The community of Frankenmuth - located just minutes east off I-75 between Flint and Saginaw - is Michigan’s #1 visitor attraction, drawing over 3 million visitors annually. This quaint Bavarian Village offers over 100 different shops and attractions, over 25 different tours and things to do, and year-round activities that delight all ages.
Frankenmuth also provides visitors with a rich history and ethnic experience.
The history of Frankenmuth can be traced back to Pastor Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe from the village of Neuendettelsau in the Kingdom of Bavaria, Germany. In response to a plea for help from the missionary leader Lorenz Loesel, Pastor Loehe assembled in 1845 a little congregation of 15 settlers to come to Michigan and establish a mission.
Their goal was to teach Christianity to the Chippewa Indians. From these humble beginnings the community of Frankenmuth developed. More German settlers came and joined the original congregation, bringing with them their skills and trades of Bavaria.
Woodcarvers, sausage makers, wool processors, millers, brewers, and other trades were among those skills brought over with the immigrants and can still be found in Frankenmuth today. The rich ethnic foundation on which Frankenmuth was established is reflected throughout the entire community. Onion Towers, Bavarian flower boxes, the Glockenspiel Tower, and bellcots decorate the buildings to provide visitors with the feeling of being in Bavaria.
Frankenmuth is now a world famous destination for travelers. People come from every state and over 30 countries to enjoy the attractions and activities that Frankenmuth has to offer.
Warm hospitality and cleanliness are also trademarks of the charming Old World community. As you walk along Main Street you’ll imagine you’ve stepped into the Black Forest area of Europe. Freshly groomed flower beds and lush green trees line the streets of downtown, providing a European marketplace atmosphere.
During your visit you can enjoy the re-enactment of the "Pied Piper of Hamlen" (German: 'Der Rattenfänger von Hameln') story as depicted in the wooden figurines of the 50 foot Glockenspiel Tower, or take a stroll across the Holzbrücke (Frankenmuth’s wooden covered bridge; largest built in Michigan). You may also watch local candy makers, woodcarvers, sausage makers, leather toolers, and wool processors practicing their trades.
January 3, 1854: residents organized as a Township
January 14, 1904: foundation of the Village of Frankenmuth
October 1, 1959: Frankenmuth obtained city status
Franken depicts the province from which the settlers came and Muth means courage in German. The name Frankenmuth means "Courage of the Franconians."