße 4 – cube-shaped villa with hipped roof, 1924
- Finsterheckstraße – water cistern, two-floor tower-type housing, rusticated, 1900
- Forststraße – memorial cross for Anne Freiin (Baroness) von Schorlemer, about 1905 (?); memorial stone, 1930
- Forststraße 26 – former hunting lodge; sophisticated country house in alternating materials typical of the time, last fourth of the 19th century
- Friedrich-Ebert-Ring 8 – picturesque-representative villa, 1903
- Friedrich-Ebert-Ring 10 – sophisticated villa, begun 1911, architect Julius Schneider
- Friedrich-Ebert-Ring 12–18 (monumental zone) – three sophisticated apartment blocks for French officers, 1922–1924, government master builder Metz; middle building, flanked by buildings with gable fronts that penetrate each other
- Friedrich-Ebert-Ring 59–65 (monumental zone) – four similar multi-family dwellings; three-floor cube-shaped buildings with hipped roofs on a retaining wall, 1924
- Georg-Maus-Straße 2 – former Schillerschule; mighty Baroque Revival housing, towards the back open like a cour d'honneur, 1908–1911, town master builder Müller; characterizes town’s appearance
- Hasenklopp 6 – palatial castle-type complex, Baroque Revival building with mansard roof, garden pavilion, swung retaining wall, 1921–1923, architect Paul Schultze-Naumburg
- Hauptstraße 260–274 (even numbers), Naßheckstraße 1, 3 (monumental zone) – group of villas, individually characterized buildings, some with great garden complexes, towards Naßheck smaller houses, many original enclosing fences, about 1905
- Hauptstraße 48 – corner residential and commercial house, iron framing with brickwork outside, Burbach Ironworks; characterizes streetscape’s appearance
- Hauptstraße 70 – former schoolhouse; three-floor cube-shaped building with hipped roof, so-called Oldenburg Late Classicism, 1856/1857, architect Peter Reinhard Casten, Birkenfeld; triangular gable after 1900, portal with balcony after 1933; characterizes town’s appearance
- At Hauptstraße 71 – stuccoed façade, 1922, of a three-floor residential and commercial house from 1888
- Hauptstraße 72 – representative three-floor house, Renaissance Revival motifs, in the back stable and barn, 1863/1864
- Hauptstraße 76 – four-floor residential and commercial house, New Objectivity, 1931, architect Johannes Weiler, Cologne
- Hauptstraße 78 – representative Historicist residential and commercial house, 1900, architect Hubert Himmes, Idar-Oberstein
- Hauptstraße 103 and 105 – house with mansard roof, 1852, remodellings in 1890 and 1905; in the back commercial building, 1912; whole complex in subdued Baroque Revival forms
- Hauptstraße 108 – lordly villa, Renaissance Revival motifs with Classicist tendencies, French country house style, 1870/1871, architect Louis Purper, Paris; in the back commercial buildings
- Hauptstraße 118 (see also below) – representative Renaissance Revival villa, 1894; nowadays the Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum (German Gemstone Museum)
- Hauptstraße 123 – representative villa with hipped roof, Art Nouveau décor, 1901, architect Hans Weszkalnys, Saarbrücken
- Hauptstraße 126 – representative residential and commercial house, possibly from the 1890s; in the gateway clay reliefs
- At Hauptstraße 129 – stately Gothic Revival entrance gate
- Hauptstraße 135 – villalike house, building of red brick framed with yellow sandstone, Renaissance Revival and Baroque Revival motifs, possibly about 1890
- Hauptstraße 143 – mighty three-floor house with mansard roof, 1910; characterizes town’s appearance
- Hauptstraße 145 – three-floor Historicist house, building of red brick framed with yellow sandstone, Renaissance Revival and Art Nouveau motifs
- Hauptstraße 147 – three-floor representative house, Baroque Revival, Louis XVI (early French Neoclassical) and Art Nouveau motifs, 1908
- Hauptstraße 148 – three-floor sophisticated house, Baroque Revival building with mansard roof, about 1900; whole complex with factory building and a further house in the back from 1910/1911
- Hauptstraße 149 – former “Hotel Fürstenhof”; red-brick building with plastered areas, Art Nouveau décor; 1904
- Hauptstraße 150 – small, elaborately shaped house, third fourth of the 19th century
- Hauptstraße 151 – house with entrance loggia, mansard roof, about 1910
- Hauptstraße 153 – picturesque-rustic villa, Gothic Revival motifs, about 1900
- Hauptstraße 155 – representative Renaissance Revival villa, 1894/1895, architect Massing, Trier
- Hauptstraße 156 – two-and-a-half-floor representative house, 1870/1871 and 1889
- Hauptstraße 162 – villalike house, 1893, architect Wilhelm Müller, Frankfurt; conversion 1929, architect Johannes Weiler, Cologne; wooden gazebo, lookout tower
- Hauptstraße 163 – Art Nouveau house, marked 1902, architect Hubert Himmes, Idar-Oberstein
- Hauptstraße 177 – house, Expressionistically varied Art Nouveau motifs, marked 1927/1928, architect Johannes Weiler, Cologne
- Hauptstraße 185 – bungalow, Expressionist motifs, 1923, architect Johannes Weiler, Cologne
- Hauptstraße 192 – picturesque-rustic villa, 1905; characterizes town’s appearance
- Hauptstraße 194 – villa with mansard roof, 1911, architect Paul Schultze-Naumburg; characterizes town’s appearance
- Hauptstraße 248 – country-house-style house with mansard roof, 1911, architect Georg Küchler, Darmstadt
- Near Hauptstraße 260 – unusual Art Nouveau fencing, 1904
