Surroundings of Ochsenfurt

Visitochsenfurt – this picturesque medieval city – but do not forget its surroundings. It is worth it!

Discover Mainfranken – start from Ochsenfurt

The statement that Ochsenfurt is worth a trip can also be underpinned by the fact that the city is not just a cultural heritage, but rather embedded in a historically grown, sacred and cultural exceptional versatile region. In the surrounding area, tourist highlights such as Würzburg or Rothenburg ob der Tauber await your visit. Or some true jewels like the little spot Sommerhausen.

That Ochsenfurt can not keep up with a city like Würzburg with her UNESCO world cultural heritage (the „Residenz“ in Würzburg) is clear. Würzburg offers something that Ochsenfurt can not offer. Similarly, however, it is reversed. So why not take Ochsenfurt as a starting point to discover the Franconian Middle Ages, to experience wine culture, and to experience Franconian lifestyle? With Ochsenfurt one of the oldest cities on the Main awaits you. The whole – and this in comparison to Würzburg – in a very compact manner.

Kirchturm mit Kirchschiff der St. Andreas KircheIn the Old Town of Ochsenfurt, you are invited to experience medieval flair. An ancient church whose history goes back to the ninth century and was consecrated in its present form in the 13th century. That such an old house of prayer has remarkable art treasures is almost self-evident.

The gothic town hall with its bells offering a little play every full hour easily deserve the attention of its visitors. City walls, ancient towers and city gates – just stroll along the city moat, you will see!

Franconian Middle Ages, wine culture & sacral heritage

Ochsenfurt is situated in a outstanding cultural region. In the widest sense, the area around ​​the river main between Bamberg, Würzburg and Aschaffenburg describes the region „Mainfranken“. With Ochsenfurt in the middle.

The Leader: Würzburg, Bamberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Würzburg – old bridge © Mapics /

Already the early Franconian kings and emperors used the Main as a development axis to the east of their empire. This is also connected with the establishment of the Catholic bishoprics of Würzburg (8th century) and Bamberg (11th century) by means of which Christianization in the region should also be strengthened. This applies, in particular, to the early establishment of the diocese of Würzburg.

Both Würzburg and Bamberg have a unique, Franconian and sacred heritage. This can be seen already in the status „World Cultural Heritage“, which was awarded by the UNESCO to the Würzburg Residenz and the Old Town of Bamberg.

A bit out of the way and not (!) To Mainfranken counting, lies Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The truely world-famous city is situated about 40 km south of Ochsenfurt in the district of Mittelfranken. Rothenburg is today visited by heirs of tourists from all over the world. No wonder: nowhere else can you find such a density of medieval buildings, which are preserved in their origin.


If you want to discover, feel and taste the region of Mainfranken, you should not only pay attention to the big player of the region. If you want to experience the Franconian flair, Franconian cuisine and lifestyle along with medieval history and architecture, you should definitely go to the smaller cities.

Ochsenfurt has a population of 8,000. The special appeal of the medieval town of Ochsenfurt has already been clarified elsewhere. However, Ochsenfurt can also be regarded as an ideal starting point for discovering the region. The general location, the connection over a network of important roads, bicycle paths, the Main waterway and overnight accomodations from big to small – everything available.

A day trip is definitely also worth Volkach. Volkach is situated on a natural loop of the river Main, the „Mainschleife“. The city of a similar size to Ochsenfurt looks back on perhaps the longest tradition of viticulture in the region. If you want to experience Franconian viticulture in the truest sense of the word, Volkach serves best. The small town is literally surrounded by viticulture.

Der "rote" Turm zu Sommerhausen
Sommerhausen (red Tower) © Richard Oechsner /

Small enough, but not less, is Sommerhausen. Sommerhausen is located in the immediate vicinity of Ochsenfurt, just 8 km away, along the river Main towards Würzburg. How to describe this place? Perhaps it is the adjective „romantic“ that fits best. Sommerhausen must be seen. It is ideal to ride the bike along the River Main to get here. When you arrived you should expect nothing great. Rather, one should go along the small roads of the village to get a sort of special impression. In addition to inns and surprisingly high-priced hotels many galleries reside here. Even a very little theater exists, the „Tortum“ theater in which Heinz Rühmann has already shot. More is not to be betrayed at this point. Just look at it!

