An idyllic river valley, imposing castles and palaces and - in spring - an impressive natural spectacle: all this awaits you on this tour through the Sinngrund in the north-east of the Spessart. You start at Rieneck railway station. The historic old town, with its winding alleyways, medieval half-timbering, and the striking castle complex bear witness to a time when Rieneck was the centre of a powerful county.
Finally, the Sinngrund enchants with its lush green meadow landscape and, of course, with its pearl: Burgsinn, which boasts three impressive castles of the Barons of Thüngen. In Obersinn you have the opportunity to get to know an interesting historical personality. Leo Weismantel, born in Obersinn, reacted sensitively and with foresight to the dramatic changes in contemporary history and exerted influence in society to the best of his ability. A real rarity and at the same time the landmark of the Sinngrund is the chess flower, which transforms the meadows into a purple sea of blossoms at the end of April. Several nature reserves have been set up for the chess flower meadows and can be experienced along the tour.
A hiking tour for explorers, culture lovers and nature lovers
Start and end station
19 km / 6 Stunden
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.
Tour starts on Bahnhof
From Rieneck railway station, follow Bahnhofstraße and the "red crossbar" marking and turn right into Hauptstraße, which leads to the centre of the small town. There you will find the unique architectural ensemble of the Schindel House on pillars, the classicist church of St. Johannes and the historic town hall, which is also home to a museum. Outside the town hall is a relic of rude jurisdiction: a neck iron pillory.
If you want to treat yourself to a little downtime before starting your contemplative hike, we recommend the "Klein und Fein" café. The historic half-timbered house at Hauptstraße 7 is cosy and serves a variety of drinks as well as fresh, homemade pastries. A moment to get in the mood for a visit to the castle, which dominates the panorama of the town and can be seen from afar.
It is only a few steps from the town centre to the time-honoured walls, of which the "Dicke Turm" (thick tower) is open to hikers for viewing.
The so-called "castrum Rinecke" was built around 1150 by Ludwig I, Count of Loon and Rieneck, in order to secure his sphere of power against the interests of the High Monasteries of Mainz, Würzburg and Fulda. The fortification walls around the castle courtyard were particularly strengthened on the endangered mountain side in the northwest by the heptagonal "Thick Tower". A small chapel was even built into its outer wall, which was up to 8 metres thick - a special feature on the European mainland! In addition, there were other buildings in half-timbered construction at this time. The "Thick Tower" can be visited all year round. From there you have a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside. Behind the thick walls, an old fireplace and sleeping niches bear witness to the way of life of the former castle guards.
Around 1200, the castle was fortified more strongly and the Romanesque court chapel and the octagonal "thin tower" were built, which, unlike today, originally had only small hatches in the masonry. After the extinction of the Rieneck counts in 1559, the castle was only sporadically inhabited, resulting in steady decay. In the 19th century, the complex was privately owned and was extensively restored in the neo-Gothic style. In 1929, renovations were carried out again, and the "Thin Tower", for example, was given its windows. Today, the national centre of the Association of Christian Scouts (VCP) - formerly the Christian Scouts of Germany - has been located in the castle complex since 1959.
Visits to the chapels by appointment at the castle; rooms used by the accommodation service are not freely accessible.
Back on the main road, turn right into Sinnberg Street and then shortly afterwards cross the bridge over the Sinn River on the left. At the roundabout, go straight on, then turn left into the local hiking trail R 1. It starts roughly at Walther-Bloem-Ring. Follow this road and continue straight ahead at the fork. Behind the last houses, the road becomes a gravel path, but it is easy to walk. Soon you reach the forest and continue along the very varied hiking trail R1 in its cooling shade.
Again and again, views open up over the river valley below your path. After about one kilometre, steps lead to the right to a bench near a statue dedicated to St. Anthony. A short distance further on, you will come across a rescue path that branches off to the left. Please do not use this path, as it is forbidden to enter the railway premises.
