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The Essential Guide to Franconia

A highlight of Bavaria—and Germany in general—Franconia is beloved for its picturesque landscapes, medieval towns, and rich beer and food traditions. Formerly a separate duchy of the Holy Roman Empire, the region is dotted with dense woodlands, national parks, and grapevine-covered hillsides, as well as castles, palaces, and UNESCO World Heritage sites like the old town of Bamberg and the Würzburg Residence.
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Schloßgasse 26, 63739 Aschaffenburg, Germany
Completed in 1614, Johannisburg Palace is one of the most important Renaissance castles in Germany. Located along the Main River, the immense, four-winged complex served as the second residence of the archbishop-electors of Mainz until 1803....
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Residenzplatz 2, 97070 Würzburg, Germany
The former residence of Würzburg’s prince-bishops, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most important Baroque palaces in Europe. It was—remarkably, given its scale and level of detail both inside and out—built...
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Mainkai 1, 97070 Würzburg, Germany
German for “Old Millwheel,” Alte Mainmühle is located at the foot of Würzburg’s oldest bridge, offering sweeping vistas over the Main River to the Marienberg Fortress and surrounding vineyards. In addition to this...
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91541 Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Rothenburg ob der Tauber has several significant churches, but the most famous one, for good reason, is St. Jacob’s. A short stroll from the town’s main square, the cathedral was built in stages, between 1311 and 1484, in the High...
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Bamberg, Germany
Famous for being Southern Germany’s hub of the Enlightenment during the late 18th century (Hegel and Hoffmann both lived here), Bamberg is also home to a superbly preserved medieval town center, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage...
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Hofer Str. 20, 95326 Kulmbach, Germany
Located 20 miles northwest of Bamberg, the small but pleasant town of Kulmbach has been known for beer since medieval times. Today, it’s home to Kulmbach Brewery, which owns the Bavarian Beer Museum in the former Alte Mönchshofbrauerei...
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Opernstraße 14, 95444 Bayreuth, Germany
Bayreuth’s majestic Margravial Opera House, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2012, is one of Germany’s finest examples of Baroque court-theater architecture. Commissioned in the 18th century by Margravine Wilhelmine...
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Maximilianstraße 33, 95444 Bayreuth, Germany
Set on Bayreuth’s market square inside one of the oldest buildings in town, this charming tavern dates back an impressive 600 years. Run by two families, Wenk and Bauernfeind, since 1999, it features a purely Franconian ambience of regional...