Miltenberg Things to Do

  • Miltenberg Market Place
    Miltenberg Market Place
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    The Main Gatehouse
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  • Main Gatehouse
    Main Gatehouse
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Most Recent Things to Do in Miltenberg

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    Riesen Hotel

    by martyosten Written Jul 11, 2014

    It was 1991 and I had accumulated 4 weeks of vacation + a 6 week sabbatical with TANDEM Computers. In Germany on a 3 week business trip leaving me 10 weeks to play. Although born in Bochum and 100% blood from The Fatherland, I was 3 when we immigrated to the US (Chicago). Then Silicon Valley after college.

    When I read this article I had to add to the joy of staying at the Riesen. Without reservations and a fly by night trip of 9 weeks I had no idea that walking in would be like entering my parent's home. The owners were so charming and welcoming it took me a moment to shed my Chicago defenses. They loved that I still spoke (reasonable) German, and allowed me to stay in the best room upstairs where Martin Luther, and so many other great people of history had slept.

    Mind you, this is directly in town, so the cobblestone streets are a breakfast away. I cannot say enough about the hospitality I received from this beautiful couple. It has been many years, but one highlight of a 9 week vacation to my homeland I shall never forget. 9 not 10 weeks, well back in San Francisco I rented a car at the airport with unlimited miles (bet they regretted that!) and drove to one of my favorite places on Earth (I have many) -- Glacier National Park. Stayed at the East end of the park this time at Many Glaciers Lodge. Met my boss and family where he was giving his children a tour of the Oregon Trail for a lesson in history. I fear, like the glaciers, we are the last generation to look back at history and appreciate where we came from.

    Just remember this to stay humble: In the words of the great Carl Sagan, we are all just made of stardust.

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen aus Seattle,
    Martin Karl Osten

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    Claims to be oldest Gasthaus

    by Trekki Updated Aug 4, 2013

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    This is again something for our soon-to-be-Germans, Richie and Doreen. It is called “Riesen” (giant) and claims to be the oldest inn of Germany. Gasthaus or inn in the old sense of housing guests. The claims are that it was mentioned as early as 1158, but by then it was another building (style) of course. The first publician mentioned was “Trestam zum Riesen” in 1411. I have read that famous people like Barbarossa, other emperors, Tilly, Luther and even Elvis (thes, THE Elvis) have stayed here. Whatever is true, this building is a gem! And it is located at a “strategically” good street crossing so that hardly anyone can avoid passing it. The facade is marvellous and when I walked around it I realised that it must have been extended quite often. Given the limited space to do so on the ground, it has many gables and corners and additional space in the upper floors. Haha, and then I honestly stood in front of it and dreamt to stay there for a day or two, preferably inone of the rooms in the upper floors’ gables. If you look close you will realise that the ground floor facade has actually no bricks but it is painted. Our guide said that this was done during the recent renovation and has caused many controversy among the locals.
    Riesen is still a guest house and a restaurant. It is being run by Faust brewery and offers several choices of beer. I didn’t have lunch there but from the menu outside I saw that they had a lot of vegetarian dishes available. From what I could see when I passed by the tables outside, the dishes looked delicious.

    © Ingrid D., March 2010 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Old city hall and storage

    by Trekki Updated Aug 4, 2013

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    I think I have described earlier that Miltenberg was (and still is) famous for the sandstone quarries in the surrounding and that’s why it was and still is used as a prime building material. A fine example of an old building is Altes Rathaus (old city hall), opposite of the earlier mentioned underground well. It was built in mid 14th century, as a storage hall. Stone was better than wood to have less chances of fire. Like some cities at rivers, Miltenberg also had the staple right which was meant as to require that merchants who passed the city in ships had to stop here, store and offer their goods for reasonable sale for a certain period of time. Consequently, this building once had the (official) city scale, but this got lost over the period of time. Later, this building had several uses, among them as a dancing hall, a school and mid 19th century it was city hall again. Today it is a multifunctional building, hosts little galleries and a room for presentations. I loved its beautiful huge entrance portal (see photo).
    Nearby in the same street (photos 3 and 4) are small shops which form the so-called “Altstadt-Markt” (not to be confused with the old market place with the huge fountain). I have seen the sign “Zucker-Bäcker” (confectioner, but an old German word – Zucker = sugar) and heard that it must be one of the best in town. But.. since it was a hot summer day and I wanted to visit the chapel in Bürgstadt later on, I didn’t go in to see what they have. It would have resulted in that I buy something and this would have meant a melting mess in the car later on. But there is always a next time.

