Am Bahnhof 1
Would you like to go on an impressive hike through the vineyards of Franconia? Then set off for Iphofen! The tour around the historical vineyard is perfect for a trip by train!
A hiking tour for connoisseurs, explorers and nature lovers
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.
From the station, approach the old town from the south on Bahnhofstraße. You will cross the moat. It is part of the historic city walls from the 13th century.
After about 800 metres you will pass the historic pilgrimage church of St. Blood. It was mentioned as early as the 13th century and has been extended several times over the course of time. In the 16th century, the nave was extended and a typical Julius Echter tower was added. Julius Echter was a renowned theologian, politician and builder who had an influence from Würzburg far into Franconia. The 18th century left the church with very beautiful baroque elements, which were restored in 1911/1912.
Look out for the organic bakery "Der Iphöfer Franzenbäck" in Maxstraße. Good opportunity to fill up your rucksack with provisions.
The market square tempts you to make further stops. You can buy regional delicacies at the "Genusshaus". The Knauf Museum contains a collection of true-to-the-original replicas of reliefs from the great cultural epochs of antiquity that is unique in Europe. The baroque town hall is also inviting, as is the "Iphöfer Geschichte(n)" exhibition in the history barn just behind it.
On the church square you will find the tourist information - welcome centre and shop window of the region. It is definitely worth going in here, not only for the friendly advice. You can also buy a well-chilled Bocksbeutel of the wine grown on the Geschichtsweinberg - a stage of your excursion.
The Mittagsturm is already part of the Rödelseer Tor complex. Well equipped for your excursion into the wine-growing area, you hike out of town via the fortified moats.
Iphofen's medieval fortifications are completely preserved. The Rödelseer Tor is the best known and oldest of the three town gates. Its predecessor was built with the town wall around 1293. The present gate was built during the reign of Bishop Johann III von Grumbach (1455 - 1466), whose coat of arms bears the peach nose on the outside. The pitch noses of the fortifications were used to pour boiling pitch on attackers and thus protect the town from raids and looting. Remarkable is the "loophole" in the gate wings, which are still hung in place today, which was opened when a late arrival asked to be let in. Until 1827, access to the city between the inner, the Mittagsturm, and the outer tower was via a wooden drawbridge, which was then replaced by the stone arched bridge.
The Mittagsturm once served as a place of custody for "malefics", i.e. those who had fallen foul of the criminal justice system.
The gate with the original tower covered with hollow tiles, the neat half-timbering and the gatehouse became the motif of countless painters and photographers and is a landmark of the town.
Follow Rödelseer Straße, then turn right onto Schwanbergweg. You can easily orientate yourself by the signs "terroir f" and "Steigerwald-Panoramaweg".
The path leads uphill through the "Kronsberg" vineyard and is designed as a grape variety nature trail. The soil of this area is a Keuper soil. Keuper is a mineral material that stores heat and water particularly well. On this trail you will learn which grape varieties thrive best here and produce wines that are famous far and wide. At the same time, you will directly feel the climatic conditions that work here and are not only good for the wine. Continuing upwards, you will reach the historic vineyard of Iphofen.
Vine, climbing aid, soil, sun, annual pruning and care - the layman may think that wine is always grown in the same way. But visitors to the lovingly tended grounds of the historical vineyard in Iphofen will learn that this has been done very differently over the centuries and why. Over an area of about 2,000 m², seven motivated winegrowing families from Iphofen bring historical winegrowing back to life. On the vineyard terraces, they show what winegrowing looked like in the Middle Ages, around 1800 and in 1960.
There are guided tours every first Saturday from April to October, offered by the Iphöfer BioWeingut Bausewein.
The short steep climb is rewarded with an individual rest stop with a fantastic view, with a vineyard hut and a place to rest.
The Historic Vineyard is part of the Life+ nature conservation project "Forests.Meadows.Wonderful". Countless animal and plant species, some of which have become very rare, find good living conditions here. Endangered birds such as the Great Grey Shrike, the Ortolan or the Red Kite can be observed. Special butterfly species are also at home in the area, for example the ant blue, the hedge woolly or the Spanish flag.
The grounds are freely accessible at all times.
The wine from the Historic Vineyard, a mixed Franconian set, is available for purchase at the Iphofen Tourist Information.
Two alternative paths lead from here to your next stage destination. One path is steep and best used in summer, but rewards you with a special kind of resting place. The other is comfortable and allows a wide view over Iphofen into the Franconian wine country.
For the sporty summer trail, walk from the car park below the historical vineyard to the right to the stone monument of "Höttehött". To the left of the sculpture, the path of the same name leads steeply upwards.
According to legend, the "Höttehött" is a forest spirit who is said to have used a trick to decide the dispute over a piece of forest for the people of Iphöf. Even today, he is said to knock on the Rödelsee town gate from time to time at night.
You follow the signs for the "Steigerwald-Panoramaweg" (Steigerwald Panorama Trail) and reach the plateau of the Schwanberg through a beech and oak forest. At the "Conradseck" vantage point, the panoramic swing awaits you for a break of the upbeat and particularly relaxing kind. From Conradseck, follow the signs "TraumRunde Rödelsee"/ "R1" to the next stage destination, the "terroir f" Iphofen.
