91623 Sachsen bei Ansbach
To fortress walls and residential palaces
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 royal seat of Ansbach with its courtyard garden and historic town centre.
The 17-kilometre tour is easy to manage with a normal level of fitness. The paths are mostly firm, but depending on the weather, it can be wet in some places. Many flat sections in river valleys make the route comfortable, with only a few short climbs to contend with. A few rooty trails through the beautiful mixed forest provide variety.
This tour is a "VGN leisure tip" and was created in co-operation with the Greater Nuremberg Transport Association.
A hiking tour for nature lovers, explorers and culture vultures
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 Sachsen railway station (near Ansbach) towards Bahnhofstraße and turn left immediately. Follow the cycle path signpost for Lichtenau for 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.
Follow the Lichtenauer Weg signpost along a romantic meadow footpath.
You cross the Rezat on a narrow footbridge. In the Rezat valley, we pass "Eberhard's Goose Garden" and finally reach Lichtenau.
Lichtenau Fortress is enthroned as an impressively mighty rampart with massive towers at 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, tensions and destruction frequently occurred during military conflicts.
In 1806, the fortress, like Franconia and Nuremberg, fell to the Kingdom of Bavaria. From then until 1973, it was used 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 Miniburg Festival take place in the inner courtyard.
The outdoor area within the fortress walls, which is well worth seeing, can be visited from April to October. A circular route entitled "The Nuremberg sting in the flesh of the Ansbach margraves" has been created as a "historical trail". The Museumsverein e. V. offers guided tours.
For further information such as opening times, guided tours and dates, please contact the Lichtenau municipal administration: Tel. 09827 92110
The path now continues to the Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church.
Follow the signpost "Museum" into Holzschuherstraße. A culinary stopover 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 for the Museum Markt Lichtenau and out of the formerly fortified and guarded historic town centre.
Museum Markt Lichtenau
The Markt Lichtenau Museum in the Upper Gatehouse on the market square focuses on local and special themes of the West Middle Franconia region, such as the Rezat mill exhibition and the Feierabend brick collection. As well as the special theme of sandstone and quarries, which is typical of Lichtenau, but also a supra-regional theme in and for Franconia.
Films such as "The Lichtenau Quarry", "The Franconian Rezat Part 1 and 2", "Nadler - Needle production from 1930 and 1960", "Mills in the Zandtbach Valley" etc. can be seen exclusively in the museum.
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 footpath leads you along a stream and past ponds in the valley floor of the Fränkische Rezat, then uphill and downhill.
The Fränkische Rezat with its numerous tributaries is pure Romantic Franconia. The route heads straight for the Silberbach and its picturesque valley.
The valley is rich in mills, some of which are still in operation. Here the stream rushes wildly and dips into the water.
You hike up to a hill where you can look out over the idyllic valley floor.
The route continues along moss paths, grass paths and through sparse deciduous and coniferous forest.
Ansbach Court Garden
Stroll and take a look: stroll through the four-row avenue of lime trees!
Once, as now at the annual Rococo Festival, the historical costumes and pinned-up hairstyles of the "High Princely Serene Highness" cause a sensation. Margravine Friederike Luise of Brandenburg-Ansbach struts her stuff in an opulent green rococo dress, just like in the days of the glamorous French rococo.
Historic roses and numerous varieties of medicinal herbs in the Fuchsgarten area, created to mark the 500th birthday of the great botanist Leonard Fuchs, once personal physician to Margrave George the Pious. 200 herbs from his famous 16th century "New Herb Book" can be marvelled at in the garden, which is symmetrically bordered with boxwood shrubs, following the example of the Renaissance.
The city of Ansbach offers one-hour guided tours "Ansbach Court Garden - a baroque jewel".
Culinary tip: Turn right at the first branch to the pavilion with the red columns and walk along the Rezat river to the orangery, one of Franconia's historical gems with a café, ice cream specialities and a fine selection of regional and international cuisine in the unique ambience of the courtyard garden.
From the Hofgarten, it is only a short walk to the railway station. Well worth seeing beforehand: Ansbach Residential Palace.
Ansbach Residential 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 town wall, traces of which can still be found in today's residence.
There is almost no other residence in Germany that has been preserved in its original 18th century state. Particularly worth seeing is the ceiling painting in the banqueting hall by the Italian painter Carlo Carlone as well as 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 orangery and numerous potted plants as well as a medicinal herb garden.
The golden age of the Margraves of Ansbach is brought back to life at the "Ansbach Rococo Festival" in July. Court ladies and noblemen stroll through the courtyard garden and the 18th century comes back to life with music and fireworks in front of authentic historical backdrops.
Music enthusiasts should also make a note of the "Ansbach Bach Week" at the end of July/beginning of August.
Tour ends on Bahnhof Ansbach
It is only a short walk from Hofgarten or Schloss Ansbach to Ansbach railway station.
StartBahnhof Sachsen bei Ansbach