91623 Sachsen bei Ansbach
To fortress walls and residential castles
This tour through romantic Franconia fulfils three wishes at once: nature, culture and enjoyment. Experience Franconian villages, the Lichtenau fortress, a bubbling spring and the royal seat of Ansbach.
Sachsen bei Ansbach
This hiking tour through Romantic Franconia fulfils three wishes at once: nature, culture and enjoyment. Experience typical Franconian villages, the Lichtenau fortress, a rustic bubbling spring and the worthwhile residential town of Ansbach with its court gardens and historic city centre.
The 17-kilometre tour is easily manageable with a normal level of fitness. Solid paths predominate, but depending on the weather it can be wet in places. Many flat stretches in river valleys make the route comfortable, only a few short climbs have to be mastered. A few rooty trails through the beautiful mixed forest provide some variety.
This tour is a "VGN Leisure Tip" and was developed in cooperation with the Verkehrsverbund Großraum Nürnberg.
A hiking tour for nature lovers, explorers and culture lovers
Start and end station
Bahnhof Sachsen bei Ansbach
18 km / 5 Stunden
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.
Tour starts on Bahnhof Sachsen bei Ansbach
Leave the Sachsen (b Ansbach) railway station towards Bahnhofstraße and it is best to change immediately to the left-hand side. With the cycle signpost Lichtenau, 1.1 km downhill - with a beautiful view over the village in the valley.
After a short walk, you will pass the Evangelical Lutheran fortified church of St. Alban, whose predecessor - a wooden church - was built around the year 800 when the village was founded. The museum in the church tower can be visited on request.
Immediately after the church, turn right - following the route into Volkersdorf and finally onto the Rezatweg. This leads out into the open countryside of the Franconian Rezat Valley.
It goes romantically along a meadow trail with the signpost Lichtenauer Weg.
You climb over the Rezat on a narrow footbridge. In the Rezat valley, we pass "Eberhard's Goose Garden" and finally reach Lichtenau.
Lichtenau Fortress is an impressively mighty rampart with massive towers on all five corners in the small town of the same name. Due to Lichtenau's location as a tactical outpost of the imperial city of Nuremberg within the territory of the margraves of Brandenburg-Ansbach, there were frequent tensions and destruction in warlike conflicts throughout history.
In 1806, the fortress, like Franconia and Nuremberg, fell to the Kingdom of Bavaria. From then until 1973 it served as a prison. After extensive restoration, it is now used as a branch of the Bavarian State Archives in Nuremberg. In the summer months, events such as concerts and the mini-castle festival take place in the inner courtyard.
It is possible to visit the worthwhile outdoor area within the fortress walls from April to October. With the title "The Nuremberg Thorn in the Flesh of the Ansbach Margraves", a circular route has been laid out as a "Historical Trail". The Museumsverein e. V. offers guided tours.
For further information such as opening hours, guided tours and dates, please contact the municipal administration of Lichtenau: Tel. 09827 92110
Now the path continues to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity.
Continue following the signpost "Museum" into Holzschuherstraße. A culinary stop is worthwhile at "Margas Scheune" (Marktpl. 2, 91586 Lichtenau, Tel. 09827 928030) on the market square.
Turn left through the upper gatehouse with the signpost Museum Markt Lichtenau and leave the once fortified and guarded historic town centre.
Museum Markt Lichtenau
The Markt Lichtenau museum in the upper gatehouse on the market square deals with local and special topics of the West Middle Franconia region, such as the Rezat Mill Exhibition, the Feierabend Brick Collection. As well as the special theme of sandstone and quarries, which is typical ost for Lichtenau, but also a supra-regional theme in and for Franconia.
Exclusively in the museum, films can be seen such as "The Lichtenau Quarry", "The Franconian Rezat Parts 1 and 2", "Nadler - Needle Production from 1930 and 1960", "Mills in the Zandtbach Valley", etc.
Marktplatz (Oberes Torhaus)
After the gatehouse, the trail leads out of the city. With the red dot as a hiking marker, the path leads uphill, along green forest and meadow paths.
A meadow trail leads you along a small stream and in the valley bottom of the Fränkische Rezat past ponds, then uphill and downhill.
The Franconian Rezat with its numerous tributaries is pure Romantic Franconia. It heads straight for the Silberbach stream and its picturesque valley.
The valley is rich in mills, some of which are still in operation. Here the stream rushes wildly and submerges.
You hike up to a hill where you can look far across the idyllic valley floor.
The trail continues along moss paths, grass paths and through sparse deciduous and coniferous forest.
Ansbach Court Garden
Stroll and look: while strolling through the four-row linden avenue!
Once upon a time, as now at the annual Rococo Festival, the historical costumes and high hairdos of the "High Princely Serene Highness" cause a sensation. Margravine Friederike Luise of Brandenburg-Ansbach struts nobly and aristocratically in an opulent green rococo dress, just as she did in the days of the glamorous French rococo.
Historic roses and numerous varieties of medicinal herbs in the Fuchs Garden, laid out on the 500th birthday of the great botanist Leonard Fuchs, once personal physician to Margrave George the Pious. 200 herbs from his famous "New Herb Book" of the 16th century can be marvelled at in the garden symmetrically bordered with box shrubs, completely in the Renaissance style.
The city of Ansbach offers one-hour guided tours "Ansbach Court Garden - a Baroque Jewel".
Culinary tip: At the first junction, turn right to the pavilion with the red columns and walk again along the Rezat to the Orangerie, one of Franconia's historical gems with a café, ice cream specialities and fine regional and international gastronomy in the unique ambience of the Hofgarten.
From the Hofgarten it is only a short walk to the station. Before that, definitely worth a visit: the Ansbach Residence Palace.
Ansbach Residence Palace
Ansbach is known as the "City of Franconian Rococo". Probably the most famous building is the residence of the margraves of Ansbach-Bayreuth. It developed from a medieval monastery courtyard outside the city wall, traces of which can still be found in today's residence.
There is almost no other residence in Germany whose original 18th century state has been preserved in this way. Particularly worth seeing are the ceiling paintings in the ballroom by the Italian painter Carlo Carlone, the picture gallery (a branch gallery of the Bavarian State Painting Collections) and the mirror cabinet with the finest Meissen porcelain.
Opposite the palace is the court garden with an orangery and numerous potted plants as well as a medicinal herb garden.
The golden age of the Margraves of Ansbach comes alive again at the "Ansbach Rococo Games" in July. Then court ladies and noblemen stroll through the courtyard garden and the 18th century comes to life again with music and fireworks in front of the authentic historical backdrops.
Music lovers should also make a note of the "Bach Week Ansbach" at the end of July/beginning of August.
Tour ends on Bahnhof Ansbach
From the Hofgarten or the castle, it is only a short walk to Ansbach railway station.
StartBahnhof Sachsen bei Ansbach