Mudau — Gallows In The Odenwald

Have you ever been fascinated and creeped out all at the same time? Hence my dilemma with the town of Mudau, in Baden-W├╝rttemberg near both the Hessian and Bavarian borders.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing w-r-o-n-g with Mudau, it’s charming enough, and densely forested, but there’s just something…

Actually it’s the gallows, they kinda creep me out. History lover I am, I can appreciate this for its own sake. For hundreds of years this was a public execution site, the last one being some 250-plus years ago.

It’s a good thing the spectacular views from its high vantage point here in the Odenwald kinda distracted me.

Whew! With the creepiness out of the way it’s on to brighter things around Mudau. The town itself is quite old, once on the edge of the Roman Limes. That’s right, you’re walking right along in the footsteps of Roman soldiers. Cool to think about that, right? Good, you can do it while you’re on a Limes hike on the Neckar-Odenwald Limes Route.

The Romans too far back in history for you? It’s okay, you can find historical stuff from a more modern time — the Middle Ages. Come to Burg Wildenburg to see a medieval castle ruin, once belonging to the Hohenstaufens. The castle itself was built sometime in the 1200s, only to be destroyed during the Peasants’ War in the 1520s. Just so you know, the castle is pretty much open all year long — but to get a guided tour you have to do it between April and October, then only on public holidays and the second Sunday of the month (provided it hasn’t changed already).

Guided tours around Mudau are available other times of year, or you could just follow along the Culture Trail’s 19-stations (known as the Kulturhistorischer Rundweg). Whatever you choose to do, no trip to Mudau should be without visiting the very romantic looking Schloss Waldleiningen. Sorry to say this is not a medieval castle, it wasn’t constructed until the 1820s — it was, however, used by the military at one time.

And you absolutely need to visit the former Rathaus (a gem of a Town Hall from the 1430s), while the tower over at the Church of St. Pankratius came along in the year 1510. Yup, so it’s officially more than 500 years old. Then you’ve also got the Marian Column (built 1736), and the St. Veit Chapel from the 1490s — around the same time Christopher Columbus was sailing to the New World.

Ahh, what am I talking about him for, he wasn’t German. ;-)

Ha-ha, I crack myself up over here — but at least I’m not creeped out anymore. ;-)

 

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