There is nothing like German towns to find picturesque architecture, including doors! Miltenberg is a small city of around 9,000 inhabitants in Lower Franconia, in the state of Bavaria. Miltenberg is on the Main (pronounced “mine”) River and was one of the stops on our Viking Grand European Tour river cruise in June-July 2019.
The day we arrived in Miltenberg, June 29, was a hot one, registering 90ºF (32ºC), part of the first European heatwave this summer. The historic center has frequently suffered flooding which has fortunately abated with 21st century efficient flood control measures, including expansion on the right bank of the river.
The earliest Germanic settlement of Miltenberg dates from the early 13th century, growing up around a Mainz toll station, protected by Mildenberg castle. In 1237, Miltenberg was given the status of a town. Merchants had to store their wares and offer them for sale there for several days, promoting construction of inns and warehouses.
All over Germany, one can find among the cobblestones golden cobbles called “stumble stones.” These memorialize Jewish victims of the Holocaust who lived in buildings nearby. They read “Here lived [name], born [maiden name, if applicable, and year],” date of deportation and concentration camp where they died.
I first heard of these in 2015 when we visited German towns on the Baltic Sea. Stumble stones began as the creation of a German artist who set out to honor the many German Jews who died in the Holocaust.
Most of the half-timbered buildings in the old town today were built from the 15th to the 18th century, during the town’s financial heyday. Few of the Gothic structures remain: a winery, a warehouse, and the former synagogue.
It’s easy to see why tourism is the most important economic activity in Miltenberg today.
It was about this time that another woman from our tour group asked me why I was taking photos of every single door we passed.
I told her I had a sort of “door obsession” – and then explained about my blog and participating in Norm’s Thursday Doors photo challenge. She was genuinely impressed with this!
Many doors had this written on them:
I asked our guide about it and she said there were children from the Catholic church who had gone around town collecting money for a Catholic charity. I don’t remember what the letters stand for but the year is clearly marked 20 – 19. I would see this symbol on doors in many other Bavarian towns, a predominately Catholic state. (Notice it on some of the other door photos in this post.)
This is the cool courtyard of the Gothic winery.
Inside the winery
Whether your photography fetish is doors, windows, signs, bikes, stairs, religious sculptures, or just general subjects, a photographer can find plenty to capture in this beautiful, photogenic town!
Historical information in this post obtained from Miltenberg – Wikipedia.