From the names of our streets, like, Gunzenhausen, Hubinger St. and Haas St.; to the Bavarian architecture of our buildings (even our McDonald’s). But have you ever really experienced the fun in learning more about the heritage and traditions we still covet today? Here are some simple ways to add a little German heritage to your next trip.
Frankenmuth Historical Museum
There is no better place to learn about the history of our town than at the Frankenmuth Historical Museum, of course! Take a self-guided or guided tour of the museum that discusses the lifestyle of our earliest settlers through WWII, as well as modern-day business ventures that have shaped the town we call home. Want to dive even deeper through our past? Check out the Historical Associations Educational Programs.
The Frankenmuth Brewery holds a beer cellar from the original settlers that first came to Frankenmuth. Along with delicious beers brewed daily, they offer gorgeous banquet space for group meals and a riverview unlike any other. Call ahead to schedule a free brewery tour.
The St. Lorenz Lutheran Church was the very first structure that the earliest Frankenmuth Settlers built. Of course, it looked much different in 1845 than it does today. They journeyed to this new world to spread the love of Christ to the natives in the area. Those are all things you can learn if you take a tour of the church, the Church Museum, and the log cabin replica of the first church in Frankenmuth. The German influences are easy to see, from the stained glass windows depicting the story of Frankenmuth to the German worship services still held every the second Sunday of each month at 11am. Call ahead to schedule for a tour guide!
Frankenmuth Clock Company
Clockmaking has been rooted deep in German heritage for thousands of years. Today, in Frankenmuth, you can still see the most beautiful cuckoo clocks, grandfather clocks and mantel clocks designed by German artists. They are ready for purchase, or, you can simply stop in and listen to them chime.
The original German word “glockenspiel” is literally translated into English as “bells play”; a more idiomatic translation might be “musical bells”. In German usage it may be applied to any carillon-sized or chime-sized tower bell instrument which plays music. The Bavarian Inn Glockenspiel Tower houses a magnificent 35-bell carillon, a beautiful figurine movement and an illuminated clock, all imported from Germany! Before striking the hour, and on each quarter hour, the clock sounds the 5-bell Westminster chime. At Noon, 3 p.m., 6 p.m., and 9 p.m. each day the Bavarian Inn Glockenspiel plays several selections which are immediately followed by figurine movement depicting the legend of the Pied Piper of Hameln.
Tasty German Treats
From strudel to streusel and window cookies (or Linzer Augen) to Bavarian cake (or Prinzregententorte), our bakeries in town have all of your favorite German treats and sweets to delight in! Be sure to stop at the bakeries below Zehnder’s Restaurant and Bavarian Inn Restaurant for authentic German treats. The Bavarian Inn Restaurant is also known for it’s authentic German cuisine, so stop in today and enjoy some schnitzel! Last but not least, stop into Kern’s Sausages or Willi’s Sausage Company to taste the delicious flavor of true German sausage recipes. And, speaking of yummy German food, be sure and sign up to roll pretzels with your group at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant.
Frankenmuth is widely known for its many festivals, however there are a select few that show the true German heritage we are so proud of. The Bavarian Festival is Michigan’s oldest festival. It has been running since 1959, and it is easy to see why so many flock to it. With German steins, pretzels, maypoles and lederhosen, what’s not to love! Oktoberfest is another celebration that is truly German in it’s roots. The event features authentic entertainment, dancing, Oktoberfest souvenirs, various German food selections, and authentic Hofbrauhaus Oktoberfest beer. Last but not least, the World Expo of Beer celebrates the genuine love of beer that the German culture covets.