Slightly diagonally opposite to Ochsenfurt, there is the small village Frickenhausen with a little over a thousand inhabitants. Frickenhausen is not only to be mentioned here, since it is almost within walking distance from Ochsenfurt. Rather, Frickenhausen can also be viewed as archetypically for the region. From the first documentary mention, the spot was virtually inseparable from wine growing. In town visitors can experience medieval half-timbered buildings, city gates and churches, or a chapel, which would otherwise not be expected in such a small place. The vineyards, however, and the long history of this place make it possible. Today, Frickenhausen offers mainly pure wine culture. Perhaps as a visitor you simply make your way to the nearby Valentinskapelle in the middle of the vineyards. From there you have a wonderful view over the wine landscape from Marktbreit to Ochsenfurt and, of course, Frickenhausen itself. Treat yourself to a glass of Frankenwein, perhaps also in the middle of August, if one of the most beautiful and popular wine festivals in Mainfranken is held here!

Franconian Wine & Wine Region

The special appeal of the Maindreieck (the triangular stream course here) makes the vines and therefore the famous Franconian wine in the valley mature very well. In terms of soils and dimension of the wnie-growing district the Frankenwein (german labeling for this local wine) may not keep pace with its big competitors. But in fact, the Franconian wine simply does not have to.

Franconian Wine dominates the image

Although Ochsenfurt is also regarded as a beer town and not just as a wine town, the wine characterizes the city to a certain extent.

For sure, visitors will collect three impressions of the town: the old town itself with its medieval character, the sugar factory, which belongs to Ochsenfurt just as, well, the vineyards do.

The decisive weight of the vineyards is still moderate in Ochsenfurt. Although the ascending rows of grapevines on the northern slope (and thus south, or rather, south-west, exposed) are unmistakable. However, this is no comparison to other cities and localities in the immediate vicinity. The little venue Frickenhausen, for example, located roughly opposite the sugar factory on the other side of the river, „drowns“ almost into wine growing.

The reasons for the somewhat more moderate dominance of wine cultivation in Ochsenfurt are manifold. Ochsenfurt is one of the oldest cities in the region. It came relatively early to certain wealth. This location factor favored, among other things, the early settlement of the slopes. Those then quickly became residential areas and could therefore not be cultivated for wine anymore.

In addition, the old town is located on the south side of the river, the coveted location for wine-growing are the northern slopes where the vines get the best orientation towards the sun (south and south-west).

And yet the Franconian wine is extremely present in Ochsenfurt as everywhere in the region along the river. With wine culture you are growing up here. Hardly any family misses some kind of relationship to one of the wineries in the surrounding area. The wine festivals are an integral part of the cultural calendar of the city and the region. Also in Ochsenfurt one of those takes place of course. At the end of July in the – how could it be otherwise – historical moat of of the town.

Location Factors: River, Climate & Soils

The special microclimate and the geological uniqueness that Keuper, Lower Trias and, in particular, Muschelkalk clash here, experts consider a decisive success factor of the Franconian wine.

Without the soil, and without the river, the Main, there would be not only no Frankenwein here. Without the river Main no region of Mainfranken of course. For hundreds of years, the Main has shaped the appearance and the life in the region.

But how could a river shape the landscape and the culture so extraordinarily strong here? The answer is that, apart from the location factors climate and soil, there is this special.. well… feature of the river. The Maindreieck. Due to the marked bend of the river which forms a triangle here you get those certain hillsides, which, so to speak, provide more direct sunlight than elsewhere.

The climate in Mainfranken and also in Ochsenfurt is extremely advantageous and easy to describe. The region offers a lot of sun on the one hand, and only few rainfall on the other. When clouds have crossed the three Middle Mountains in the North, East and West, most of the water has already fallen from the sky. This, of course, does not mean that extreme weather conditions with heavy rain, hail or even winter storms do not occur here.

Wine as an Economic Factor

The economic importance of the Frankenwein (Franconian wine) for the region since many hundred years can not be shown clearly enough.

The beer (Ochsenfurt has two private breweries) followed the wine in the late 19th century. Favored by a regular crisis in the cultivation of wine occurring at the beginning of the 20th century. This was triggered by a particularly aggressive form of phylloxera, causing economic trouble for a lot of towns here. But through various measures such as the establishment of new grape varieties and a reform of the vineyards, the decline of Franconian wine culture could be prevented.

Today, Mainfranken contributes largely to the fact that Bavaria is the third largest wine-growing area in Germany. The Franconian wine is, however, very popular and can be counted with fugue and right to one of those wiht the best quality and reputation in the world.

River Main & „Mainfranken“

Why at this point a separate page about the Main? Well, from the tourist point of view there ist the bikeway „Mainrad“ along the river for instance. However, the Main as a whole is so important for the region and Ochsenfurt, that at this point a chapter of its own has to be devoted to it.

