Is this charming region Germany’s best-kept secret?
Eight things you didn’t know – and didn’t know you wanted to know – about the German region of Heilbronn-Franken.
1. Hikers’ daydream
Like many of Germany’s southern regions, Heilbronn-Franken is surrounded by picturesque natural landscapes dotted with old stone bridges, Madonnas, and stone crosses. With its many beautiful rivers, such as the Tauber River, the panorama trails of the Tauber Valley and the abutting grid of bicycle routes, the region offers ample opportunities for families and vacationers alike to bond and rejuvenate in the great outdoors. The Kocher-Jagst-Trail is a must for experienced hikers (or daring beginners) looking for something on the more arduous side.
Photo: WHF GmbH
2. Vineyard havens
Even for people who don’t have a taste for succulent varieties of grapes – such as Lemberger, Samtrot and Trollinger – the numerous lush vineyards just outside the city of Heilbronn offer a wide range of failsafe day-trip destinations. The region’s many annual wine festivals and Besen – seasonal restaurants run by local winegrowers – also present an excellent opportunity to connect with locals while indulging the senses. In the winegrowing villages of Schwaigern or Weinsberg, with their steep suntrap slopes and rolling hillsides, vines have bloomed for over 800 years.
3. Romantic getaways
For those looking for a weekend getaway outside of the city of Heilbronn, there is a great deal more to see beyond the 1,310 acres worth of vineyards. In addition to the Tauber Valley and the Breitenauer lake, the bucolic towns in the districts of Schwäbisch Hall and Hohenlohe offer some particularly romantic options. Bad Rappenau, for example, is a historic spa town where bon vivants have lounged in therapeutic salt baths since the 19th century. Similarly, Wertheim am Main, with its Romanesque half-timbered buildings and many monuments, has a beguiling medieval air about it.
Photo: WHF GmbH
4. Smalltown conviviality
Despite being home to almost a million people, Heilbronn-Franken feels tightly knit and communal. The region is warm and very welcoming, and proud locals enjoy talking about what makes the place special. For international professionals interested in what it’s like to live and work in the region, the Welcome Center Heilbronn-Franken is a great resource. The Welcome Center also offers orientation services to international workers and assists with everything from finding a job and a language course to advising on residence regulations.
5. Delicious regional cuisine
Just about anywhere in Heilbronn-Franken, visitors and residents are likely to find an inn, tavern, or all-day restaurant serving up locally sourced regional cuisine. With a focus on ecological traditional dishes, the district‘s more than 1,500 farms pride themselves on the high quality of their produce, crop farming, and livestock. Regional specialities include Grünkernküchle (spelt burgers) and, naturally, Herbsthäuser beer and Tauberschwarz wine.
Photo: WHF GmbH
6. Down-to-business mindset
While the industrial center of the region Heilbronn is very much globalized and metropolitan, the Heilbronn-Franken region also exudes a strong sense of cultural identity. Rooted in its distinctive Swabian-Franconian character, the region has become synonymous with a tireless work ethic, a good-natured sense of humor, and an overall down-to-earth approach to life. Coupled with the region’s tradition of entrepreneurial thinking and sectoral diversity, this straightforward mentality makes the region’s workforce both dynamic and hard-working.
7. Industrial frontrunner
Heilbronn-Franken is one of Germany‘s fastest-growing economic regions. Not only is it home to numerous niche companies of international renown, it also boasts the highest per-capita rate of global market leaders in Germany. Its frontrunner status in several sectors – such as the automotive industry, machinery and plant manufacturing, and electronics – has allowed companies as diverse as Audi, Bosch and Würth to attract thousands of engineers and technical experts to relocate to the region in recent years. Heilbronn-Franken is also a major exporter of assembly and fastening material, as well as packaging machine engineering and vacuum technology. The key to the region’s success in these high-tech industries lies in its advanced infrastructure, logistical connectivity, and legacy of innovation.
Photo: WHF GmbH
With countless opportunities for recreation, leisure, and cultural immersion, Heilbronn-Franken has plenty to offer families beyond the innovative world of work. From the fortresses in Wertheim and the castle in Weikersheim to Middle Ages-themed cultural festivals and open-air theater performances, the region has something for everyone. Add to that the subsidized daycare, full-day preschools, and numerous sports associations, and it’s clear that Heilbronn-Franken is a family-friendly place to live and work.
This article was produced by The Local Creative Studio and sponsored by Welcome Center Heilbronn-Franken.
This content was paid for by an advertiser and produced by The Local's Creative Studio.