Miltenberg – A Medieval Town on the Main River:
Miltenberg is a popular stop on a Main River cruise and, like many others before us, our river boat calls at this historical town that is famous for its timber-frame houses.
As we stroll through the Old Town on our way to Miltenberg’s Schnatterloch (historical market square), the 16th and 17th century timber-framed buildings lining the street give the impression of a town that is unaffected by time. The buildings are in pristine condition and it’s easy to imagine that these structures were lifted from medieval times and transplanted into Miltenberg today.
One of the historic landmarks of Miltenberg, of which there are many, is the Gasthaus Zum Riesen (Tavern for Giants), the oldest guesthouse in Germany. According to the Giants’ guestbook, some of its notable historical guests are said to include Barbarossa, Emperor Frederick III, King Ludwig of Bavaria, Emperor Charles IV and Empress Maria Theresa. Other guests from the 20th century are said to include Richard Strauss, famous German actors and politicians and even Elvis Presley.
Miltenberg Market Place
Miltenberg’s market place is the jewel of the city and here we see the most exquisite examples of Miltenberg’s timber-framed houses. In the middle of the market square is the octagonal Marktbrunnen, a Renaissance fountain. On top of its slender column are some dancing cherubs. In the Old Town you can see an example of a chain of relay wells that provided water to Miltenberg in the past.Miltenberg Castle was originally built by the Archbishops of Mainz as a military outpost-fortress to secure their defense against the growing threat coming from Würzburg. The residential part of the Castle was added much later (between 1390 and 1396) by Archbishop Konrad von Weinsberg. The castle interior is now a museum of art collections.
There are two towers that mark the boundaries of the Old Town: Würzburger Tor (Würzburg Gate) is the eastern gateway and Mainzer Tor (Mainz Gate) is the western gateway.
Also worth seeing are the Old Town Hall and the town museum. The twin towers of the St. Jakobus church is unmissable as is the huge gateway to the Spessartbrucke. If time permits, take a wander around the alleyways and backstreets where the true Miltenbergers live.
Map of Main River: