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Franconian Camino Kronach - Lichtenfels - Bamberg - Forchheim - Nürnberg

Delphinoula

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All I wanted to get was milk. No kidding. In my Saturday morning carb.
I was driving and then I thought why not start the Camino from both ends. From the North and from the South. I knew there was a Camino starting from Kronach. ( Upper Franconia, Germany) So I went there searched for the start it’s up on the hill outside the castle and started my Camino. No preparation no card and just the general direction. So I will post some pictures and observation whenever I can make it happen.

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Delphinoula

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From far you see the castle “Festung Rosenberg” a very old castle the outside was revamped by Balthasar Neumann. You will find his works all over Franconia. So I walked through the Upper City past the tower a now prison facility and there you are. There is a Jugenherbege inside the castle but it’s not cheap just soo romantic.
Then you see the first shell.
I walked around for about an hour and enjoyed the medieval wood frame houses. No more shells. So I asked some locals and got various answers.
Just walk down to the lower city then to the park along the river (Landesgartenschau) the river is laughing gaily so you don’t hear any traffic.
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Delphinoula

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If you walking on a Saturday you may not find a lot of open stores in the afternoon. There used to be an old law which aloud stores only to be open until noon on Saturdays and still today not on Sundays.
In the villages it’s still observed that you do your shores like cleaning the walk ways or your house and shopping on Saturday morning. Then with the Angelus ringing the Sunday will start.
So you continue your way towards Neuses. Now in winter most Biergardens are closed. If you like to get some provisions there is a REAL near the way so when you have the choice to turn from the river right or left to the skater park you take the left. Only a couple of meters there is that store with bathrooms. You can get your water and maybe a Leberkäsbrötchen, kind of hot Bavarian meatloaf, for 1 Euro and complimentary WI-FI.
In Neuses you will find the way marked well with Shells. A massive church. A small museum. All closed when I came through, but an Intersport for sporting needs was open and a Butcher that serves as well small meals.
Follow the signes and continue to Kübs. Now I turned back to Kronach and got the milk.

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Delphinoula

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Landesgartenschau
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Delphinoula

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Here some research links. If you don’t speak German the maps are pretty self explanatory




Yeah soon I am going the second leg of my walk towards Lichtenfels

The Pilgerberater ( pilgrim’s counselor) good helpful sources for any question you may have.

If you go to downloads there will be the maps.
 

Delphinoula

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Küps
Here in Küps is an old porcelain manufacturer called Lindner. Don’t let the outside deterre you.. No fancy show rooms no paved parking no gaudy advertisements, just dusty windows where craftsmanship creates very down to earth so elaborated and exquisite dinner wear fit for the table of a king. No modern nihilism and sleek minimalistic design, a bit out of date. But if you buy here you will be able to replace that chipped cup, that your mother had gotten for her wedding and god willing your granddaughter still can. A piece of timelessness. It has it’s price. Fair so people can make a living.

Now for the stamp at the St. Jakob’s church. Sorry only open from May on. But the court house (Rathaus) gave me stamp. And clean facilities. Up the hill I go following the green sign, passing a castle down towards the river..
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Delphinoula

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Redwitz
Following the stream again to Redwitz. I pass a little castle that has outlasted so many storms. The story about the noble of the Redwitz comes to mind. He simple did not supply the wagons, which he was supposed to give to aid the destruction of the reformist followers of Huss. Just a little bit of sand into the war machine bound to destroy the Hussits. Maybe enough time for some brave souls to escape. I would like to think that.

Next to it a large Biergarten closed of course-no fun in Winter and the church closed as well. I guess no beer no church no stamp.

There is a Netto (Grocery) in the town, fresh backed buns for a pick nick and of course water and coffee.

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Delphinoula

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Now towards Lichtenfels

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This is Oberlangenbach

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Warning free roaming dogs. They are cuties but big.