- Hauptstraße 264 – sandstone villa with asymmetrical floor plan, Gothic Revival and Art Nouveau motifs, about 1905; décor
- Hauptstraße 270 – rustic villa, volcanic rock, sandstone, timber-frame, glazed brick, about 1905
- Hauptstraße 274 – villalike house, picturesquely nested plastered building with knee wall, 1905
- Hauptstraße 289 – meeting building of the lodge at the Felsentempel; symmetrically divided plastered building, Art Nouveau décor, 1906
- Hauptstraße 291 – house, sandstone-framed brick building with timber-frame parts, towards late 19th century, architect possibly Max Jager; conversion 1909 and 1914
- Hauptstraße 313 – bungalow with mansard roof, rustic and Expressionist motifs, 1923/1924, architect Julius Schneider; décor
- Hauptstraße 330 – corner house, 1882, architect R. Goering; décor
- Hauptstraße 332 – corner house, Classicist and Renaissance Revival motifs, third fourth of the 19th century
- Hauptstraße 337/339 – three-floor double house with mansard roofs, 1910/1911, architect Johannes Ranly, Oberstein
- Hauptstraße 338 – former Imperial post office, so-called Alte Post; mighty, three- and four-floor three-winged building with bell-shaped and timber-frame gables, 1910–1912, architect Postal Building Adviser Neufeldt; characterizes square’s appearance
- Hauptstraße 342/344 – double house, red sandstone building with mansard roof, Late Gothic and Art Nouveau motifs, 1900, architect Hubert Himmes, Idar-Oberstein
- Hauptstraße 385 – plastered building, echoes of Swiss chalet style with Baroque elements, 1950, architect Julius Schneider; built-in shop from time of building
- Hauptstraße 386 – former Pielmeyer department store; three-floor building with mansard roof, Louis XVI and Art Nouveau motifs, about 1905, architects Gerhards & Hassert; characterizes streetscape’s appearance
- Hauptstraße 391 – Renaissance Revival façade of a residential and commercial house, 1890; characterizes streetscape’s appearance
- Hauptstraße 412/414 – Baroque double house with timber-frame gable, marked 1702
- Hauptstraße 417 – three-floor residential and commercial house, Art Nouveau motifs, 1906, architect Max Jager; characterizes square’s appearance
- (an) Hauptstraße 418 – elaborate façade décor, Art Nouveau with Baroque elements, about 1905
- Hauptstraße 432 – three-floor timber-frame building, partly solid, late 16th century, conversion 1717
- Hauptstraße 434 – three-floor residential and commercial house with mansard roof, Renaissance Revival motifs, 1895; characterizes town’s appearance
- Hauptstraße 468/470 – mighty three-floor balloon frame building, earlier half of the 15th century
- Hauptstraße 499 – house with mansard roof, Baroque Revival plaster décor, late 19th century
- Hauptstraße 281–309 (odd numbers) (monumental zone) – mostly two-floor residential and commercial buildings in an almost closed row giving the effect of a unified streetscape, 19th and early 20th centuries; brick with sandstonework parts, plastered, timber-frame, in parts of the back factory buildings; pattern broken somewhat by two villalike houses (no. 303 Baroque Revival, 1905; no. 309, possibly from 1890)
- Höckelböschstraße 1 – three-floor Baroque Revival corner residential and commercial house, about 1908; décor; characterizes town’s appearance
- Höckelböschstraße 2 – row house with mansard roof, early 20th century
- Höckelböschstraße 8 – house, Renaissance Revival motifs, about 1877
- Hoher Weg 1/3 – double house, three-floor building with mansard roof on a retaining wall, 1912, architect Johannes Ranly; characterizes town’s appearance
- Kasinostraße 7 – building of the former Hermann Leyser cardboard packaging factory; brick building, partly timber-frame, filigree wood details, late 19th century; house 1896, wing joining the two 1911
- Keltenstraße – water cistern; representative front building with brickwork walls, 1894
- Kobachstraße 4 – sophisticated residential and commercial house, Louis-XVI-style, 1912
- Luisenstraße 9 – rustic villa, bungalow with mansard roof on an irregular floor plan, 1908, architect Georg Küchler, Darmstadt
- Mainzer Straße 64 – villa, Art Nouveau décor, 1907
- Mainzer Straße 66 – representative Art Nouveau villa, 1905, architects Hubert Himmes and Adrian Wehrli, Idar-Oberstein
- Mainzer Straße 69 – representative Art Nouveau villa with mansard roof, about 1905
- Mainzer Straße 73 – representative villa on an asymmetrical floor plan, Art Nouveau décor with Baroque elements, 1905/1906, architect Hans Weszkalnys, Saarbrücken
- Mainzer Straße 75 – plastered villa on an asymmetrical floor, hipped roofs, 1901, architect Hubert Himmes, Idar-Oberstein
- Mainzer Straße 224 – Villa Wolff, sophisticated rustic villa, bungalow with mansard roof, 1923/1924, architect Julius Schneider
- Mainzer Straße 56/58, 60, 64, 66, 69, 73, 75, 77, Dr.-Liesegang-Straße 1, Hauptstraße 123 (monumental zone) – Idar-Oberstein’s only mainly closed villa neighbourhood, villas in gardens, about 1900 to the 1920s; partly with sprightly roof profiles, Late Historicism, Art Nouveau, architecture of the 1920s; on the squarelike widening at the south end of Mainzer Straße the commercial hall (Dr.-Liesegang-Straße 1, see above)
- Otto-Decker-Straße 6 – three-floor Gothic Revival residential and commercial house with mansard roof, 1900, architect Hubert Himmes, Idar-Oberstein
- Otto-Decker-Straße 12 – villalike corner house, Renaissance Revival motifs, 1895–1896, architect Heinrich Güth, Saarbrücken
