Monday, 25 June 2018

zwischenstopp: urspringen

Incorporated as a district of market town Ostheim vor der Rhön, I had passed by the village of Urspringen several times, noting the stone, Gothic Revival steep that dominates the fields and forest from an impressive distance but unable to find much information on it was never drawn to explore.
I ought to know better (by now) that the lack of scholarship or research is never a sign that a place isn’t worth investigating and was pleased that I stopped the car and took a look past the façades of half-timbered houses that line either side of the main street. Referred to as Villa Urspringa for the first time in church records from 811, it is the site where the tributary of the Streu, the Bahra branches in two and is itself the sources of three powerful natural water sources—Quellen or rather Springen, the strongest of which flows from under the church mount and through the village under a covered promenade.
The church itself, which was probably finished at the turn of the last millennium, was rebuilt after it was destroyed in a fire in 1841 and two neighbouring buildings were added, reflecting the architecture of the time, a school house and the parsonage. The village contains far too many historic cross-timbered farmers’ homes (Fachwerkhäuser) to list and along the Hauptstraße and down hidden alleys and would more than merit a follow-up tour, better-armed next time with more history.