Ah yes, Glaab’s brewery. I was really happy that I joined our group to learn about beer. Glaabs is one of the oldest brewery in this part of Germany and they are very proud to have already the fifth generation of brewers at hand, although the kid is five years (if I remember correctly). The brewery was founded in 1744, that’s why their newest beer is called 1744. Up to now, they offer twelve sorts of beer, and all come in the special bottles with swing top cap. I read somewhere that these are called beugel bottles, which is maybe originating in the German word “Bügel-Flasche”. However, Bügel = Buegel, so there might have been a slight mess in the sequence of ue-eu. But then that’s philosophy and does not take the fun in drinking away. Glaabs is also the cradle of the dark brown liquid I grew up with as a kid, the famous Malzbier. (and yes, it was invented somewhere in Bavaria, but by Mr. Glaabs of this brewery). I felt thrown back in times when I realized this during the guided tour.
We had an excellent guide, Hedi Schmitt, originally from Franconia but a beer lover who lives in Seligenstadt now. She knew so much about beer that one day I hope she will meet Richie and Doreen and exchange all knowledge about the best breweries. That would take hours or days though.
The tour took us through the whole brewery, from the Sudhaus down to the fermenting tanks with the hydrometers to determine the proper density and to the storage and logistic parts. Our highlight was of course the testing, deep down in the cellars of the brewery where we all could taste Zwickel Beer, where I learned where the term Zwickel comes from: it is the spigot (?) or tap where the beer is taken from the tanks.
(I still have to find out how much the fee for our tour was. Since my colleague has organised it and we had been a big group, it was most probably different to the usual guided tours).
In general, tours are offered Wednesdays 6-8 p.m., Thursdays 7-9 p.m., Fridays 10-12 a.m. The prices for these are 7,50 € per person including beer tasting and a small present.
Richie: thanks for your help with the correct beer terms :-) I gladly owe you a beer (= forever carved in stone here, erm... carved into VT, lol)
© Ingrid D., March 2010, (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)
The very large church in the center of Seligenstadt and pleasantly situated next to the Main River is Einhard-Basilika, which was designated a minor basilica in 1925. However, the basilica was begun over 1,000 years ago in 830 AD. Fifteen years before that, a Benedictine monastery was founded on the grounds in 815 AD. This monastery houses the relics of Marcellinus and Peter, two martyrs from the 4th century. Statues of the two martyrs stand outside of the basilica’s entrance. With the acquisition of the relics, Seligenstadt became a pilgrimage site, leading to the growth of the town.
In 1925, Pope Pius XI gave the church the title of minor basilica, which is an impressive building built in a basic Carolingian style. The interior has a very plain neo-Romanesque nave with an early Gothic choir. The relics of Marcellinus and Peter are kept in the silver shrine inside the altar in the choir. Overall though, the design is extremely simplistic.
What are most spectacular about the basilica is the monastery gardens beside the church. I suggested a quick look around the church and then head around the back of the church to the garden gate. In the spring and summer when the gardens are in full bloom, this walled garden is spectacular and very calming to walk around.
These gardens are worth a special trip to see in the spring – and that is exactly what we did! After seeing them in the middle of winter all bare and grey, we headed back on a beautifully sunny spring day. Everything was blooming, including roses and decorative plants. Paved pathways through the gardens allow for visitors to walk all around this walled garden. Along the wall are statues and climbing vines.
Of special note is the herbal and medicinal garden that is on one side of the garden. This is a fascinating look at the many plants that can assist with medical conditions. All are labeled with the plants name and seem to be in some sort of squaring off according to medical issues (i.e. digestion issues and their plants would all be growing together). Well worth a visit when in Seligenstadt!
Beside the gardens of the monastery that is connected to the basilica is a beautifully old stone building with a water wheel on the side. On our second visit to Seligenstadt in the spring, the mill was open for visitors and the water wheel was operational.
As we walked beside the wheel (actually, there are three wheels) which was turning because of the water, we heard a “thud” every couple seconds. Following the sound, we entered through the open side door where we found the other side of the wheels – the machinery that the water was powering to grind the grain into flour. The thud noise we heard was the wood piece that would smash the grain as the water gave it enough power to move.
There were two men on hand to explain the workings of the mill and it was fascinating to watch. The building was free to enter and look at – a very unexpected but pleasant surprise on an already wonderful day in Seligenstadt.
We were told by a local German lady that this was one of her favorite Christmas markets, so we had to see what it was like. It was a sunny but cold day in December when Hubby and I drove to Seligenstadt. The market was in full swing with market stalls set up in the market square and spreading out into a side street or two. All the typical Christmas market traditions were on hand – great food, vendors selling gifts, and the hot mulled wine, Glühwein, that is popular this time of year. The market was pleasant and not as crowded as the larger big city Christmas markets, making this a pleasant outing.
We wandered the stalls, had something to drink, and listened to an organ grinder play. We didn’t have anything to eat since we were planning to have a meal shortly at one of the breweries. But the atmosphere was festive and it made for a very nice day! I felt as if I was at a real local German festival, rather than a large corporate sponsored gathering. We very much enjoyed our time here!
For details on upcoming dates for Christmas markets, visit the town’s website – I had to plug dates into their events search to get the dates for the 2012 Christmas Market: Saturdays and Sundays from November 29 to December 16.
An excursion through the town of Seligenstadt is a journey into history: An encounter with Roman legionairies, with mediaeval traders on their way to the Frankfurt Trade Fair, with skilled monks and art-loving abbots, with native artisans, wealthy merchants and poor fishermen and with emperors hunting in the dark forests. There are special guided tours for visitors and citizens through the historic town. Information on historical tours is available in the Tourist Info Office on the Market Square where tours for individuals and groups can be booked.
Page below provids with great - in English written!! - details.
Einhard-Basilika with Saints Marcellinus’s and Peter’s relics. Since 1925 it has borne the honorary title of minor basilica, bestowed by Pope Pius XI. Although the building was heavily modified over the centuries, this is nonetheless one of the most impressive basilicas with a basic Carolingian structure north of the Alps.