Historical boardwalk discovered

Drone view of the excavation on Würzburger Straße in the Burgfarrnbach district of Fürth. © Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation

The Franks once drove their wagons into the distance here and a magnificent procession with imperial regalia has been recorded from 1790: During road construction work in the Burgfarrnbach district of Fürth, the remains of a historic trade route from Nuremberg to Frankfurt came to light, reports the Bavarian State Office for monument preservation. Bit by bit, the archaeologists are now uncovering the heavy wooden planks that once fortified the centuries-old path and are hoping for further finds.

As is well known, many cities and settlement structures in Europe have an old and exciting history. However, due to today's development, traces from the past are often not accessible to archaeology. But occasionally opportunities open up: in the current case, too, construction work led to the archaeological discoveries. Last November, workers renovating Würzburger Straße in the Fürth district of Burgfarrnbach came across unusual structures under the current paving. This then led to the current archaeological investigation, the results of which the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation (BLfD) is now reporting on.

Part of an old trade route

The archaeologists discovered the hundreds of years old remains of a boardwalk, which is now being uncovered for meters further. In addition to the heavy wooden structures that once stabilized the path, the team also discovered other relics from the past: buttons, horseshoes and even a silver coin from the early modern period came to light. As the archaeologists explain, it is a piece of a once important trade route that connected Nuremberg and Frankfurt. The Würzburger Straße, which seems inconspicuous today, formed the town passage of this long-distance trade route through the Burgfarrnbach settlement near the city of Fürth. The place was mentioned as early as 903 as “Varenbach” in connection with a former royal court.

These heavy wooden planks once fortified the trade route through town under today's Würzburger Straße. © Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation

As the BLfD reports, the earliest mention of the Burgfarrnbach through town can be found in a community chronicle from 1592: It says that the residents were asked to maintain the path and, where necessary, to carry out repair work. The remaining planks can apparently be traced back to this final repair work in the following times. The dendrochronological age determination of the wood revealed 1773 as the year of felling for the pine trunks examined so far.

Noble carriages once also passed through

Apparently they were relocated on the street not long before a historical spectacle, reports the BLfD: On September 27, 1790, a magnificent procession with noble carriages and decorated steeds marched through the town thoroughfare in Burgfarrnbach on the way to Frankfurt. The treasure of the German emperors and kings was transported - the imperial jewels of the Holy Roman Empire, which include the imperial crown and the holy lance. This is documented by images of the festive procession, which are kept in the Nuremberg State Archives.

“The surprising discovery of the boardwalk now sheds light on Middle Franconian history,” said the BLfD. The remains are now being uncovered piece by piece and the archaeologists hope for further finds from the long history of the road. In the end, however, normal road operations in Burgfarrnbach will probably have to be guaranteed again. However, the experts plan to recover at least a particularly well-preserved part of the path and preserve it for research and presentation purposes, writes the BLfD in conclusion.

Source: Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation

Recent Articles

Related Stories