I can see the one of the city gate of Lichtenfels my stop for today.
But after Michelau you have to cross the river Main. The way leads right through a ford and is not passable in Winter.
Great now extra 6 km zwalking over Schney.
Lichtenfels is the famous for their hand made weaving goods and along the
streams you see willow trees which supply this very old craft. Should you need ER , this town has one.

I go to the Rathaus and they are so nice and friendly there. They are hunting the City seal down so I have a special one in my pass. Here the facilities are reached from the outside. Over the Market out the next gate and up the hill to the St. Jakob’s Chapel.
 
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Delphinoula

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Lichtenfels Jakobuskapelle
On the door the is a sign saying call here for you stamp. So I call and a nice Lady comes opens the little side door. I admire dully the beautiful baroque Altar of St. Jakob and get my stamp.

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Now again down the hill to the next highlight
 
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Delphinoula

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Vierzehnheiligen
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Next stop Vierzehnheiligen. A gorgeous basilica designed by famous baroque architect Neumann. It’s an old pilgrimage place dedicated to fourteen Saints helping when you are in need. Let’s see if I can get my pilgrim’s blessing.
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No decent monastery without a brewery. So a short break perhaps.

Indeed you take to the Franciscan Monastery’s door go inside and find a smallish exhibition there. At the inner sanctum to the left you ring the bell and they have a stamp or outside the window or you ask for it. There I received my pilgrimage blessing from an ancient very ancient good humored monk.
Said a prayer to the 14 saintly helpers. Dionysius decapitated helper against headaches, Christopher helper of the travelers always good to have on your side if you choose to believe it. Well blasphemous I wonder what the better choice is an Aspirin or a short prayer.

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A couple of years ago I went with the village on a Wallfahrt to Vierzehnheiligen. We came very early in the morning and coming out of the dark and cold escorted by the Swiss a Gentleman carped in napoleonic parade uniform into that glorious golden candle lit sanctuary we truly felt getting a climbs of Paradise.

Up the hill the brewery is open , pass it and I follow the road to the Staffelberg.
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Delphinoula

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Staffelberg
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Staffelberg

So far the most remote route I have taken. Of course being winter and during the week it helps a lot. It looks like time stands still.

The mountain has been fortified since about two and half millennial. Celtic walls are left over and an active archaeological dig by the University of Würzburg. As in many mountainous fords of that time you find churches dedicated to a female saint . They used to be sanctuary of the big mother Celtic goddess and since humans are creatures of habit now you still have a female to talk to if you visit the church up the hill. Of course with a Biergarten and of course winter both closed.
 
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Delphinoula

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Wish the sun would like me more to have a good look around.
Now to the Veitskappele Down toward the river pass a couple of villages .
Wish I had time to stop at the Spa in Bad Staffelstein. T
It’s a lovely little rtown and the spa offers hot salt water pools. You can go all the way out and book a room at the connected hotel.
My next stop is Ebing
 

Delphinoula

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Ebing,
Here is a St. Jakob’s curch
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Delphinoula

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I follow the well marked road to Baunach.
I pass a little field church and rest there for a bit. It’s very windy but no rain so far.

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In Baunach the the pilgrim Überkum is well known as having completed his pilgrimage to Santiago in the 1400. He asked tobeburried where his blind horse would stop with his body.
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Over his grave the build a church where you can get your Stamp.

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Now you pass some of the cellars, which holds the food stores.

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Delphinoula

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If you planned a rest day. Bamberg great.
Still the wind is whipping.

Still the wind is whipping.

If you planned a rest day Bamberg would be a good choice. Built on seven hills like Rome it used to be the capital of the holy Roman empire of German Nations in the .... and the locals have not forgotten it. Always a bit in competition with the older Würzburg, who used to be the seat of the Franconian dukes and founded 250 year earlier. The Cathedrale is the resting place of Sainted Heinrich and Kunigunde- still a popular girl’s name in the area. In one ensemble you can find all architectural styles in harmony. Gothic Cathedral (Dom), medieval Emperor Palace (Kaiserpfalz) with Renaissance building, Bishops Palace in Baroque. Across from the cathedral you can walk into the Rosegarden. Well not so exciting in winter.
 

