May
05
2009

What is “innovation aus Zapfendorf”?

Innovation aus Zapfendorf (photo by √oхέƒx - CC-BY)

Innovation aus Zapfendorf (photo by √oхέƒx - CC-BY)

Zapfendorf is a small town in Bavaria, Germany, which together with its surrounding villages has a population of around five thousand inhabitants. It’s an ancient settlement, dating from at least the Bronze Age.

Unfortunately, much of the town was destroyed in 1945 when a munitions train standing on a Zapfendorf siding was bombed. The town was rebuilt and became a market town, and together with its satellite villages forms a small locality in the region of Upper Franconia-West.

It’s a pleasant enough place, with a strong community ethos. There are sports clubs, gardening clubs, music societies, and groups for people with a common interest in farming, birds, chess, stamp collecting and firefighting. Plus, of course, the market and some interesting old buildings.

Zapfendorf is well-placed for transport links, being served by the railway and skirted by the B173 highway. It’s also on the River Main, and has good bicycle access. As an ancient travellers’ rest stop, and a main railway halt in the days when travel was time-consuming, it still offers hospitality to the visitor.

Leisure activities include hikes along the Main and through fields and woodland to the surrounding villages. The large “Aquarena” has hot pools, a giant waterslide, turkish steam bath and (somewhat of a rarity nowadays) a genuine diving pool. There are also tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course, soccer fields, an adventure playground, plus angling and boating on the Main.

Fine Franconian food at the local restaurants features fish, beer and sausages. There’s a good choice of guest accommodation, and there are historic chapels, churches, a castle and an Abbey to explore in the surrounding area. What are you waiting for?

So what’s with “innovation aus Zapfendorf”? Well, one of the German states has been promoting itself with a slogan about innovation, so why not Zapfendorf too? The phrase innovation aus Zapfendorf is simply a German slogan meaning “innovation in Zapfendorf”.

For a small town, there’s quite a lot of innovation aus Zapfendorf. The brewery goes back a long way. In fact the name Zapfendorf may mean “the town where they draw beer”. The name goes back to at least 904, so the locals were certainly innovative at developing the beer market. Another innovation aus Zapfendorf is their milk processing factory, which adeptly turns excess low-fat milk into a range of useful products. How innovative is that?

Actually, the slogan innovation aus Zapfendorf is a whimsical attempt at a Googlebomb.

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