A day in … Miltenberg

By | Category: Travel destinations

Miltenberg where the past and the views attracts tourists by the thousands

Travel about 75 kilometres from Frankfurt is a south easterly direction and you will arrive in the Bavarian town of Miltenberg.

This charming town has a history that goes back to pre-Roman times and, originally, was just a narrow strip of land between the Main River and the Greinberg Mountain.  Needless to say it flooded regularly but the town survived although it barely grew until centuries later when flood precaution measures were put into place.

That in a peculiar way has helped because most of the town retains its mediaeval and old-fashioned feel.

The town is known for agriculture, the cultivation of vine grapes, wine trade and fishing but today tourism is probably the largest industry. Like many mediaeval towns, Miltenberg grew up under the protection of the eleventh century castle located on a hill overlooking the river.

The town seems to me to be frozen in time and the half timber-framed houses and shops resemble a time long since consigned to history books. From Wurzburg Gate in the east, leading to the market square of Marketplatz Schnatterloch and ending in Mainz Gate in the west, the Hauptstrasse is full of colourful three to five storey houses. This may be the reason why today the town is a gem of the river Mainand a riverboat cruise destination. 

The Wurzburg Gate

I began my visit in front of the new town hall in Engelplatz Square. The Old Town Hall, Altes Rathaus built in Gothic style in fourteenth century, is located in the west side on the other end of the Hauptstrasse close to Marketplatz Schnatterloch. There are winding lanes full of stylish and colourful buildings, invitingly cozy cafes and traditional local restaurants. The harmony of colours combined with the shape of the timber used on the houses sets a distinct scene.

How has this town maintained its heritage and fairy tale image? To reinforce that feeling of heritage, at the corner of Hauptstrasse and Riesengasse is the Gasthaus Zum Riesen, one of the oldest guesthouses in Germany is located.  Can there be many places in the world where lodgers have included a trio such as Frederic Barbarossa, Napoleon and Elvis Presley?

Gasthaus zum Reisen – possibly the oldest inn in Germany

 

In the market square is a beautiful, octagonal shaped fountain made of red sandstone and, at the far end of the square next to a former blacksmith shop, is a gate leading the way up to the castle. All this is set against a backdrop of a green mountainside.

In the corner of Schulstrasse off the Market Square, the fourteenth century Catholic Parish Church of St. James stands as a reminder of the religious past of the town and the Catholicism in the region.

Not only does the town have one of the oldest lodging houses it also has Brauhaus Faust, one of the oldest breweries in the region which was built in 1654. Not only can you tour the brewery but there are opportunities to taste the various types of beer and watch a video.  I sampled two non-alcoholic beers. One tasted slightly bitter, but the other one was delicately fruity. At the top of the building you look over not just the beer brewing tanks but the viewing platform provides you with a panoramic view of the town along the River Main and the green landscapes stretching away to the far horizons.

a tour of the brewery is recommended to visitors

I walked back through the town and along the bank of the River Main as did many other visitors to the town that day, using the Mainbrucke to cross the river. This bridge connects the old town to new areas which have sprung up to the north of Miltenberg.

Few tourists go to the new; they prefer the old town as I did, a town that looks like it should adorn a chocolate box or a Christmas card!

Images and story © Mohammed Reza Amirinia

For more images of Miltenberg click here or go to http://www.amirinia.com/miltenberg/

 

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