[ source: Wikipedia ]

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Seligenstadt Overview

Seligenstadt is one of 13 towns and communities in the Offenbach district. The town lies on the river Main’s left bank roughly 25 km southeast of Frankfurt (Frankfurt vacation rentals | Frankfurt travel guide) am Main, directly neighbouring Bavaria.

Seligenstadt borders in the north on the community of Hainburg (Hainburg vacation rentals | Hainburg travel guide), in the east on the community of Karlstein (Aschaffenburg district in Bavaria), in the southeast on the community of Mainhausen, in the south on the town of Babenhausen (Babenhausen vacation rentals | Babenhausen travel guide) (Darmstadt-Dieburg) and in the west on the town of Rodgau (Rodgau vacation rentals | Rodgau travel guide).

Things to See in Seligenstadt

Seligenstadt’s most important building is the Einhard-Basilika with Saints Marcellinus’s and Peter’s relics. Since 1925 it has borne the honorary title of minor basilica, bestowed by Pope Pius XI. Although the building was heavily modified over the centuries, this is nonetheless one of the most impressive basilicas with a basic Carolingian structure north of the Alps. The Benedictine monastery, dissolved in 1803, that abuts this on the south with its Baroque wings and broad estate and garden complexes has been fully restored.

Of the Palatium (Kaiserpfalz) on the Main’s banks, also known as the Rotes Schloss (“Red Palace”), only the Main façade is still standing with double and triple arcades with arches of red sandstone. With a ground area of 47 m × 14 m, this rectangular Kaiserpfalz was among the smaller ones. Perhaps the Emperor used it as a weekend residence or a small hunting lodge. The first restoration work took place in 1938; restoration work on the south and west walls has been ongoing since 1996.

From the same time comes the so-called Romanisches Haus built in massive stone with great arcades on the ground floor. On the first floor are double arcades with middle column and arch and a blind arcade under the crow-stepped gable. In 1187, the building was the Vogtei and in 1188 the showplace for Barbarossa’s court, which he held there that year. It was restored in 1984, and in the 21st century, cultural events take place here.

The town fortification, built in the 12th century and strengthened in the 15th, originally had 4 gatetowers and 6 bulwark towers. Of the town gates, only the Steinheimer Tor from 1603-1605 is preserved; of the bulwark towers, three are still standing. The Kaiserpfalz’s Main façade was integrated into the town wall, to which also wall and ditch complexes belonged. The greater part of the town fortification was torn down in the 19th century.

The Town Hall at the marketplace was renovated in 1823 and stands out architecturally as the only Classicist building with great arcades in amongst many timber-frame houses. Two arms stones with dragon’s heads were integrated into the building from the forerunner building, itself documented in 1539. The square tower goes back to the old parish church, which was torn down once the town parish took over the Einhard-Basilika in 1812 and the Benedictine abbey had been dissolved.

Most of these two- and three-floor timber-frame houses are to be found at the marketplace and in rows along the nearby streets (particularly Steinheimer Straße, Kleine Fischergasse, Große Fischergasse, Kleine Maingasse, Große Maingasse and Freihofstraße). Examples at the marketplace are the Alte Schmiede (“Old Smithy”, no. 13, now a restaurant), nos. 7 and 10, the historic apothecary with the apothecary’s emblem with a mortar, the so-called Einhard-Haus from 1596 with a richly decorated oriel, the house on Steinheimer Straße at the corner of Stadtmühlengasse (1697), Freihofplatz 3 (1567), the little house at Freihofstraße 4 (souvenir shop) and many others. The timber-frame neighbourhood along Rosengasse is called Klaa-Frankreich (Frankreich means “France” in German), for which there is a particular historical reason: After the Thirty Years' War, Abbot Leonhard Colchon settled people from a Wallonian homeland here after the local population had been decimated by warfare, famine and the Plague. Names like Beike, Massoth, Bonifer, Dutine, Oger and Assian still bear witness to the earlier francophone settlers.

In the constituent community of Klein-Welzheim near the historic monastery fishponds stands a moated castle in the style of a mediaeval castle, albeit with Baroque additions, which the abbot at Seligenstadt had built in 1707 as a summer seat.

In the constituent community of Froschhausen, the former community’s town hall has a special meaning. Before it was built in 1939, the former community church standing at the spot was torn down. The churchtower, however, was integrated into the new town hall building. Froschhausen’s old community core also offers a few other pretty timber-frame buildings.

The town of Seligenstadt is widely known for its Carnival parade, which snakes its way, traditionally on Rosenmontag (Shrove Monday), through the historic inner town and the neighbouring parts of town. There is proof that this Rosenmontag parade has existed since 1859. Nowadays the parade has more than a hundred elaborately built attractions, drawing an average of forty thousand interested visitors from near and far. At Carnival time, the Seligenstadt fools (Narren) call themselves “Schlumber” and their town “Schlumberland”. Each year, a Carnival Prince and Princess are chosen, as are two children to be the Child Prince and Princess. Besides the Rosenmontag parade, there is a Kinderfaschingsumzug (“Children’s Carnival Parade”) each year on the Sunday.

[ source: wikipedia ]

More about the History of Seligenstadt

Sometime about AD 100, during the reign of Roman Emperor Trajan, a cohort castrum was built on what is now Seligenstadt’s marketplace and parts of its Old Town. Since the 16th century, the castrum has been assigned the name “Selgum”. The 500 legionaries and auxiliary forces stationed there belonged to the Legio XXII Primigenia, or Roman 22nd Legion, based in Mogontiacum (Mainz). The cohort was known by the name Cohors I Civium Romanorum equitata and was responsible for security along the stretch of the Limes Germanicus running along the Main. With the fall of the Limes during the stormings by the Alamanni about 260, the castrum was forsaken, and the Romans withdrew farther behind the Rhine line. On the former castrum’s rubble and on what is now the monastery area in a section of the Breitenbach valley arose the early mediaeval settlement of Mulinheim superior, or Obermühlheim.

During the Thirty Years' War, a Swedish commissary administered the abbey on King Gustav II Adolf’s behalf. The Swedish king had spared the town destruction and burning in return for the townsmen’s tribute. As he went forth with his army, though, the occupation troops who had been left behind plundered the town and the abbey anyway. In 1658, the abbey and convent buildings were newly built.

Through the Secularization of Electoral Mainz (Mainz vacation rentals | Mainz travel guide) in 1803, the Amt of Seligenstadt passed to the Grand Duchy of Hesse-Darmstadt and the abbey was dissolved. In 1832, the Landratsbezirk of Seligenstadt was merged into the Offenbach district and in 1882 the Hanau-Seligenstadt-Eberbach railway opened.

In 1977 in the course of municipal reform in Hesse, the neighbouring communities of Froschhausen and Klein-Welzheim were merged into Seligenstadt.

[ source: wikipedia ]

Seligenstadt is a town in the Offenbach district in the Regierungsbezirk of Darmstadt in Hesse, Germany. Seligenstadt is one of Germany’s oldest towns and was already of great importance in Carolingian times.

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