Located between the Rhön highlands and the Main River Valley is a piece of perfect world. Expansive views of the surrounding natural paradise and, at the same time, the district is in the top three of most dynamic, up-and-coming districts out of 402.
Wedged between Thuringia and Hesse, the Rhön-Grabfels is located in the middle of Germany. Literally. In the old days, the area was on the border between East and West Germany, marginalized, a sleeping beauty. Today, it is a model for sustained economic growth.
Green tourism, organic farming – people have worked here sustainably for centuries. Corporations are also expected to operate as environmentally friendly as possible. This takes a lot of lobbying and constant vigilance. In 1991 the efforts were rewarded with the Biosphere Reserve distinction.
The many small and big biotopes of the Rhön are home to a thriving population of 43 species of orchids. The varieties range from simple to quite complex, from Mediterranean varieties to those found at the edge of permafrost in Greenland.
40,000 people are employed at the district’s 3410 companies, mostly in industrial jobs as well as food and lodging. Health and wellness are also big thanks to two spa towns – Bad Neustadt and Bad Königshofen.
There are several hundred kilometers of mountain bike trails and an unbelievable 6000 kilometers of hiking trails for you to enjoy. Rocks and roots, past bizarre basalt rock formations, through cool gorges and across almost treeless mountain meadows. A mecca for all nature lovers.
Sunt devitiae roenae the 18th century episcopal physician Melchior Adam Weikard wrote. It is Latin for “Snow, night and fog are the treasures of the Rhön.” He added that “In Europe, there are few areas more beautiful than this.”
You have to climb 928 m to get to the top of the Kreuzberg Mountain. Your reward is delicious monastery beer, a fantastic view of the mountains of the Rhön region and great conditions for hiking and skiing.
There is no electricity in this fairytale castle. At night, you sit in your room by candlelight. When the proprietor leaves for the evening, you are free to help yourself at the bar. Just write down what you had. And when you walk along the trail in front of the castle in the morning, you are in for a surprise.
The former women’s monastery now houses art and culture on three floors. Exhibits, concerts, lectures, markets and much more are offered on a regular basis.
A combination of spirituality, art and nature. A meditative hike along this loop trail will inevitably lead you to more inner peace. Each one of the ten art stations has a bench and you are invited to sit and let the place do its work. Plan on two hours for the trip.
The best place to get educated about nature and the environment is in Oberelsbach. The amazing educational institution in the middle of the biosphere reserve surprises with its visionary architecture, really close to nature.
During the summer, there are concerts at the Bad Neustadt Market Square on seven Thursday evenings. As the director of the city’s cultural department sums it up: “It is our intention to thoroughly entertain our visitors with music of the highest acumen.” Don’t wait.
The UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is not only home to many rare species of plants and animals. The diverse cultural landscapes are also a model for sustainable agriculture. This all adds up to great quality of life.
Affordable industrial and commercial lots, many locations with space to build, great opportunities for recreation and relaxation and an excellent healthcare system. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose but can take advantage of all the opportunities available in the region.