This alternative and more comfortable route does not require a steep ascent. From the car park below the historical vineyard, keep to the left and follow the path at the junction between the vineyards and the semi-arid grassland. On this stretch you have a wonderful view of Iphofen and the Franconian wine country. After about 10 minutes you will reach the terroir f Iphofen.
terroir f - this name is given to places and designed accordingly that make it possible to experience the special nature of the region in a special, even magical way. The terroir f in Iphofen is the first landmark of this Franconia-wide concept. The old lookout tower on the Julius-Echter-Berg was converted for this purpose. The mountain is known as Franconia's premium vineyard. It is said to be the mountain with the friendliest climate in the area. The Julius-Echter-Berg is completely south-facing with its slopes. The soil minerals, the Keuper, are interspersed with reed sandstone here, so that heat, water and nutrients can be stored particularly well. It comes as no surprise that the grapes harvested on the Julius-Echter-Berg give the wine a unique spiciness.
Under the motto "The distance so far. Wine so close. Wine connects.", this square focuses on international ties as a central theme. Which nation in the world produces how much and which wine? The knowledge about this is illustrated in a three-dimensional stele garden. The lookout tower not only offers a wide view of the country, it also makes it possible to read off the distances between Franconia and the respective wine countries.
An elephant in the vineyard? A vineyard in Denmark? Yes, that exists too! The media presentation in the door at the bottom of the tower takes you on a journey into the viticulture of exotic, new and classic countries.
After visiting the lookout tower and stele garden, follow the path further north and soon discover the next landmark, the terroir f Rödelsee.
The terroir f Rödelsee is one of the newest landmarks of the Franconia-wide terroir-f concept and was opened in 2020. The impressive structural sculpture can already be recognised from afar. Gleaming white, as if a spaceship had landed above the vines, the cylinder floats in the wine culture landscape. As if through a giant pair of binoculars, the visitor gazes out over the vineyards into the seemingly endless horizon. Inside, the story of the Silvaner is told, which was first planted in Franconia over 350 years ago in the nearby wine village of Castell. No other grape variety embodies Franconian wine country as much as the Silvaner. The grape variety is both the soul and the identity of this wine region and can produce everything from simple, hearty wines to fresh, lively local and estate wines to great dry wines.
Now walk downhill on the Weinbergweg and follow the cycle path signs straight ahead. You will pass the Küchenmeisterhütte and the Hainleitenkreuz. On this path you always have the church tower of St. Veit in view. It leads you directly to the Rödelseer Tor and back to Iphofen.
Once you have passed the Rödelseer Tor, turn left before the Mittagsturm tower onto the path that leads between the two ditches of the Wehrbach stream and along the town wall. This is the "Herrengraben" circular path, which leads you past the municipal sports grounds directly to the town lake. When you circle the lake, you come to the next highlight of the excursion. No, it is not the numerous wine-related experiences that will fool you into thinking you are looking at huge colourful Bocksbeutel bags. You are looking at a colourful installation of the town of Iphofen.
Ten oversized Bocksbeutel PS with artistic motifs on the theme of wine stand at the Iphöfer Stadtsee. The artistically realised themes range from "Wine and Architecture", "Pests and Beneficial Pests in Viticulture" to "Wine and Food" or "Wine and Craft" to "Wine Worldwide".
Students from the Würzburg/Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences and a student from the University of Leipzig met over a long weekend in the teaching and experimental cellar of the Bavarian State Institute for Viticulture and Horticulture in Veitshöchheim. Here they provided ten oversized moulds of the newly designed Bocksbeutel PS with artistic motifs on and about wine - without any specifications, but with great enthusiasm and of course lots of Franconian wine. The result is an impressive, colourful and lively installation that was on display at the 2018 State Garden Show in Würzburg and was subsequently auctioned off by the town of Iphofen.
A walk through the installation offers many interesting views of the vineyards or the parish church of St. Vitus.
After circling the town lake, we continue to the Einersheim Gate. Here, in 1522, during the Peasants' War, marauding peasants were prevented from taking the town. A stone cross in the gateway marks the spot where an Iphofen citizen was stabbed to death by Swedish soldiers in 1632 during the Thirty Years' War.
If all the fresh air, exercise and time travel has made you hungry for a hearty meal, walk from the Einersheim Gate to the market square. Here, Iphöfer restaurateurs and innkeepers of cosy wine taverns will serve you a meal.
But if you want to continue your walk straight back to the station, stay on the path along the fortifications and pass the Eulenturm, a former watchtower. Serious criminals were imprisoned for life in its dungeon. The fortifications tell a lot about the history of the city, about crises and former customs. The plague gate was walled up in 1596. It is a reminder of dark times when the plague dead were taken out of the city every night and buried in a cemetery outside. The cent tower, conspicuous for its massive, square shape, served as the cent beadle's dwelling. In the 19th century, the building was also used as a poorhouse for a time.
After circling the old town from the east, you come back to Bahnhofstraße and from here find your way to the railway station, where you can comfortably travel home by train after an eventful day.
Am Bahnhof 1