    © Ingrid D., March 2010 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Staffelbrunnen, part of old water system

    by Trekki Updated Aug 4, 2013

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    Miltenberg had a huge system to supply fresh water in the past. The location at Main River made access to fresh ground water quite easy. Most of the underground wells are gone though, except one. This is close to the city hall, on the other side of the street and can be visited upon request. We didn’t do it during our guided tour though but had a look down. Its name Staffelbrunnen means “step well” (Staffel stands for the steps leading down to the well)

    © Ingrid D., March 2010 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

    Staffelbrunnen, accessible only upon request
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    Schwarzviertel, full of half timbered houses

    by Trekki Updated Aug 4, 2013

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    Apart from the old market place this is maybe the most charming part of Miltenberg’s old town, especially in summer when its main street (name: Hauptstrasse) is jammed with tables and chairs from the breweries and cafes and when the houses are over and over covered with plants and flower pots. The entrance to this street and the quarter is next to the church of St. Jakobus and the northern (riverside) end of the old market. One of these beautifully made plates at the corner shows the way. I have still not found where the name derives from (and forgot to ask my guide). Schwarzviertel = “Black quarter”. It might be as simple as Schwarz = black like in dark, since it is quite dark in this street, not much sun arrives here. Or it could come from an old profession or trade where the people got dark hands or skin from, like printers or charcoal burners. I will find out eventually. But if someone could shed light on this, I would be happy!

    © Ingrid D., March 2010 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Charming piazza and interesting statue

    by Trekki Updated Aug 4, 2013

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    Very close to the beautiful market place is another piazza, actually I think it is considered part of the market place. When I was in Miltenberg in summer the trees were in full juicy green and it was heavenly refreshing on this little piazza. It is a perfect place to sip coffee, have ice cream and watch the world go by. The magnificent pink sandstone building in the back was built by one of Miltenberg’s famous stonemasons, Johann Martin Schmidt mid 18th century. The man’s grandson was Joseph Martin Kraus who eventually became director of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music. A cute statue reminds of his descent, he looks as if he would just think about a new composition. It was funny to see his statue here, since 2 days earlier I returned from my summer holiday in Sweden. So much for the European connections everywhere.

    © Ingrid D., March 2010 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Excellent awarded museum

    by Trekki Updated Aug 4, 2013

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    This museum is a gem! Not only it is located in a beautiful old house but also for his excellent and informative exhibition. It is devoted to Miltenberg’s history, from early Roman times on, with emphasis on the trade business on the river, the fishing industry, the Jewish past and the daily life in the past (“Living and working in a civic town”). Many descriptions are in English as well and there is a path marked with arrows on the floor leading through the museum, to follow the timeline. That is necessary because the rooms are located on three floors plus two basement floors (cellars) in two connected houses. One of the houses was the Amtskellerei, something like an old form of administration. In several rooms it is also explained how the houses were rebuilt which gives an interesting glimpse into how half-timbered houses were built.
    The museum did receive the Bavarian Museums Award in 1999 for its excellent concept and presentations.

    And last but not least, the beautiful courtyard is excellent for a rest in between sightseeing or the museum visit. They have coffee and cakes here for a ridiculous cheap price (coffee 1,20 € per cup).

