The Mühlenwanderweg – walking where the mills used to be

It was only recently that I discovered the Mühlenwanderweg in Oberursel.  It happened quite by chance, as I wanted to walk from the International Scout Camp during the Hessentag into town, and my route took me that way.  Otherwise, I may still not have known it was there.

So when I found out that the local history society (Verein für Geschichte und Heimatkunde) was offering a guided walk along part of the path, I decided to go along and find out more.

The Mühlenwanderweg in Oberursel in the woods behind Frankfurt International School

In the woods behind Frankfurt International School

The Mühlenwanderweg starts in the woods at the Hohemark, behind the new Taunus Information Centre.  It then leads through the woods behind Frankfurt International School, and follows the path of the Ursalbach river and the man-made tributaries calls Werksgraben that were used to take water from the river into the mills and factories along the route.

In continues behind residential areas, past the back of Rolls Royce and then enters the old part of Oberursel near the Bleiche.

The Mühlenwanderweg passing between the Freibad and Rolls Royce

The path between the Freibad and Rolls Royce

Marion Unger, who is a town guide, told us about the history of the mills along the route.  We found out where mills used to stand, which buildings are still standing, and the different things that were produced be it leather, paper, or flour.  Frau Unger also had an interesting collection of old maps and photographs with her, allowing us to compare the views with those of the present day.

Before the water in the hills at the Hohemark was captured for use in the town as drinking water, a lot more of it flowed into the Urselbach.  In Oberursel alone, it powered 21 mills, and it took 10 litres of water to make 1 kg of cardboard.  Now much of the clues to this part of the town’s history are there, if you know where to look.  I learnt quite a lot about buildings and streams in the town that I had often seen, and not realised the significance of.

The water wheel at the Schuckardtsmühle in Oberursel

The water wheel at the Schuckardtsmühle

It was particularly interesting to learn that in one place the water is still being used by the land owner to generate electricity and perhaps this is something that the town of Oberursel should be looking at in order to secure future electricity supplies on a eco-friendly basis?

The Mühlenwanderweg logo on a treeThe walk finished at the Bleiche car park, but the path itself continues through Bommersheim, Weißkirchen and even as far as Niederursel and Heddernheim in Frankfurt, and maybe another day we’ll walk along that part as well.  It is signposted using a picture of a crayfish and a waterwheel.

The Mühlenwanderweg guided tour is being held again on 10th September and 9th October, 2011.  To be notified of other tours and events in Oberursel, sign up to our events newsletter.

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About Graham

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Germany as a placement student in 1993, returning in 1995 to live there permanently. He has been writing for AllThingsGerman.net since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche and other publications he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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