In the land of fortified churches: South of Iphofen, a special feature awaits you on this bike tour - fortified churches and churchyards. These served as a retreat for the population in times of war.
A hiking tour for nature lovers, culture enthusiasts and explorers
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.
From Iphofen station, first walk under the tracks to the "Alte Reichsstraße". There you walk to the right with the marking "Black church on yellow ground". At the right-hand bend, go straight on into a beautiful grassy path and follow the tour to a small vineyard.
You will pass two hunting stands and come across an unexpectedly wonderful view at a double crossing! Continue straight on in the direction of Mönchsondheim down to the Breitbachtal valley, there with cycle path sign Mönchsondheim you will meet the Vogtsmühle mill after approx. 2 kilometres.
The Vogtsmühle was one of the mills in the Breitbach Valley. It is known as early as 1471 and was in operation until the end of the 1960s. The mill fell into disrepair after the Thirty Years' War, but was repaired around 1700 and was given another millrace. From 1800 onwards there was also a gypsum aisle, as the area is rich in gypsum. Gypsum stones were ground for use as building or fertiliser gypsum. The narrow, fell-rich Breitbach valley is full of old mills, because in former times not only wine but also a lot of grain was grown here. The numerous small mills are, as is generally the case, not located directly on the natural main watercourse, the Breitbach, but on a kind of branched-off artificial channel, the Mühlgraben or Mühlbach.
At the Vogtsmühle, a cycle path sign points in the direction of Mönchsondheim. After a good 300 m, walk to the left over a wide wooden bridge and immediately to the right. Follow the stream with its numerous pollarded willows until you reach the entrance to Mönchsondheim. From here it is only about 5 minutes to the church museum in the centre of the village.
The Church Castle Museum is an open-air museum of a special kind and unique in Bavaria: it is part of a living village community. All the historic buildings are "in-situ" on their original sites and have been closely interwoven with village life for centuries. Here, the everyday life of the village in the old days is brought to life on short paths. Around the old lime tree on the village square are the fortified church with parish church and storehouse, the former town hall, the bakery and post office, a grocer's shop, the historic inn "Zum Schwarzen Adler" with bowling alley and herb garden, and a small farm. Also worth seeing are the milk collection point, a cooperative freezing plant and the two school museums from different times. A highlight is the archaeological excavation site "archäosuntheim", which proves that Mönchsondheim was settled as far back as the Neolithic Age. There are also regularly changing special exhibitions. Interesting themed tours, activity programmes or museum festivals, which take place all year round, complete the diverse offer.
An der Kirchenburg 5
Continuing in the direction of Hüttenheim, you are now guided by the Steigerwald Panorama Trail markings. It leads from the entrance to the Kirchburg Museum past other buildings on the open-air museum grounds: on the left is the town hall, around the corner on the right is the old school. After you have left the village, it is only a few metres uphill, and a panoramic view opens up in the open field! Continue along a field path and finally you will see Hüttenheim in front of you, behind it the Tannenberg with its panoramic views, stylistically characterised by vineyards. In the village you pass the Catholic church of St. John the Baptist - behind the wrought-iron gate is one of the most stylistically pure neo-Gothic churches in Bavaria. At the Landgasthof May, walk through the stone archway, directly at the Bocksbeutel Express stop, into the fortified church complex.
30 arcades, some of them with several storeys and cellars, surround the Evangelical Lutheran parish church. The whole complex is more than 2000 square metres in size, and the wall around it is 5 metres high. Unfortunately, this was necessary in the Middle Ages, a time when one always had to reckon with armed conflicts, because the rulers were complicated and the people of Hüttenheim had several landlords for centuries. This fortified church is one of the best preserved in Franconia and also the largest Franconian Gadenkirchenburg. The storehouses and vaulted cellars were used by the farms for wine and crops until the 20th century. Then the people of Hüttenheim also needed more space for modern tools and growing harvests, which is why the gatehouse was demolished, along with dilapidated additions. In the 1960s, when the gaden were hardly used any more, there was talk of demolishing them, but fortunately this was not done. The whole complex was renovated - and nowadays presents itself as a jewel! In May there is the Kirchenburg market and in August the Kirchenburg wine festival!
