Laufach — Brilliance In The Spessart

Your turn to call it, “heads” you get a history lesson first; “tails” I’m going for telling you all about Laufach’s outdoorsy and cultural stuff first. Wait for it… ah, it’s “heads.”

Sorry, sometimes I have to flip a coin — maybe next time I’ll throw darts. ;-)

Anyway, history it is; and it might not be what you might think. Plus, once you’ve seen the modern day town of Laufach, you’ll find it much different from when the Gefecht bei Frohnhofen (Battle of Frohnhofen), a major battle between Prussia and Hesse, was waging here in 1866.

I don’t even begin to understand this 19th century war, but what I do know is many of the fallen soldiers are buried here. You’ll find monuments to each side in the local cemetery. One such memorial is found right near the Herz-Jesu-Kapelle (Sacred Heart Chapel), a neo-Gothic design from the turn of the 20th century.

Interestingly enough, it isn’t just the Prussian/Austrian Civil War that puts Laufach on the map along the Europ√§ischer Kulturweg — this scenic route is geared towards Europe’s “artistic, cultural, and social interests” of the 19th century. I’m not that smart to figure all that out, but I do know the route kicks off right at the Old Brewery.

While not scenic routes, per se, Laufach has a whole bunch of marked hiking and cycling trails. You’ll most definitely want to take at least one, since you’re right in the heart of the Spessart. Many of the hiking trails are circular, making it easy enough to find your way back. Plus, with the information boards you’ll find along the way, you’ll learn a thing or two, as well.

When you want something a bit more strenuous, then it’ll be the mountain biking trails you want. Whether you hike or cycle, you’ll find all sorts of charming chapels and shrines dotting the landscape.

Anyone wishing for something more “urban,” come to the village of Hain im Spessart. You’ll find quite a number of 18th century half-timbered houses, and its Dorfplatz (Village Square), a center for village life and activities.

Yeah, I might not understand what the Prussian/Austrian Civil War was all about, but I do understand that Laufach is a brilliant little town, and I think you will too.

 

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