The natural preserve Odenwald

( with the localities Breuberg, Michelstadt, Eulbach, Erbach, Amorbach, Ruine Wildenburg,
  Ernsttal, Walldürn, Buchen, Eberstadt, Adelsheim and their sights )

The odenwald forest extends, in the southeast from Darmstadt to Heidelberg, in the west from Lorsch to Miltenberg at the Main in the east. His highest elevation is the "Katzenbuckel" (cat's hummock) with an altitude of 626 m.

Most of the locations described below, with worth seeing objects, have traditional cobblestone streets and lanes (partial crooked) as well as half-timbered buildings and houses.

The Castle Breuberg

On a mountain above the valley of the Mmling river lies the castle Breuberg. It was built by the Fulda cloister in the 12th century as an administration castle. The reeves reigning on it, named oneself beginning from 1229 "von Breuberg". When you go into the outer bailey through the 1499 built gate building, you see the coat of arms of the count of Wertheim. He was the owner of the castle beginning from 1497. In the outer bailey is the museum for the history of the castle and the area around it. In the upper floor, there is a Knights Hall with a stucco ceiling that belongs to the most beautiful ones in Germany. The main castle follows with the keep and the romance porrtal. North of the gate building, stands the so-called "old building" with the fountain hall built in 1560 and the chapel with a simple hall above that a living tract is. The upper hall building with a festival room of 1553 and a beautiful oriel follows. Coin and castle kitchen of the 15th century are still well preserved. From the castle, you have a wide view over the surrounding area. A youth hostel offers the possibility to stay the night.

Pictures and short informations


The counselor and biographer of Karl the Great, called Einhard, received 815 from Ludwig the pious the Mark Michelstadt, which he handed over in 819 to the abbey Lorsch. The place was destroyed 1307, however, castle and city were again rebuilt by the Erbacher's, this time with a fortification. The Protestant parish-church, a late Gothic style basilica (with a nave and 2 aisles), was built and augmented in several stages beginning from 1461. Inside the church, you find funerary monuments of the family "von Erbach". The library is in the upper tower floor with more than 2,000 books partially very valuable. The whole market place becomes mastered by the timbering city hall from the year 1484. The open hall in the ground floor served as a market hall and for court negotiations. The market fountain of 1575 with justitia connotations from the 18th century is opposite of the city hall. The market place has enchanting so much, fabulous charm, that Michelstadt became the epitome of old German little market towns romanticism. Celtic and also roman findings are exhibited in the Odenwald museum in the former castle. In the quarter Steinbach stands the Einhard basilica, one of the most important Carolingian churches in Germany and one of the oldest church-constructions north the Alps (early 9th century). Outside of Michelstadt you find in a park the castle Fürstenau, a former water-castle with four big defense-towers on the corners, which was built by the archbishop of Mainz (Mayence) at the Mümling river around the year 1300.

Pictures and short informations

Excursion: The English Garden of Eulbach

8 kms east of Michelstadt lies on a hill the hunting lodge of the counts to Erbach with a park in English style. Old tree-groves, lily ponds and exotic plants are in the spacious park. Since the hobby of count Franz to Erbach was archaeology - the Limes leads here along - parts of this defense rampart were dugged out and were brought together to an artificial ruin. One has arranged several large animal enclosures in which roe deers, deers, wild boar and wisents live.

Pictures and short informations


In the place, the »Schenken (cupbearer)« to Erbach (mentioned for the first time in 1095) had their residence. Around their late Romanesque water castle, sited on an island in the river Mümling, then arose in the 14th century a settlement, that was mentioned for the first time in 1321 as a city. The counts of Erbach-Erbach resided here from 1748. They altered the water castle, only the keep (around 1200) remained. That the hunt was a hobby of the Erbach's, is to be recognized in the premises of the castle. For example, in the stairwell is to see a collection of horns and antlers, which founds on the natural history interest of count Franz I to Erbach-Erbach. In addition there is a rifles room and a deer-antlers collection. The city owes the world reputation as a center of the ivory-carvings to count Franz I. to Erbach-Erbach. One began with this arts and crafts in year 1783. You can watch the carvers in the German ivory-museum during her work. May be however - because of protection of species - teeth of the Siberian mammoth are processed. Works of art from the whole world, Middle Ages into the 20th century are exhibited. In the »Städtel«, the old town, are still some old buildings called "Burgmannenhöfe" to visit, the oldest one under them is the "Templerhaus" from the 15th century.

