The hiking tip leads to the churches of Oberbessenbach

fA sandstone-red church rises almost unreal above the small community of Oberbessenbach: high walls with curved gables, almost touched by the angular chancel, surmounted by an octagonal tower with an onion dome. In every respect, in terms of location, construction and last but not least because of the architect, the Stephanuskirche, consecrated in 1903, is exceptional for Spessart standards. In connection with the Gothic Ottilienkirche, which since then has served as the mortuary chapel of the cemetery, which has remained unchanged, the illusion of a medieval sacred area is perfect.

In fact, this little church with a fortified tower was located within a protective wall, and it was visited by pilgrims hoping that St. Ottilie, who was responsible for eye diseases, would alleviate their suffering. The pilgrim funds and even more so from the Aschaffenburg monastery of St. Peter and Alexander helped Church to expand late Gothic. It was not only important as a parish for the neighboring communities, Oberbessenbach was also close to the Poststraße, an important long-distance route in the Middle Ages.

Later, urgently needed funds from the pilgrims failed to materialize and St. Ottilien fell into disrepair. A new building was hardly an option for the town, which, like many Spessart villages in the 19th century, had sunk into great poverty. Only when a pastor took up the cause in 1880 did the donation pot also go around outside. Nevertheless, during his twenty years of service he was only able to collect half of the 60,000 marks he estimated.

His successor Jakob Röhm not only raised more money thanks to external sources, he also brought connections with him. Through a pair of brothers from Oberbessenbach, who had become successful building contractors in Berlin and Munich, the connection to the “star architect” of the empire, Theodor Fischer, was established. The planner of well-known works such as the Gebsattel Bridge in Munich and the Hessian State Museum in Kassel generously waived a fee. However, the construction company that received the order in return did not.

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