Large-format signs are still reminiscent of the celebrations for the 1200th anniversary of Mömlingen in 2017. It is obvious what opportunities the anniversary opened up for the general overhaul of the community in the north-eastern Odenwald.

The most striking thing was the change in the central village square.

Where previously there was a wasteland, light-colored pavement now brings out the sandstone red of the raised baroque St. Martin's Church to its best advantage, with a gallery of historical border and coat of arms stones set off from it in steps, as well as casts of Roman gods and devotional images on the right.

Mömlingen in the fertile Mümling valley has always been in demand, first to supply the Roman troops on the nearby Main, then as an outpost of the Fulda monastery and finally for centuries by Kurmainz, which shielded the area with a militia against Hesse-Darmstadt. The area went to Bavaria in 1814 as the heir to the Archdiocese of Mainz. It stayed that way, no matter how warmly the Hessian lion embraced the place.

In the recent past, iron ore and basalt in particular aroused desires.

The long-forgotten mining legacies can now be explored in the wooded area, prepared for a geological nature trail and the "Hot Pavement" geo-point.

As the name suggests, the mineral deposits are the result of volcanic activity 40 to 50 million years ago, when the encounter of 1000 degree hot rock melts with groundwater in the rugged sandstone caused violent eruptions.

The ejected material has long since weathered, but it was known as early as the 14th century that washed-out iron ore accumulates in subterranean basalt.

How long it was exploited is not known.

The difficulties must have been big enough, because new attempts had to be abandoned after only a few years due to severe water ingress, such as at "Grube Berta" in 1838.

Subsequent attempts, even as late as 1935, all failed.

End of shift in 1928

At first, action was more successful on the mighty sandstone ridge south of the Mümling.

However, no one was looking for iron ore, but from the middle of the 19th century no effort was spared to mine a basalt vent reaching a depth of around 50 meters, first above ground and then underground, which is indicated by the geo point "Hot Pavement" - here also related to the use of the rock - a reconstructed tunnel access including mine carts.

But here, too, the shift ended in 1928 for reasons of profitability. An open sandstone wall near Hainstadt, marked by fissures and falls, gives an idea of ​​how difficult the conditions were.

A former quarry, she too challenges her to completely different efforts today.

As a "climbing garden", the 35 meter high rocks secured with steel cables delight all those who like to climb the walls directly.

Directions

Even the central roundabout in Mömlingen, through which traffic is routed from the Main valley to the Odenwald via the main road, was created during the anniversary celebrations in 2017. The main road, which branches off to the right, leads to the center around the Martinskirche, before turning left, Straße Kühtrieb, to a parking lot .

There, on the other side of the Amorbach, we also see the green dot marking.

Your expansive zigzag course between homes can be cut off by means of a steep staircase;

top right (Am Ziegelrain), left, and then via meadow orchards uphill to the Eichenwaldchen hiking home.

The yellow L of the geological nature trail that starts here leads to the forest with the first stations "Landwehr" and ore mining at the Berta pit.

Both left deep faults.

You can also stay straight ahead at the green dot, the same later.

At the end of the trees, the L appears again to turn right 700 meters further on entering the forest.

This loop explores the rare phenomenon known as sinkholes.

What was originally thought to be “Swedish redoubts” given the 250 meter long terraces turned out to be large-scale cave-ins of undermined sandstone on closer inspection.

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