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Delphinoula

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From Jakobskirche I decided to follow the yellow shell to go towards Nürnberg.

You could follow the white Shells which go faster to Rothenburg.
Down the hill and up a again towards the blue and white Klinikum (hospital). Here you find your last Kaffee and clean facilities for a while.

You leave the hospital on your right and go straight through the Forrest. A first you will have some company, but later it is just you and the trees. The road is sometime obstructed by the trees last night storm had blown them down.
 

Delphinoula

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53201
You get out near Höfen and walk right into a - you guess it - Biergarten, but as always not the time for it. So if you like beer you should walk in May. You walk down to the stream and the toward the church. Inside you can take a break and warm up a bit. It has nice acoustics and since there was nobody there I sung a Gloria.

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You go outside and follow the shell through a private farm up the hill. At the edge of the trees a stone marker wished me “Bon Camino”. I was so touched.
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Up the steep hill now there are few shells but ribbons show you the way.

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You pass an old place where a way cross used to be. A sign tells its story:


A long time ago a girl walked home coming from spinning and her fiancée tried to scare her. He put a sack over his head and run in twilight towards the girl. She was so scared that she defended herself with the spindle she had. She hit the man so unlucky that he died. That was when she found out who this scary man was. So I guess the lesson here is not always a scary person is what he seems and guys if you need to make a joke be sure the girls get your intent.


So far lucky I get into a snow storm. The wind blows so hard that I bent down and hold on to my pols. Winter is definitely back.
 

Delphinoula

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More forrest and cross the fields to the next Jakob’s church in Herrnsdorf.
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A very guest friendly church. The is water in bottles provided for the pilgrims, around the corner there is one of the oldest brewery from 1342 still in the hands of the same family. Have a beer there they are open. Should the church be closed they have a stamp as well.

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A number to a overnight place call above number and inquire.
 

Delphinoula

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53207

Now you go towards Schnayd a pilgrimage place called Kreuzberg. Under the hill around the church you find cellars. In upper Franconia you go to or better on a cellar this means the beer is stored beneath you in the cellar and you enjoy your beer in the open in Bavaria this would be then a Biergarten. A local told me about the tasty combination of lightly smoked beer and baked fish, which they have in the rivers and ponds in this area. Maybe next time.

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On the front of the Church they have a silver shell. If you lift it you will find a stamp for your pass
 

Delphinoula

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Follow the signs to Hallerndorf cross there the river Aisch. The way led me by a brewery which sold their beer cooled (Getränkemarkt). I bought a bottle of a alcohol free Weizenbeer and improvised my very own rest stop. The bottle stopper is typical for good beer.

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After a long stretch through the woods I loose shells and walk with anty google to the canal across the pedestrian bridge und the Autobahn and then straight downtown Forchheim.
 

Delphinoula

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Forchheim an old Kaiserpfalz was the coronation place of Konrad I. East Franconian King presents itself now as a medieval wood-frame town. Across from the Rathouse at the Church office (Pfarramt) you will get your pass stamped.

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Don’t miss the old mill that seems to be very much leaning. Small shops, backeries welcome you and make you forget that outside the impressive baroque fortification industry and modern live buzzes.
 

Delphinoula

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I am slowly leaving Upper Franconia now towards Nürnberg.
I skipped Pinzberg and walked to Effeltrich. In old times belonging to the diocese Bamberg it was plundered twice in the 15th century. So the to villagers built a fortified church as a refuge against Nürnberg.





With the church in your back you pass a at least 850 year old Linde. Her branches offer shadow in the summer and is a so called Tanzlinde. Judgements were spoken under trees and villains were hanged, but most not in the middle of the settlement but outside as a warning.

