Culture meets nature, history walk and wanderlust all in one - that's what this tour through the Rangau, the cultural landscape between the greater Nuremberg-Fürth area and the Frankenhöhe in Middle Franconia, offers.
A hiking tour for nature lovers, culture enthusiasts and explorers
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.
You leave Roßtal-Wegbrücke station to the north, walk past the local bakery and butcher, and after a short walk land almost directly at the foot of the first historical highlight: the Church of St. Laurentius. This is also where the first AR marker of the app ErlebnisRadweg Hohenzollern awaits digital history enthusiasts! History becomes an experience via augmented reality. Information at www.erlebnisradweg-hohenzollern.de.
If you are looking for more history after visiting the churchyard and church, you will find it in the museum courtyard. Consisting of a historical building from the 16th century and a monastery garden, the museum courtyard offers an insight into the collection of archaeological finds and local history exhibits.
Cross the churchyard and step out onto the Roßtal market square. Here, half-timbered houses steeped in history stand shoulder to shoulder and invite you to take a short stroll through the market square. Roßtal has a long and eventful history. First mentioned in a document in 953, the market already had a castle of over 5 hectares in size in the Middle Ages, which has been well investigated archaeologically today and is one of Germany's top-ranking archaeological monuments. Models and views of the town-like complex as well as archaeological finds can be seen in the local history museum and at the former excavation sites.
To continue the tour, follow the Rangau-Ostweg hiking trail out of town. Here you can breathe the free air of fields and meadows! A wide panorama opens up behind you, with the steeple of Roßtal's landmark St. Laurentius visible from afar.
The next village is Stöckach. Here, too, you will find a number of architectural monuments, including historic residential barns, some of which are late Gothic in style, and half-timbered houses from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The trail markings lead you once along the length of the village. It continues a little further across farmland and grassland until you finally enter the forest. Shortly before the Kernmühle, we leave it and the route leads you directly past the Seminarhaus & Eventscheune Kernmühle.
In addition to seminar and conference rooms, the Kernmühle also offers rustic experiences itself - such as bread baking courses. But simply the facility itself is also worth seeing. The Kernmühle was first mentioned in Ansbach books in 1464 as the Gishuebelmühle. For a whole 150 years, until the Thirty Years' War, the Kern family ran the mill.
At the Kernmühle mill, you cross the Bibert over a picturesque footbridge and dam. And continue north along the Rangau-Ostweg. The route passes Ammerndorf and continues between wide farmland and dense forest edges.
At the Pleikershof hikers' car park, those interested in history can take a short detour to the right to the Pleikershof. The historic half-timbered ensemble is well worth the diversions. Back on the route, you pass the Steinbacher Bächl stream and walk along the typical farmland. In front of you, you can already see the last destination of today's tour in the distance: the market town of Cadolzburg.
The well-known Rangau-Ostweg leads you into Cadolzburg. The market square used to be the scene of regular weekly markets and is still lined with prestigious estates that bear witness to the prosperity of the brewers, innkeepers and traders. If you take the tour in the summer heat, a culinary stop at the popular ice cream parlour "Loisl's Eis" is worthwhile here after the arduous climb. Another historical highlight: the Puchtastraße. You can see it "from above" when you walk onto the bridge towards the Burghof and look down to the left. The street is lined with houses from around 1670. The upper gate "Brusela", which leads into the castle courtyard, is also impressive, with the sovereign customs shield bearing witness to the margraves.
You will be rewarded with far-reaching views and imposing history as a crowning finale. In the castle courtyard there is another marker that makes history come alive via augmented reality with the app ErlebnisRadweg Hohenzollern. The tour can then be ended at Cadolzburg RB 11 station.
The castle courtyard is a feast for the eyes. With its historical buildings, the imposing castle grounds and the wide panoramic view - and of course the castle garden, which is worth seeing at any time of the year and which, depending on the season, displays the whole variety of herbs and wildflowers of past times in blossoming and fragrant splendour.
The imposing castle is situated on a steep rocky outcrop and has a circular wall which, like the main gate and the so-called Palas - part of the New Castle - dates from the 13th century. In front of the core castle is a spacious outer bailey, where the burghers' residences and, in the Renaissance, a garden were located. Within the core castle, the two complexes of the Old and New Castles adjoin the High Medieval curtain wall and are connected by the chapel wing. The part of the so-called New Castle adjoining the chapel wing belongs to the oldest part of the castle grounds and dates back to around 1250. Around 1600, the New Castle was considerably extended. The Old Palace was built in the 15th century under Elector Friedrich I. From 1933 to 1945, the New Castle was used by the Hitler Youth as a regional leadership school. Shortly before the end of the Second World War, the castle went up in flames and remained in ruins for decades. Since 1979, the Bavarian Palace Department has been entrusted with the reconstruction together with the Erlangen-Nuremberg State Building Authority. In 2007, the reconstruction was completed for the time being. In 2013, the decision was made to completely convert the Old Palace and a building in the outer castle into an adventure museum. In July 2017, the new museum "HerrschaftsZeiten! Erlebnis Cadolzburg" opened.
It is about 20 minutes past the Cadolzburg cemetery to Cadolzburg railway station.
At the family farm, everything revolves around hazelnuts and the variety of culinary delicacies that can be made from them. From hazelnut schnapps to hazelnut spreads, a rich variety of delicious products can be purchased here in the associated farm shop. Guided tours are also offered.
Return to Cadolzburg station by the same 4-kilometre route. From Gonnersdorf, however, you can also use a call taxi. You should book at least 1 hour in advance by calling 0911 97733030.
From Gonnersdorf, the call taxi A130 will take you back to Cadolzburg RB 11 and to the connections there to Fürth/Nuremberg and the region. The A130 runs hourly to Cadolzburg station: Mon-Fri from 19.31-23.31 hrs; Sat, Sundays and public holidays from 7.31-23.31 hrs. Information at www.vgn.de/ast