The beautiful landscape alone would be enough: vineyards to the right and left, in between the Main with its tree-lined banks and meadows. But this section of the Main valley has much more to offer.
The small town of Dettelbach, filled with colourful half-timbered houses and enclosed by a medieval ring wall, is always worth a trip. Equally worthwhile are the castles in the two neighbouring villages of Mainstockheim and Mainsondheim - one, by the way, is a real one, another in name only.
And did you know that there is so much art to be seen here? Open-air works of art in the sculpture park and on the sculpture trail along the Main make for a special cultural treat on this rather easy hike in the valley of the Main.
A hiking tour for families, culture lovers and nature lovers
Start and end station
14 km / 5 Stunden
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.
Tour starts on Buchbrunn-Mainstockheim
From the station, you are drawn without detours down the railway path to the banks of the Main, which you will only leave for short detours today. You walk past the sports field and under the trees, while the water of one of the most beautiful rivers in Germany flows to your right.
Behind the allotments and a field, you turn away from the river for a detour up Schlossstraße to your first intermediate destination: the Ebracher Hof.
As the address already reveals, the Ebracher Hof is also called a castle. It was built in 1624 by Abbot Johannes Dressel of the Cistercian monastery of Ebrach. It sent out a magnificent estate and monastery farm for the cultivation of wine for the monastery's needs. With its richly structured Renaissance gable and elaborately decorated stone portal, the building still resembles a castle today.
About 100 years after it was built, Abbot Wilhelm Söllner had some rooms and the house chapel elaborately stuccoed in the rococo style. In 1734, the large terraced garden was created according to Baroque models with several fountains, where today, in addition to trees, flowers and bees, vegetables are grown and art is displayed.
Monks lived at Ebracher Hof until secularisation in 1803, when church properties were expropriated. After that, the estate initially fell to the Electorate of Bavaria, but was auctioned off as private property the very next year. Over the course of time, Ebracher Hof changed hands several times until in 1961 Gabriele Brandner's parents purchased the property and founded a retirement home, which her daughter still runs today. In 2016, the castle was renovated in accordance with the preservation order and has been barrier-free since then.
The fact that there was once a Jewish wine merchant among the many owners is evidenced by the mikvah, a ritual bath for the Jewish citizens of Mainstockheim from the 19th century, which is still preserved today.
You have walked up Schlossstraße and now walk "An der Schlossmauer" back to the Main. Now continue along the river bank at the foot of the vineyards in the direction of Dettelbach. At the sewage treatment plant, the only major ascent today awaits you. You climb up to the Josefshöhe, where a breathtaking panoramic view awaits you.
The Joseph Temple was built in 1892 by the winery owner Johann Knauer and is today also the logo of the winery. The temple in the Mainstockheim mountains is a stepped structure with the figure of St. Joseph with child. From under the romantic canopy, there is a magnificent view of the Dettelbach Mainschleife and the Steigerwald.
Have you already spotted the six large stone sculptures? They were created during the second international sculpture symposium in Dettelbach, "Panta Rhei", and have been set up on the sculpture path along the Main. You will have the opportunity to take a close look at the works of art on your way.
Now it's first back to Mainstockheimer Straße and down to the riverbank and the Dettelbach Sculpture and Leisure Park. Here you can refresh your tired feet in the Kneipp pool while looking at art.
Sculpture and Leisure Park Dettelbach
The park along the Main hiking and cycling trail is a public meeting place for Dettelbachers and Main tourists alike. The colourful sculptures set up here are largely works by the local artist Roger Bischoff. In between, there are walking paths, green spaces and trees, an event pavilion and seating areas.
In 2009, the Kulturhistorischer Kreis Dettelbach e. V. first presented its idea of a sculpture and leisure park to the city council. The sculpture park opened in 2012, and in 2015 a multi-generation water play area with several dams and an integrated Kneipp pool was added in a second construction phase. It was built in 1,500 hours of voluntary work by volunteers of the Kulturhistorischer Kreis Dettelbach e. V. (Dettelbach Cultural History Circle).
Mainstockheimer Straße 4-6
Now you are very close to the beautiful medieval town of Dettelbach with its colourful half-timbered houses. From the park, it is only a few minutes to the old town, which is well worth seeing, with its historic town wall.
Dettelbach town fortification
The old town of Dettelbach is still surrounded by a town wall with towers, gates and remains of moats. It dates from the turn of the 16th century. At that time, the town was granted town and market rights by Emperor Frederick III.
The first armed conflict took place in the German Peasants' War in 1525, but during the Thirty Years' War it was no longer able to withstand modern artillery and in 1631 the population opened its town to the Protestant Swedes without a fight.
The appearance of the castle changed constantly in the following centuries. For example, many small wall additions and some of the once 52 towers disappeared. In 1872, three of the five medieval gates were demolished because they hindered the increasing traffic of carts. In the following decade, a circular park was created in the south for the local population.
Finally, in the 20th century, the spirit of the times changed. The value of the circular wall as a monument was recognised. Today it still closes around almost the entire Dettelbach old town. Particularly many of the 30 or so remaining towers can be seen along the eastern city wall between the former Neutor and the Faltertor, the more important of the two surviving gates.
A typical example of the development of the wall towers is the so-called Rössnerturm at the Östliche Stadtmauer 3. The defence tower became a residential building in the 19th century by adding a half-timbered extension. The so-called Mainstockheimer Turm at Stadtgraben 6 is considered the oldest surviving remnant of the town fortifications and is said to date back to the middle of the 15th century. The men's tower was the town prison until the 19th century. Today, together with the Faltertor, it is a popular photo motif.
Am Stadtgraben 6
Now head back down to the Main. Keep your eyes open for the sculptures. The last one greets you near the Main ferry, with which you cross over to Mainsondheim. On the other bank, walk up the street "Zur Mainfähre" to reach Mainsondheim Castle.
Mainsondheim was founded around the year 700 and is the only district of Dettelbach on the right bank of the Main. Its castle and the associated estate formed the economic centre of the village for centuries. The castle still dominates the village today.
It was built in the 15th century by the Fuchs von Dornheims family, who are documented to have had a noble seat in Mainsondheim as early as 1320. Over the centuries, various noble families have held sway over Mainsondheim, which has also led to the castle being remodelled several times.
Today's appearance is largely attributed to the late Gothic period and dates back to the 18th century, when the barons of Mauchenheim called Bechtolsheim came into possession of the estate. They still occupy it today, so the castle itself is not open to the public. The estate with its large arable fields became a golf course in the 1980s.
Tour ends on Buchbrunn-Mainstockheim
You start from the Schlossweg in a southerly direction. Your path leads you between the river and the golf course towards Albertshofen. The motorcross track can be lively for a short while, but otherwise you will experience the famous Main-Weinland idyll on this stage. In Albertshofen you will take the Main ferry across again.
By the way, couples have been able to get married on the Main aboard the Chris-Tina for over ten years. At the Mainstockheim shore, take the familiar path along the water back to Buchbrunn-Mainstockheim station.