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  • Writer's pictureTheresa Brandt

Bretzels & Beyond in Wertheim

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

A bakery stop for a fresh bretzel is a must!

You’ve sailed into the quaint town of Wertheim, set along the tranquil Main River in Germany. Having experienced or about to experience the highlights of Wurzburg, Mainz and Rudesheim, you may wonder what’s to see in Wertheim. Oh, there’s certainly plenty to see, I assure you, but there’s also plenty to taste!

Take a walking tour to get acquainted with the history and culture of this charming riverside town, appreciating the medieval architecture and the products of a rich glass-making tradition. Then, it’s time for the eats - make your way to a local bakery for a tour and a sample of a fresh bretzel (as it’s called in Germany).

Long associated with Germany, the bretzel can trace its origins back to medieval Europe, when an Italian monk is said to have created the twisty treat with arms shaped in prayer as a reward for local schoolchildren. Over time, the bretzel tradition spread through Europe, becoming associated with good luck and eternal love. You’ve heard of “tying the knot” in reference to marriage? That idiom likely traces back to the 1600s, when the Swiss used pretzels/bretzels to symbolize the matrimonial bond during wedding ceremonies. It was Germans, however, that brought pretzels with them to the American colonies - Pennsylvania, specifically - in the 1700s.

To earn its stripes as a bretzel in Germany, the perfect specimen must be fat in the middle and thin at the edges. On a bakery tour, you’ll have the chance to hear the personal stories of the baker and the methods they use for bretzel and sourdough bread baking. Of course, a sample won’t be enough, so be prepared to purchase several warm bretzels to take back to the ship with you. (Some say that Wertheim’s best bretzel can be found at the Fritz Frischmuth bakery.)

Wine tasting can be experienced at the Pointed Tower of Wertheim.

Continue your exploration of Wertheim on foot or on a bike. Visit the largest stone fortress in southern Germany, the Wertheim Castle. The vistas alone - of town, the Main and Tauber rivers and the Bavarian border - are worth the steep, but short, climb. Go wine tasting at the Pointed Tower of Wertheim. Shop the adorable boutiques, picking up hand-curated kitchenwares, clothing and gifts. Visit the Wertheim Glass Museum, where you’ll see ancient glass pieces, industrial glass and glass-blowing exhibitions (don’t miss the gift shop).

See? Wertheim may just end up being your favorite stop along your Main River cruise. And this is just one port! There’s so much to explore and enjoy on a Europe river cruise - from bretzel to Baroque. Reach out by booking a consultation through my Services page. I'd love to chat!


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