Jewish Ritual Bath in Friedberg, Hesse

The mikvah or mikveh is a bath used for ritual immersion in Judaism to achieve ritual purity. This one in Friedberg, Hesse, belongs to a small group of remaining monumental mikvahs dating back to the Middle Ages. The others are in Friedberg, Speyer, Cologne, Worms, Offenburg, and Andernach.

With a depth of 25 m, the mikvah in Friedberg is the biggest and most impressive among them all. It is also one of the last monuments of Jewish life in Friedberg. From the 13th century until 1942, the Jewish population lived in and near the Judengasse (between the town and the castle). Their synagogue was burned down on 10 November 1938.

We went to see the mikvah this afternoon. We were the only visitors on this snowy afternoon, so the museum attendant told us.

What an experience this was to be inside this mikvah! While we were talking, we noticed the extraordinary acoustics – any sound resonated for about six seconds within the walls.

The octagonal skylight, which we passed on the way in, was reflected in the waters down below. Then, our sound was reflected in the walls. This was truly amazing.

The last part of the stairway is closed off to the public though. Climbing down 23 regular steps and another 52 steep steps requires a sure foothold and sturdy shoes.

The entrance is euro 2 per adult. Hours of operation: wetterau-museum

This was definitely a cultural and historical highlight.