|The confluence of Kalmithöhenstrasse (at the back) with Totenkopfstrasse at the Hüttenhohl mountain pass|
|Length:||approx. 13.6 km|
Southern Wine Route ,
|Course direction:||Southeast – Northwest|
St. Martin ( ; ), Totenkopf ( ; ), Breitenstein ( ; )
The Totenkopfstrasse is a 13.6 km long pass road in the Palatinate Forest in the Rhineland-Palatinate districts of Südliche Weinstrasse and Bad Dürkheim . As part of the state road 514, it runs from St. Martin through the Haardt , a mountain range on the eastern edge of the Palatinate Forest, to the northwest in the Middle Palatinate Forest to Breitenstein . On the Totenkopf mountain saddle , after which the road was named, it reaches their highest point. There is the skull hut .
The Totenkopfstraße runs as a pass road from the local community of St. Martin on the western edge of the Upper Rhine Plain in a predominantly north-westerly direction through the Palatinate Forest. It begins a few hundred meters east of St. Martin at altitude of at the junction of Maikammerstrasse from the L 514. After crossing the village, it leads above the Speyerbach tributary Kropsbach and its small tributary Hüttenbach up into the Haardt mountain range. There they crossed between the Kalmit (east, ) and the sheep's head (west, ) the mountain pass Hüttenhohl ( ); At this point, Kalmithöhenstraße ( Landesstraße 515) branches off to the east. About 1.5 kilometers further northwest, Totenkopfstraße in the Middle Palatinate Forest reaches the Totenkopf saddle ( ) with the Totenkopfhütte after about halfway north-northwest of the Rotsohlberg ( ) and southwest of the Oberscheid ( ) . Then the road leads to the valley of the Argenbach and down this body of water. Near its confluence with the Speyerbach and shortly after it has crossed the hamlet of Breitenstein , it ends at height of about with the confluence with the L 499 ( Elmstein –Breitstein– Frankeneck ).
Sightseeing and cultural
Center of St. Martin
The medieval town center of St. Martin near the southeastern beginning of Totenkopfstrasse is classified as a monument zone . The name of the village goes back to the patron of the predominantly late Gothic church.
The Totenkopfhütte on the Totenkopf mountain saddle is a managed refuge belonging to the Palatinate Forest Association , which took over it in 1966. It is part of a brick building ensemble, which consists of a two-story main building with two one-and-a-half-story extensions.
At the northwest end point of Totenkopfstrasse, northwest above the hamlet of Breitenstein, is the Breitenstein Castle , which was built around 1246 and fell into ruins after being severely damaged by Elector Friedrich the Victorious in 1470/71 . The hamlet is named after the castle.
In the hamlet of Breitenstein, the Kuckucksbähnel , which was reactivated in 1984 for excursion traffic in the Elmsteiner Valley , has a stop . The museum train is pulled by historic steam locomotives.
From 1957 to 1961 Totenkopfstrasse and its surroundings were the playground of a gang of young criminals, whose leader Bernhard Kimmel (1936–2019) sought press contacts under the name "Al Capone", which he himself assumed , and received appropriate attention. The climax of the 187 crimes committed by the so-called "Kimmel gang" ( mainly arson and many break-ins ) was the murder of host Karl Wertz from the nearby Hellerhütte on New Year's Eve 1960/61 . In the hours before, the perpetrators had already burned the skull hut.
From the 1970s to the beginning of the 1980s, special stages of the Rallye Vorderpfalz were held on Totenkopfstrasse .