LSlightly offset, they are opposite, the two “Wallstadts” on the Main. Labeled “large” on the left and “small” on the right. This could, of course, give rise to misunderstandings, since it is the opposite of their names. In terms of area and population, Kleinwallstadt is the larger and, thanks to the closed old town and its location in front of former terraced vineyards at the transition to the Spessart, the more worthwhile of the two, most recently enhanced by the restoration of important buildings from the 13th century, the Templar House and the Old Castle.
The connecting element of the sister cities was the centuries-long affiliation to the Archdiocese of Mainz. A few tower foundations in Kleinwallstadt testify to the fortified expansion, but here too the naming is misleading. It does not refer to walls (“ramparts”), but rather the early medieval “Walenstat” to the originally “Welsh”, i.e. Roman population Großwallstadt recall.
It was from there that the right-wing Main was founded – originally called “Bischofswallstadt” to distinguish it, as it was the mother church of the surrounding villages and a stage for pilgrims to Walldürn. With its rich baroque furnishings, the parish church of St. Peter and Paul will not have failed to shine. After being destroyed, the high altar, which occupied the entire choir room, was seen as a triumph and return of faith, with which the archdiocese continued its former sacral function, which, however, could hardly be separated from the political power, here to keep the Rieneck counts in check.
Even years of excavations could not clarify whether this caused the construction and destruction of the Old Palace. Rieneck may have carried out the provisions of a treaty with the Electorate of Mainz from 1266, according to which it had to raze its fortresses near the Main. Unexpectedly, it was found that the planned system was laid down around 1270 just as systematically. First the wooden buildings went up in flames, then undermining caused the double wall ring to collapse. Later rebuilt by a regional family as a “castle”, it fell into disrepair from the 17th century and the rest was used in the new parish church.
The so-called Templar house right next door has been completely restored. On a private initiative, this gem from around 1250 was saved from decay, with the red-white color scheme and the fittings being remodeled in 1567, which served as the reference year. Even then, the crusades-influenced architecture with its narrow lancet windows was evidently respected. Whether, however, the mysterious Templar order actually had a branch on the Main and an – existing – underground passage to Church driven, may be left to the imagination.
From the platform of the station in Kleinwallstadt you can switch directly to a footpath. At the front you have to cross the tracks and take the Schloßstraße beyond the buildings through meadow orchards to the Birkenhof hiking car park in front of the forest. Drivers will not only find a lot of space there, the conditions are also generous in town or on the Main.
The red triangle and Spessartkulturweg (blue-yellow) signs, which are already visible, take the lead to the Old Castle when you enter under tall spruce trees. It’s not far, and you climb up the stairs to the reconstructed walls. Its steepness allows the effort that was made to free the castle on a high base to be felt.
The markings leave the walls above and are now striving in deciduous forest to just before the edge of the tree, where they diverge at a shelter. We remain on the culture trail and thus in the forest. Exhilarated it goes slightly downhill a good 1500 meters to the signpost Weißer Leimen. The Franconian Marienweg (red-blue) also touches it. Together with the culture trail, it can be used to shorten the route on the left. Or you can use it – to the right – to include nothing less than the “axis of the world”. Above, free in the meadow, is the globe created in 2004 and pierced by a rod. With a wink, it is reminiscent of the cattle trade in Dornau, which was important in the 19th century and which literally ran “smoothly” like the axis of the earth.
For the further way we stick to the blue M, which points to the right and offset into the forest. It surprises with an enchanting part when after a few steps it leaves the forest path on the left into a path. Between tall beeches and breezy grasses, it winds its way towards the Chapel of Christ the King. It’s not as old as it seems. It was donated by two merchants in 1930 to give the Stations of the Cross a goal on the Plattenberg.
Combined with the culture trail, we soon step onto the sunny side of the mountain for its magnificent panorama over the Rhein-Main area to the Taunuskamm. Concentration should not be lost on the steep descent above, only ending in front of the direction post at a crossroads. To stop at the hearty “Almhütte” turn left with the M; omitting Kleinwallstadt, it continues from there to the Birkenhof car park.
The cultural path is reserved for leading through abandoned terraced vineyards: turn right at the signpost and immediately left into the path for a sweeping arch between the walls, set without mortar, that have been conquered by fruit trees and hedges. Further down they are even renewed at a former quarry.
That brings us back to Kleinwallstadt. The culture trail accompanies you to the historic core around the church and Templar house. Deviating from this, a loop over the green Main bank can be attached between Fährstraße and Ankergasse. Then back through Marktstrasse and Mittlere Torstrasse, past the historic town hall to the railway crossing. On the left you get in the direction of the train station and on the other side to the Birkenhof car park.