Ruthweiler: Live the sweet life near Kaiserslautern

We interrupt our normal weekly publishing schedule to bring you a special update about our home town.

“What’s going on in Ruthweiler?” you ask, leaning forward into your computer screen. “Is it big?”

Oh yes. Yes, indeed. You see, the fields suddenly became yellow and green, like pathchwork! All thanks to that little rapeseed flower, which will one day become humble canola oil. It’s definitely my favorite time of the year.

Okay, so maybe we don’t get a lot of action here in our little hamlet of Ruthweiler, Germany, population 508. But if there’s one thing this town does really, really well, it’s spring.

Rapeseed fields in bloom, Germany

Un-enhanced image of a Ruthweiler spring

When I began searching for the best places to live in the Kaiserslautern / Kusel / Baumholder area of Rheinland-Pfalz, Ruthweiler didn’t even appear as a blip. But I happen to think it’s the ideal place to live. Sure, it’s a little removed, but take a walk with me on a spring day and you’ll see why I love it.

Farmers’ roads make hill-climbing easy


These new houses provide modern technological marvels like high-speed internet. We prefer the quainter homes across the valley, where we run on 3G cell service.

Burg Lichtenberg, near Kusel, Germany, in spring

From the top of the hill there’s a great view of Burg Lichtenberg, our local castle. “Our local castle” – love saying that!

Ruthweiler, Germany

This is the main street of Ruthweiler. We have our very own bakery, and even a restaurant/bar opened this year, taking us to the big time.

Crossing the road to our house is a public recreational trail, repurposed from a train line, which extends to France (or so rumor has it – I haven’t quite gotten that far).

Our neighbors keep the street landscaped beautifully.

Burg Lichtenberg near Ruthweiler, Germany, in winter

We think our view of Burg Lichtenberg is the best on the block! Oops – wrong season.

Burg Lichtenberg near Ruthweiler, Germany, in spring

That’s better. Here’s Burg Lichtenberg in spring. It’s just a short hike from the house, and there’s a nice restaurant, youth hostel, and biergarten inside.

And the best part about Ruthweiler? Every day at 3 p.m., a gelato truck rolls by. That’s right: gelato, not ice cream! Welcome to Europe….

Relaxing after a walk, on our back porch


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  1. LOL, love the final pic of the gelato! Did you ever think you’d find so much to write about in a little town? Your descriptions, photos, and captions are priceless. Ruthweiler is a special place indeed and I know you’ll always have fond memories. I really enjoyed reading this.

  2. I’m so glad. It’s one of the prettiest corners of the planet … and the gelato definitely doesn’t hurt.

  3. Just found your site. Thank for you this trip down memory lane! I lived in Ruthweiler when I was a little girl (my dad was stationed at Ramstein AFB.) We left when I was seven and 30 years later, I’m still homesick. Our landlord and landlady (Herr and Frau Haag) became surrogate grandparents. Very happy memories of a beautiful town! Someday I hope to see it again.

  4. Hi Kim, glad you found us! I don’t know the Haags, but do know how you could still be homesick. I’ve met others who left and feel the same. Such a peaceful little place, and I bet it hasn’t changed hardly at all since you were here πŸ™‚

  5. Thank you for the enthusiasm and simple joy with which you describe the little town. We are a military family, just arrived at RAB and have a our top home on the wish list in Ruthweiler.

    Any updated info?

    Thanks again.

  6. Hi Sandra, we’re no longer in Ruthweiler but I’m sure nothing has changed! Most of the houses for military rentals there are probably listed at the nearby U.S. base of Baumholder, not Ramstein. While I have a special place in my heart for Ruthweiler, there is literally a cute village around every bend, so I’m sure you’ll be able to find something you like. As you’ve probably noticed, prices are higher and the quality tends to be poorer nearer to Kaiserslautern, and gets better the farther away you drive. The downside of living a half hour from the city is that you live a half hour from the city πŸ™‚

    The other thing to consider is internet. The speeds available literally vary from house to house, and when Telekom tells you that “up to” 5k MB are available in your house, it doesn’t mean that you’ll ever see a speed near that rate! You really need to talk to the previous tenants (or the landlord, if they even know) to find out the real deal, unless you move into a town that has the option of cable internet. (Once you enter into a contract, you won’t be able to break it just because you’re dissatisfied with the speed or service.) Ours was atrocious, so we were forced to use a 3G USB stick. That meant that our fastest speeds never exceeded what you get on a 3G cell phone, data was capped at 5G per month, we couldn’t have wifi in the house, and since T-mobile blocks VOIP calls on cell phones, we weren’t even able to Skype with people back home (but we could use apps like Vopium on our cell phones).

    Believe it or not, despite all that, the plusses still outweighed the minuses for us. Limitless hiking trails, beauty and tranquility, and our very own castle made it all worth it.

    Good luck in Germany!

  7. I was born here while my dad was stationed at the US Base in Baumholder. I’m looking forward to having the money saved and visiting my birth town for my honeymoon. It looks very quaint, very pleasant.

  8. Hi Ashley, we are a military family currently living in Ruthweiler. We absolutely love it!

    You should all know that a lot of the places have closed (in proper Ruthweiler). The town seems to be shrinking while Kusel is growing. Last fall our Backerie closed and now only the pub remains. But the place is still as beautiful. I will post some pictures soon.

  9. Jenna, please forgive my delay. THANK YOU for all of your information! It was very helpful in our decision.

  10. Hi Ashley,

    We currently are living in Ruthweiler as well and by the looks of the view, on the same street too. Loving Autumn the best with all the colors! It’s a great little village.

  11. Augustine Rodriguez says

    I am staying at my Mother in Laws Home in Ruthweiler. We come and visit her every 2-5 years from America. We just arrived here from our Erfurt and Berlin after visiting my brother in law and his fiance, and we will be driving to the Baltic Coast for their wedding. My 77 year old mother in law and her grand daughter and fiance live on the main street in Ruthweiler and my wife was raised here until she moved to America in 1975. Ruthweiler is a historical town dating back as far as 1200. My wife’s family built their home in Ruthweiler back in the late 1800’s. My wife’s great grandmother, grandmother and mother all lived in this home which was originally built of stone. This home has been restored many times and now that the home has passed to my niece to carry on the ownership it is being restored once again.
    I love coming to Ruthweiler and although my wife and I have traveled to many parts of Europe when we are here, and although I have been to many parts of America, Latin America, Canada and Europe I treasure my time in Ruthweiler as the most fulfilling.

    Augustine and Karin Rodriguez
    Humble, Texas 77346

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