- Otto-Decker-Straße 16 – Historicist residential and commercial house with mansard roof, 1905
- Pappelstraße 1, 2, 3 (monumental zone) – so-called Franzosenhäuser (“Frenchman’s Houses”), group of three houses built by the town for French officers in the occupational forces; buildings with tent roofs, Expressionist motifs, begun in 1920, architect Wilhelm Heilig, Langen
- Ritterstraße 11 – house, after 1882, Baroque Revival expansion 1912
- Ritterstraße 31 – row house with mansard roof, Renaissance Revival motifs, marked 1906
- Schönlautenbach 6 – representative house, three-sloped hipped roof, 1924/1925, architect Johannes Weiler, Cologne
- Schönlautenbach 27 – house with mansard roof, timber-frame bungalow on terracelike stone lower floor, 1928
- Oberstein Jewish graveyard, Seitzenbachstraße (monumental zone) – laid out possibly in the 17th century, expanded in 1820, older part dissolved in 1945; gravestones placed since the mid 19th century in the newer section’s wall; memorials mainly sandstone or granite, obelisks, steles; behind Kirchhofshübel 14 further gravestone fragments and wall settings; originally belonging to the graveyard the former Jewish mortuary (Seitzenbachstraße – no number – today a workshop), central building with pyramid roof, built in 1914
- Seitzenbachstraße/Hauptstraße, Niederau Christian graveyard (monumental zone) – three-part parklike complex, laid out from 1836 to 1916; soldiers’ graveyard 1914/1918; warriors’ memorial 1914/1918 and 1939/1945, memorial stone for Jewish fellow inhabitants placed after 1945; hereditary gravesites: no. 1 crypt with Egyptian-style entrance; no. 3 polygonal Gothic Revival column; nos. 7 and 8 several gravestones, granite slabs, granite steles, bronze urns; no. 29 complex of Kessler & Röhl, Berlin, sculpture by H. Pohlmann, Berlin; no. 32 angel with anchor by P. Völker; no. 33: marble angel
- Tiefensteiner Straße, Idar Christian graveyard (monumental zone) – laid out in 1869 in “Mittelstweiler”, first documented in 1871, enlarged several times; since 1969 newer main graveyard to the west “Im Schmalzgewann”; warriors’ memorial 1870/1871: roofed stele with relief, surrounded by eight limetrees; fencing with Baroque Revival entrance possibly from about 1900; graveyard chapel, yellow sandstone building, towards 1908; warriors’ memorial in graveyard of honour for those who fell in 1914/1918, 1920; graveyard for those who fell in 1939/1945 by Max Rupp, Idar-Oberstein, and Theodor Siegle, Saarbrücken, 1961; several elaborate hereditary gravesites
- Tiefensteiner Straße 20 – country-house-style house, bungalow with half-hipped roof, 1920s
- Wasenstraße 1 – three-floor residential and commercial house with Historicist elements, partly decorative timber-frame, conversion 1924/1925
- Wilhelmstraße 23 – representative manufacturer’s villa with mansard roof, Baroque Revival motifs with Classicist elements, begun in 1909, architect Julius Schneider
- Wilhelmstraße 44 – manufacturer’s house with garden; sandstone-framed volcanic rock building, Art Nouveau décor, 1910, architect Max Jager; décor
- Wilhelmstraße 48 – three-floor Historicist residential and commercial house, sandstone-framed brick building, 1903, in the back factory building; characterizes town’s appearance
- Wilhelmstraße 40/42, 44, 46, 48, 49–51 (monumental zone) – complex of dwelling and manufacturing buildings around the Jakob Bengel metalware factory (long, two- and three-floor commercial buildings, entrepreneur’s villa (no. 44), 1873 to 1906
- Bismarckturm (Bismarck Tower), east of Idar on the Wartehübel – monumental complex built out of volcanic rock, 1907, architect Hans Weszkalnys, Saarbrücken (design by Wilhelm Kreis, Dresden)
- Railway bridge on the Rhine-Nahe Railway, on the east side of the Altenberg – three-arch bridge in the Nahe valley at the Altenberg
- Railway bridges on the Rhine-Nahe Railway, west of the railway station – two brick-framed sandstone-block structures over a bend in the Nahe
- Railway bridge on the Rhine-Nahe Railway, at the Wüstlautenbach – partly heavily renovated three-arch, brick-framed sandstone-block structure over the valley of the Wüstlautenbach
- Im Stäbel – entrance relief at the Straßburgkaserne (“Strasbourg Barracks”) – forms characterized by National Socialism, 1936–1938; on the corner of Saarstraße a memorial, 1958
- Im Stäbel, graveyard – memorial for those who fell in the First World War by Wilhelm Heilig, about 1920
- Railway bridge and tunnel on the Rhine-Nahe Railway, east of Enzweiler – two-arch bridge, volcanic rock and brick, over the Nahe, impressive sequence of Hommericher Tunnel, bridge and Enzweiler Tunnel
- Former Evangelical parish church, Auf der Burr – formerly Saint George’s, stepped Romanesque building, west tower, quire Late Gothic altered (possibly in the 14th century), aisleless nave remodelled in Baroque; Marienglocke (“Mary’s Bell”) from 1350; in the graveyard gravestones about 1900
- Near Auf der Burr 13 – lift pump, cast-iron, brass, Gothic Revival, firm of Gebrüder Zilken, Koblenz, possibly from the last fourth of the 19th century
- Before Buchengasse 2 and 4 – two wrought-iron wells
- Evangelical church, Göttschieder Straße 43 – aisleless church with ridge turret, portal marked 1620, remodellings in 1775, 1864/1865 and 1933
- Evangelical church, Hammersteiner Straße 39 – Baroque Revival aisleless church with ridge turret, 1904–1909, architect August Senz, Düsseldorf; characterizes town’s appearance
