The third part of the St. Kilian Genesis

Credit cover picture: Raimar von Wienskowski

The third part of our Genesis


Rüdenau is located in Lower Franconia and, with 760 inhabitants, is one of the smallest independent communities in Bavaria. The village covers an area of about 4 square kilometres and is about 85 km from Frankfurt. It is nestled in idyllic orchards and flower meadows in a valley basin to which there is only one access road and exit. The inhabitants raise sheep and bees and grow their own fruit. The neighbouring Odenwald hilltop village of Mainbullau is home to a sports airport, from which you can reach Rüdenau in less than 10 minutes.

Rüdenau is also known as the Three-Fountain Village. The three village fountains still roar today as they did hundreds of years ago, lapping away their song. The Ottilienbrunnen, the largest of the three, is today often referred to as the symbol of Rüdenau.The three wavy lines on the coat of arms of Rüdenau mark the three fountains:

The St. Kilian Whisky Distillery also has its own spring. According to the statements of older generations, the spring water in Rüdenau has special healing powers. Throughout the 20th century, people from near and far made pilgrimages to Rüdenau to wash out their eyes with the water from the Ottilienquelle spring, for example, and thus cure ailments such as cataracts or glaucoma or simply improve their eyesight.

Even older traditions go back to Roman times. The river Main, only a stone's throw away from Rüdenau, separates the Spessart low mountain range from the Odenwald, where Rüdenau is located. For the Romans, however, the Main also formed the natural limes, i.e. the border between Germania and the Roman Empire of the time. They were on the side of the Odenwald and built a castellum on the banks of the Main with hundreds of mounted legionaries. A rapid reaction force, so to speak, along the Main line, in case the Germanic tribes should translate from the Spessar side. The remains of the Roman fort were found outside Kleinheubach on the Main, only a few kilometres from St. Kilian. Today, information boards there describe the times and deeds of the Romans. According to legend, the Romans were already growing wine in the Rüdenau valley at that time and using the water sources to supply the legionaries and their horses. At the site of today's Ottilienbrunnen, the Romans worshipped "water saints" who could perform miracles and heal illnesses and wounds.

Further interesting information about Rüdenau and the St. Kilian distillery can also be found, for example, on Wikipedia. The history and owners of the village during the Middle Ages has been nicely summarised by Frankentourismus .