Monday 15 June 2015

sunday drive: gemünden am main

Driving back for the work-week—the weekends are always too short but the intervening time does not drag on too awfully—I decided to take the scenic route which we’d just traced the day before, exploring Lohr and that narrow projection of Bavaria that extends into Hessian territory all the way to Aschaffenburg.
 It certainly was a more pleasant experience than rumbling along the Autobahn and I took the chance to stop in the town of Gemünden am Main—so named because it is where the tributaries of the Sinn and Frankish Saale empty (the streams’ mouths) into the River Main. Naturally this confluence was a strategically important spot and sometime in the early thirteenth century the Count of Rieneck erected this castle and keep as a toll-station to control traffic and trade along the waterways.
Only ruins of Schloβ Schreneburg remain but the view is an impressive one and is now a venue for open-air concerts and a home for bats. Competing claims on the land by the dioceses of Würzburg and Fulda, especially after the line of the family Rieneck went extinct, even saw the construction of successively higher castles on the rolling hills above Scherenburg, since levelled, to dominate the Main below. The waterways are still important components of the transportation infrastructure for the region, and the rail-links that run parallel supplement the connections. I think I’ll start taking this route more often in fair weather and get a better taste of what’s here for us to discover.