- Railway bridge and tunnel on the Rhine-Nahe Railway, northwest of Hammerstein – two-arch brick-framed sandstone-block structure over the Nahe, tunnel through the so-called Hammersteiner Kipp
- Former Catholic Parish Church of John of Nepomuk (Pfarrkirche St. Johann Nepomuk), Am Kirchberg 3 – two-naved Late Historicist quarrystone building, flanking tower, 1895–1898, architect Ludwig Becker, Mainz; spolia (18th century); rich décor
- Evangelical parish church, Am Kirchberg 6 – plain Baroque aisleless church, ridge turret with helmed roof, 1755, architect Johann Thomas Petri, Kirn; décor
- Am Kirchberg 8 – former Catholic rectory; one- and two-floor Baroque building with hipped roof, 1770, architect possibly Johann Thomas Petri; characterizes town’s appearance
- Am Kirchberg 3, 6, 8 (monumental zone) – group made up of the Catholic church (Am Kirchberg 3) and the Evangelical church (Am Kirchberg 6) with the former rectory (Am Kirchberg 8), forecourt with altars (made of spolia), across the street, documents the village’s ecclesiastical development
- Auf dem Rain 21 – former school; nested Swiss chalet style building with Expressionist details, 1926/27
- At Im Brühl 1 – wooden door, Zopf style, 18th century
- Im Schützenrech 57 – school; sandstone-framed plastered building penetrated by gable risalti, 1912, expansion 1962
- In der Gaß 3 – former bull shed; one-floor solid building with timber-frame knee wall, possibly from about 1910; equipment
- Jewish graveyard, Sonnehofstraße (monumental zone) – ten mostly stele-shaped stones, 1900 to about 1933, in fenced area
- Bachweg 6 – Quereinhaus (a combination residential and commercial house divided for these two purposes down the middle, perpendicularly to the street), partly timber-frame (plastered), possibly from the earlier half of the 19th century
- Granatweg – warriors’ memorial; sandstone relief, 1920s, concrete stele inserted after 1945
- Tiefensteiner Straße 87 – Kallwiesweiherschleife; water-driven gemstone-cutting mill; squat building with gable roof and great iron-bar windows, 18th century, converted or renovated several times; equipment; pond
- Tiefensteiner Straße 178 – Hettsteiner Schleife or Schleife zwischen den Mühlen; former water-driven gemstone-cutting mill; quarrystone building with great iron-bar windows, 1846; equipment
- Near Tiefensteiner Straße 232 – former filling station, filling station building with sales room and workshop, mushroom-column construction with broad overlying roof, 1950s
- Tiefensteiner Straße 275 – villalike house with contemporary details, 1920s
- Tiefensteiner Straße 296 – avant-garde house, 1930/1932, architect Julius Schneider
- Tiefensteiner Straße 322 – villalike house with mansard roof, Louis XVI and Art Nouveau motifs, shortly after 1900
- Evangelical parish church, Obere Kirchstraße – formerly Saint Martin’s, Early Classicist aisleless church, architect Wilhelm Frommel, 1792/1793; late mediaeval tower altered in the 17th century; retaining wall possibly mediaeval
- Saint Martin’s Catholic Parish Church (Pfarrkirche St. Martin), Obere Kirchstraße – Gothic Revival red sandstone building, 1896/1897, architect Lambert von Fisenne, Gelsenkirchen; décor; characterizes town’s appearance
- Across from Dorfstraße 1 – so-called Hessenstein; former border stone; Tuscan column with inscription and heraldic escutcheon, after 1815
- Dorfstraße 32 – former Evangelical rectory; building with half-hipped roof, Swiss chalet style, 1930/1931, architect Friedrich Otto, Kirn; characterizes streetscape’s appearance
- Weierbacher Straße 12 – house, used partly commercially, with mansard roof, Expressionist motifs, 1920s
- Weierbacher Straße 22 – railway station; reception and administration building with employee dwellings, goods hall and side building, 1913/1914, architect Schenck; one- and two-floor main building, Art Nouveau décor with Classicist elements, monumental roof profile
- Weierbacher Straße 75 – former Amtsbürgermeisterei; asymmetrically divided plastered building, Renaissance Revival motifs, 1910/1911
- Jewish graveyard, east of the village on the hilltop “Am Winnenberg” (monumental zone) – seven stelelike stones or pedestals
- Niederreidenbacher Hof, northeast of the village (monumental zone) – first mention of a castle in the 13th century, in the 19th century an estate, from 1904 a deaconess’s establishment, with dwelling and commercial buildings, mill and distillery, about 1840 and thereafter; crag cellar under the estate; conversions and expansions 1904 and thereafter; chapel, 1658 or older, expansion 1931; Imperial Baron Friedrich Kasimir Boxheim’s (d. 1743) gravestone; remnants of the graveyard belonging to the establishment; two water cisterns, 1930s; park and garden facilities, characterizes landscape’s appearance
The famous Felsenkirche (“Crag Church”) is the town’s defining landmark. It came to be through efforts by Wirich IV of Daun-Oberstein (about 1415–1501), who in 1482 built the now Protestant church on the foundations of the Burg im Loch (“Castle in the Hole”).
As far as is now known, this castle was the first defensive position held by the Lords of Stein and a refuge castle for the dwellers of the village down below that was built into the great cave in the crag, the “Upper Stone” (or in German, Oberer Stein) on the river Nahe. This, of course, explains the origin of the name “Oberstein”.
