Efringen-Kirchen is a great wine town in southern Baden-Württemberg bordering the River Rhine and the country of France. This is a very old town, dating back as far as the Stone Age; and as well as having both a Roman and Alemannic settlements.
Efringen-Kirchen also had a large Jewish population (20% of the town’s total population) which dated back to the 1720’s. The entire Jewish population was gone during the National Socialist years in the 1930’s and ’40’s; but its Jewish cemetery is around to see. It has a memorial plaque dedicated to victim’s of the era.
Other sightseeing within Efringen-Kirchen’s eight villages has plenty to keep you busy; and I’ll tell you a little bit about each one. This way you’ll know what it is that you want to see.
Blansingen once belonged to the St. George of the Black Forest Monastery, but it’s its Romanesque St. Peter’s Church (built 1173) that everyone comes to see.
In the village of Egringen, the church dates to the late 8th century (I wish this was the original one, cause that would be outstanding). But, don’t miss out on the old mill and the historic Town Hall (Rathaus in German).
Did I forget to mention that there’s also a Local History Museum?
Oh, I just wrote it — so I guess I didn’t forget. ;-)
Huttinger might not have a medieval church, but it’s a proper medieval village that’s been around since the late 13th century. It’s a good place to find little shops, cafes, and watch the world go by.
Istein’s got the half-timbered houses that everyone loves so much. It’s also the place where wine is made and asparagus (it’s the “king’s vegetable,” you know) grows along vast fields. It’s got a castle; and every four years (on leap years) there’s the Chlimsefest at Pentecost (check the Christian calendar for those dates). But, its Carnival is a much anticipated annual event.
Kleinkems is for the adventurous types, since it’s got caves and a prehistoric mine to explore.
Come to Mappach to see yet another church; but this one’s frescoes from the 1500’s (not discovered until the early 20th century) is worth the time and effort.
There’s not much going on in the village of Welmlingen, but come anyway. Sit for a spell and meet the neighbors.
That only leaves Wintersweiler. This shire suffered greatly during the Thirty Years’ War, plague outbreaks, and crop failures. Today, it’s a thriving village with a gorgeous church from the 1760’s.
The best part of Efringen-Kirchen? The Wine Festival in July. But, I would probably recommend doing all the cycling, hiking, and nature trail exploring before hitting the “sauce.”
Better yet, get yourself a designated driver and have a blast! :-)