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community Mespelbrunn
Coordinates: 49 ° 55 ′ 40 ″  N , 9 ° 17 ′ 4 ″  E
Height : 293 m above sea level NHN
Incorporation : July 1, 1972
Postal code : 63875
Area code : 06092
Hessenthal pilgrimage church
Hessenthal pilgrimage church

Hessenthal is a part of the community Mespelbrunn in the Lower Franconian district of Aschaffenburg in the Spessart . It is a historic Mary - pilgrimage ; The center and main attraction is its three-part pilgrimage church , the burial place of the Echter von Mespelbrunn family , with a Lamentation of Christ identified as an early work by Tilman Riemenschneider and a crucifixion group pointing to the Renaissance as an old work by Hans Backoffen .


The Mespelbrunn district of Hessenthal is located on the west bank of the Elsava opposite the Mespelbrunn district , which gives the municipality its name, at the foot of wooded mountains up to 400 m (Kalten-Berg, Buschhöhe, Bildkopf, Fleckensteinhöhe, Hohe Wart ) in the Spessart Nature Park . The Franconian Marienweg leads through Hessenthal .

The districts of the Bessenbacher districts Oberbessenbach and Keilberg, the community-free area Waldaschaffer Forst, the district Mespelbrunn and the community-free area Hohe Wart border the Hessenthaler district.


The upper and middle Elsava valley first appeared in the middle of the 13th century, when the Counts of Rieneck (fiefdom of Kurmainz ) - against the will of their liege lords - built up an independent domain in this area. This was done through the systematic settlement of peasants; the historical striped corridors are still clearly recognizable.

The name etymology of the place has nothing to do with Hesse , but the Hesilndal mentioned in a document of the Archbishop of Mainz Gerhard II von Eppstein from 1293 is derived from hazelnuts . The spelling HESLEN DAHL can be found on the so-called sparrow picture from 1745 (Hohen Wart location) . The founding legend says that a knight wanted to dissuade a charcoal burner from any belief in miracles and, in order to emphasize his words, he smacked his sword confidently into a hazel. Then the sword turned bloody. The horrified knight and his squire found a small statue of the Virgin Mary under the bush, for which they reverently had a chapel built in the valley. The picture inexplicably disappeared night after night back to the place where it was found on the mountain. Only when the local population vowed to carry the figure up the mountain in procession on Whit Monday each year did the picture stay in place.

This is how the nucleus of the Hessenthal Marian pilgrimage, which developed significantly over time, is told. There must have been a small settlement in the period of the founding legend. At the legendary site on the mountain there is now another chapel with a wooden Pietà (so-called image chapel ).

Hessenthal stayed with Kurmainz in the Old Reich until the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss 1803. After that it belonged to the Principality of Aschaffenburg and from 1810 to the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt , where it was located as a Mairie with 42 fireplaces and 247 residents in the district of the Rothenbuch district of the Aschaffenburg department. In 1812 Conrad Spatz was the mayor. His adjuncts were Georg Störmer and Valentin Straub and the school teacher was Heinrich Rothaug. In 1814 Hessenthal came to the Crown of Bavaria , where it belonged to the regional court of the older order Rothenbuch.

After secularization, the pilgrimage church became a simple parish church (initially chaplain to Oberbessenbach , since 1969 the seat of the newly founded parish of Hessenthal-Mespelbrunn).

On July 1, 1862, the district office of Aschaffenburg was formed from the older district courts of Rothenbuch and Aschaffenburg , on whose administrative territory Hessenthal was located. In 1939, as everywhere in the German Reich, the designation district was introduced. Hessenthal was now one of the 33 communities in the old district of Aschaffenburg . On July 1, 1972, this merged with the Alzenau district in Lower Franconia to form the new Aschaffenburg district.

In the course of the regional reform in Bavaria , the formerly independent communities Mespelbrunn and Hessenthal merged into one on July 1, 1972, the administrative seat of which was relocated to Heimbuchenthal as part of the Mespelbrunn administrative community .

Townscape and infrastructure

Hessenthal is located at the intersection of two main roads through the Spessart,

Only a few streets with residential developments flank these thoroughfares.

Hessenthal lives from pilgrimage tourism and the close proximity to the Spessart Nature Park with its rich network of hiking trails and Mespelbrunn Castle as another main cultural and historical attraction besides the pilgrimage church. There are several inns, guest houses and holiday apartments, a bakery, a butcher's, a doctor's office and a kindergarten. The next educational institutions (elementary and secondary school), supply and administrative facilities are, however, in Mespelbrunn and Heimbuchenthal. The shopping opportunities are also concentrated there.

The eight-kilometer European “Mespelbrunn-Hessenthal” cultural route run by the Archaeological Spessart Project runs through Hessenthal . This circular hiking and cycling path touches the following five stations with explanatory boards:

  • Starting point in the village on the Elsava;
  • Pilgrimage church
  • Herrenbildkapelle
  • medieval striped corridors along the Elsava, laid out under the Counts of Rieneck ( Wagner's Gate ),
  • Dry stone walls in Langen Grund , laid out for arable farming on difficult steep slopes.

Station 6 is off the circular route Mespelbrunn Castle.


  • Musikverein Hessenthal eV
  • Volunteer firefighter
  • Football club FSV Hessenthal
  • Anglergemeinschaft Hessenthal eV
  • Choral Society "Spessartlust"


Sons and daughters of the place


  • Wolfgang Specht: Hessenthal pilgrimage church. (Schnell-Kunstführer, No. 663.) 13th edition, Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg 2003, ISBN 3-7954-4422-5

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