Ochsenfurt grew up around the furt, or ford, over the River Main. It is hard to believe this today, the river is deep enough for large freight barges to easily pass. Though, very recently, a large wild boar, escaping from hunters, swam the full width of the river and sprinted through the town, knocking down a shopper and breaking her leg!!!
In 1519 a stone bridge was built.
Local riverside towns have had a fashion over the last 200 years to record the flood levels on the sides of prominent buildings. You can find the flood levels recorded on the corner of the Heimatmuseum Schlosschen, on Vorhofstrasse. Blimey, in 1784 the water would have been over 8 feet above my head!!
The carpark by the river often floods today, hence the town has installed some sturdy floodgates to keep the water from the town centre.
You can find a large Tourist Information Centre on Hauptstrasse near the Old Rathaus [NB this is an update, I wasn't able to visit to see whether things have changed since it moved to its new, improved location].
There is not much information on Ochsenfurt in the English language. I was given an A4 sized sheet in English and a fold out pamphlet in German illustrating a suggested walk around the town. The man at the desk spoke little English and I spoke little German, so together we made a great team ;-)
It appeared to me that the Tourist Information desk had the same opening hours as the Main Post office - that is, Monday to Friday, circa 10 till 4.
There are also some large information boards, a history timeline and maps at the main carpark by the river.
As I was walking around Ochsenfurt, I came across a nicely painted statue of a Bull.
There was a description about the Bull in German. I wondered if the "Bull" was like the "Buddy Bear's" and were bought by a Town, and the proceed's went to Charity.
I like Art work, so I was happy to find a couple more Bull's!
Located near the River Main bridge is the Heimatmuseum, a Heritage Museum. The building is from the 13th century, and on the outside are high-water marks from when the River flooded. Lucky there is a Dyke built now!
Historic wine's, Buettner and crafts, info on the Guild system, City Hall and its tasks, can all be found in this Museum.
The costume department is located some distance away in hospital lane in a small baroque building from 1717.
It is not open very often, and you can pick up free information brochure from the Tourist Information Centre located at Ochsenfurt Str. 39.
OPEN...Every Sat, Sunday & Public Holiday's from 2.30 - 4.30 pm
ADMISSION...Adult's 1 euro
FREE THE 1st SUNDAY OF THE MONTH
The large building in my photo, was built in 1297 and then renovated between 1405 and 1493.
It is a shadow of the former Palatine, which once belonged to the Wurzburg Cathedral Chapter.
The renaissance building is the former home of the city mayor.
It's quite an impressive building alongside the Town wall's.
I continued walking past the Heitmatmuseum as I had seen an interesting Tower further on.
This was a Town Gate, named Taubenturm mit Bollwerk. Located beside the Gate is an information board which I wish I had taken a photo of now! So sorry, I can't find information on this gate!
The Gate is located at Vorhof 14.
Turning left, and continuing my walk, I came across another nice Gate, this one was the Klingentor, once a prison, now a youth hostel.
It's located at Hauptstrasse 1.
As I was walking along the Pfarrgasse, I noticed a nice statue of St. George slaying the Dragon. On looking higher, I found a staircase that led to two Churches that adjoin each other. These were built in the 14th century.
I didn't go inside, but I believe they can be visited.
From high up, there was a great view looking down onto St. George and the beautiful street full of Fatchwerk building's.
After I finished watching the Astronomical Clock, I then walked down the Hauptstrasse.
I think the whole street was wall to wall of house's & businesses built with Fachwerk.
The building's were all different shapes, width's, height's, pattern's and colour's, what more can I say, than if you are in the area, make sure you come to Ochsenfurt and walk down this street!
I really loved what I saw, it was one of the best!
A MUST SEE
The New Town Hall, "NEW" in 1497!
I really liked this building! There is no way you could miss it, unless they change the colour from the bright vermillion it's painted in!
At the top, are two pointed Turret's, and located between the two, is the Astronomical Clock and figure's dating back to 1505.
The music box with its moving figure's, plays every hour on the hour.
There are two large clock dial's showing the hour, date and moon phase's. Look in the photo, and above these, you will see two oxen with their horns at each other, reminiscent of the city's name.
See the skeleton of death begin with the head nod and then turn the hour-glass in his left hand while his right hand has an arrow threatened with death. At his feet, the head of the mayor comes out of a window to talk to a counselor each side.
Try to be there to see all this happen if you can, I loved it!
The Michaelskapelle is to the left side of the St.Andreas' church. It was built in the fourteenth century in Gothic style. On the eardrum of the entry you can see a beautiful relief with the Universal Judgment.
The parish church of St.Andreas was built among the thirteenth and the fifteenth century. The interior has got three naves with with and red pillars. In the choir you can see the beautiful altar in wood realized made by Tilman Riemenschneider.
The city Ochsenfurt is partially surrounded by medieval walls. You can see still today them very well in the north side of the town. At the entrance to the main road there are two towers gataway which were the main entrances in the town during the Middle Ages.
There are two small museums that I know of in Ochsenfurt. The Heimatmuseum is a small general town history museum, next to the bridge on Bruckenstrasse. The building is ancient, dating from the 13th century.
Nearby on Spitalgasse is the Trachtenmuseum, where there is an interesting display of local costumes, clothing and uniforms. Both the Heimatmuseum and Trachtenmuseum are open from Easter to October, on Saturdays, Sundays and Festival Days, admission 1 euro.
Across the bridge in Kleinochsenfurt is a Fossil Museum, created by an eccentric, beret-wearing German and his family. From what I understand, it is open by appointment, so I suggest you telephone. Lots of real (and some replica) fossils and a geological timeline made of actual rocks up the staircase. Directions: approx 1km along the main road towards Wurzburg, on the left. tel.: 09331 2873
The so-called 'new' Town Hall was built in 1515. It is famous for its clock tower, which creates a fine performance at the top of each hour. A skeleton shakes a tankard while, either side, two local yeomen open and close their small windows with a clatter. At the very top of the tower are two bulls (the 'ochsen' in Ochsenfurt) who clash horns with vigour.
The bearded face in the centre of the tower is another sculpture by the area's famous sixteenth century artist, Tilman Reimenschneider.
The Domkapitel’sches Palatium was built in the 15th century. Today it is a library where you can see medieval manuscripts and the archives of the town.