Saturday 28 April 2018

zwischenstopp: stockheim

On the old path in between Ostheim and Mellrichstadt lies the village of Stockheim, which was party to much the same intrigues and exchanges of ownership as other places in this region, but is particularly noted for its vernacular architecture.
The old, gabled and half-timbered Rathaus—the city hall whose administrative functions are now finding themselves displaced, is presently a restaurant and pension but was formerly known as an Amthaus, an administrative centre for a feudal bureaucracy and later as a Zehnthof, a repository of tithes, a tenth of one’s income or harvest rendered to the church. Formerly protected by a wall with watchtowers (Warte), one of these was also designated as a Darre or a Darrhaus, a place, usually silo-like where hops were dried as part of the beer-brewing process. The surviving tower is itself a source of tales told by people of Willmars (strangely enough) across the valley which include a kidnapping dwarf and a shoe-maker’s apprentice who did not succumb to hardship and give up once in the company of lumberjacks.