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The Taunus town of Kronberg, 15 km (9 miles) northwest of Frankfurt, has a magnificent castle-hotel originally built by a daughter of Queen Victoria, and an open-air zoo. Kronberg's half-timber houses and crooked, winding streets, all on a steep hillside, were so picturesque that a whole 19th-century art movement, the Kronberger Malerkolonie, was inspired by them.
Emperor Wilhelm II, the infamous "Kaiser" of World War I, spent a month each year at Bad Homburg, the principal city of the Taunus Hills. Another...