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March 6, 2019: Hotel zum Riesen, Miltenberg, Germany


Miltenberg is a small town on the Franconian section of the river Main. It is home to many lovely old buildings, one of which is the 'Hotel zum Riesen' – pictured in the main photo above, as well as in the shot below. It lays claim to being Germany's oldest inn. Not surprisingly perhaps, there are at least two other contenders for this title and it is not clear who is right.

However, the hotel is certainly not making a spurious claim. Records appear to show that one Trestam zum Riesen operated an inn here in 1411 and the business may well have existed for some time prior to that. The core of the present building dates from 1590, but obviously there have been several minor and major renovations since then. 


The inscription below is on the building's facade and constitutes the owners' official claim to the title of 'oldest inn of Germany'.


The hotel sign itself is pictured below. If you are wondering what the Star of David is doing there – I was similarly intrigued. It turns out that it is the ancient symbol of the brewers' guild in Southern Germany, the 'Brauerstern' (Brewers' Star).


Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have stayed at the Hotel zum Riesen, as did Elvis Presley. I doubt whether Napoleon came here on a sight-seeing trip, but Elvis might well have done. (In his army days he was stationed less than 100km from Miltenberg.) It is certainly a nice place to spend a few hours or even a couple of days. The photo below shows the view over the town from Miltenberg's castle.


The fountain depicted in the final photo appealed to my puerile sense of humour. It is located near the river and called the 'Staffelbrunserbrunnen'. It was erected in 2016. The fountain's name derives from a derogatory nickname for the local people and, being based on a term in the regional dialect, is not easily translatable in a succinct way. However, if I tell you that the middle part of the name refers to 'urinating', you will get the broad picture. The townsfolk essentially embraced the slight and turned it into a joke, celebrated through this fountain. It has become a popular motif for photos. 




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