The land between Bamberg, Nuremberg and Bayreuth is one of the most beautiful and varied stretches of German countryside. Billowing cornfields on the plateaus are bordered by cozy valleys and green meadows. In the mountains peculiar dolomite rocks and castles can be seen from afar. In between lie half-timbered villages with friendly pubs, large forests and idyllic churches. It comes as no surprise that this northern part of the Franconian Alp is one of the oldest holiday regions in Germany.
“Smoked” beer and student life in the medieval Old Town
Bamberg was one of the few historical cities in Germany that were not destroyed by Allied bombers in WW II and therefore has an exceptionally well-preserved medieval core and the entire Old Town was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. During the early Middle Ages Bamberg was one of the most important cities in the Holy Roman Empire. Both Henry II (Holy Roman Emperor from 1014 to 1024) and his wife Kunigunde are buried in the Bamberg Cathedral. The Romanesque cathedral completed in 1012 is one of the architectural gems of the Middle Ages in Germany. The “Bamberger Reiter”, a sculpture by Tilman Riemenschneider depicting St. Stephen, King of Hungary, is found here as well. Today Bamberg is also known for its unique smoked beer called “Rauchbier”. Nowhere does it taste as good as in a Schlenkerla, a traditional brewery with its own beer garden.
Richard Wagner-City at the foothill of the Franconian Switzerland
The 900 year old city in the wide valley of the Red Main River lies between the Fichtelgebirge in the north and the Franconian Switzerland. Even to date the 70,000-populated city is shaped by the ideas of Princess Wilhelmine, sister of Frederick the Great, who left her mark here with many rococo buildings. The most famous citizen of the city is still Richard Wagner who, with his wife Cosima, moved into the Villa Wahnfried in 1874. At this time, the opera house was built under Wagner's supervision, and even today only the works of this controversial German opera composer are performed. His music dramas are staged annually in July and August and are internationally renowned cultural events.
Romantic old town at the foot of the Franconian Forest
The romantic city in Upper Franconia with less than 20,000 inhabitants is located at the foot of the Franconian Forest, one of the most beautiful hiking areas of Germany. Kronach is the birthplace of Lucas Cranach the Elder. The fortress Rosenberg is one of the best conserved castles in Germany. The old town which is almost entirely preserved, is characterized by sandstone and half-timbered houses, city walls, gates, towers and vaulted cellars. Kronach is located on the “Beer and Castle Route”.