Positioned on the banks of the River Main in Lower Franconia, Aschaffenburg is set around a charismatic Old Town and leafy, green parks. It’s dominated by the 17th-century Schloss Johannisburg, built by Archbishop Johann Schweikhard von Kronberg, and belonging to the Archbishopric of Mainz for more than 800 years. As Aschaffenburg is separated from the surrounding towns and villages by the Spessart Hills, its inhabitants speak a local version of Rhine Franconian, rather than Bavarian.
Spend an afternoon exploring the Schloss Johannisburg, home to the State Art Gallery which boasts an outstanding collection of early German and Dutch paintings. It’s also here that you’ll find the Palace Library containing a number of early printed books and the Palace Museum which details the history of the castle.
Don’t miss a visit to the Palace Gardens that house the Pompejanum - a 19th-century reproduction of the Villa of Castor and Pollux that was discovered in Pompeii and commissioned by King Ludwig I. This green oasis also offers beautiful views of the Main River and the historic town of Aschaffenburg.
Also of note is the 12th-century church of Saint Peter and Alexander, which features beautifully preserved monuments by the Vishchers and a painting by Matthias Grünewald, as well as a sarcophagus containing the relics of Saint Margaret. Admire the mansions that once housed the nobility as you wander through the Old Town of Aschaffenburg, then cross the river to visit Schloss Schönbusch that was designed in the late-18th century with Neoclassical buildings and an English landscaped garden.