Here is a typical scene along the Main River downstream from Wertheim. The things in the foreground that look like big mushrooms are actually moorings that the river barges can tie onto if they want to stop here for the night.
On my bicycle tour in 2004, I stayed overnight at a guest house in Collenberg, a town on the right bank of the Main. The surprising thing about this guest house — which no longer exists, as far as I know — was that the entrance hall and the stairwell were filled with quirky objects collected by the owners over the years, starting with this medieval coat of arms, sword and battle-axe.
The owners seemed to have a special interest in antique scales, pans, bowls and keys.
My room was on the top floor, with a view of the non-electrified single-track railway line that was built in the 19th century along the right bank, following all the curves of the river. This line is now used by local trains and by Regional Express trains from Aschaffenburg to Crailsheim, via Wertheim and the Tauber Valley. (See my post Trains to Weikersheim.)
This particular stretch of the Main River forms the border between the German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. The blue-and-white striped pole in the lower right-hand corner of the photo shows that Collenberg is on the Bavarian side.
Here’s the ship Astoria on the Main River in the morning, just below Collenberg.
Later I looked up the Astoria and learned that it is one of several cruise ships belonging to a company called Reederei Henneberger, which is based in Miltenberg. As of 2022, this company runs three cruises per day on the Main River from Miltenberg to Freudenberg and back, from April through October. On weekends, they also offer two cruises per day from Wertheim to Faulbach and back. The cost for a 90-minute river cruise (as of 2022) is € 14.00 for adults and € 9.00 for children.
The next town, Freudenberg, in on the left bank of the river, which puts it in the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The name Freudenberg means, or seems to mean, something like ‘Joyful Mountain’, so it is presumably a happy place — as long as the river doesn’t overflow its banks.
When I rode through in 2004, the river front in Freudenberg was a construction site, because they were rearranging the waterfront and building a concrete dike — with ‘stationary’ and ‘mobile’ elements — to hold back future floodwaters. The project was accompanied by an urban development and beautification program and by renovation of the historic Old Town. And it does seem to have prevented flooding of the town, for instance during the high water of January 2011.
My photos in this post are from 2004. I revised the text in 2022.
See more posts on the Main Valley Bicycle Route.