It’s pretty much guaranteed that when you’re in the Hessian town of Hasselroth that you’ll hear things that mean nothing to the 21st century. Words like tithe barn, or Leineweber (hey, I didn’t say all the words you hear would be in English — and the Leinewebers were a bunch of weavers that banded together here from the 16th-19th centuries, before cigar production became all the rage).
Independently words like these mean nothing. However, in the three villages of Hasselroth, they mean everything.
I assure you I’m not being overly cryptic. It’s just that how often in everyday conversation does the word tithe barn come up? Maybe a little more often in Hasselroth’s village of Neuenhaßlau because that was the original function of its community center.
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A tithe barn, BTW, was where farmers used to bring their “tithe” (one-tenth mandatory “offering”) to the church.
One of Hasselroth’s churches that’s old enough to remember the days of the tithe barn is in the village of Gondsroth, both of which were founded sometime in the 12th century (it’s Protestant now though).
Just so you know, Hasselroth’s Local History Museum is more than able to fill you in the town’s weaving (why else would I bring up the word Leineweber?) and other kinds of history.
Whatever romantic notions you might be having about Hasselroth, it’s the modern day town that’s the most fun. We all know by now that Germany’s festivals are the stuff of legend, so why not make sure you’re here for the Kartoffelfest (Potato Festival) in October or the Village Festival in September.
Unable to make either festival? Too bad, but if you’re able to make it for Heritage Day (in September), the Fall Market (called Herbstmarkt, also in September), or any one of the church concerts — it more than makes up for missing them.
No special day needed to hike (why not give Nordic Walking a try?) through the Spessart. It’s quiet, it’s pleasant, and you’ll pretty much find that you won’t use words like tithe barn even once. ;-)