Pictures and short informations


This city is a jewelry box of baroque architecture and the entire old town is by monument protection. Crooked small lanes with cobblestone pavement, restored half-timbered houses, the city hall, churches and residue of a city wall. In the abbey church of Amorbach, you see one of the 4 biggest baroque era organs in Europe. Too the »Grüne Saal (the green hall)« and that earlier classicist library of the former Benedictine abbey are sight worth. The Templerhaus is one of the oldest half-timbered houses in Germany (1291). In the collection "Berger" are 2,500 teapots from every world, pictures of Picasso, Miro, Chagall, Haring, Christo and other as well as 500 old and new artist dolls as well as doll's houses exhibited.

Pictures and short informations

Excursion: Castle ruin Wildenburg

The castle ruin is to achieve via a hiking way from Amorbach via the Pulvermühle (powder mill) and the village "Buch" in the Mudtal (for instance two hours). It is presumed, that the castle Wildenburg served as a model for the Gralsburg Munsalvasch in the »Parzival« (accomplished around 1210) - Wolfram von Eschenbach stayed for a few time on the castle Wildenburg as a guest of the noble gentlemens of Duern.

Castle-ruin Wildenberg (Kirchzell)

Excursion: The valley Ernsttal

This place is starting point for an excursion up to the castle Waldleiningen, that the Amorbach princes of Leiningen let build here in the 19th century. The architectural style is an imitation of English Gothic because the princes were allied to the Royal House of Great Britain. The castle is used today as a sanatorium. A short footpath leads to the deer fence of Breitenbuch with a wild boars existence.

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Schloss Waldleiningen


There is a collection of ivory-carvings in the place: e.g. you can see reliefs, sculptures and relic shrines in the parsonage. In the baroque pilgrimage church a priest tipped over the communion cup with wine in the 14th century. The red wine shaped the contours of the crucified onto the linen, surrounded from eleven Christ heads. This linen is kept in a silvery shrine next to the "saint blood altar" of 1626. The miracle was recognized by Pope Eugen IV. The place exists from the pilgrimage, this also documents the pilgrimage museum in the patrician house »Zum Gueldenen Engel«. The city is surmounted, from the baroque pilgrimage basilica of red silicate brick which is surrounded by half-timbered houses. The surrounding area attracts with hiking ways (Limes hiking way, animal enclosure in the Marsbach valley).

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In 1309 the archbishop of Mainz bought the attached little city from the gentlemens of Dürn. In the cure mainz wine-cellar (the »Steinerne Bau« in the street Kellereistrasse 25-29) is the district museum placed with the most extensive folkloristic collections of the Badish-Franconish area. Gate tower, half-timbered houses and city hall with outsided staircase cause medieval flair (18th century). The "Maria-column", one of the many Madonnas in the »Madonna country«, remembered to the plague epidemic of 1753. On the other hand: the lying, stone-»Blecker« on the gate tower shows its naked backside - a reference to the Buchen carnival.

Pictures and short informations
The district-museum Buchen

Excursion: The Drip-stone cave of Eberstadt

In the village Eberstadt (6 kms from Buchen) you can visit a drip-stone cave. The cave was discovered in 1971 while blasting operations in a quarry. In the cave there are stalactites, stalagmites and sinter formations. Also an underground lake arose between a lot of drip-stones. The cave is to be admired on a 610 m long paths net. The whole year there is a temperature from 11°C and an air humidity of 95%.


The under castle was in the 14th century a water castle and was inhabited by the realm knights of Adelsheim. The upper castle one has built in 1504. In the late-Gothic Jakobs-church build with red sandstones you find grave monuments of the Adelsheim realm knights. In the village itself, there are to see baroque half-timbered houses and parts of the medieval weir system.