Hmm, come to think of it, what an interesting history the Lower Franconian town of Mellrichstadt must’ve had. Yes, I know I usually do my research on some interesting tidbits of each and every German town (which I have done in this case), but it isn’t always easy to sum it all up.
Did you know that Mellrichstadt was once a town on border between East and West Germany?
That’s right, the place borders Thuringia — which was once part of East Germany after World War II. Over at the former border is a museum that tells the story of how the country was once divided.
Recent 20th century history is but a second in time compared to how old this place really is. The Salzhaus is where you can learn all abut how salt mining was done more than a thousand years ago — as well as about rural life, agriculture, and some more of Mellrichstadt’s local history.
The town even has its very own castle, known as the Altes Schloss (Old Castle). Its origins go back to around 1230, but it’s had additions put on over the years so you might not realize it’s almost 800 years old.
Wolzogen Castle isn’t a medieval castle (built 1715), but it’s now a museum and exhibition center.
As with any self-respecting medieval town, it once had its own defense system — so look around and you’ll find parts of its Stadtmauer (defense wall) and a couple of watchtowers (the Bürgerturm is the town’s landmark), the Pulverturm (built 1356), and the Untere Tor (Lower Gate, built 1340).
Oh, get this — Mellrichstadt even has its very own gallows from the 13th century. Don’t worry — no one has been hung here since 1664. Yikes.
Towns from the Middle Ages built gorgeous churches — although some of the town’s best ones didn’t come along until the 17th century. You’ll love the Kreuzkapelle (built 1690), and the Großenbergkapelle has 16th and 17th century art & architecture.
As if life in Mellrichstadt isn’t busy enough, rent a bike to traverse along the Main-Werra-Radweg (a scenic route for bicycles), or join in the fun on Bike Weekend (1st weekend of April).
The City Festival is always fun, as is the Rosenmontag Ball, Carnival, Maypole, and the Christmas Market held every year at the Marktplatz.
Anyone wanting more from Mellrichstadt, you’ve got it. Enjoy some time at the Frickenhäuser See, a lake that’s fun for the whole family; a stop at the St. Killian Pfarrkirche, and the 14th century Burgmühle.
It sure ain’t easy to sum up Mellrichstadt’s history, nor is it easy to sum up all the wonderful things to see around here.
Oh well, I guess this is one place I’ll have to come back to visit to do a better job of it…