Right in the heart of the rugged Odenwald nature park in the south of Hesse sits the beautifully historic city of Michelstadt. Close to the border of both Bavaria and Baden-Württemburg and within easy reach of many historic cities and the famous Rhineland vineyards.
This area has been settled for centuries and is one of the oldest settled locations in the Odenwald region. The Renaissance Kellereihof (a wine cellar) is part of the old Roman City Walls and is now the local museum. It was an important trade town for supporting the 2 Roman Limes defenses in the region.
There are also the remains of an old moated castle inside the grounds of the more recent Schloss Fürstenau. Found to the north of town, this collection of buildings covers an array of architectural styles including Baroque and Gothic and is surrounded by extensive parkland.
However, you may get a glimpse of the most famous landmark of Michelstadt before you even arrive here. Its old Gothic Town Hall is on one of the national postage stamps. The pictures are amazing enough — but just wait until you see the real thing — its straight out of a fairy tale!
This delightful timber-framed building is in the heart of the city. Perched on a wooden frame this building sits proud. The courtyard created underneath was used as a market place in years gone by — and now it’s a great place to shade yourself on a summers day and look around at the medieval surroundings.
There is street after street in the Old Town filled with unique half-timbered houses and stores. Flights of steps appear out of nowhere and the cobbled pathways form a labyrinth of endless character properties.
In other words, your camera will need a full battery for a tour around Michelstadt! ;-)
Even outside of town, there is yet more scenery — the surrounding mountains. The land around here has a volcanic history, and there are plenty of peaks for you to climb or hike around. Falkenberg and Krähberg are both over 540m or 1772ft high — so are a great place to see across the forested valleys.
This region is also known for its clean air and was a health resort for exactly that reason. Take a stroll around the valleys here or wander south in to the Neckar-Odenwald nature park to try it out for yourself!