Sun & Wineyards

View into the Maintal - from Frickenhausen towards Ochsenfurt
Maintal – View over Frickenhausen towards Ochsenfurt

Ochsenfurt is not just a beer town. The fact that a city like Ochsenfurt in Franconia despite its manageable size has two breweries does not surprise in Bavaria. In terms of brewery, Bavaria is leading in Germany. Even more. There is no larger collection of beer brewers in Europe than in Franconia.

The beer, however, followed the wine. Once upon a time, the wine heavily struggled with a mean louse. The more detailed circumstances are described here.

Nevertheless, the wine not only characterizes the culture and in former times the economy of the region. In addition, wine growing is the main feature of Mainfranken. Thus, not a few small districts along the river have their pretty medieval walls ultimately due to the vines.

And what definitely belongs to winegrowing? In addition to the hillside? The appropriate climate of course. The weather in Mainfranken is always somewhat better than in many other regions of Germany. And in an investigation from the last decade, Franconia was even assigned the most beautiful weather in Germany.

Mainfranken in turn is not only one of the driest regions in Germany, but also by far the driest zone in Bavaria. Even though the locals – what is so much typically for every region, isn’t it? – frequently complain about their supposed „Schmuddelwetter“ (lousy weather).

Fact is: Climate change does not know any borders. Storms and floods are also increasing here. It is no coincidence that the highest temperature ever measured in Germany was measured in the „Maindreieck“ (the region somewhere between Gemünden, Schweinfurt and Ochsenfurt). Strictly speaking in Kitzingen.

The face of the Main – the Main gives face

The importance of the Main can not only be determined by the numerous wine festivals. Leaving the valley of the river Main and driving or going up the slopes, the varied character of the region quickly disappears. If you are expecting mountains or a hilly landscape – typical for South Germany – you will be taught something else there.

view along the floodplain

The Main defines the profile of the region and is at the same time a natural geographic outlier. At the end of the Ice Age, the river and its smaller side-branches cut into the plain of the region and formed the landscape.

At the same time, of course, the Main changed a lot since the last Ice Age. Even under Charles the Great, there were efforts to achieve the idea of ​​a complete connection between the rivers Rhine, Main and Danube. Over time, excavation and straightening have taken place, which has led to a sustained transformation of river moors and meandering.

And yet, if you ride along the Main, you will find only few straight forms. Rather, there are here and there edges, jags, indentations or small islets in the course of the river. The floodplain is lined with many open spaces where the branches of mighty trees rise into the water. What remains: a river, a waterway that could maintain its natural character better than other important water bodies in Europe.

The River – Economy & Recreation

The Main in Ochsenfurt shows this supposed naturalness in many places. The Main offers services not only to transport and industry, but also to tourism and recreation.

The naturalness of the Main as a whole is also reflected in the distinction of the Main Cycle Route. As the first of its kind, the 600 km long line from the Ochsenkopf, or Creußen to Mainz-Kastel from the ADFC (german bicycle association) was awarded five stars for its natural and scenic areas. The fact that Ochsenfurt is located on this main bikeway can be felt anywhere in town indeed. Cyclists are nearely always and everywhere present here. No wonder, the section between Ochsenfurt and Würzburg offers pure nature and many, highly picturesque tourist impressions. In addition to Ochsenfurt itself, the bikeway leads for instance through the small, but adorable-romantic Markt Sommerhausen only 3 miles upriver.

The „Nixe“ (the name of a small ferry boat) is well-known in Ochsenfurt today. Since 2007, the small ship has been placing passengers across the river after the old Main Bridge was closed for years due to refurbishment work. After completion of the work, the Nixe had actually done its service. However, the ferry arrived so well that it has now become an integral part of Ochsenfurt.

To the north of the old town and to the east is a popular recreation area. There are always strollers and mounted horses, which are located in the Riding Club of Ochsenfurt.

If you cross the river via the new bridge (which is not possible at the moment, because this new bridge is in fact again newly built) and you look to the right, you see a sport center with ennis courts and outdoor swimming pools among others. This area is actually located on a small river island, the Main Insel.

In the south of the city, walking along the wide river bank towards the east, the old town with its medium-Franconian appearance in the back on the one side and the sugar factory on the other move more and more into the field of view. A triumvirate of a beautiful floodplain, a factory site and a medieval town, which you shouldn’t miss.

