Majestic and unmissable: In Kronach in Upper Franconia, the Rosenberg Fortress is a real cultural highlight, both architecturally and historically. Germany's largest defensive fortress can be easily reached on foot from Kronach railway station in just under 15 minutes. The landmark of "Gronich" - as the locals affectionately call it - offers a unique view over the roofs of the late medieval old town and combines medieval, renaissance and baroque architectural styles. Renowned architects such as Balthasar Neumann and Antonio Petrini helped to design the imposing fortress.
Historical insights from above and below
The first documented mention of "Rosenberg" dates back to 1249. Since then, there have been numerous attempts to capture the fortress - without success. The fortress is considered indestructible. You can find out how this can be during the multimedia and interactive guided tour of the 23-hectare complex. The different architectural styles are striking: from the medieval keep to the mighty wall and tower buildings of the 15th and 16th centuries. The early Baroque entrance gate to the fortress, which goes back to the renowned Franconian master builder Antonio Petrini, is particularly impressive. Off downstairs: A tour of the underground passages by candlelight is guaranteed to make explorers' hearts beat faster.
On the trail of Franconian artists
Art lovers should definitely pay a visit to the Franconian Gallery at Rosenberg Fortress. Here, 220 art objects from the late Gothic and Renaissance periods in Franconia are presented on 1,000 square metres of exhibition space. Lucas Cranach the Elder is of particular importance. Kronach, a town of just under 17,000 inhabitants, is proud of its "famous son", who was born here around 1472. His artistic talent was in great demand, especially in aristocratic circles. Emperor Maximilian I, Albrecht of Brandenburg and various Saxon electors were among his clients. Cranach is said to have created around 5,000 paintings during his lifetime. Some of them can be admired in the exhibition alongside works by the sculptor Tilman Riemenschneider and other influential Franconian artists.
Royal dining above the rooftops of the city
Above the rooftops of the city, directly on the Feste Rosenberg, the Bastion Marie restaurant serves Franconian delicacies such as bratwurst, ox cheeks or classic Brotzeitbrettl. Among beer fans, the restaurant's own beer "Mariechen" is considered a real treat. The landlady's refreshment recommendation is the drink "Sauer und Lustig" - non-alcoholic prosecco with grapefruit and a touch of love. If you just want to have a snack, you can feast on a piece of cake on one of the deckchairs on warm sunny days and enjoy the magnificent panoramic view. The adjoining beer garden was even awarded a prize as one of the most beautiful beer gardens in Germany. Afterwards, freshly fortified and full of historical impressions, you can make your way home through "Gronich" back to Kronach railway station.
The historical adventure starts at Kronach railway station. From there you walk about 15 to the Rosenberg fortress. At the station forecourt, turn left into Güterstraße. After a few metres turn right into Adolf-Kolping-Straße. Follow this for 300 metres along the Haßlach. Turn right before Klosterstraße, cross the Haßlach and Schwedenstraße. From here, turn left into Wolfsschlucht and follow it for 200 metres. After that, the Wolfsschlucht makes a sharp right turn, which leads directly onto Fesstungstraße. After about 100 metres, you will be standing in front of the early Baroque entrance gate to the Veste.
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.