Karlstein’s two villages (neither named Karlstein) are Großwelzheim and Dettingen. The latter being the site of an epic battle during the mid-18th century War of Austrian Succession; but its historical name suggest that it’s much older (possibly 3rd century A.D.); and the former about 400 years younger than that (thanks to Emperor Otto II).
Either way, the name Karlstein comes from the days of Charlemagne, who went hunting in the nearby Spessart; which, by the way, is an awesome place to go hiking or walking. Maybe Karl der Große was on to something here?
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Most of the sightseeing around Karlstein isn’t within the town limits itself; although there probably isn’t a better centrally located town in the area. It is also a place of extraordinary countryside, perhaps this is why so many people come to camp here.
It’s also got a huge (16 acres) lake, the Großwelzheimer Badesee, with a sandy beach; with a basketball court, volleyballs, and miniature golf course. There are also plenty of bike trails, hiking paths, and even a boat harbor. Yachting anyone?
To see Karlstein’s historical side (what, I told you how old Karlstein was, didn’t I), start at one of the town’s churches (Hippolykirche and St. Boniface, which are both catholic). Then bring yourself to the Heritage Museum in the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) in Dettingen.
When you’re done with all that, there’s still plenty of time to see some half-timbered houses and the monastery museum in nearby Seligenstadt; Mespelbrunn’s got a castle (with moat); and Hanau is the birthplace of the Brothers Grimm.
Wow, Karlstein am Main sure keeps some great company, doesn’t it? Well, I think so anyway, although the town itself can hold its own right with them.