Perfect for connoisseurs! This bike tour takes you through the meadows and lakes, past the magnificent Werneck Castle, through traditional Franconian winegrowing villages and to two beautiful monasteries.
A bike tour for explorers, culture lovers, bon vivants and nature lovers.
Arrive relaxed and use rental bikes from the local rental companies. The capacity for taking bicycles on the trains is limited and taking your own bike on the train cannot be guaranteed, depending on the capacity.
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.
There are 40 bicycle parking spaces in the immediate vicinity of the station.
Waigolshausen Bahnhofstr. 1
You start at Waigolshausen station and take the cycle path towards Werneck. Your first stage is about two and a half kilometres long. On the way, the meadow landscape opens up with a liberating far-reaching view. Soon you come across the castle park, which you circle halfway around to reach the main entrance of Werneck Castle in the north of the park.
The large baroque palace in the small town of Werneck is a jewel among southern German palaces and is considered Balthasar Neumann's most mature secular building. It stands in a large park, originally also Baroque, which was later transformed into an English garden.
More than 800 years ago, there was already a castle on this site, which, like many other castles, was devastated in 1525 during the German Peasants' War and burnt down almost 30 years later. Rebuilt half a century later, it burned down again in 1723.
Finally, in 1733, Balthasar Neumann, commissioned by Prince-Bishop Friedrich Karl von Schönborn, began construction work on the magnificent summer residence, which still impresses with its balanced design today.
In the mid-19th century, the "little sister of the Würzburg Residence", as it is popularly known, is converted into one of the first psychiatric hospitals in Germany. Its director Bernhard von Gudden later writes one of the psychiatric reports on the basis of which Ludwig II is deposed as King of Bavaria. Both drown in mysterious circumstances in Lake Starnberg.
To this day, the castle serves as a hospital, including one of the largest specialist orthopaedic clinics in Germany. The castle chapel, also designed by Neumann, and the castle park are open for visits.
Attached to the hospital is the Café and Bistro Balthasar, which serves coffee and cake as well as hearty snacks.
Drive along Balthasar-Neumann-Straße for a short distance in the direction from which you came. Shortly after the street Am Schlosspark, turn left into Bühlweg and cross the Wern. Follow the "dem Wern- und Main-Werra-Radweg".
Now keep right towards Ettleben and continue towards Bergrheinfeld. Turn right at the roundabout. After 500 metres, cross the road. Do you have children with you or would you like to feel the Franconian soil under your bare feet? Then descend briefly here and visit the "Labyrinth on the Main Cycle Path" with barefoot path and sweet tooth garden. The Main is now very close.
Turn left at Jahnstraße, pass the sports field and after a few hundred metres you will reach Mainstraße, where you cross the river for the first time. You drive through Grafenrheinfeld on the bridge road and the main road until you reach the southern end of the town.
Behind the last building, where the road gently curves to the left, you decide to take the path half-right. You touch the Old Main and cycle straight south.
The path leads through open fields. If you want to immerse yourself in the enchanted floodplain and lake landscape of the Altmain in the Schweinfurt Mainbogen, then keep a little further west. Explore the Garstadt bird sanctuary before crossing the Unkenbach stream and heading into Heidenfeld.
Turn into Klosterstraße, which leads you directly to Heidenfeld Monastery.
Heidenfeld Monastery, also known as Maria Hilf Monastery, looks back on a history of almost a thousand years. In the 11th century, Countess Alberada, daughter of Margrave Otto von Schweinfurt, donated part of her landholdings with all the properties and rights to establish a monastery. Not long afterwards, the Augustinian Canons Regular Monastery of St. Mauritius was consecrated in Heidenfeld. From here, the pastoral monks looked after over 20 parishes.
In the 16th century, the monastery was destroyed twice during the Peasants' Wars and the Margravial War. The Augustinians rebuilt it. After the turmoil of the Thirty Years' War, a new period of prosperity began. Between 1723 and 1733, the monastery was considerably expanded. The plans for the new building of the eastern convent building were provided by the architect and building director Balthasar Neumann, who was also entrusted with the construction of the Würzburg Residence at the same time.
