The Castle Road in Romantic Franconia is marked by three destinations worth seeing: Colmberg on the Upper Altmühl with its castle, Lichtenau with its castle grounds and the state-approved health spa of Wolframs-Eschenbach, home of the minstrel Wolfram von Eschenbach (1170-1220)..... [More about Romantisches Franken]
The castle - over more than 1000 years old - enthrones on a mountain peak with a delightful all-round view over the city with the same name and dominates the Upper Altmühltal.
Today visitors of the castle await a comfortable hotel with restaurant that enchants with a romantic atmosphere and medieval charme.
Colmberg Castle was never taken throughout its long, ever-changing history. According to tradition a fortress was built here in the Carolingian period around 770. In 1128 Colmberg became a fief of the counts of Hohenlohe. Between 1150 and 1240 the extension to a Staufer Imperial Castle took place, which is verfied through the masonry with embossed stones and pincer holes in the middle. Successors of the Staufers became the courts of Truhendingen in 1254. They were the first documentarily proven owners of the complex. In 1318 they sold the complex with the accompanying market town to the burgrave Friedrich IV of Nuremberg.
Colmberg castle became the seat of the Oberamt around 1320 and remained in the possession of the Hohenzollern for over 300 years. As from 1408 burgave Friedrich IV from Hohenzollern relocated his residence into the castle due to substantial cost savings until he became Margave of Brandenburg in 1415. From 1791 until 1806 the castle was under Prussian administration, under Napoleon castle and city became Bavarian. From 1806 until 1880 it was the seat of a revenue office, after that the castle passed to private property. From 1927 until 1964 the castle belonged to the last Imperial Consul of Japan Dr. Dr. h. c. E. A. Voretzsch. In 1964 the Colmberg family Unbehauen purchased the castle and turned it into a hotel.
The formidable towers and walls of the former fortress clearly remind us that it was the model for the Nuremberg Castle, and witness to a not always peaceful past.
Inside the Veste Lichtenau the outpost of the state archive of Nuremberg is located. The outdoor area is open to the public in daytime.
For four hundred years (1406 – 1806) the fortification and small market towns were owned by the free imperial city of Nuremberg and thus fatefully bound up with its history. During the feuds between the margraves of Ansbach and the Town Council of the free imperial city of Nuremberg the fortress and market were destroyed in 1449 and 1552.But the Nurembergers doggedly defended their property and spared no expense in rebuilding it. The well-preserved defense complex was built from 1558 to 1630 and was not substantially changed in the following years.The enclosing wall and moat that protected the small market towns in the past are still clearly recognizable. Projecting bastions were built at the corners of the polygon: the bear, the stag, the virgin battery, the dragon battery and the bell battery.
In 1631 troups of the general Tilly took the fortress,
in 1688 during the Third Reunion War it could be successfully defended against troups of King Ludwig XIV from France.
91586 Lichtenau, Von-Heydeck-Strasse 3
The palace at the marketplace in the heart of the city ranks among the masterpieces of the Renaissance in Franconia and shapes the image of Wolframs-Eschenbach with its neat timbered facades. Today, the town hall and the tourist information are located here.
In 1212 count Poppo of Wertheim assigned the Teutonic Order the church patronage in Eschenbach, in 1332 the Teutonic Order received the right from King Ludwig of Bavaria to turn Eschenbach "into a city". On that note, the city fully became property of the Order, which determined the destinies of the city for a long time. In 1623 a palace developed under the German master archduke Karl in the style of the late Renaissance.
The obverse of the main building presents like no other facade the grand splendour and the self-conception of the Teutonic Order as the lords of the town and sovereigns. It does not refer to a palace in the classical sense of the term, but to a municipal nobility domicile which accommodated the house for the Landkomtur as well as dignitaries and guests of the Order and also the office of the Order on the ground floor. The rear part of the building served as a warehouse for the "Zehnt", the payment of the taxes in kind. Since 1859 the palace is used as the "New Town Hall".
Stadtverwaltung, Wolfram-von-Eschenbach-Platz 1
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