The “Castle in the Hole” was the only cave castle on the Upper Nahe. The Felsenkirche can nowadays be reached by visitors through a tunnel that was built in modern times.
Up above the small church, on a knoll (Bossel) stands Castle Bosselstein, or rather what is left of it. The whole complex was forsaken in 1600, and all that stands now is a tower stump and remnants of the castle wall. In the Middle Ages, it was a stronghold to be reckoned with, with its two crescent moats and its two baileys.
Somewhat farther up, not far from Castle Bosselstein, the third castle arose about 1325, the one now known as Schloss Oberstein. Until 1624, it was the residence of the Counts of Daun-Oberstein. In 1855 it burnt down. In the years 1926 to 1956, the castle was used as a youth hostel, and thereafter as an inn.
In 1961, part of the east wall fell in. The castle club, Schloss Oberstein e. V., that was founded shortly thereafter, in 1963, has been worrying ever since about maintaining the acutely endangered building materials that make up this former four-tower complex. In 1998, the town of Idar-Oberstein became the castle’s owner. Today there is once again a small inn, the Wyrich-Stube, and there are also now a few rooms restored by the castle club, which can be hired for festive occasions or cultural events.
St. Peter and Paul
St. Peter und Paul is the Catholic church in the constituent community of Idar. It was built in 1925 as a wooden church for the then town of Idar. Since the 17th century, the town’s Catholics had had to make do with ecclesiastical services from Oberstein. By 1951, the church had fallen into such disrepair that it was extensively converted and expanded with stone.
Besides the Town Theater in the constituent community of Oberstein, there is also a cabaret stage. With Schloss Oberstein as the backdrop, the Theatersommer Schloss Oberstein (“Schloss Oberstein Theater Summer”) is held each year.
Since the early 1960s tourism has grown in importance for Idar-Oberstein. Today it boasts a number of modern facilities such as the Steinkaulenberg, a gemstone mine open to visitors, and the German Gemstone Museum, as well as several recreational resorts. Nationally known is the Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum (German Gemstone Museum) in the constituent community of Idar, which boasts many gemstone exhibits.
The Museum Idar-Oberstein in the constituent community of Oberstein right below the famous Felsenkirche devotes itself to the specialized theme of “minerals”, and accordingly shows not only local places where gems were discovered, but also worldwide discovery places. The Idar-Oberstein jewellery industry and gemstone processing, too, and especially the agate-cutting operation, are presented in an impressive way.
Insights into the production of Art Deco jewellery as it was done about the turn of the 20th century are offered by the Industriemuseum Jakob Bengel in the constituent community of Oberstein. It is open the year round.
At the Steinkaulenberg gemstone mines, the only gemstone mine in Europe open to visitors, and at the Historische Weiherschleife – a gemstone-grinding mill – one can learn a few things about gemstone processing and Idar-Oberstein’s history. Jasper is also featured there, for Idar-Oberstein is also an important centre for that semiprecious stone.
The town’s best known sport club is SC 07 Idar-Oberstein.
Idar-Oberstein has an indoor swimming pool and, since September 2005 an outdoor swimming pool fed by natural water. On the town’s outskirts, a Friends of Nature house has been established, offering cyclists, hikers and tourists meals and lodging. Also, in nearby Kirschweiler is a golf course.
The Schleiferweg (Schleifer is German for “grinder” or “polisher”, a reference to the town’s fame as a gem-processing centre; Weg simply means “way”) is a 22 km-long signposted hiking trail round Idar. The path leads around the constituent communities of Idar, Oberstein, Göttschied, Algenrodt and Tiefenstein. Especially for sophisticated hikers, the Schleiferweg offers a special hiking experience with a high section of path through thick forest. The trail leads by various tourist attractions, such as the Weiherschleife, the Steinkaulenberg, the Kammerwoog (lake) or even the Wäschertskaulen spit roast house. With the good links to the town transport network, the trail can be broken up into as many shorter stretches as the hiker chooses.
- The New Year’s Gala Concert of the Symphonisches Blasorchester Obere Nahe e. V. (wind orchestra) has been seeing the town into the New Year culturally since 1991.
- The International Trade Fair for Gemstones, Gemstone Jewellery and Gemstone Objects is held yearly in September and October (see also below).
- The regional consumer fair, better known as Idar-Obersteiner Wirtschaftstage, was created by the Wirtschaftsjunioren Idar-Oberstein 2003, and is growing into a true success story. It was organized and staged from 2003 to 2005 by the Wirtschaftsjunioren.
- The Deutsche Edelsteinkönigin (“German Gemstone Queen”) is chosen every other year from the region of the Deutsche Edelsteinstraße (“German Gem Road”).
- The Spießbratenfest (“Spit Roast Festival”) has been held since 1967 each year from the Friday to Tuesday that includes the last Sunday in June. It is said to be the biggest folk festival on the Upper Nahe.
- The Kinderkulturtage (“Children’s Cultural Days”) have been being held for several years now as a successor festival to the Kinderliederfestival (“Children’s Song Festival”). There are 15 to 20 events for children, youth and those who are young at heart.
- Each year in early June, the Jazztage (“Jazz Days”) are held. Appearing here are regional and national jazz greats on several stages in the Idar pedestrian precinct.
- Diamond grinders, facet and surface grinders and agate grinders demonstrate the most varied working techniques within the framework of the Deutscher Edelsteinschleifer- und Goldschmiedemarkt (“German Gemstone Grinders’ and Goldsmiths’ Market”). Goldsmiths and jewellery designers allow a look at their creative work in Oberstein’s historic town centre below the Felsenkirche.
