At the confluence of the Neckar and Elz rivers in the southern Odenwald mountains is the historic city of Mosbach. It is surrounded by the Neckartal-Odenwald conservation area and close to the UNESCO protected Geopark Bergstraße-Odenwald — both very important wildlife and ecological sites.
It is in the depths of a valley, it was originally settled by neolithic hunters due to its warmer than average climate. Through the centuries it was regularly inhabited, and in the 9th century it became the location of a successful Benedictine Monastery.
From there it developed into a successful and well defended walled city in the 1600’s. It is now the largest city in the Neckar-Odenwald District even though it is sided by steep valley sides.
Even through its growth, many timber-framed buildings have been preserved in the historic Altstadt, including the tiny little Kickelhain house. It stands alone on its ‘lost’ street and is the smallest house in town — and a very quirky one at that!
The city emblem is another ancient property — the 17th century Palm house, and then there is the Salzhaus and the list goes on. As a result, Mosbach was rightly selected to be on the Deutsche Fachwerkstraße — the national Half-Timbered House Route covering the country in a web of delightfully crowded locations!
It is also on the Burgenstraße (the castle route) — an amazing journey through a whopping 1,000 km and enjoys some 70 castles and palaces. Lohrbach Castle is the reason it stops here. This moated castle has the appearance of a great English Stately home. The Tempelhaus nearby isn’t a true castle, but has the appearance of one — crossed with a church! A very odd building to come across as you wander through this intriguing city.
Alternatively, leave the safety of Mosbach and take to the water. The Neckar valley is very scenic and a short cruise south will find Burg Hornberg with the current Baron as the host and Guttenburg Castle — a center for the study of birds of prey.
One going north will find the Zwingenberg Castle with its medieval towers thrusting above the dense tree-tops. Many say its the most romantic castle along the Neckar.