Fritzlar is a town surrounded by multiple layers of history. Many of those layers are visible.
From the oldest original town hall still in use in Germany to the wall ringing the old part of the town, there isn’t a spot in Fritzlar that doesn’t have a story.
One way to start hearing all the stories is to climb the Grey Tower. As one of ten remaining towers of the original town walls, it is 38 meters (125 feet) high, and offers a unique perspective on the area. You can see how the town spreads out, with both new and old portions visible.
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The many church spires are sure to draw your attention. These buildings have special significance in Fritzlar, as they mark the area’s importance in Germany’s religious history. It was here in 723 that Winifred, later St. Boniface, cut down Thor’s Oak, the symbol of the Frankish tribes god, proving the superiority of the Christian God in the local’s eyes.
His monastery, built the following year, laid the foundation for German religious practice until the Reformation. You can see statues of St. Boniface across from the towering St. Peter cathedral, and several museums offer the chance to see the priceless artifacts that accrued in the north-most bishopric during Fritzlar’s boom years.
The religious center of the town also drew in royalty, creating more prestige for the town and providing protection for the buildings. The first German Reich was born here, and Fritzlar remains an administrative center for the area.
If the seriousness of all that Fritzlar has to offer is intimidating, there is one lighter fact about the town to consider. Hengstenberg operates a processing plant here, as the area is a premier growing zone for cabbages.
Thus, after a long day touring and contemplating the intricacies of German history on display in Fritzar’s stone bones, you can always relax with one of Germany’s simplest yet satisfying dishes: fresh Sauerkraut. ;-)