- The Kama Festival was held from 1991 to 2007 on the lands of the Kammerwoog Conservation Area at Whitsun. It was the biggest open-air festival in Idar-Oberstein. The last festival took place in much reduced form in 2008.
Spießbraten (spit roast)
A distinction is made between Idarer Spießbraten and Obersteiner Spießbraten. The former is a kind of Schwenkbraten, whereas the latter is a kind of rolled roast. Spießbraten is rooted fast among Idar-Oberstein’s and the surrounding region’s culinary and cultural customs.
When making the more often consumed Idarer Spießbraten, the meat – originally prime rib, today often also roast beef or pork neck – is laid the day before cooking in raw onions, salt and pepper. The onions are good to eat while cooking at the fire with a beer. Locals favour beechwood for the fire, to give the roast its traditional flavour.
The variations on the Spießbraten recipe are also the subject of the town’s slogan, which bears witness to a patronizing cosmopolitanism: Rossbeff fa die Irader, Kamm fa die Uwersteener und Brot für die Welt – dialectal German for “Roast beef for the Idarers, pork neck for the Obersteiners and bread for the world.”
This is toast, minced meat, diced bacon, leek, eggs, salt and pepper.
Gefillte Klees (filled dumplings)
This is coarse potato dumplings (made from raw potatoes) filled with Fillsel with a bacon sauce.
Kartoffelwurst (potato sausage)
Also dialectally called Krumbierewurscht, this was formerly “poor people’s food”, but today it is a speciality. Potatoes, pork, beef and onions are put through the mincer and seasoned with savoury, pepper and salt. It can be fed into the traditional gut, preserved in a jar or even eaten straightaway.
Murde on Klees (carrots and dumplings)
This is raw potato dumplings cooked and served together with carrots (sometimes known in German as Mohrrüben, or dialectally in Idar-Oberstein as Murde) and pickled or smoked pork.
Riewe on Draehurjel
This is beetroots with roast blood sausage.
This is made by roasting Kartoffelmasse (potatoes, bacon, eggs, flour, salt and pepper) in a Dibbe (cast-iron roasting pan).
This is Kartoffelmasse (the same as for Dibbelabbes) baked in a Dibbe in the oven with dried meat.
Economy and infrastructure
All together, Idar-Oberstein has roughly 219.3 ha of land given over to commerce. Three other areas in town, Dickesbacher Straße, Finkenberg Nord and Am Kreuz, hold a further 28 ha in reserve for economic expansion. The town also has at its disposal the rezoning area Gewerbepark Nahetal in the outlying centre of Nahbollenbach, comprising 23 ha.
The Bundesverband der Diamant- und Edelsteinindustrie e. V. (“Federal Association of the Diamond and Gemstone Industry”) has its seat in Idar-Oberstein. It represents the industry’s interests in dealings with lawmakers as well as federal, state and municipal representatives. It advises members in areas such as environmental protection, problems in competition, questions of nomenclature and so forth, and makes the necessary contacts as needed. To promote the designing and quality of jewellery and gemstones, the Association created the international competition revolving about the German Jewellery and Gemstone Prize.
The Deutsche Diamant- und Edelsteinbörse e. V. (“German Diamond and Gemstone Exchange”) was opened in 1974 as the world’s first combined exchange for diamonds as well as coloured gemstones. It is one of the 25 exchanges in the World Federation of Diamond Bourses.
The firm Klein & Quenzer was among the best known producers of costume jewellery before it rose to become the biggest manufacturer of German medals and decorations during the two world wars.
The Wirtschaftsjunioren Idar-Oberstein were founded in 1972. Entrepreneurs and senior management join in this organization for economic, cultural and social purposes in the region.
The cookware manufacturer Fissler has its headquarters in town. The company became well known for its invention of the mobile field kitchen in 1892. Giloy und Söhne, one of Europe’s biggest diamond jewellery manufacturers, has its headquarters here, too.
For more than 20 years now, the International Trade Fair for Gemstones, Gemstone Jewellery and Gemstone Objects (“Intergem”) has been held in Idar-Oberstein. The fair takes place at the Jahnhaus in the constituent community of Algenrodt, although as of 2008, a move to the planned exhibition hall in the new Nahetal commercial park (former US Army storage depot Nahbollenbach) was being considered.
The Idar-Obersteiner Wirtschaftstage (“Economy Days”), initiated by the Idar-Oberstein Economic Promotional Association, are regarded in and around Idar-Oberstein as a regional fair.
Natural gemstone deposits
Since 1938, Idar-Oberstein has been a garrison town. During the 19th and 20th centuries, French and German soldiers in turn were stationed here. With the coming of the Wehrmacht, new barracks were built. After the Second World War, the Straßburgkaserne (“Strasbourg Barracks”) were at first used by the United States Army. French troops were stationed at the Klotzbergkaserne, and then as of 1956, the Bundeswehr artillery school. This moved in the late 1960s to the newly built Rilchenbergkaserne. Since that time, thousands of artillerymen have undergone their basic and advanced military training here. In September 2003, new boarding school buildings and teaching rooms were dedicated so that today’s artillery school has at its disposal both up-to-date lodging capacity and a training centre with all the modern equipment. Included among the teaching methods are audio, video and simulation techniques. Stationed at the Klotzbergkaserne until 31 March 2003 was the Beobachtungspanzerartillerielehrbataillon (“Observational Armoured Artillery Teaching Battalion”) 51, after whose dissolution in the course of Bundeswehr reform, the language training centre for officer cadets moved in. For businesses in Idar-Oberstein and environs, the Bundeswehr is a major economic factor as both an employer and a client. Since 1988, there has been a “sponsorship” between the town of Idar-Oberstein and the artillery school, and to highlight the relationship, town council decided in 1988 to put up a second roadsign that read “Hauptstadt der deutschen Artillerie” (“German Artillery Capital”). After objections from local business, among others the local chamber of commerce, and from some of the townsfolk, too, it was decided that the town would not go to the trouble of installing such signs after all. In 2006, the officer cadet battalion was disbanded.
Idar-Oberstein station, as a Regional-Express and Regionalbahn stop, is linked by way of the Nahe Valley Railway (Bingen–Saarbrücken) to the Saarland and the Frankfurt Rhine Main Region. The Rhein-Nahe-Express running the Mainz-Saarbrücken route serves the station hourly. Every other one of these trains goes through to the main railway station in Frankfurt with a stop at Frankfurt Airport. Formerly, fast trains on the Frankfurt-Paris route had a stop at Idar-Oberstein.
Local transport in Idar-Oberstein was run from 1900 to 1956 by trams, and from 1932 to 1969 by trolleybuses. Today’s network is made up of six bus routes run by the Verkehrsgesellschaft Idar-Oberstein GmbH, which belongs to the Rhenus Veniro Group. Furthermore, Idar-Oberstein is the starting point for Regio bus routes to Baumholder and Birkenfeld. There is also a direct bus link to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport. The most important road link in town is Bundesstraße 41; although there is no direct Autobahn link, the A 62 (Kaiserslautern–Trier) can be reached through interchanges at Birkenfeld (B 41) or Freisen.
Highway over the Nahe
In the 1980s, the river Nahe was covered over with a four-lane highway, Bundesstraße 41, mentioned above, putting the river underground, beneath the town. This is unique in Germany and has greatly changed the town’s appearance in this area. The first plans for this development (officially the Nahehochstraße) lay before planners as early as 1958, but they set off a wave of criticism that was felt far beyond the town’s limits. On the theme of “Highway over the Nahe – yes or no”, Südwestfunk broadcast a talk show in the 1980s. The project was meant to relieve traffic congestion in the inner town on the B 41, which at the time ran through what is now a narrow pedestrian precinct through the middle of the Old Town. Work on the project began in 1980, and lasted five years, after which the Nahehochstraße was at last completed. The Nahe had thus been channelled into a two-kilometre-long tunnel. A timber-frame house nearby, the Sachsenhaus, was torn down and put into storage, its pieces numbered. Its reconstruction has been indefinitely postponed. In 1986, the Naheüberbauung, as it is commonly known, was opened to traffic. For its 20th anniversary, there was an exhibition at the Idar-Oberstein Stadthaus (civic centre) with photo galleries about the planning, building and completion of the project.
For its efforts, Idar-Oberstein won an award in 1988 in a contest staged by German town planners: First Prize for Most Consequential Blighting of an Historic Townscape.
Idar-Oberstein/Göttschied Airfield lies north of the town between the constituent community of Göttschied and the municipalities of Gerach and Hintertiefenbach at an elevation of 480 m above sea level (1,575 feet). Its ICAO location indicator is EDRG. The grass landing strip’s orientation is 06/24, and it is 650 m long and 50 m wide. The allowable landing weight is 2 000 kg; however, with PPR (“prior permission required”), aircraft of up to 3 700 kg may land. The airport is designed for helicopters, motor gliders, gliders, ultralights and, also with PPR, skydivers.
Offered here on weekends are sightseeing flights by motorized aircraft, motor glider, glider and ultralight.
- Nahe-Zeitung (Rhein-Zeitung, newspaper)
- Wochenspiegel Idar-Oberstein (weekly advertising paper)
- Stadtfacette Idar-Oberstein (newspaper)
- Radio Idar-Oberstein 87.6
- SWR Studio Idar-Oberstein
- FAN (music magazine)
- Idar-Oberstein/Herrstein public-access channel
- Transmission facilities: SWR Nahetal Transmitter, Idar-Oberstein-Hillschied Transmitter
The University of Mainz specialist and teaching hospital, which grew out of the former Municipal Hospitals, is part of the Saarland Heilstätten (a group of hospitals) – even though it is not in the Saarland – and has some 500 beds and 1,000 employees, as well as departments for general, abdominal and vascular surgery, gynaecology with obstetrics, internal medicine with gastroenterology, nephrology, diabetology and dialysis, diagnostic and interventional radiology, cardiology, bone marrow transplantation and haematology/oncology, neurology with a stroke unit and neurosurgery, psychiatry with child and adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy, paediatrics with neonatology, radiation therapy, trauma surgery and urology as well as wards for ophthalmology and otorhinolaryngology. Excluded from this is a geriatric rehabilitation clinic in Baumholder. There is also no nursing school.
Idar-Oberstein is home to every kind of educational institution, and since 1986, it has been a Hochschule location. The internationally renowned programme of Gemstone and Jewellery Design of the Faculty of Design at the University of Applied Sciences Trier is the only place in Europe where artistically-scientifically oriented studies in design in the field of gemstones and jewellery can be undertaken. It is found together with the professional school centre and the town’s only Realschule at the Schulzentrum Vollmersbachtal. There are several Hauptschulen throughout the town. There are moreover four Gymnasien: the Göttenbach-Gymnasium and the Gymnasium an der Heinzenwies can be attended beginning at the fifth class, while the Technisches Gymnasium and the Wirtschaftsgymnasium only admit students beginning in the eleventh class.
- The University of Mainz maintains the Institut für Edelsteinforschung (Institute for Gemstone Research) in Idar-Oberstein. The Gemstone Research Department belongs to the subject area of mineralogy in the Faculty of Earth Sciences.
- The University of Applied Sciences Trier offers at its Idar-Oberstein location a programme in Gemstone and Jewellery Design.
