Revisit the Middle Ages in Miltenberg, Germany
Miltenberg lies on the left bank of the river Main on a narrow strip of land between two mountain ranges. Always a small community, even today the population is only 9500 residents. The allure of this charming city is in her authenticity, and compact size
Towering on the hill above the town, the Mildenberg Castle was constructed around 1200. By 1379 both city gates had been constructed, and a town fully established. Bordered by the Main Gate, and the Wurzburg Gate the medieval core runs almost two miles from tower to tower. Unlike so many other German towns, no wall surrounds this community due to the proximity of the protective mountain ranges. Nestled in the Olden Wald forest, this town is picture perfect.
Miltenbergs’ influence grew due to the strategic location at a narrow place in the river. Originally a part of the Electoral Mainz, its coat of arms, which resembles a wheel, is still visible on some of the buildings. A policy allowing residents free use of timber from the community owned forest encouraged construction from the 15th through the 17th centuries. A mix of architectural styles on the winding thoroughfare, timber and plaster construction provides uniformity.
Due to trade, the wealth of the city grew. However, “prosperity ended abruptly in
the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), when the area was devastated and
depopulated.”(Travel Sign Posts) Later annexed by Bavaria in 1816, the actual
district of Miltenberg was not established until 1972.
The Hotel Zum Riesen is located here, said to be one of Germanys oldest inns, restored, it reopened in 2001 as the Brauhaus Faust.
Wander through all of the shops; many geared to the locals not the tourists. A butcher’s window displays all sorts of sausages and “wursts” both fresh and canned. Expect to find many unusual kinds of sausage, with everything from blood sausage to white sausage. Served with a German Beer, and a soft pretzel, what could be more traditional?
Stop at a local bakery for the most amazing apple strudel. One bite of this melt in your mouth delicacy and you will be lined up for more.
A charming fountain, with an unusual sandstone carving was once used for water, stands in the main square. Adjacent, the St Lawrence’s Chapel, a Renaissance church is also constructed of sandstone. The source of “Heunensäulen” or sandstone columns intended for use in the Mainz Cathedral. Unused, one was returned to the city in 1975 to commemorate the cathedrals 1000th anniversary and stands in the cathedral square.
Unlike so many other towns, Mildenberg is authentic. Not suffering either fire, or war damage. In addition the devastation of the 30-year war actually contributed to the preservation of this medieval gem. Whether for the Christmas market, as an excursion on a river boat cruise, or as a stop on the red wine trail, find the time to explore this authentic marvel.
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