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I pass this old lady and up the hill at the bakery I take a right . This is the last place in a while for a cup of coffee and very reasonable sweets. Don’t miss it. They still back themselves so no prefabricated bakery goods here.

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Up the hill there is a fairly new chapel built by the Jakobus-Gesellschaft. You could make a detour here or follow towards Hezles. They too had a fortified church castle (Kirchenburg), but it had to go for a new school.
 

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Delphinoula

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Bad has Scottish connection.

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In Neunkirchen am Brand the church is very guest friendly. They offered water, chocolate and facilities. Here I meet the only fellow pilgrim so far. Unfortunately the very reasonable pilgrim’s beds do no more exist. The church sponsored by the Augustinian order dominates the town.

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Domniz the next church castle was built but I can no more see the fortifications.
 
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Delphinoula

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Next stop Kalchreuth.

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Here the train stops from Nürnberg and weekenders ,at least by fair weather, like to come here. A Burg and the church offer respite and inside the church I got my next stamp. They have two butcheries one with a guesthouse where I got a very thin slice if Leberkäse in a bun (Brötchen). Next time I visit the other one across from the castle. I follow the road to the next large inviting guesthouse.
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Take a left and out I go following the cherries. By now it’s raining nonstop since yesterday and in German it’s called eingeregnet. With no signs of stopping gusting winds and temperatures about 4 Celsius. Fun fun fun. It must be lovely in spring with all the cherry blossoms, but I can see it. Up a hill down a hill and through the empirical Forrest’s of Nürnberg, passing some hill grave sites 4000 to 2500 years old.
 
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Delphinoula

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53535
Those grave hills show that I am on a very old walking road.
The roads end right in a suburb of Nürnberg. For a while I was hearing the highway. I never realized how loud these roads are. If your don’t feel like walking about 8 km through bliss traffic and humanity you can take a bus right there. Pay the bus driver he drives to the Nordostbahnhof from there you take a subway to downtown.
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The Jakobskirche downtown offers pilgrims information and the encouraging sign.
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O wow only 2804 km more to go.
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If you need a rest day. Nürnberg has a lot to see and do.
Oldest train tracks in Germany from 1835. With the Nürnberg card you would be able to visit over 40 places. The rest of the 3rd Reich assembly field and a very good documentation center. An original pilgrimage clothing in the Germanischen Nationalmuseum. To relax Palmbeach.
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Delphinoula

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53540
I On my last leg through Franconia.
I leave the TV Tower behind and walk towards Stein. The Alpine society took over to mark the way and now the shells are white and never pointing towards Santiago but have arrow pointing of course both ways. A short rest in the Church .
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Then to Rosstal
You can still walk it in increments from Nürnberg since the train stops here as well as in Rosstal and then again in Heilsbronn
Rosstal church is inviting rest and a water tap.
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Delphinoula

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53543
My last leg for now in Winter leads me Heilsbronn
Yesterday it was winter at its German best windy rainy snowy and soaked walking in 2 degrees was not so much fun. But what’s the geologist’s saying?
There is no bad weather only inept gear.
Today sun sun sun.
My way passes the Ammerndorf brewery and I planned having lunch there.
But Mensch tracht und Gott lacht. I miss a turn and go the totally lost with anty Google. Through some woods and see an upundance of bright yellow butterflies
Gonepteryx cleopatra. I don’t remember having seen that many for a long time.
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So no beer or lunch, but who says this was a bad thing. It was a bit shorter and I arrived in time to see Heilsbronn in sun, before the next snowy wind gust filled the sky with foreboding black clouds.
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Heilsbronn is the last resting place of the Nobel family Hohenzollern. This family was in the 1200 coming from Kulmach(Blassenburg) then moving to Bayreuth then protector of the outer province of the realm Mark Brandenburg and after the last Franconian represented sold his share to his cousin in then the Preussian Kindom to spent his life leisurely with his British wife. The last German emperor was from that family. So again a lot of history here.
 

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