Oberkirch is a wine-growing town situated in the lower part of the Rench Valley along the “Badische Weinstraße”, a road leading through the wine-growing areas of Baden. Its geographical location and the climate are favourable for the viniculture which represents Oberkirch all over Germany. The town does not only have a good reputation for growing wine and fruits, but also for the production of as high-quality schnapps and liqueurs in 891 distilleries. Oberkirch also offers culinary delights of the famous Baden cuisine that suits every taste.
One of Oberkirch’s most important sights, the ruins of the Schauenburg castle, has its origins in the 11th century and offers a magnificent view over the town, over the Rhine Plain, and to Strasbourg. Also worth seeing is the historic town centre with its beautiful, traditional timbered houses and the local museum, which is named after German poet Grimmelshausen. Oberkirch is often associated with Grimmelshausen: one of his most famous works, “Der Abentheurliche Simplicissimus”, was written here.
All over the year, many celebrations, festivals, and culinary highlights take place in Oberkirch, such as the so-called “Erdbeerfest” (strawberry festival) in spring or the “Weinfest” (wine festival) in September.
Oberkirch is also a paradise for hikers of all kind. Here you can either go for easier walks along the vineyards and orchards or start a more challenging tour through the hilly landscape of the Black Forest.
For further information please contact Renchtal Tourismus GmbH or see www.oberkirch.de and www.stadtmarketing-oberkirch.de.
Dominated by the massive ruins of the Schauenburg Castle, Oberkirch reflects an impressive heritage. The castle was built in the 11th century by the Zähringer Family. Later the castle was owned by the Count of Calw, then by the House of Welf and finally by the Count of Eberstein, who used the castle as a fiefdom. The Schauenburg family has been the fief holders since the 12th century.
They have not lived in the castle constantly since then. Little by little, they bought more comfortable properties in the valley. It is not known exactly when the Schauenburg castle was destroyed. In 1731 it was considered ruins and was used as a quarry in the following years.
The castle is surrounded by a moat. Although it is dried out now, it used to be fed by rain water, sewage and a stream. It also used to be deeper than it is now. The Schauenburg is protected by a 3.7 meter thick shield wall on the mountain side. Large parts of this wall remain intact, as do a well a cellar and the rest of two towers which served as keeps or residential towers. You can reach the location of the castle’s chapel by a spiral staircase.
The “freche Hus” has become a venue for cultural events since its renovation by the city of Oberkirch. Every year thousands of visitors come to see one of the numerous concerts, theatres or caberates. In the summer the theatre club hosts many open-air events at the open-air stage nearby.
The house was named after a French family. It was built by the tanner Matis Gebert in the decade after the city fire of 1689. The corner beam pointing in the direction of the Mühlbach indicates as much. In 1876 the pharmacist Friedrich Frech bought the property.
Next to the northern entrance of the house there are two keystones made from old archways. One of them shows the number 15 as the first two digits of a year along with the tanners’ guild sign, two crossed knifes. A mythical creature is depicted on the other door lintel.
Hans Jakob Christoph von Grimmelshausen was born on March 17th 1621 in Glenhausen in the Spessart Mountains. In 1634 he flees to Hanau and in 1639 he arrives in Offenburg as a musketeer. In 1649 he marries Catharina Henninge and starts to work as an Estate Manager in Oberkirch-Gaisbach. He builded two houses in Gaisbach, the restaurant “Silberner Stern” and the former town hall of Gaisbach. From 1622 until 1665 he was also the Estate Manager of the Ullenburg castle. In 1665 he stopped working as an Estate Manager and became the Inn- and Retaurant keeper of the “Silberner Stern” in Gaisbach. There he wrote his most famous novel called “The Adeventurous Simplicissimus Teutsch” which was published in 1668. In 1667 he became the mayor of Renchen and. He died at the age of 55 on August 17th 1676.
On three floors you can find interesting information about the town history of Oberkirch, the different manual crafts that were and are still practiced in the Rench Valley as well as remarkable information about the traditions in the different eras.
The museum houses also a literary memorial dedicated to Grimmelshausen's legacy. Among the treasure are the first editions of his works, translations into different languages of his most famous novel "The Adventurous Simplicissimus Teutsch" and many other documents to remind his work and his life in Oberkirch and its sourroundings.