Hofheim’s official name might look odd to those who don’t know, but I’m kinda used to it at this point — so there’s nothing strange when reading the name Hofheim i. UFr. Looks like a typo, doesn’t it? Well, its weird initials give the reader an idea of where to find this slice of heaven — right in Unterfranken, or Lower Franconia.
Honestly, you could call this place “X-Y-Z” and it wouldn’t change the fact that Hofheim is a pretty town with a picturesque Alstadt (Old Town) of half-timbered houses.
Be on the lookout for Hofheim’s preserved gates, once part of its medieval defense walls. They are called the Kapellentor (Band Gate), the Unteres Tor (Lower Gate), and the Oberes Tor (Upper Gate), the latter two of which look like twins.
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Another medieval structure around Hofheim would be its very own castle, the Bettenburg, whose Renaissance design of today belies its 13th century origins.
And if you’re truly a history buff, you could be walking along the Rennweg, which was an old trade/military route from as far back as Charlemagne’s time. Perhaps these medieval travelers stopped at the Karstquelle Hofheim, a pool of ice blue water caused by the calcium sulphate. I’m not sure what that is, so I’ll trust the scientists on this one.
History lovers aren’t the only ones with something to do here, a Party Animal will delight in the town’s many festivals and cultural events. The Christmas Market is always a good bet, while the Hoffest, Summer Festival, Seefest, and Dorffest (Village Festival) are summertime treats in the fresh Franconian air.
And let’s not leave out the Tauben und Kleintiermarkt, the Heimatfest, and the numerous Kirchweih celebrations throughout Hofheim’s twenty-one villages.
In between parties you can visit the Rotkreuzmuseum, or Red Cross Museum, whose exhibits highlight this charitable organization. And you can always visit the Kreuzkapelle, a Rococo chapel from the 17th century, and then there’s the Kloster Eichelsdorf — a monastery from the same century.
Of all Hofheim’s churches, the Church of St. Anne is the one I loved the most — probably because of how the Lutheran church looked in the fading summer light. That’s not to say the Church of St. Margaret in Goßmannsdorf doesn’t deserve an honorable mention — and the village itself for that matter — just charming with its half-timbered houses and tidy farms.
Now it’s off to tackle the Mt. of Olives Nature Trail, a 4km route highlighting both the geology and vineyards of the surrounding countryside.
Vineyards? Wine? Great, a few glasses of those and I definitely won’t be calling Hofheim i. UFr. by its real name. ;-)