Panoramic Walk to the Valley Bottom

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Fritzlar, Germany

Panoramic Walk to the Valley Bottom Fritzlar Reviews

Kathrin_E Kathrin_E
369 reviews
Panoramic Walk to the Valley Bottom Mar 06, 2017
From the western end of Domplatz, the far end opposite the Dom, a small lane with a few houses ends at the top of a stairway which leads downhill towards the valley and river. Unless you have walking problems, I highly recommend doing this walk. Mind your steps, the stairs are uneven and the path is cobblestone. Nevertheless stop and look around and back every now and then. The view opens up and towers appear plenty of photo options. You end up at Wintertor gate tower and the former hospital chapel and can then follow the street parallel to the river, enjoy the panorama of the old town and its towers, and walk back up on a much easier trail further east by the old bridge.

The bottom end of the stairway is in a small street that leads to Wintertor. The gate at Neustädterstraße in the southwest of the old town once protected the exit towards the Eder valley and a trade road. The gate used to be heavily fortified. A drawing on an information board gives an idea what it used to look like. Gate, bridge and moat are no more but the tower is still watching the road.

The street then leads further down to a narrow bridge over Mühlgraben, a branch of Eder river. Look back the skyline of the old town with the spires of the Dom appear behind the tower and your camera will want to be used... Then cross the bridge (attention, it is narrow and there is car traffic).

On the opposite bank of Mühlgraben, by the bridge, you will spot a small gothic church on the premises of a farm. This used to be the hospital chapel. In the middle ages the Hospital of the Holy Spirit had its seat down here, outside the town walls. It served as hospital, old people's home, and also as quarantine station: travelling craftsmen, for example, had to spend one night here before they were allowed to enter the town. The frequent contageous diseases were widely feared. The hospital is long gone: After the closing of the Franciscan monastery it moved into the convent buildings, the grounds of which still host the hospital. Nowadays it has of course modern buildings and equipment, but the old name Heilig-Geist-Spital has remained. The chapel is still there and also the farm. The agriculture served to grow food for the hospital and support its economy. The chapel is usually closed but I heard, unfortunately only afterwards, from my friend the town guide that the people on the farm have the key and will open the chapel to visitors upon request. Next time I'll try...

A few steps further along the river you'll reach Fritzlar“s Malerwinkel, the „painters' corner“, from where you have the most picturesque view of the old town panorama which has been painted countless times.

Walk past the farm, then left, and follow the street named Mainzer Ring. After a few steps the panoramic view of the old town opens. By the horse pasture of the farm with the chapel, a sign marks Vier-Türme-Blick, the View of the Four Towers. From here four of the town's fortificatory towers appear in a row up the hillside: Kanzel, Winterturm, Frauenturm and, at the top, Grauer Turm. This stretch of road offers a great panorama of the old town with the Dom on top of the hill. However, I personally like the view from about 50-100 metres further east even better. The perspective is more interesting from there.

Continue along Mainzer Ring in eastward direction to the bridge. The old Eder bridge dates back to the middle ages, to the year 1227 to be precise. It originally crossed both the Eder river and Mühlgraben. Nowadays only the part across Mühlgraben is still there. The part across the Eder was destroyed by World War II bombings in 1945, only the bridgehead with the statue of St John Nepomuk is still standing. A new bridge for cars was built in the post-war era.

The old bridge over Mühlgraben is for pedestrians now and can be accessed from Mainzer Ring up a modern spiral staircase. By crossing the bridge and then walking up the street you return to the old town.
Stairway down from Domplatz
Stairway down
Stairway further down
Looking back from the stairway
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