Between you and me, Niederstetten is yet another Hohenlohe town — and you know what? The novelty of being in the “Land of Castles” (Land der Burgen und Schlösser) has not worn off.
What really surprised me was there was so much more to do around Niederstetten that I didn’t even have time to visit a million-bazillion castles up here in northeast of Baden-Württemberg; which, coincidentally, lies just between Bad Mergentheim and Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Where was I? Oh yes, talking about the wonders of Niederstetten…
What you might notice right away is how much of a medieval flair the town still retains. I suppose it’s the big round Schimmelturm over by the Rathaus (Town Hall), or maybe it’s all the half-timbered houses that give it that an Old World feel. I’m also sure the Romanesque fortified church in the village of Oberstetten has something to do with it, too.
Another remnant of Niederstetten’s medieval beginnings is the nearby Kloster Frauental. While it hasn’t been a Cistercian monastery for years, its church is still an architectural gem, and well worth the visit while you’re here.
Of course, what’s the Middle Ages without a castle or two? One of the more popular ruins to visit is Castle Brauneck, although Schloss Haltenbergstetten is the venue for the every-other-year (odd-numbered) Amateur Outdoor Theater performances.
No problem if you can’t make that; there’s always the Heimberger Fest, along with the Niederstetten Christmas Market. But, it’s the Genießermarkt (Gourmet Market) in April, Rossmarkt in January, and Fall Festival in September that the town’s most famous for.
Although famous in a different way, the ill-fated Hindenburg has some roots in Niederstetten — this is the hometown of Albert Sammt, a Zeppelin commander who once served onboard as an officer. He didn’t perish on that fateful trip, but his hometown does have a Zeppelin Museum that bears his name.
If castle and museum visits aren’t your thing, maybe you’ll love the Nature Trail. Don’t worry, it won’t take you too long to walk along its 4.5km, filled along the way with endangered birds, pretty orchards, and information boards to help tell you what you’re looking at.
Thanks, but I don’t need any help telling me that I’m looking at one amazing town. Thanks, Niederstetten, for not letting the novelty of this pretty Franconian countryside wear off. ;-)