Royal time-out in Coburg, Upper Franconia
A royal lifestyle in the heart of northern Bavaria: Coburg in Upper Franconia is the right place for anyone who enjoys picturesque buildings in a medieval setting and wants to feel like a damsel or lord of the castle for a day. Discover it now by train!
Who has the most beautiful marketplace in Bavaria?
Let's go on a journey to the most magnificent places in the former royal seat of Coburg! It's just a ten-minute walk from the railway station until you reach the historic market square in the heart of the city of 41,000 inhabitants. Turn right onto Lossaustraße, continue across the Itz and from there straight ahead onto Viktoriastraße. From here, the path leads straight down Judengasse, which winds through the charming old town along the pastel-coloured house facades and ends at Bavaria's most beautiful market square. GEO magazine adorned it with this title in 2018 - and rightly so!
As if sprung from a coffee-table book, the striking buildings shine out at you in all their glory. In the centre of the cobblestone square stands the mighty bronze statue of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. He owes his prominence solely to his wedding strategy: in 1840, the Coburg prince married Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland - the most important monarch of her time. The Queen donated the monument in memory of her husband, who died far too early. The "Grandmother of Europe" travelled to the ceremonial unveiling in August 1865 in person. This epithet goes back to her many descendants who are still represented in the European aristocracy today, such as her great-great-granddaughter Queen Elizabeth II.
Enjoying bratwurst against a historical backdrop
Looking south from the Albert statue, you will see the 15th-century Town Hall, which was later decorated in rococo style. The gable above the town hall clock is adorned with the town patron saint figure of Saint Mauritius. His marshal's staff is exactly 31 cm long and is still considered the standard for Coburg sausage today. Among the locals, the figure is known only as the "Bratwurstmännle". Enjoy the speciality sizzled over pine cones right here at one of the stalls while taking in the colourful, different architectural styles around you. Behind the Albert monument on the north side of the square, the town house dominates. Framed by two magnificent Coburg oriels, the freestanding 16th-century Renaissance building is captivating with the knight figures on the roof proudly reaching for the sky.
A Coburg Bussi "to go"
Before you continue your tour, take a quick turn into Rosengasse at the southern end of the market square and pick up a "Coburger Schmätzchen" from Feyler, the purveyor to the court. Don't worry, they don't hand out kisses, but a gingerbread variety refined with twelve spices, invented by master baker Wilhelm Feyler in 1892. Even the Swedish royal family has the sweet treat delivered to their court from Coburg.
With the cookies in your luggage, the path leads back to the market square past the town hall into Herrngasse, where you will find the tourist information office after a few metres on the right-hand side. Here, in addition to competent advice, you will receive a free city map and can take part in a guided tour of the old town at 11 a.m. (advance booking is requested). If you prefer to explore the city on your own, you can be accompanied on an audio walk via an app. Directly opposite the tourist information office is the stop for the yellow-green Bimmelbahn, which takes you up to the castle complex of the Veste Coburg in 15 minutes. You can find out the times on the website.
30 playrooms with 900 dolls
Before you head up to the Veste, take a short trip back in time to your childhood and stop by the doll museum. At the end of Herrngasse, turn right into Rückertstraße. The entrance door is just a few steps away. The extensive collection is spread over 30 rooms and shows the development from simple play dolls to porcelain and classic Schildkröt dolls. The exhibits date from the period between 1800 and 1960 and come mainly from Franconia, Thuringia and France. Good to know: Every second Sunday of the month, the doll doctor Mr Packert takes an expert look at "injured" dolls during his consultation hours - even damaged teddies have a chance of "healing" here.
Idyllic nature experience in the middle of the city
The next stop is the Veste Coburg. Walk back along Rückertstraße towards Schlossplatz. Here you have the option of taking bus number 5 from Theaterplatz with your Bayern-Ticket and "climbing" the Veste Coburg in 15 minutes (the bus up to the Veste leaves every two hours). Or you can walk the 1.5 kilometres through the almost 30-hectare Hofgarten. The entrance is in the east of the castle square and leads up the stairs along the elongated arcades. The way to the castle complex is signposted with grey steles and takes between 30 and 45 minutes. There is plenty to discover in the spacious landscape park idyll: romantic garden pavilions, the large adventure playground and a fragrant rose garden - embedded in spacious meadows and gently rolling hills. Here, nature reigns supreme with its secluded spots and almost 65 tree species. Do you already know the cake tree? It owes its name to its fallen leaves, which smell of gingerbread. You can read more curiosities about the flora and fauna in the courtyard garden on the information boards. If you want to know more, pay a visit to the Natural History Museum. With over 700,000 items in its collection, it is considered the most extensive in northern Bavaria.
Culture and Franconian cuisine with a breathtaking view
We made it! After 167 metres of ascent, the highlight of the sights lies proudly and majestically before you: the Veste Coburg. The castle owes its majestic nickname "Franconian Crown" to its location on a dolomite rock visible from afar. The breathtaking panoramic view over the Thuringian Forest to the Franconian Jura is correspondingly unique. In the east, the view extends as far as the Franconian Forest. Equipped with iron gates, pitch pits and cannons, the fortress has successfully withstood numerous attacks. The oldest surviving parts of the imposing building date back to 1225, and the historic architecture captivates visitors from the very first moment. Walk in the footsteps of the blue-blooded inside the castle and marvel at the extensive art collections ofthe House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha: gilded wedding carriages, shining knight's armour, around 2,700 glasses, sculptures and princely rooms can all be discovered here.
Feasting with a view: if you're feeling peckish, the Burgschänke is the place to be. When the weather is fine, the magnificent view from the terrace invites you to enjoy hearty Franconian delicacies. Inside, too, you can enjoy a hearty meal in a rustic atmosphere. Be sure to try the "Coburger Rutscher" - a dumpling speciality which, due to its consistency, almost "slides down" the palate of its own accord and its delicious taste makes you feel really happy.
After your eventful castle adventure, bus number 5 will take you back to the station in just under 20 minutes. From there you can return home by train, full of majestic impressions.
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.