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Stopover Mainbernheim - The city fortification

Stopover Mainbernheim - The city fortification

Mainbernheim is located on the medieval "Goldene Straße". The Reichsstraße once connected trading cities such as Brussels in Flanders, Cologne, Frankfurt, Würzburg and Nuremberg to Prague in Bohemia.

In 1615 it was extended to Poststraße (POst Road) between Brussels and Prague. Today the Bundesstraße 8 mostly runs on this route.

Mainbernheim was mentioned in official papers for the first time in 889. In 1172 Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa raised Mainbernheim to a Reichsdorf (Village of Empire) and in 1382 King Wenzel granted city law. The city walls with 18 towers, 2 city gates and the city moat testify to this day. Crafts, viticulture and wine trade flourished. Since the city has been built up, the town moat has been used as moat gardens for over 300 years, which is also to be admired in Iphofen.

Fortified towns, such as Mainbernheim, developed in the Middle Ages, especially in places which were particularly favorable for the exchange of goods. Some of them gradually emerged from markets where the merchants traded their goods. Since the 12th century, kings and high nobles have also established new markets.

An important east-west connection, the "Alte Reichsstrasse", led through Mainbernheim. It was a long distance trade route from Nuremberg to Frankfurt and the continuation of the "golden road" from Prague to Nuremberg. Two large gate towers protected the entrances. At dawn the city guards opened the city gates. The whole day they watched at the gates and on the defense towers. Every vehicle had to pass the bottom gate or the upper gate, every pedestrian, every rider too. The foreign merchant, who wanted to enter the city with his goods, was stopped here and searched for weapons. These had to be handed over. In the city mostly peace ruled and disputes were settled by a court. After the merchant had paid duty for his goods, he was allowed to stay in the city. Thick, high walls provided shelter and safety for their goods and trade. Night watchmen walked with lanterns through the streets to deter thieves. The devices for the fall bridge at the upper gate as well as the holders of the heavy wooden doors, which were closed in the evening, are still clearly visible. Who came too late, had to stay in a hostel in front of the gate. Even on the road the passengers were protected, for example, at the highest point of today's B 8, Mainbernheimer took over the escort protection of the dealers from Kitzingen citizens. For the safe escort the companions were paid.

The medieval cityscape with the largely intact city wall, now 18 towers still recognizable and two gates are preserved. The lower gate, which points towards Kitzingen, with a pointed arched passage was built around 1400. At the beginning of 1600, it received another floor in half-timbered construction. During the reconstruction the Mainbernheimer replaced the former fall bridge by a fixed bridge and completed the two-storey half-timbered building with a hipped roof to the gatehouse in 1787. Here the royal gatekeeper lived. In the direction of Nuremberg, the Higher Gate can be seen. It was built at the same time with an arched passageway. The rolling slots for the drawbridge, the brackets of the heavy gates and the bars for closing, as well as a Pechnase (hot material was pured onto enemies from here) are still clearly visible here. The reconstruction with an eight-sided tower and mansard roof by Johann David Steingruber took its end in 1765. Here the visitor can enjoy the view of the city and surrounding countryside from the Türmerwohnung (home of watchman).

The entire wall is resting on stone arches. In this way, material could be saved. There are only a few pedestrian breakthroughs and a subsequent larger opening of the walled wall behind the evangelical church. In the reconstruction of the church forecourt in 2011, the wall course and tower location were fixed in the ground.

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