An enchanting town located in the Offenbach district, Seligenstadt is one of Germany’s oldest towns, and is a short half-hour drive from Frankfurt am Main. One of the most renowned attractions of the area is the Benedictine Abbey, a beautiful, historic monastery where one can indulge in leisurely strolls around the scenic garden or take a look at the restored mill.
Wandering around Seligenstadt takes you back in time where once Roman legionnaires, medieval traders, wise monks, native artisans, wealthy merchants and so many more interesting kinds of people, called this quaint town their home.
The town offers special guided tours for visitors and locals alike, where they can learn about 1900 years of history. More information as well as guided tours for individuals and groups are available at the tourist information centre located on the market square. Seligenstadt is renowned for its carnival parade, which meanders its way across town, traditionally on Rosenmontag (Shrove Monday), through the historic inner town and the neighbouring parts of town. It is said the Rosenmontag parade has existed since 1859. The parade showcases more than a hundred elaborately built attractions, bringing in an average of forty thousand interested visitors from nearby and far off places. In the 18th century, Seligenstadt was the last stop for merchants on their way to Frankfurt. The “Geleitsfestival” as well as many other festivals such as the regionally famous carnival parade and the Christmas market, make for culturally rich events that provide a wonderful insight into the city’s past and present.
Narrow lanes of the Old Town are dotted with majestic timber-framed houses, unique boutiques and restaurants serving traditional cuisine. The region features many fascinating attractions and here’s a list of some of the must-visit places one should discover on their blissful day-trip to Seligenstadt:
One of the most important churches of the Carolingian period in Germany, the three-aisled pillar basilica dates back to the 9th century and was built by Einhard, the biographer of Emperor Charlemagne. For the 900th anniversary in 1725, the monastery church was renovated inspired by the Baroque style. The basilica has been a Catholic parish church since 1812. In 1925 the church was elevated to the papal basilica minor.
Art Forum Gallery in the Old House
The second oldest half-timbered house in Southern Hesse, the old house was built in 1327. The pristinely restored rooms now feature temporary exhibitions of contemporary art which span across the basement to the roof. An interesting juxtaposition of historical architecture and modern art, the museum provides a platform for regional and international artists.
Stroll along the stunning river and embark on an adventure to the summer residence of the former abbots. The moated castled which was completed in 1708 and is a delightful representation of exquisite Baroque architecture. On the way to Wasserburg, one can stop by Evangelische Kirche- a protestant church to soak up more history and culture pertaining to the region.
Home to fascinating history ranging from Charlemagne and Emperor Frederick I., called Barbarossa, to the richly flourishing monastic culture in the late Middle Ages and the Thirty Years’ War up to the elegant classicism of the early 19th century right into today’s Seligenstadt, the town bursts with vibrancy and is a great reminder of why we should always pay tribute to the past.