Friday 2 July 2021

zwischestopp: oberwaldbehrungen

After an running some errands on an overcast day, I decided to take a quick detour and make the time to stop and investigate a village that I often pass but always seemed too rushed or liminally close to visit, just a few kilometres away dominated by a church on a hill above a jumble of Fachwerk houses. 

Among the oldest settlements in the Besengau landscape of the northern reaches of the Rhรถn (the placename referring to the practise of crafting brooms, Besen, out of birch twigs which outside of harvest season was the area’s primary economy activity) Oberwaldbehrungen has its first document in 795, I learned it was formerly the last village in this region to have no street names (see also). 

Once under the auspices of the bishopric of Wรผrzburg, it was given as a fiefdom to the lords of Tann, an exclave, in 1480—joining neighbouring Urspringen in 1670 as part of the Henneberg holdings, finally being restored to the Kingdom of Bavaria under the provisions of the Congress of Vienna in 1814. I took the long way up to the Dorfkirche on the hill but discovered a quite nice path—despite the weather—through the woods leading back down to the village.