The sugar factory as an important trade tax, in turn, would certainly not exist in Ochsenfurt without the Main. The former „Zuckerfabrik Franken GmbH“ merged with the „Süddeutsche-Zucker-AG“ in 1988, forming the Südzucker AG Mannheim / Ochsenfurt: The largest sugar producer in the world.

If you want, you can walk along the river to the nearby Marktbreit. The small town at the southernmost point of the Maindreieck (the word „Dreieck“ means triangle in english by the way!) offers some charming sights. Absolutely recommendable: The Malerwinkelhaus. There, for example the permanent exhibition „Römerkabinett“ can be visited, showing artifacts from the Romans who had a big camp here, 2.000 years ago.

Historic Center of Ochsenfurt

The old town of Ochsenfurt has to be explored with all senses. It is nice and good, if you catch one of the many Sundays in Mainfranken. But it definitely does not hurt to sneak through alleyways, main street, and the city moat on a dull, rainy day. Because then, the feeling of being in a different time is perhaps especially great.

And not only during summer a visit is a good idea. Even in the winter, when – which unfortunately is more and more rarely the case – the city moat and roofs are covered with snow.

Half-timbered houses & sacred buildings

In order to see and feel the medieval origins of the city of Ochsenfurt, one must not yet have entered the city. The exceptionally well-preserved city wall and its partly imposing wrought-towers, which still contain cannon balls from the Seven-year war, make it very easy to grasp how old and equally Franconian the walls are which you are approaching.

The fact that Ochsenfurt looks back on many centuries of history can already be seen from outside the old town. The half-timbered buildings typical for Franconia can be found within the medieval walls, just like the sacred buildings, which simply belong to a 1,300-year-old city like Ochsenfurt.

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Dimension of the historic center / walkability

The old town stretches over an area of ​​about 400 meters in length and 500 meters wide, bordering directly to the river Main in the north. All the sights are within walking distance. But one should not be deceived. In order to be able to experience everything properly, you will have to plan more than „just an hour“.

Altstadt von Ochsenfurt - Blick Richtung neues Rathaus
Main street in the old town of Ochsenfurt

To ensure that visitors do not have to contend with traffic noise and crowded streets, traffic calming and stepping speed have prevailed in Ochsenfurt for quite some time. Despite the fact that cars do drive over the main street of the old town you quickly get the impression that you as a pedestrian or a cyclist in Ochsenfurt are the boss in the ring.

If you would like to remove the city from the list of places you’d like to visit in the region, since you are traveling by car: Do not worry. Parking lots in the immediate periphery of the old town exist more than enough. Either you use the car park, which is located at the eastern city gate. Or you park your car free of charge at the large-scale Main (the river!) car park.


Exploring the Old Town

City wall & weir system

Taubenturm / Untere Klingengasse

But how exactly to explore the Old Town of Ochsenfurt? One possibility would be to circumvent the old town along the city wall. What is important ist to go to the south and the west and follow the city wall here, partly through the former moat, along the „Zwinger“.

The might of the city fortification can probably be best experienced by starting the tour in the west and then continuing southwards along the Zwinger to the eastern end of the town. In this sense, you should start from the „Mainparkplatz“ (car park along the river) and from there into the „Untere Klingengasse“.

At the beginning of „Untere Klingengasse“, one of the oldest buildings in the city, the lower gate, or the old smithy, is already on the right hand.

At the end of the Untere Klingengasse you enter the main road. To the right: The Klingentor. Through this gate you go through, in order to turn finally left into the moat. From there you have the perfect view from outside the defense system into the city. The route then continues along walls and moat.


Wehranlage und Palatium mit Stadtgraben in Ochsenfurt
City moat, Nikolausturm and Palatium in Ochsenfurt

The Nikolausturm and the Pulverturm will fall into the eye next. Along the Nikolausturm you have a good view of the „Domkapitelsches Palladium“. The imposing building dates back to the late 13th century and served the clerics of the Würzburg Cathedral as a residence and storage space. As storage space, it was predominantly – as might be otherwise – used for storing wine. The Nikolausturm is the Bergfried of the complex, which was originally immured. The large tower was thus a kind of main tower for the purpose of defending the building complex. Also it was good for gainig a perfect view over the surrounding countryside and possibly approaching enemies, as well as storing goods.

From there, we continue along the ramparts, parallel to the Zwinger. Finally, the path leads to the left and you will already be very close to the „Obere Tor“ (upper gate), the eastern gate of the 14th century.

