Known for its prehistoric secrets, Messel is a small German town that packs a punch when it comes to scientific significance. It's the home of the Messel Pit, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where extraordinarily well-preserved fossils have been discovered. Read more

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Visit Messel in 2024

Situated in the state of Hesse, Germany, Messel is primarily famous for the Messel Pit—Grube Messel in German—an oil shale pit extraordinarily rich in a variety of excellently preserved fossils from the Eocene Epoch, about 47 million years ago. The fossils found here are exceptional because they often include not just bones but soft tissues, even hair and feathers in some instances, providing an unparalleled window into a prehistoric world. Scientists from all over the world visit Messel to study its fossilized treasures, which include early horses, birds, bats, and even primates. The Messel Pit Museum offers insightful exhibits about these findings and the methodologies used in excavation. The town itself is tranquil, offering lush natural scenery and local amenities that make it a charming stopover or day-trip destination from bigger cities like Frankfurt.
Whether you're a science enthusiast, a nature lover, or just a curious traveler, Messel offers a unique blend of scientific discovery and small-town charm.

49.93801, 8.74037 Open in Google Maps

The most famous sights
What to do in Messel

Messel Pit (Grube Messel)

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must-visit for anyone interested in paleontology, showcasing a plethora of well-preserved fossils.

Messel Pit Museum

Learn about the scientific importance, methods of excavation, and the fascinating history of the fossils discovered in the pit.

Messel Lake

A scenic spot perfect for a leisurely walk or a peaceful afternoon of bird-watching.

St. John the Baptist Church

This historical church offers architectural charm and a quiet place for reflection.

Messel Community Center

A hub for local activities, festivals, and gatherings, reflecting the town's community spirit.

Local Farmers' Market

Discover local produce and artisan goods, offering a taste of the region’s agricultural richness.

Messel Railway Station

An example of early 20th-century architecture, serving as a gateway to the town.

Nearby Darmstadt

Just a short drive away, explore this city known for its art nouveau architecture and scientific institutes.

Hiking Trails

Various trails around Messel offer excellent hiking opportunities through lush forests.

Seasonal Festivals

Experience local culture through various seasonal festivals that the community hosts throughout the year.

What else to visit
In and around Messel

Frankfurt Airport (16.91 km)

Frankfurt Airport, one of the busiest in the world, is the beating heart of German and European air traffic. With more than 60 million passengers a year and connections to more than 300 destinations.

Frankfurt Airport (17.06 km)

Frankfurt Airport, known as Flughafen Frankfurt am Main in German, stands as one of the world's busiest airports. This major transportation hub combines state-of-the-art facilities with efficiency, offering travelers a gateway to Europe and beyond.

Frankfurt Am Main (18.77 km)

Frankfurt am Main, the financial capital of Germany, is a dynamic city that combines modern architecture with historical monuments. Explore its cultural and gastronomic scene and take in the picturesque views of the Main River.

Wiesbaden (38.88 km)

Wiesbaden, the capital of Hesse, beckons with its renowned thermal springs, opulent architecture, and a touch of timeless elegance nestled by the Rhine River.

Oestrich - Winkel (52.36 km)

Nestled along the Rhine River, Oestrich-Winkel welcomes you with open arms, embodying the quintessence of Rhinegau's wine culture and the tranquility of picturesque German towns.

Mannheim (53.81 km)

Nestled in the confluence of the Rhine and Neckar rivers, Mannheim is a dynamic city often termed the "City of Squares" due to its unique grid layout.

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