Step foot into German Village, where you'll fall in love the red brick homes with wrought iron fences, the tree lined streets, and locally owned restaurants on South Third. With so many unique destinations that make up German Village, this historic neighborhood is nothing shy of one of the world's premier historic restorations.
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Featured on Man vs. Food, Schmidt's is a local favorite. This iconic German Village destination offers real German food and was even voted the Official Food of Columbus by Bahama Mama!
The Book Loft
Located a few blocks South of the capitol building, The Book Loft is within a pre-Civil War era building and consists of 32 rooms of pure bargain books.
Since the early 1800's, Schiller Park was the Village Center for gatherings, festivals, and neighborhood activities. The park features a fantastic bronze statue of German poet Schiller!
A Place With History
As its name implies, the historic neighborhood of German Village was founded by a large number of German immigrants in the late 19th century. Originally called "Die Alte Sud Ende" (the Old South End), the community had attracted thousands of German immigrants by 1830. Many of these immigrants would serve in the Civil War, endearing them to the local citizens of Columbus. By 1865, one-third of the city’s population was German—they built local businesses, churches and schools, including the historic St. Mary’s Catholic Church, which features a 197-foot steeple.
Today, the area is a community of charming homes, ranging from cozy bungalows to Victorian brick mansions. Located south of I-70 in downtown Columbus, this district attracts visitors to its quaint shops and restaurants, history museum, The Actors Theater of Columbus, and Schiller Park. The Annual German Village Haus und Garten Tour is held on the last Sunday in June. German Village is the first Ohio neighborhood to be designated as a “Preserve America Community’ by the White House and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
German Village declined in the first half of the 20th century, partly due to anti-German sentiment during World War I. Concerned citizens managed to save much of its historic architecture from demolition in the 1960s by creating the German Village Commission and by getting the area listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. More than 1,600 buildings have been restored since 1960, and today, German Village is the largest privately funded historic district on the National Register of Historic Places.
Experience the Area
German Village is a great place to stroll, admire the historic architecture, and roam through brick-paved streets lined with unique shops and restaurants. Residents are proud of their beautiful parks, including Schiller Park, named for the German poet Frederick von Schiller. In fact, you can even find a bronze statue of him at the park, which was dedicated in 1891. The park is also the site of the Schiller Park Recreation Facility, which offers classes for children and adults. Tiny 0.2-acre Frank Fetch Park evokes an Old World atmosphere with its gas lights, hanging baskets, brick walkways, and wrought iron fencing. The Grace Highfield Memorial Garden, named for a beloved German Village resident, features 77 varieties of hostas, as well as boxwood and other shade-loving plants.
South Third Street is the area's commercial center, which features locally-owned restaurants like Katzinger’s Delicatessen and Barcelona restaurant. It is also home to The Book Loft, Caterina European Housewares, and Franklin Art Glass Studios, as well as numerous art galleries.
Fun isn't limited to the city limits. With a short 5 minute drive, you can experience everything that downtown Columbus has to offer. Cheer on the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets, enjoy a concert at Nationwide Arena, or support the Columbus Crew at the nation’s only exclusive Major League Soccer stadium. Attend a Broadway show at the Palace or Ohio Theatre, explore a traveling science exhibit at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), attend a Division 1A collegiate sporting event at The Ohio State University, or spend your days exploring the fine dining and upscale shopping venues in one of the many districts downtown.
Just 10 minutes from downtown is the nationally known Easton Town Center. Here, you can shop world renowned department stores, enjoy relaxing spa treatments, take advantage of a 24-hour fitness facility, or choose from an array of dining and drink establishments. For the occasional escape or business trip, German Village is conveniently located 10 minutes from the Columbus International Airport.
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