For more information on guided tours, culinary village walks, the marketplace festival and other events, as well as a detailed village walk as a PDF download, please visit: www.willanzheim.de/tourismus/weinort-huettenheim/dorfspaziergang.html
Your next destination is the Tannenberg. Follow the Steigerwald Panorama Trail downhill to the right around the pond. Opposite, the Kneipp basin at the Neuwiesenquelle spring invites you to refresh yourself. On the way to the summit cross, it is worth taking a detour to the left to the former Jewish cemetery, from where you have a wonderful panoramic view. Return to the crossroads and, with the signpost Tannenberg, pass a hut, continue to the left up a steep and stony climb. Several branches follow, the H2 marking leads you to the summit cross with a snack bench and to the summit plateau.
Viticulture has been documented in Hüttenheim since 1199, but the vines only grow on the Tannenberg. Heavy gypsum-keuper soils give the wines a special mineral note, but lighter, gravelly subsoil also occurs. North and south, east and west vineyards can be found around the Tannenberg; as well as flat and steep slopes, which makes it a versatile and well-used vineyard. Diversity is also reflected in the grape varieties: Scheurebe and Silvaner, Müller-Thurgau and Riesling and Pinot Blanc, red varieties such as Pinot Noir, Dornfelder, Domina and Regent. Goldmuskateller also grows here - and of course the famous Bacchus. Cheers!
Follow the "TraumRunde" markings to the "Bergbrünnlein" shortly before Seinsheim. Signs point the way to the "Aussicht alter Steinbruch" and the "Weinparadiesscheune", our next destination. We pass a shelter with information about the "Alter Steinbruch" mine. An ascent on a narrow path is rewarded with a view and smoothly polished rocks at the Old Quarry! Continue up the serpentines, always following the TraumRunde markings and winding around the Old Quarry in the Kunigundenwald. In front, at the lookout edge, a magnificent view with local information boards! Continue on, you pass an amazingly smoothly polished rock with a stone bench in front of it. The path descends steeply again and you come back to the tarred path, a panoramic path par excellence! To the left, it's another 300 m to the turnoff to Seinsheim, where you later descend to the right. Hardly anyone would want to miss the stop at the Weinparadiesscheune, 100 m ahead.
When the wine paradise flag is flying, it is open - the Weinparadiesscheune. Inside and outside you can sit - by the way, exactly on the border between Lower and Middle Franconia - and enjoy numerous local wines together with the magnificent panorama: in favourable weather even as far as the Rhön and the Vogelsberg in the Taunus. The sun sometimes sets blood-red on the horizon, Mediterranean holiday atmosphere combines with sun-drenched Franconian wine. The barn is open at various times throughout the year, and may remain closed when the snow cover is closed. The wines of many different winegrowers from all the wine paradise towns are served, and there is a wide range of food and drink on offer.
Continue following the "Traumrunde" markings to Seinsheim. After the crossroads with the dark wooden bench, there is a small landscape lake, behind which you enter the village: straight ahead along the stream, over the stream bridge and on the right of the stream to the paved road, turn right there and head towards the church tower. On the outside of the fortified church wall, opposite the bakery on the left, is a small room with a round-arched entrance let into the wall, a former prison cell! Climbing the stairs next to it, it is worth taking a look inside the fortified church complex.
The fortified church dates back to the 15th century and still consists today of 17 gaden houses with cellars. The village was fortified with gates and granted market and town rights by the dynasty of the Lords of Seinsheim/Schwarzenberg. The church with its baroque furnishings from the 19th century survived the bombing in 1945 without major destruction and is usually open.
An der Kirchenburg
Back at the arched entrance, we walk counterclockwise around the corner and along the outside of the church wall, because there's something else special: the smallest brewery in Lower Franconia. You can find the opening hours at: www.seinsheimer-kellerbier.de. At the front of Schwarzenbergstraße turn left and on the main road turn right and the Bocksbeutel Express stop Seinsheim, Am Oberen Tor awaits your return journey.
Stop Seinsheim, Am Oberen Tor → VGN leisure line Bocksbeutel-Express 109 → Nuremberg a.o.