Buchen, Germany

Buchen is located in the south-eastern part of Odenwald close to the Neckar Valley Natural Park. It was close to the border of the Roman Empire and the remains of a wall known as the Limes Germanicus are still visible today.  Like many local areas it was under the influence of the Amorbach Monastery.  In the second half of the 13th Century Buchen was given the right to call itself a city. Some time between 1303 and 1309 the town was sold to the Archbishop of Mainz and remained his territory for 500 years. In 1346 Buchen formed the Federation of Nine Towns ( Neunstädtebund) along with Amorbach, Aschaffenburg, Dieburg, Külsheim, Miltenberg, Seligenstadt, Tauberbischofsheim and Walldürn.

We can still admire the medieval town fortifications which date to the fourteenth century and the symbol of the town is the Wartturm on the Wartberg.  During the Peasants' Revolt in 1525 Götz von Berlichingen was forced to become the leader of the Peasant mob in the courtyard of the Steineres Haus ‘the Stony House’ (nowadays the Museumshof). After the defeat of the Peasants the Nine City Federation of the provincial administration was dissolved, and Buchen lost its right to self-government.

In the Thirty Years War it suffered conflict and was conquered by the Swedes and a large part of the population was killed in following battles and the city was largely destroyed by fire.  Later, in 1688 it was beseiged by the French. In 1717 lightening caused a fire which destroyed around half of the town.

At the beginning of the nineteenth century much of the towns' walls were torn down although it needs to be said that despite the wars, fires and other catastrophes the historic nature of Buchen can still be appreciated today.


To see :

The stalactite caves which are amongst the largest open systems in Europe

The Roman Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes, the greatest ground monument in Europe runs round the edge of the city area Walldürn through Buchen, in the direction of Osterburken. Until around the year 260 the Romans used the Limes as a protective wall keeping them safe from the Alamanni and from other Germanic tribes. They built it all the way from Rheinbrohl a distance of 500 km up to the Danube

One of the original buildings by the architect Egon Eiermann, the annex to the Hotel Prinz Carl built in 1967, in which the rooms and features created by him are still in use (since then it has been ascribed as belonging to the classical modern style)

Where the present-day town of Bödigheim now stands the knight Wiprecht Rüdt built a castle in the year 1286; at the end of the 16th Century it was upgraded into a Renaissance palace. Between 1712 and 1720 the new Castle (Schloss) of Rüdt von Collenberg was built by Johann Jakob Rischer in Bödigheim

The ruins of a Jewish Mikveh in Bödigheim

The Old Town Hall (Hallen-Rathaus) in the centre of the old town

The Wartberg-Tower (on the hill called the Wartberg)