Discover Miltenberg: From half-timbered houses and castles to delicious wines
Discover the hidden gem of Bavaria - Miltenberg - by train. From magnificent medieval buildings to picturesque half-timbered houses and exquisite culinary delights: Miltenberg has something to offer for everyone.
The dreamy little town of Miltenberg, which stretches along the banks of the Main, is a perfect place for a day trip. Miltenberg is rich in history, boasts impressive architecture and is nestled in a stunning idyllic setting amidst rolling hills, dense forests and vast vineyards, just waiting for you to discover it. Hop on the train and make your way to this charming Bavarian gem. Your time out in Miltenberg is waiting for you!
The charming town on the Main welcomes us with its inviting atmosphere as soon as we step off the train. From the train station, we walk along Brückenstraße directly to the Main bridge, which leads us on our way to the historic centre of the town. At the southern end of the bridge is the impressive Zwillingstor (twin gate). This magnificent 19th century gate once served as part of the city's fortifications and today forms a symbolic entrance gate to the city.
A walk through the Black Quarter
From the Zwillingstor we follow Ziegelgasse straight ahead, turn south into Hauptstraße and follow it to the Marktplatz. From here we enter the heart of the old town - the so-called Schwarzviertel. This district, the oldest in Miltenberg, stretches from the Schwertfeger Tor in the west to the bustling Marktplatz. It is known for its remarkable half-timbered houses, which seem like an echo of the past.
The name "Schwarzviertel" (Black Quarter) has its origins in the quarter's unique geographical location. In winter, the nearby Greinberg casts its shadows over the neighbourhood, causing the sun's rays to barely reach the ground - hence the name. The Schwarzviertel is a historical jewel that takes us back to a bygone era as we stroll through the alleyways. The charming ensemble of narrow, winding streets and magnificent half-timbered houses with their richly decorated façades and traditional wooden structures, gives the impression that time has stood still here. The carefully restored buildings add to the unique atmosphere and convey an authentic image of historic Miltenberg.
Schnatterloch: Historical heart of Miltenberg and photo hotspot
Our tour of the Schwarzviertel leads us to one of Miltenberg's most famous landmarks and a popular Instagram hotspot, the Schnatterloch. This old marketplace in the town combines a number of historical features into a charming ensemble, making it one of the most photographed tourist spots in all of Germany. The Schnatterloch ensemble includes the market fountain, picturesque half-timbered houses with their ornately carved wooden beams and colourful façades, the striking Schnatterloch tower and the Renaissance archway next to the traditional wine house in the Schmuckkästchen hotel.
Interestingly, the Schnatterloch actually refers to a hole leading into a drainage channel. The unusual name of this place holds a fascinating history. It is thought that the name "Schnatterloch" may be derived from "Snade", the Low German word for border, as the stormwater ditch once represented the town's boundary. An alternative hypothesis suggests that the name may come from "Schnate", meaning cutting, and refers to the geographical cutting between Schloßberg and Greinberg.
Places of interest around the Schnatterloch
To the north of the Schnatterloch rises the Church of St. James, another important historical landmark of Miltenberg. Originally built in the 13th century as a Gothic church, it has been rebuilt and extended several times over the centuries, resulting in an impressive mix of architectural styles.
The basic structure of the church is Gothic, and many elements of this style can still be seen, such as the lancet windows and the filigree tracery. In the 17th century, however, Baroque elements were added, including the magnificent main portal and several altars inside the church. The neo-classical towers, added in 1830, still characterise the townscape of Miltenberg today and are evidence of the church's architectural evolution.
On the southern side of the Schnatterloch is the Stadt Miltenberg Museum. In three half-timbered houses, it houses a unique collection that offers a comprehensive overview of the town and regional history of Miltenberg. The collection, which has been steadily expanded since the 19th century, ranges from prehistoric finds and Roman artefacts to medieval craftsmanship and everyday objects to contemporary art. Special topics such as Judaica, toys and hunting are displayed in their own sections and offer a deeper insight into certain aspects of local culture and history.
Historical architecture and contemporary art of Mildenburg Castle
Our next stop on our walk through Miltenberg is the Mildenburg, an impressive castle complex that towers high above the town. The 13th-century fortress once served as the residence of the archbishops of Mainz and offers a rich history. We reach the castle via Schlossgasse, which begins directly opposite the museum.
Despite its great age, the Mildenburg is well preserved and offers visitors an authentic insight into medieval architecture. The massive keep, the high protective wall and the magnificent residential buildings bear witness to the castle's former power and splendour. Sturdy shoes are recommended for the ascent to the castle and for exploring the grounds.
For a long time, Mildenburg Castle could only be visited from the outside. After extensive renovation work, however, it now houses the Museum Burg Miltenberg, another branch of the municipal museum, which displays a fascinating collection of art and cultural history. In particular, the collection of Romanian reverse-glass icons is the largest of its kind in Germany and a real highlight.
Zum Riesen - A historic inn with charm
Before we head back to the station after a day full of discoveries and adventures, we have earned some refreshments. To do so, we descend from the Mildenburg back to the Schnatterloch and follow the main road eastwards. After about 300 metres, we reach another historical sight in Miltenberg that should not be missed: The Gasthaus Zum Riesen. It is considered one of the oldest inns in Germany and has a rich and fascinating history since it was first mentioned in the 12th century. With its characteristic half-timbered facades and traditional charm, the Zum Riesen inn is a living monument to German hospitality and tradition.
Over the centuries, many prominent guests have stayed at this inn, including emperors and kings, princes and counts. But despite its impressive history, the Zum Riesen inn has lost none of its original hospitality. Today it is still a popular place for locals and visitors alike to enjoy traditional Franconian cuisine.
The day draws to a close
Our day in Miltenberg ends with a visit to the historic Zum Riesen inn. We now make our way back to the station via Hauptstraße, Ziegelgasse and over the Main bridge. The images and impressions of the narrow streets, magnificent half-timbered houses and impressive sights accompany us on our journey home by train as we review the day in our minds.
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.