Old and new town hall

Ochsenfurt has an old and a new town hall. The library of Ochsenfurt is now housed in the old town hall. You can not miss the building if you go from the upper gate to the new town hall and finally St. Andreas church. The old town hall with its well visible pillory, is located directly on the corner of Hauptstraße / Brückenstraße, opposite the main church of St. Andreas. It dates back to the 15th century but was only used for a few years until the construction of the new town hall began.

Das neue Rathaus in Ochsenfurt © WernerHilpert /
The new town hall of Ochsenfurt © WernerHilpert /

The new town hall still serves as the seat of the mayor of the city. The freestanding gothic building with saddle roof construction is centrally located in the main street. It dates back to the late 15th century.

Particularly worth seeing is the figure playing of the so called Lanzentürmchen. Every hour, the play of figures moves all the elements of the city that were important for the time. Amongst others, there are oxen for the city as a whole, the skeleton with the hourglass admonishes to humility, as does the moon dial. Bearded men, the rulers of the town, look out of opening windows together with the mayor and over the city to the west.

Main Church St. Andreas

Bell tower of the St. Andreas church; Johann-Nepomuk-Chapel in the foreground © Otto Durst /

The main church of St. Andreas is located on a small hill at the western end of the main road. Here, as early as the ninth century AD, the church was built, commissioned by the chancellor of Louis the Great (the last Franconian emperor and son of Charlemagne).

As often happened, buildings were broken down by fire or by raids and then rebuilt on their ruins. This is probably the explanation for the slightly elevated position of St. Andrea’s Church.

The six-storey bell tower of the church dates back to the 13th century. At this time also the consecration of today’s St. Andreas church took place (1288 ad. Chr.). Choir and sacristy were built in the 14th century, the Gothic side chapels in the 15th century.

The St. Andrea’s Church is home to a series of very old and valuable wooden figures. Among them is the figure of Saint Nicholas, a work by the great sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider.


Ochsenfurt – Medieval Town

The Frankish middle age town Ochsenfurt is located in Unterfranken (Lower Franconia) / Germany. Located on the southern tip of the „Maindreieck“. Surrounded by forests and extensive arable land (the „Ochsenfurter Gau“). Embedded in a river valley, grapes are cultivated here as everywhere else in this region, the therefore so-called „Weinfranken“ (Wine Franconia).

Ochsenfurt: From the Middle Ages to now

The roots of Ochsenfurt date back to the early Middle Ages, until the time before Charlemagne. The history of the city is multifaceted. The more intensive settlement of the situation began as often with the founding of a monastery. This was followed by many centuries in which the city saw a boom, a siege, wars and emperors.

Medieval houses in Ochsenfurt © flori0 /

The Franconian town itself is quite small. This, however, makes the appeal of the medieval city, which is becoming increasingly popular among tourists from Germany and abroad.

Without integration, just 8,000 people live here. And yet, without doubt, the city has the character of a regional center. Actually, there is almost everything here. From the hospital to the open air bath and various schools (elementary school, junior high, vocational school) to a McDonalds.

The fact that Ochsenfurt has more to offer in an economical sense than you would expect at first glance is due to its convinient location and historical and agricultural importance. Ochsenfurt is located in the immediate vicinity of a highway cross, which probably every german car driver knows: At the intersection of the A3 (east-west axis) and the A7 (north-south axis).

The river Main, which characterizes the cityscape and the whole region, was and is regarded as an important traffic route, which in recent times has become more and more important for tourism. Apart from that, the Main was also an important location factor for a commercial establishment in Ochsenfurt for many companies in this beautiful region.

Ochsenfurt, Klingentor © Richard Oechsner /
Ochsenfurt, Klingentor © Richard Oechsner /

The most important example in this sense is the sugar factory. And this sugar factory, too – especially in the autumn – contributes greately to the image of the city. This is exactly the case when white, sweet smelling water vapor flows out of the plant’s chimney. A smell that non-native people may have to get used to. For locals this smell simply belongs to the region just as colors do for autumn. In addition, the sugar „fabrik“ may disturb the medieval image. On the other hand, the sight of sugar silos on the one hand and the defensive towers on the other offer a very interesting contrast.

The „Ochsenfurter Gau“ as a high-quality agricultural land forms the framework for the city, which is the most important shopping center for the surrounding municipalities.

Surrounding of Ochsenfurt

In the surrounding of Ochsenfurt visitors will find a multitude of tourist highlights. Thus, the cathedral city of Würzburg greets you very close (no 20 km away). The world-famous Rothenburg ob der Tauber is located about 40 km south of Ochsenfurt in the district Ansbach.

