Kaiserslautern - Overview
By Jon Darch
Aug 21, 2004, 00:46
While some cities playing host to the 2006 World Cup in
Germany, like Berlin and Munich, are also major tourist attractions in their own
right, others, like Gelsenkirchen
and Kaiserslautern are not. For that, however, both of the latter cities
are real footballing hotbeds!
Kaiserslautern's football team, 1.
FC Kaiserslautern, (the '1.' means 1st) had their heyday in the early
1950's, when the Red Devils' most famous footballer, Fritz
Walter - after whom the stadium
is now named - was one of the leading lights in the rebirth of German football
after the War. It's an era remembered fondly by the city with statues of
11 footballers in traditional kit on a round-about at the foot of the hill
leading to the ground.
|"Eleven friends is what you've got to be"|
Apart from the 1996-97 season, 1. FC Kaiserslautern have also been
ever-present members of the Bundesliga
since its inception in 1963.
American home from home
If you're American, or enjoy the
company of Americans, you'll also feel at home in Kaiserslautern. The city
has a long history of foreign armies on its soil and the current US military
base in the city is one of the largest - possibly even the largest - Amercian
settlement outside of the US.
If you're looking for
picturesque sights, however, you're looking in the wrong place!
|Kaiserslautern town hall|
When a city regards its crowning glory as a stark, concrete tower block from
the late 1960s you know you're in trouble.
Yet, yes - the 84-metre high town hall building is regarded as one of
Kaiserslautern's main tourist
attractions. And they're very proud of it! For a while it
was the tallest town hall in Germany (impressed, huh?).
Arrive by train!
From a football fan's point of view,
however, Kaiserslautern is a great city - especially if you come
in by train! The ground is less than a mile from the station,
albeit a good ten-minute climb up a very steep hill - the 'Betzenberg'.
And after the game - well, it's downhill all the way to the station and back
to somewhere more interesting!See also Expedia.co.uk for Kaiserslautern hotels, flights and rental
The World Cup in Germany.com - For fans, by fans