That’s not a bad thing.
Bessenbach is charming enough alone with its BBQ grill hut areas, playgrounds for the children, and beach volleyball court that’s free for everyone to use. But, it’s got more than that going for it.
You’ll find a number of old chapels scattered throughout its ten villages. Come to think of it, were you aware that one of Bessenbach’s villages has only five residents?
An entire village has only 5 people. Five people. If anyone says they’re crowded here, they got a screw loose. ;-)
Anyway, back to the old chapels and churches… The Pfarrkirche Keilberg is one of the oldest, going back to the year 1184. You’d never know it because it’s had a Baroque makeover, but it was necessary after the effects of the Thirty Years’ War.
What’s really cool about the church isn’t in the church itself, it’s the old tree outside. This thing is massive enough to hide a person in it — a few people actually.
St. Ottilie is also from the Middle Ages; built possibly in the 12th century. It’s fountain is a place of pilgrimage (for folks with eye complaint).
Some of Bessenbach’s other churches are also from the Baroque period, like the Lady Chapel (17th century), and the 18th century chapels of the Good Shepard (1752) and Wendeln (1778). The new addition to the bunch didn’t come along until 1970 — we won’t hold that against it, will we?
One of Bessenbach’s coolest attractions is its Astronomical Clock, built in 1984. It chimes everyday at 5pm during the winter; 6pm during the Spring and Autumn; and 7pm every night in summer. There are exceptions, like Sundays and Holidays, when it rings one of three melodies, three times a day.
Then again, if you’re partying at the town’s Carnival or Rosenmontag Ball, you might not hear it. It would be a shame to miss it, though.
There’s nothing wrong with being a typical Franconian village like Bessenbach, it’s got the best of the old stuff — and the best of the new stuff. And it’s everything I envisioned it would be.