- The Deutsche Gemmologische Gesellschaft e. V. (“DGemG”, German Gemological Association) was founded in 1932 and developed into an internationally renowned institution of technical-scientific gemmology. Successful participation in the DGemG courses in gemmology and diamond studies leads to diploma certification of performance on examinations that qualify the graduate to apply for membership in the DGemG (F. G. G. – the F is for the German word Fachmitgliedschaft, or “professional membership”). Thus far, more than 30,000 participants from 75 countries have attended the DGemG programme, which is designed with the demands of the gemstone and jewellery industry in mind.
- The Forschungsinstitut für mineralische und metallische Werkstoffe Edelsteine/Edelmetalle GmbH (FEE; Research Institute for Mineral and Metallic Materials Gemstones/Precious Metals), too, has its seat in Idar-Oberstein. The FEE specializes in growing crystals and manufacturing optical elements for lasers.
- The Deutsche Diamantprüflabor GmbH (DPL; German Diamond Testing Laboratory) has been assessing since 1970 the quality of cut diamonds. As the first laboratory of its kind in Germany (and second in the world), the DPL has been officially certified by the German Testing Accreditation System in Berlin as being able to carry out competent quality assessment of diamonds with regards to colour, size, cut and proportion in accordance with internationally recognized standards.
In 1997, a Lufthansa Airbus A319-114 (registration number D-AILN) was christened “Idar-Oberstein”. It came into service on 12 September of that year. The aircraft was for a time leased to the firm Germanwings, but has since been reincorporated into Lufthansa’s fleet.
- Otto Decker, since 22 December 1947
- Harald Fissler, since 27 January 1995
- Ida Purper, honorary citizen of Idar since 24 February 1922
Sons and daughters of the town
- Jakob Bengel, manufacturer
- Juliana Blasius, Schinderhannes’s bride, who was from today’s constituent community of Weierbach
- Rainer Blatt, physicist
- Peter Caesar, former Rhineland-Palatinate Justice Minister
- Bernd Cullmann, athlete, relay racer
- Volker Erbes, writer
- Elke Ferner, politician (SPD)
- Joelle Franzmann, triathlete
- Hermann Hogeback Luftwaffe bomber Ace
- Leonhard Goffiné, Catholic clergyman and compiler of the Christkatholischen Handpostille (tract)
- Ernst Rudolf Huber, jurist and legal historian
- Emil Kirschmann, politician
- Kurt-Ulrich Mayer, politician (CDU), professor and president of the Saxony State Institute for Private Broadcasting and New Media (SLM)
- Holger Müller, German comedian (“Ausbilder Schmidt” – a persona that he adopts)
- Bernd Munsteiner, gemstone artist, creator of the aquamarine sculpture "Waves of the Sea"/"Dom Pedro"
- Stefan Münz, German computer scientist and author (“SELFHTML”)
- Otto Nitze, composer and orchestra master
- Max Rupp, painter
- Markus Schupp, former professional footballer and current Bundesliga trainer
- Martin Weller, dialectal singer
- August Rudolf Wild, gemcutter
- Rudolf Wild-Idar, Kunstmaler
- Philipp II of Daun-Oberstein, Archbishop of Cologne
- Wolfgang Schorlau, writer
- Bruce Willis, American actor
Famous people associated with the town
- Thomas A. Ruhk, writer
- Acte du Congrès de Vienne du 9 juin 1815, Art. 25: Possessions prussiennes sur la rive gauche du Rhin
- Acte du Congrès de Vienne du 9 juin 1815, Art. 49: Territoires réservés pour les maisons d’Oldenbourg, de Saxe-Cobourg, de Mecklenbourg-Strelitz, et le comte de Pappenheim
- Gesetz über Groß-Hamburg und andere Gebietsbereinigungen vom 26. Januar 1937, Artikel II, § 8 (1)
- Landesverordnung über die großen kreisangehörigen Städte Bad Kreuznach, Idar-Oberstein und Neuwied vom 29. März 1960
- Peter Bayerlein: Schinderhannes-Chronik, S. 45
- Ernst Probst: Superfrauen 1 Geschichte; Mainz-Kostheim 2001; S. 10
- Kommunalwahl Rheinland-Pfalz 2014, Stadtrat
- Description and explanation of Idar-Oberstein’s arms
- Idar-Oberstein’s partnerships
- Directory of Cultural Monuments in Birkenfeld district
- JungleWorld: Bum-Bum-Helau – ein Schuß ins Knie; Ausgabe vom 10. Juni 1998
- Second place went to Itzehoe, where in the 1970s, the historic town centre was renovated and the bow of the river Stör running through it was filled in and built over. cf. Dagmar Vorbeck, in: Stadt Itzehoe (Hrsg.): Itzehoe. Geschichte einer Stadt in Schleswig-Holstein, Bd. II, S. 390.
- "Gemstones as Art". GemSelect.com. 1 May 2008. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
- Brown, Tom (4 December 2012). "Florida gem enthusiast is donor behind Smithsonian's new treasure". Reuters. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
- Steinkaulenberg Gemstone mine
- Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum (German Gemstone Museum)
- Idar-Oberstein Gemstone History Review article
- History of Idar-Oberstein's gem industry
|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Idar-Oberstein.|
- Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum (German Gemstone Museum) Invalid language code.
- Old pictures of Idar-Oberstein Invalid language code.
- Museum below the Felsenkirche Invalid language code.
- Oberstein’s Felsenkirche (“Crag Church”) Invalid language code.
- Town’s official webpage Invalid language code.
- International Trade Fair for Precious Stones and Jewellery (“Intergem”)
- Idar-Oberstein at DMOZ
- Literature about Idar-Oberstein in the German National Library catalogue
- 12px "Oberstein". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911.
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