I must admit the town of Abtsgmünd in the mountainous region of the Swabian-Franconian Forest had me both fascinated and, well, creeped out might be too harsh.
Don’t get me wrong, Abtsgmünd is quite lovely. It’s just that its Torso-Weg is just that, a path of twelve different headless, armless, and legless sandstone sculptures.
Creepy. Yet, fascinating. ;-)
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Abtsgmünd does have more traditional sites to see, it ain’t all about the bodies. You’d like to see a castle, wouldn’t you? Great, because there are four of ’em.
Schloss Hohenstadt (built 1147) might be privately owned, but its French Gardens are open to the public. Don’t be upset that you can’t see the inside — the exterior makes a great snapshot.
You can see the inside of the 14th century Schloss Untergröningen, as it’s now a Museum of Modern Art and meeting center. Two rooms of the castle are now a Local History Museum (open Sundays, May-Sept 2pm-6pm) with exhibits on everything from letters, to festivals, and local customs.
It’ll be a learning experience at Schloss Neubronn, a 16th century castle that’s now owned by the Horticulture Society where they have a teaching garden.
I wouldn’t miss out seeing the Church of St. Michael, either (its basement is all that remains of its Romanesque origins). Right outside is the Rechenberg Cross, erected in 1331, and the second oldest of its kind in all of Baden-Württemberg.
You don’t, however, want to spend all your time indoors. Get outside and enjoy the Hammerschmieder See where boating is always on the agenda. The lake is surrounded by plenty of hiking and bicycle trails.
For an inexpensive place to stay, the campgrounds and youth hostel around Laubach Reservoir are just the thing. Even if you don’t stay the night & are just passing through along the Way of St. James, there are BBQ areas for a picnic lunch.
I’m sorry that I called you creepy, Abtsgmünd. Can you ever forgive me? :-)