This street, which is called Mainkai, runs directly along the left bank of the Main River in the town of Marktheidenfeld. On this street there are several small hotels, pensions and restaurants.
The name Marktheidenfeld means (or looks like it means) ‘Market-Heathen-Field’, although it has probably been at least a millennium since the last heathens lived there.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the people of Marktheidenfeld were forced to change their religion several times, depending on whether they were being ruled by a Protestant Count or a Catholic Prince-Bishop.
This part of the Main River is regulated by locks every few kilometers. Here a ship is entering the locks near the town of Lengfurt, five-and-a-half kilometers downstream from Marktheidenfeld.
The only factory along this part of the Main River is this cement factory at Lengfurt, which belongs to the Heidelberg Cement Company. The raw materials are delivered by river barge.
Across the river from Lengfurt, up on a hill, is the Triefenstein Monastery. According to my cycling guidebook, this monastery was founded in 1102, but the current building is from the 17th century.
Just around the next bend in the river is this half-timbered ‘castle’ (Schloss) up on a cliff overlooking the town of Homburg am Main — not to be confused with Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, which is an affluent suburb of Frankfurt and the place where Homburg hats were invented and made.
This plaque on a building in Homburg am Main is in memory of the Jewish Synagogue that was built here in 1873 and burned down by the Nazis on December 25, 1938.
According to the website Alemannia Judaica, there were exactly one hundred Jews living in Homburg in 1880, out of a total population of 762. At that time, they had not only a synagogue, but also a Jewish elementary school and a Mikwe, a Jewish ritual bath.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Jewish population of Homburg decreased as people emigrated to other countries or moved to other places in Germany. By 1933, when the Nazis came to power, there were only 36 Jews living in Homburg, and they were subjected to anti-Jewish harassment and an economic boycott.
Wertheim is a city of nearly 23,000 inhabitants, located at the point where the Tauber River flows into the Main. Both the Main and the Tauber Valleys have five-star bicycle routes, as certified by the General German Bicycle Club (ADFC).
My photos in this post are from 2004. I revised the text in 2022.
See more posts on the Main Valley Bicycle Route.
See also: Cycling in the Tauber Valley.
5 thoughts on “Main Valley Tour: Marktheidenfeld to Wertheim”
Enjoy your trips, Don!
All so lovely!
Wow! Such a great way to travel.
We’ve been to Wertheim, but not by bike—a pretty place. I’m a little jealous that you’re able to do the cycling—we never did get into it. We have good friends here who love cycling and also did a long trip along the Main. I’m going to share these posts with them.