In 1803, the monastery was dissolved in the course of secularisation. At that time, under the influence of Napoleon, many ecclesiastical institutions were expropriated and the monastery complex was subsequently owned by the nobility for almost a century. The Augustinian canons' monastery became a castle.
In 1901, the Congregation of the Sisters of the Redeemer bought the property. In the 1930s, they closed the gap in the building that had been created 100 years earlier when the church was demolished. They had a new south wing built with a chapel and a baroque altar. A 120-year history of the convent as a convalescent home for sick and elderly sisters began. In 1975 and 2003, extensions were added to house a nursing home for the sisters.
This stage offers a variety of charming landscapes. You leave Heidenfeld again via Klosterstraße and Kirchgasse.
Take the road to Hirschfeld and ride on the cycle path along St.-Kilian-Straße directly into the village. At Gernacher Straße, keep to the left and cycle through fields, along a small wood and the brook ditch towards Lindach.
Before entering the village, asparagus fields and fruit tree plantations begin, which are particularly enchanting during the cherry blossom season. Towards the Main, the vineyards begin. From Lindach, continue south and after Öttershausen take the mountain path on the right into the vineyards, first towards the Main and then parallel to it in the direction of Stammheim. Shortly before you reach Stammheim, you will pass the world's largest Bocksbeutel, a steel sculpture in the characteristic bottle shape.
Winzerstraße and Maingasse lead you back to the river. You cycle along the riverbank and through the Mainaue towards the north, where you soon spot the St. Ludwig monastery.
The origin of St. Ludwig goes back to the discovery of sulphur springs around 1800. Spa operations began in 1811, and in 1823 the Bavarian Queen Theresa Charlotte visited the healing springs. Her husband King Ludwig I allowed the up-and-coming spa to be named after him as "Ludwigsbad". Five years later, a three-storey spa house was built, which was extended in 1837. From 1850 to 1880, the spa, which operated until 1901, is said to have accommodated up to 400 spa guests annually.
Around 1900, Benedictines acquired the complex. They established a monastery and a boarding school. The monastery church was built a few years later in neo-Romanesque style. However, there are also influences from early Christian and Byzantine art and Art Nouveau.
The furnishings and paintings of the church have been completely preserved to this day. All the sculptures, carvings on the choir stalls and pews as well as the Stations of the Cross come from the Würzburg workshop of Heinz Schiestl - one of the most respected sculptors of historicism in Franconia.
By 1913 the monastery was too small and the monks moved to Münsterschwarzach. St. Ludwig continued to be a place of education and recreation for the Benedictines. When they also moved the boarding school to the abbey in Münsterschwarzach in 1963, the Oberzell Franciscan nuns took over. They built a girls' home, school buildings and workshops. Today, St. Ludwig houses a curative-educational-therapeutic youth welfare facility for girls and young women.
You return to the Main on your shortest leg and cross over to the other bank on board your fourth highlight on this tour.
Ferries on the Main have a long tradition and history. As early as 1030, a ferry privilege was granted in Würzburg, 100 years before the first stone bridge was built. In 1282 there is the first mention of a ferry in Schweinfurt. In the late Middle Ages, Main ferries could already transport entire carts.
Today, about a dozen ferries are still in operation on the Main. The majority are equipped to transport cars and lorries up to a certain total weight, some only for passengers and bicycles. The Main ferry connecting St. Ludwig and Wipfeld can carry up to 30 tonnes in weight and 50 people.
You have crossed the Main a second time. Now head along its western bank on the Main cycle path in the direction of Schweinfurt. Between Dächheim and Garstadt, turn left at Bachwiesengraben and follow it to Hergolshausen. From there you cycle through fields and along the Langwiesengraben back to your starting and finishing point in Waigolshausen.