Road construction workers in Germany discover centuries-old boardwalk

Road construction workers in Germany discover centuries-old boardwalk

During construction work in November 2023, road construction workers in Fürth discovered a centuries-old boardwalk.

This historic road, along which the Franks of the early modern period once drove their carts, is now being uncovered piece by piece and provides insight into the rich history of central Franconia in Germany.

The Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation reports that road construction work in the Burgfarrnbach neighborhood of Fürth has unearthed the remains of a historic trade route from Nuremberg to Frankfurt, arkeonews reports. Archaeologists are now slowly uncovering the heavy wooden planks that once reinforced the centuries-old road and are hoping for more finds.

It is common knowledge that many European cities and settlements have a fascinating past. But archaeology often lacks access to historical remains due to modern development. Sometimes, however, opportunities present themselves. Like the discovery of this centuries-old sidewalk, for example.

Workers renovating Würzburger Straße in the Fürth district of Burgfarrnbach discovered some unusual structures under the existing sidewalk last November. This led to the current archaeological investigation, the findings of which are now being reported by the Bavarian State Office for Monument Protection (BLfD).

Archaeologists are unearthing the remains of a centuries-old boardwalk, which is now being uncovered in meters of length.

Road construction workers in Germany discover centuries-old boardwalk
Photo: © Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation

The 1592 community chronicle provides the first references to the Bohlenweg, which was once the town street and represented an important long-distance route between Nuremberg and Frankfurt. It says that residents were asked to maintain the road and repair it when necessary. Dendrochronological dating of pine planks recovered during the current excavations revealed that they were felled in 1773.

In 1790, the people of Fürth were treated to a very special spectacle: On September 27, a parade of noble carriages and horses paraded through Burgfarrnbach to ceremoniously escort precious imperial jewels such as the imperial crown and the Holy Lance, the treasure of German emperors and kings.

By this time at the latest, the wooden boardwalk should have been converted into a paved road on the Berlin model.

With each board uncovered, fascinating relics emerge that give an insight into everyday life in past centuries. Buttons, horseshoes and even a silver coin from the early modern period have been found.

While experts continue to work to save a particularly well-preserved section of the road and preserve it for research and presentation, the unearthing of the boardwalk will add an important chapter to the history of Central Franconia.

Cover Photo: Drone view of the excavation on Würzburger Straße in the Burgfarrnbach district of Fürth. © Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation

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