The minute you find out that Untergruppenbach is within the Swabian-Franconian Forest mountain range you’ll be rushing right over from Heilbronn (which is only about 11km away) and/or the city of Stuttgart (for which Untergruppenbach is part of its Metropolitan Region).
But trekking around the many bicycle trails and hiking paths isn’t all there is. One of the biggest attractions is the 14th century Burg Stettenfels that sits high up on the hillside.
It’s not used as a seat of power for some Württemberg king or duke any longer; it’s now an outdoor theater and the venue for all sorts of musical concerts.
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Every year on May 1st the castle hosts a huge medieval festival with everything from music of the Middle Ages to court jesters, and art. Sweet!
Stettenfels Castle isn’t the only medieval site, there’s plenty to go around. The town’s Church of St. John has a medieval tower, even though the rest of the church was built in the Neo-Romanesque style (appropriate, wouldn’t you say?).
And the Evangelical Parish Church is a Gothic wonder from the year 1359.
When you’re ready to leave the Middle Ages behind, you can turn your sight on some more modern history in Untergruppenbach. There are a good number of half-timbered houses found within the town’s six villages.
One of the most beautiful is found on Zollerstrasse 10 from the year 1793. But, that’s not the only one; the town’s New Town Hall is also housed in one from the 18th century. I wouldn’t miss stopping by the Old Town Hall, though.
I think I need a glass of wine — and Untergruppenbach is just the right place to do it. Viticulture has a long history here; and there is a historic winepress you can stop in to see.
With all the vineyards in the Untergruppenbach area, that’s reason enough to leave Stuttgart and Heilbronn, don’t you think? OK, that helps — but I am a sucker for medieval history too.