A hiking tour for explorers, culture lovers and nature lovers
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.
Leave the station on the right and follow Bahnhofstraße, turn right downhill at the old half-timbered town hall. 100m after the hotel "Vogelsang" turn left into the footpath Pfarrer-Seitz-Weg along the Retz stream. At the end, a climb of steps awaits you into Retzstadter Straße. The route now leads you to the pilgrimage church "Maria im grünen Tal".
The Retzbach pilgrimage church is surrounded by nature. The adjacent health garden invites you to explore and actively relax. Behind the church, the Way of the Cross, consecrated in 1880 and consisting of 14 station pictures, leads up the mountain.
The 13th century pilgrimage site is one of the oldest in Franconia and is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year. People have been visiting the smiling Madonna of Grace in the chancel of the chapel since 1229. It is said to have been found around 1200 by the lords of Thüngen while hunting, whereupon they donated the chapel. The original building still forms the east choir, but was considerably enlarged in later centuries. In the 17th and 18th centuries, the nave, baroque west façade and the stepped towers with onion domes were built. Various renovations were necessary after the roof of the nave collapsed during a thunderstorm in 1969.
Walk back a short distance on the Retzstadter Straße. Follow the stairway on the right that leads under the MSP7 (district road in the Main-Spessart district). Now continue to the right on Hauenweg to the rest area with shell limestone bench and panoramic view. After a short rest, continue uphill, past the cross on the left, then straight ahead for a long time to the "Toter Mann" viewpoint. Here you are at an altitude of 350 metres. The view extends far into the Spessart and the Rhön.
From here you come to a crossroads. Turn right and follow the Retzstadt-Thüngersheim local road for about 200 metres. Now keep to the right. Here the road goes slightly downhill. At the next opportunity, turn left briefly and immediately right again at an acute angle. Keep left at the fork in the road. Follow the route through the vineyards now to Kreuzschlepper, where another panoramic view and a rest stop await you. The path now leads downhill and opens up a view of the "village of paths" Retzstadt. The municipality's website lists 10 themed hiking trails that start at the town hall and lead into the surrounding area and through the village. These include the Poetenweg (Poets' Path) with changing poems, the Waldlehrpfad (Forest Nature Trail), the Planetenweg (Planets' Path), on which over 6 kilometres of knowledge about our solar system is vividly conveyed, as well as the Märchenweg (Fairy Tale Path) and the Besinnungsweg (Reflection Path).
Cross the MSP7, pass the half-timbered house along the way and follow the path towards the town hall. The tower of St. Andrew's Church shows you the way.
In addition to the municipal administration, the Retzstadt town hall is home to the "Ratskeller", today an Italian restaurant. The construction of the town hall building rests on piles driven into the ground. The ground floor probably dates from the 18th century, the upper floor was added in the 20th century. To the left of it is the "Sinder" house, today belonging to the town hall, with a typical round cellar arch and a crippled hipped roof, a so-called one-house, where living and economic activities took place under one roof. Above the town hall is the parish church of St. Andrew. It was built between 1726 and 1730 according to plans by the famous baroque master builder Balthasar Neumann, the creator of the Würzburg Residence. There had been an older predecessor building, of which the Romanesque elements on the staircase bear witness. Remains of an old church were also found, which is said to have been built around 1250.
If you would like to fortify yourself for the rest of the way and the Ratskeller has not yet opened its doors, you can pay a visit to the Weber bakery. The bakery is located about 70 metres from the parish church at Hauptstraße 27, 97282 Retzstadt.
Then walk through Unterdorfstraße, then turn half-left into Thüngersheimer Straße, past the kindergarten, primary school, DJK sports park, then continue uphill to Breitfeldhöhe. Here, by the groups of benches, is a nice place to have a small picnic. At 387 metres, the Breitfeldhöhe is the highest elevation on your hiking tour. It offers an all-round panorama with views of Würzburg, Spessart, Rhön and Steigerwald. Now follow the path a little further in a zigzag through the fields and pass a model airfield, then turn sharply right downhill. After about 300 metres you reach a field path and through a small depression slightly downhill again, follow a somewhat hidden forest path on the left. The path still goes downhill to the valley path in the Thüngersheim vineyards, then turn left and after a few metres turn left again, slightly uphill. Here you can take a detour to the terroir f wine & mythology. Follow the signs!
Anyone who has climbed up to this terroir f, one of the magical places of Franconian wine with a far-reaching view over the vineyards, will find themselves in Greek mythology. Visitors are welcomed by the goddess Ariadne. Here you learn why she enjoys the sun here above the "Thüngersheimer Johannisberg" vineyard. After all, she is most famous for her "red woollen thread", which she used to help Theseus find his way out of the Minotaur's labyrinth. But Ariadne's story went even further: Theseus gave the princess the slip - but instead she was married by Dionysus, the god of wine, and rose to become the first wine queen in history. And so it is not surprising that here, in the vineyards of Thüngersheim, one also encounters Dionysus, who, also cast in bronze, carries his and Ariadne's son Oenopion on his shoulders. Oenopion, when he grew up, was considered the first vintner in Greek mythology.
Return to the main path and follow the route downhill to the Retzstadter Tor in Thüngersheim. The former northern town gate with its half-timbered construction dates back to 1609. From here, continue straight along Hintere Gasse until you reach Untere Hauptstraße. Turn left and you will pass the town hall and continue to the WeinKulturGaden.
The church arcades of Thüngersheim may be considered one of the most valuable and now, after the restoration in accordance with the preservation order, also one of the most fascinating architectural cultural testimonies from the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages, gaden were mostly small outbuildings on fortified churches, which were intended to provide shelter for the inhabitants in times of need and otherwise served to store everyday necessities. Until the beginning of the Thirty Years' War, these church gaden served as storage rooms, which stood under the protection of the church and surrounded the churchyard. Significant parts of this complex were preserved in Thüngersheim for many centuries. The renovation took place between 2010 and 2015. Today, wine tastings, music events, readings and regularly changing art exhibitions take place in the vaulted ambience. The topics of wine and culture in Thüngersheim are presented in a newly installed permanent exhibition.
If you are hungry after this hike through mountain and valley, you only need to take a few steps to the right, because close to the WeinKulturGaden is the restaurant "Landgasthof zum Bären", Kirchgasse 1, 97291 Thüngersheim, Tel. 9364 7267, open Wed-Sun 11 am - 2 pm and 5 pm - 9 pm. Here you can enjoy hearty and good home cooking and a good drop of regional wine to go with it. If you arrive outside opening hours, Weber's country bakery at Untere Hauptstraße 22 not only offers sweets, but also helps to satisfy your ravenous appetite with hearty snacks.
It's only a stone's throw to the train station. Well-stocked and filled with many wonderful experiences, the train will take you home again.