Burkardroth — Land Of Franconian Legend In The Fab Rhön

Sure, places like Stonehedge and Machu Picchu have an aura of mystery and its fair share of legends. So, what if I told you that Burkardroth in Lower Franconia, Germany could be added to the list?

OK, maybe not so much for the mystery part, but certainly for its legend. What legend? What a lovely story, BTW.

Legend says that Countess Beatrix (married to Count Otto II) threw her veil (it was all the fashion back in the early 13th century) to the wind from her castle balcony in nearby Bad Kissingen; offering to build a monastery wherever it landed. It floated some 14km away in the town of Burkardroth. Hence, the founding of the Cistercian Frauenroth Abbey in 1231.

While the abbey was dissolved in 1574, the chapel still remains — and is the final resting place of both Otto and Beatrix.

FYI, the castle that Countess Beatrix flung her veil is Castle Bolenlauben.

Even though the 12th century castle is now in ruins, there’s an annual medieval festival every year in September. And a 14th century manuscript from the Frauenroth Abbey sits in Stuttgart’s Württemberg State Museum.

Wait, shouldn’t it be in a Franconian museum? Nevermind, it doesn’t matter — just as long as it still remains in Germany.

One other church you should see in Burkardroth should be the St. Petrus Church, built in the 17th century.

What else makes Burkardroth wonderful to visit is its location on the edge of the UNESCO Biosphere Rhön. It’s doubtful you’ll get to see the entire area, since it extends from Bavaria to Hesse and Thuringia.

Either way, the Rhön Orchids and all the natural wildlife found within the nature reserve are totally terrific.

Nature reserve aside, there are still a good number of hiking, mountainbiking, and cycling trails throughout this Lower Franconian region, that’ll pass you along many farms, meadows, and hilly countryside.

And don’t let winter keep you away. Burkardroth is great for cross-country or downhill skiing, too.

Maybe while you’re out there you can think of a story that’ll one day be legendary in Burkardroth…

 

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