    Opening hours:
    May – October: Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.,
    November – April: Wednesday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    Entrance fees:
    3 € (adults), 2 € (kids, school kids, students) and discounts for handicapped.

    © Ingrid D., March 2010 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Funny fountain and old mint sign

    by Trekki Updated Aug 4, 2013

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    Two other sights at the old market place are worth to have a closer look at. First of all there is this magnificent pink sandstone fountain with pillar and a statue of Justitia on top. I was amazed to see a fountain which has not St. George-killing-the-dragon on top which is the most favourite decoration object otherwise in German cities and towns. This fountain is by stonemason Michael Juncker, 1538, and our guide told us a funny story related to it. He said that the stonemason wasn’t paid as agreed beforehand and his revenge was this funny little boy with bare butt on the lower part of the fountain decoration (main photo).
    Next to the house “Weinhaus am Markt” is a replica of the so-called Münzmännlein (funny term, by the way). It is the mint maker (little mint man would be the exact translation) and signifies Miltenberg’s early importance in mint making, in this case for the archbishops of Mainz. It is a cute statue of the mint master swinging the hammer and his assistant who puts the coin blank in place. The original statue can be viewed in Miltenberg’s museum across the market place.

    © Ingrid D., March 2010 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    One of the most charming market places

    by Trekki Updated Aug 4, 2013

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    Without doubt the old market place – Alter Markt – is the most beautiful part of Miltenberg. It is a wide open space, with a slight slope to the hillside. It is surrounded by magnificent half-timbered houses and a funny fountain in the middle. When I arrived here I immediately felt like being transported back in time, into a Carl Spitzweg painting. All the half-timbered houses looked so pretty, freshly renovated and since it was late summer all flower boxes were exploding in colour.
    The most prominent building is maybe the red one (main photo), which is now a wine bar (Weinhaus am Alten Markt) and guest house. But there are more of these houses, often with statues of a Madonna and child, colourfully painted. This part of Miltenberg has also a poetic name, it is called Schnatterloch. But then, it does not origin from the term “schnattern” or chatting (a word which is usually associated with the noise, geese make) but from an old German(ic?) word, “Snade”, which was used for boundary or limit. The water drain which is still there (see warnings) was once the border to the town. Life long learning, haha. I only found out about the meaning of this word later.

    © Ingrid D., March 2010 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)

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    Magnificent little church with painted walls

    by Trekki Updated Aug 4, 2013

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    I am adding this little chapel to Miltenberg although it is in the neighbour village of Bürgstadt. But the interior is so magnificent that anyone who visits Miltenberg should try and visit this little church as well.
    When I was travelling in Sweden in summer 2009 I was fascinated by the many old churches with beautifully painted interiors. Those days I thought that we don’t have these here in Germany, oh what a silly thought…. Yes, we have these overly decorated Rococo churches in southern Bavaria, but that’s a complete different story. And then I found this gem of a church when I visited Miltenberg at Main river and was completely overwhelmed! That’s why I have put it high on my personal suggestions for a visit to Germany.
    The church is very old; it was built in 950 as a parish church in the easternmost part of diocese of Mainz. Due to the nearby quarry, stonemasons at Martinskapelle made and delivered sarcophagi and pillars to the cathedral builders’ societies at Rhein river and up to Denmark. The little church was expanded and the first paintings were completed in 14th century. Parts of these, although faded, are still visible in the chancel. In 16th century the nave was painted with these magnificent forty medallions depicting scenes of Old and New Testament. These scenes are very much detailed and below each is a description in old German language. But not only the walls, also the wooden ceiling is painted with ornaments and flowers. The best is to climb up to the gallery for the best and closest views. I was so fascinated by this church, I almost stayed two hours inside, and I was all alone, so could take in not only the beauty but also this serene atmosphere.

