WEIKERSHEIM WAS A LONG-TIME RESIDENCE OF THE HOHENLOHE NOBLES:
Weikersheim is our first stop on our Romantic Road journey. Not having any prior experience of the town, we decide to include Weikersheim as one of our stops, based on its historical heritage. As a long-time former residence of the counts, countesses and princes of the Hohenlohe dynasty the town must have an interesting history to tell. Of added interest is the town’s renaissance palace, with its Versailles-styled gardens.
Picture Postcard Pretty
As our Romantic Road bus makes its way through the narrow streets and squeezes through the old city gate into Weikersheim Marktplatz, we are immediately taken by the picture postcard beauty of this town. The bus stop is right in front of the Church of St Georg with its towering steeple. On alighting from the bus, we are relieved to find that our hotel, the Deutschherren Stuben, is across the small market square, about 100 metres away.
Small but perfectly formed
Weikersheim’s historical old town is only quite small, but it is beautifully laid out. It certainly fits the image of a romantic destination along the Romantischestrasse.
On the square are the historic Protestant Church of St Georg, the baroque town hall (which houses the tourist information office) and the Tauberländer Dorfmuseum, a country folk museum. A rococo fountain stands in the centre of the square and around it are a number of cafes, restaurants and ice cream parlours where you can sit and enjoy the tranquillity of the town.
The Weikersheim Palace and Garden are the town’s main attractions. They are only a short stroll from the market square and are definitely worth a visit.
The palace is also home to the internationally acclaimed Jeunesses Musicales Deutschland. The young musicians perform all year round, with the Opernfestspiele being the highlight. This opera festival takes place in the castle grounds. When you visit the palace, you’ll probably hear strains of music in the air as this is where the orchestra holds its practice sessions.
The Gänsturm is the old city gate. Today it houses a small museum documenting the history and development of Weikersheim. Be warned that the museum is manned by volunteers and is not always open when it is supposed to be. We tried to visit on a couple of occasions but failed. The person who holds the key was nowhere to be found, much to the embarrassment of the staff at the Tourist Information Centre.
Peace and Tranquility
One of the pleasures of being in Weikersheim is sitting in the market square and enjoying a drink in the late afternoon sun. The tranquillity of the market square is only disrupted every now and then by groups of older German tourists streaming into town. They have a quick look around, buy their cake and coffee and then they’re off to their next destination, much to he chagrin of the Gasthaus owners.
Weikersheim is on the route of the Tauber Valley Cycle Path (Taubertalradweg) and is a popular stop for cyclists. They have a break to quench their thirst in the market square before pedalling away.
What we really like about Weikersheim is that it is offers an authentic local experience. The town is too small a place to attract the larger tour groups. As such, there aren’t any shops selling cheap souvenirs here. During our stay, we were about the only foreigners staying in town.
For anyone seeking to enjoy a small romantic German town, Weikersheim certainly fits the bill. Joachim and his team at the Deutschherren Stuben are very friendly and hospitable, making our two-night stay in Weikersheim a very pleasant one.
Places to Stay
There are many family-run hotels in Weikersheim, three of which are located in the market square.
Places to Eat
All the hotels and guesthouses offer meals at lunchtime and dinner. As we liked the atmosphere and service at the Hotel Deutschherren-Stuben, we mostly dined there. The restaurant is quite popular and busy in the evenings.
For a light snack or sandwich, the Backerei Cafe at Markplatz 3 seems to be the only place on the square where you can stop for a snack.
Map of Weikersheim: