A picturesque town nestling between the rivers Main and Tauber, Wertheim is the most northerly town situated in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The majestic ruined castle, “Burg Wertheim” offers wonderful views over the surrounding area.
With a present population of around 24,000, Wertheim was founded between the 7th and 8th century. However, the first settlement called Kreutzwertheim was a town on the right of the river Main. After the Count of Wertheim’s family had built a castle on the left bank of the river Main a settlement developed at the foot of its dominating structure called Wertheim.
The coat of arms of Wertheim shows a parted shield – the upper part in gold with a black eagle and below, in blue, three silver roses. In 1306, King Albrecht I granted Wertheim a town charter. The oldest seal of the town dates back from the same time. The eagle symbolizes the Imperial Eagle and is used as a symbol for the King. The roses are taken from the arms of the medieval Counts of Wertheim. The present town flag is yellow-blue.
Wertheim’s medieval town centre has many beautiful half-timbered buildings, small squares, narrow alleys and ancient churches as well fine riverside walks, lovely street cafés, charming shopping boutiques and quality restaurants. The famous “Glasmuseum” is well worth a visit, offering daily glass-blowing demonstrations (except Mondays). The nearby “Grafschaftsmuseum” offers an abundance of cultural and historical treasures from over 900 years of county history.
The foundation stone for the Gothic “Stiftskirche”, today a Protestant parish church, was laid in 1383. Two clocks can be seen on the clock tower, one with an hour hand only for the residents of the castle. The “Kilianskapelle”, opposite the Stiftskirche, is one of the finest examples of Gothic-style chapels in Germany dating back to 1472. The “Engelsbrunnen” (Angels’ well) from 1574 was built of the red sandstone typical of this area and derives its name from the two little angels which hold Wertheim’s coat of arms. Also noteworthy is the “Kittsteintor” with flood markings from 1595 onwards and the “Blaue Haus” (Blue house) with the only known paint that uses blue glass fragments for the colour.
A visit to the impressive Cistercian Abbey of “Bronnbach”, established in 1150 and situated in the Tauber valley, is also recommended. Consecrated in 1222, the Basilica in the late-Romanesque and early-Gothic style is one of the most important churches of a religious order in South Germany. Today the Abbey is used as a venue for concerts, seminars, wine tasting, guided tours and other events.