What makes Ochsenfurt attractive for many visitors is as already mentioned certainly the very central location and the fact that Ochsenfurt is not a really expensive location in the meaning of accomodation in the region of Mainfranken. From here, however, this beautiful landscape can perfectly be explored. By boat, by bike, or by car (A7, A3 Bundesstraße 13).{:}

Medieval History of Ochsenfurt

The history of the city of Ochsenfurt is not only long. It is also multi-faceted and has some really exciting legends to offer. Or is it more than just a legend?

There is, for example, the actual presumed existence of a royal court. The area of ​​this „hotel“ for imperial princes and the highest Franconian nobility is now to be found in the area of ​​the inn „Zum Storchen“.

1300 years of history & prominent visitors

Famous faces have seen this Medieval Town however throughout the centuries. Ochsenfurt, which was mentioned for the first time in 725 AD, was, for example, pleased to see the visit of a certain Emperor Mathias von Habsburg, Emperor Charles the V, or King Ludwig the I of Bavaria.

Not always it has been a true joy for the visitors to come here. A certain Richard Lionheart (famous King of England in the 12th century) was imprisoned in Ochsenfurt, after he had been placed on his return from the Holy Land.

However, the term „guest“ would probably be more likely, since his stay in Ochsenfurt during the ransom negotiations in Würzburg might have been rather pleasant for him and his followers.

Hans Stock – the King’s Double

The myth around Hans Stock – the blacksmith from Ochsenfurt – is inseparably interwoven with the history of the town. Hans Stock accompanied the host of the knights of King Konradin to Sizil in the 13th century. The King, who was also King of Jerusalem, wanted to recapture the same at the tender age of 16.

King Konradin, however, failed, and was publicly executed Anno Domini 1268 in Naples. The Era of the Staufer was over. And the time of the German knights‘ army would have been so. Disintegration threatened. The army leaders, especially Rudolf von Habsburg, wanted to prevent this.

Then one remembered the striking resemblance of Hans Stock to the decapitated King. In short, the young man from Ochsenfurt was forced to slip into the role of the King, and lead the army into the German lands on his retreat across the Alps. He did so. The plan went on. Hans Stock, the blacksmith, probably is one of the most important doubles, though largely forgotten by history, that has ever existed in German history.

The birthplace of the blacksmith is still to be seen today. Even you can stay in it. The hotel now houses one of the hotels in Ochsenfurt.

Town Fortification & Wine

Stadtmauer in Ochsenfurt mit Bildstock und Pulverturm im Hintergrund
Upper moat with figure of a cross-breaker

Anyone coming to Ochsenfurt or passing by, for example by train, will be attracted by the imposing city fortification.

But those walls of stone surrounding cities here in Mainfranken are nothing really special. But Ochsenfurt owns probably the best-preserved city wall, defensive towers and other fortification elements in Mainfranken.

In addition, the fact that even the smallest towns and villages around Ochsenfurt, or along the Main Valley, have a stone wall, is a very exotic occurrence, from the point of view of history.

Only cities were granted such a wall. Only with the appointment to a city certain regalia and privileges were connected in the Frankish empire. Thus also the market right and the right to create such a defense system.

In the 13th century, Ochsenfurt was actually given this right. Ochsenfurt became a city. The city wall was built from the 14th century on.

Der Nikolaustrum in Ochsenfurt. Im Hintergrund das domkapitelsche Palatium
Nikolausturm and Palatium in the background

However, the fact that even the smallest village along the River Main have such a defensive wall is thanks to the fact that not only Johann Wolfgang von Goethe appreciated the wine from this special region („No other wine wants to taste me“, Goethe once wrote in a letter to his wife and thus meant the wine from the cultivation area of ​​the „Würzburger Stein“). The extensive cultivation area for grape vines, was therefore not infrequently invaded.

To protect the valuable vines and wine, the nobility and the spiritual highness of the region braced the communities against unwelcome external attacks by means of stone walls and other defense systems.

Greatly spared from world war and destruction

Ochsenfurt today looks like as if time had stopped here, thanks to the fact that the city nearly didn’t see any destruction during the second world war.

However, the old Main Bridge was blown up in 1945 in connection with the arrival of the American occupation troops and fierce battles were carried out in the Ochsenfurter Forst at that time – the cityscape was, moreover, fortunately completely preserved. And so you can admire even today still very impressive city gates, defense towers or a church in the middle of the old town, that has been already here for 700 years on its culture hill. And hopefully it will be here for the upcoming 700 years.