    The church’s exterior is rather plain and without knowing what treasures are held inside; one would pass it without even looking.
    Access to the church is easy, albeit possible only during the working hours of the next door flower shop. They have the key and will be happy to hand it over for a small fee of 1 €. Blumen Kling (the flower shop) is opened Mon-Fr from 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

    Directions:
    Bürgstadt is east of Miltenberg at Main river and south of Aschaffenburg. Miltenberg is easy to reach by train from Aschaffenburg, but the train does not pass Bürgstadt. But since Bürgstadt belongs to Miltenberg, there must be bus regular connections between the cities. From Bürgstadt’s town hall (Rathaus), it is only a 10 minute walk.

    Martinskapelle, Bürgstadt on Google Maps.

    © Ingrid D., March 2010 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.), update December 2010 (improved map link).

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    GERMANY'S OLDEST TAVERN

    by balhannah Updated Jul 27, 2013

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    Is.....
    Gasthaus Zum Riesen.[Giant's]

    On my walk around Miltenberg, I came across this beautiful building from the 12th century.
    It is said to be the oldest in Germany, perhaps I should have gone inside for a look, certainly the outside was nice! There still is part of the original gothic building standing today.

    Important people have stayed at this Gasthaus, including Ludwig from Bavaria in 1314, just after his Coronation, Charles IV came in 1368, Kaiser Friedrich III, King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, Martin Luther, Richard Strauss and American singer Elvis Presley.
    The Riesen-Spezial beer that is brewed and served exclusively on the Hotel Riesen premise is still available today.

    Through-out the year's, it changed hands many times. The building was beginning to fall into disrepair, luckily, in April 2001, the brewery "Brauhaus Faust" thoroughly renovated the interior, and re-opened the Inn, known as a "guest house for GIANT"

    Germany
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    HAUPTSTRASSE

    by balhannah Updated Jul 27, 2013

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    In my opinion, the Hauptstrasse is a MUST WALK

    Even if you do nothing else, take a walk down this beautiful street. The Hauptstrasse runs parrelel with the main road, and is covered on both sides by an amazing array of Fachwerk building's.
    I was there when a festival was on, so it was a little cramped with table's and chair's everywhere, luckily, it was early morning and the crowd's hadn't arrived yet!
    Do have a look upward's, as there are many nice sign's, flower's in window boxes, and lastly, shop's!
    Cobblestone's on the street's, so take care when walking.

    ONE OF THE PRETTIEST IN GERMANY!

    Miltenberg Hauptstrasse Miltenberg Hauptstrasse Miltenberg Hauptstrasse Miltenberg Hauptstrasse
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    SATURDAY MARKET'S

    by balhannah Written Jan 3, 2012

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    We happened to be at Miltenberg on a Saturday, when the market's are held.
    It was bad luck we were too early, as the Stall's were only being set up on the lawn by the River Main. There were many stall's, and I believe it is a mix of old and new for sale.

    Market's held along here.
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    MILDENBURG CASTLE

    by balhannah Updated Jan 3, 2012

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    Built in the 13th by the Archbishops of Mainz, Mildenburg Castle, located on the northern edge of Greinburg Hill, was used as defense for the Town. The tower is the oldest part of the Castle.
    The castle was extended several times, some being rebuilt after the destruction during the Margrave war. From 1807-1979, the Castle was privately owned, and since 1979 is owned by the Town of Miltenburg.
    There are wonderful view's from the Castle terrace's of the city and the "main Valley," and also from the Tower, if open.
    The Castle is also a Museum.

    Mildenburg Castle
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    WALK THE BERGWEG

    by balhannah Updated Jan 3, 2012

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    This road leads alongside St Johannes Kirche. As it was halfway up the hill, I decided to walk along this road, and go back down a different way. I found a walkway to the bottom that took me through and arch and into the Hauptstrasse.
    Well, I was glad I did this walk, as I saw the Burg's, but not only that, the Old Town Wall's and magnificent view's to Miltenberg, the River Main and further afield.

    View over Miltenberg View over Miltenberg Walkway to old town Burg on Burgweg Burg on Burgweg
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