Cross the northern entrance to the two-kilometre-long Sinnberg Tunnel and continue northwards above the ICE railway line. There are still two ascents ahead of you, but the almost 100 metres in altitude will reward you with a wonderful view of the Sinn Valley. Finally, the forest opens up, you continue on the R1 to Burgsinn, pass the open-air swimming pool and can then enjoy the freshly babbling Aura stream.
On the way to the Wasserburg, there is of course the possibility to stop for a break, for example at Cafe Müller in Hauptstraße 12 or at Gasthaus Stern in Hauptstraße 8. From here it is only a few steps to the Wasserburg.
Burgsinn moated castle
The "Alte Burg", situated in the middle of Burgsinn, is a typical moated castle. However, a moat still filled with water like this one is rare! The entire complex has a trapezoidal ground plan with towers at its corners. A bridge on the west side provides access to the interior. The 22-metre-high keep, made of solid ashlars, towers above the castle. Its square ground plan has a side length of 8.5 metres. With this mighty tower, the moated castle still dominates the townscape today.
The rest of the masonry was built of quarry stones, and was supplemented and renewed many times. The wall of the northern residential building, which starts on the first floor, is made of half-timbering. A small half-timbered building was also erected on the square north-east tower. Among the first feudatories were the counts of Rieneck in 1317. A few years later, the Bishop of Würzburg granted the castle and all its possessions to Dietz von Thüngen. The castle is still owned by the von Thüngen family, but is no longer used as a residence.
The castle itself cannot be visited, but the imposing building can be walked around from the water and park side.
You leave the Burgpark through the stone gate into Mittelsinner Str.. If you turn right into Poststraße, you will reach Burgsinn railway station and can shorten the tour. If you want to continue on your way on foot, turn left at the crossroads into the Wiesenweg and follow the Schachblumenweg along or above the NSG and the Sinntal.
At the edge of Mittelsinn, leave the "Schachblume" markings and turn left into Hauptstr. Turn right across the Sinn and then left to reach the railway station for a shortcut. Turn right into Brunnenstraße and follow the cycle path further north. You meet the marker Roter Schrägstrich, turn right here over the bridge and walk on the other side of the Sinn to the centre of Obersinn and the pretty ensemble of the Leo Weismantel Haus.
Leo Weismantel House Obersinn
The half-timbered house that now houses the Leo Weismantel House is tiny - just 40 m² covers the entire ground floor. Originally, the house and its neighbouring building formed a coherent farmstead. It was not until the 19th century that it was divided into two dwellings where day labourers, stonecutters and workers lived. Shortly after the year 2000, several houses in the village centre were up for sale. The municipality of Obersinn acquired them and planned the creation of a new village square. It arranged for the renovation of the "Blue Villa", the renovation of the "Alte Schusterei", the construction of a baking oven and the erection of a new building for the savings bank. Most recently, she had the house at Schulgasse 3 renovated and set up the Leo-Weismantel-Haus in it.
The permanent exhibition in the Leo-Weismantel-Haus does not simply describe the life of the writer, educator and cultural politician born in Obersinn in 1888. Rather, it aims to make his world of thought comprehensible and uses modern audiovisual media to do so.
A first focus is on the imprint Weismantel received in his birthplace Obersinn. He experienced at first hand the intrusion of modernity into the secluded living environment of the upper Sinn valley, which was determined by deep faith and old customs. Throughout his life, he developed ideas with which he wanted to cushion the consequences of these far-reaching changes. These ideas repeatedly brought him into contact with the political, religious and scientific programmes of his time and into conflict with their representatives. The exhibition also addresses these conflicts.
Tour ends on Bahnhof
After the museum visit, you may want to round off the hike with a good meal. The Gasthaus Eck in Hauptstr. 40 is recommended for this, but note that it is closed on Thursdays. (Tel. 09356 5447)
To get to Obersinn railway station, follow Schulgasse and after a good 100 m turn right into "Eller" street. The tour ends at the station in Obersinn.