Markgröningen is the quintessential medieval town in Baden-Württemberg, famous for its traditional Schäferlauf or Shepards Run held at the end of August.
Even though it’s a medieval town, people have lived here a lot longer as archeological digs have found Stone Age grave hills.
Gröningen (as it’s called by the locals) is located on the German Framework Route (Deutsche Fachwerkstraße) with many well preserved half-timbered buildings, giving this town an Old World feel.
The Shepards Run is a huge exciting festival that brings thousands out for the run that’s been held here since the 1500’s. The ultimate goal for the running shepards and single daughters of shepards is the coveted crown, for everyone else it’s the local food and shopping.
Markgröningen’s International Music Festival is always held the week before the run and seems to get everyone in a festive mood. The annual Craftsman Market is a huge deal, too, with plenty of local arts and crafts for sale like homemade bee wax candles, which make for outstanding souvenirs.
Once you get all your shopping out of the way, it’s time to see why they’d put Markgröningen on the German Framework Road. There are many well-preserved half-timbered buildings around the town square, including the town hall. There are also some beautiful churches to see, like the Frauenkirche built in the 13th century and was once a pilgrimage church before the days of the Reformation.
One of the most attractive churches in the area is the Bartholomäuskirche. This 13th century church has many priceless paintings and works of art and it would be a shame to miss it.
As a matter of fact, every time you turn around you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you’ll find, a 500 year old hospital, the old Wimpelinhaus fills in as a local history museum, and Markgröningen’s old Schloss is now a high school.
It is an understatement that the town’s countryside is stunning and you can see for yourself how idyllic it really is when you get out on any of the walking and cycling trails (which are usually open from May to October). So, do like the locals and run to and through Markgröningen.