Karlstadt on the Main: Half-timbered. Flair. And fine Franconian wine.

Lucky, exactly one deck chair is still free. Late in the afternoon the Main-Mauerle seems to be especially popular. Inside, grab a pint at the bar, balance the customer-friendly filled glass through the gate and perch on the shore – that's how the perfect evening in Karlstadt begins.

Mauerschoppen on the Main

The mid-twenties group behind me has made themselves comfortable on the wall and is discussing options for the coming night. Two friends giggle nonstop over rose and have enormous need to talk. The elderly gentleman on the right snaps a smile at the command of his sweetheart for the selfie, which is immediately sent to the people at home.

And in front of us flows the Main.

My gaze follows the greenery on the other bank up to the ruins, once the proud castle of Karlstadt. What a panorama – and an ideal place for a sunset drink.

Sights Karlstadt on the Main

Karlstadt on the Main

Karlstadt on the Main

A shark in the town hall

Occasionally stand-up paddlers pass by and lots of little fishes. Once even a shark got lost in Karlstadt, which, thanks to the high water, probably went directly into the church of St. John the Baptist. Andreas reached. But that was more than 500 years ago. In the council hall they still guard the black, mummified specimen with the big mouth like a treasure.

The building from the 15th century is impressive. Century already from the outside with its splendid gable. Don't be surprised if suddenly trumpet sounds are heard. That's the "little Swede" at the top under the roof ridge, playing his song four times a day.

Sights Karlstadt on the Main, Rathus

Karlstadt on the Main

Karlstadt on the Main

I like Karlstadt. And surprises me. Not only the many half-timbered houses that line the main street. During the culinary mile it turns into one long table.

But I also discover curiosities and delicacies while strolling through Karlstadt. Handmade truffles for coffee at Schrodl, while I watch the hustle and bustle on the marketplace. Or the gendarmerie sign at the local police station, also a beautiful building where wine was once stored in the vaulted cellar. Wine and Karlstadt have always belonged together.

Karlstadt on the Main

Franconian wine country: Most beautiful wine view & terroir f at Stettener Stein

In the vineyards around Karlstadt, the grapes partly ripen on sun-drenched steep slopes above the Main River, where you should be quite free from giddiness. The view from Stettener Stein is breathtaking. So beautiful that the German Wine Institute has chosen this place in 2020 as the "Most beautiful wine view in Franconia".

No coincidence that here is also one of the magical places of Franconian wine: At Terroir f in Stetten's prime location, everything revolves around the Main River and wine. Even many locals come here for the view, from the parking lot it's only a 500 meter walk.

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Pleasure hiking in the wine country Franconia: NaTour stone & wine

I feel like a bigger round: the NaTour Stein & Wein hiking trail. This leads first in the opposite direction with a view of Stetten and then through sparse pine, beech and oak forest.

The big movie comes at the end of the tour, when the route leads through the vineyards. For a picnic, the Stein-Wein-Hutte or the Terroir f. Below, the Main River glitters, the cars look like toys – it's a nice feeling to look at the world from a bird's eye view.

From below, the vineyards along the Main River appear no less impressive. When I drive by car from Wurzburg to Karlstadt, the towering rocks remind me a little of the Twelve Apostles, the famous panoramic coast road in Cape Town.

Main view from the Terroir f Stettener Stein in the wine country Franconia

Franconian wine country: Terroir f Stettener Stein

Wine caricatures in the tower

Back in Karlstadt, I got a very special tip, which I really want to see. Carlo Dernbach has set up a small museum in the tower at the upper gate: with wine caricatures. The graphic artist and quick-draw artist puts the truth about wine on paper with a lot of humor. Pretty funny to look at the Franconian wine in the tower gallery from another perspective.

Karlstadt on the Main, upper gate

Karlstadt on the Main: Carlo Dernbach Wine Caricature Museum

If you want, you can help yourself to the refrigerator and pour a glass of wine during your tour (don't forget to make a small donation)!) and also like to debate with Carlo about wine and the world. There are no fixed opening hours, but on Friday evenings you can usually find him.

Typical Franconian wine country: Schaufele & dumplings

Hiking gives you an appetite – and as always, I'm on the lookout for good regional cuisine. I found this in the inn "Zum Fehmelbauer", a beautiful half-timbered house from the 16th century. Century. The property was once built as a farm, hence the name. The main house and stables were later converted into an inn and guest rooms. The fountain, which is located in the middle of the restaurant, is still in use today.

The "Fehmelbauer" menu recommends Schaufele, crispy roasted pork shoulder with cabbage and dumplings. Typical Franconian home cooking – wonderful, exactly what I imagined! A racy white wine from, of course, Franconia tastes good with it. Or a beer.

Karlstadt on the Main – Franconian wine country – everything important at a glance

By car from Stuttgart on the A81 via Wurzburg, then on the B27 to Karlstadt am Main.

Karlstadt am Main – Franconian wine country: Stay overnight with the winegrower:

I spent the night on the opposite side of the Main in the district of Muhlbach. From there it is approx. 10 min walk to the old town of Karlstadt (so you can leave the car behind).

Guestroom in the Swallow's Nest, Am Muhlbach 1, 97753 Karlstadt-Muhlbach, www.swallow's nest.fwo.de

Hotel, inn or room at the vintner's – here you will find the right accommodation in Karlstadt am Main.

Food & Drink – Karlstadt Restaurant Tips:

  • Mauer-Schoppen at the Main-Mauerle (especially nice in the evening), Maingasse 8, Karlstadt, www.main-maeuerle.de
  • Inn "Zum Fehmelbauer", main street 22, Karlstadt, www.fehmelbauer.de
  • Cafe & Konditorei Schrodl, main street 45, Karlstadt, www.cafe-schroedl.de
  • Hike Natour und Wein im Stettener Stein (best to download the tour as a GPX file to your cell phone, the route is currently being re-signposted) with highlight Terroir f
  • Walk to the ruin Karlsburg with a panoramic view of the city
  • Wine caricature museum, www.upper gate.en

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