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BY Franconia

Franconia

The term Franconia, or “Franken” in German, describes a vast region in the German heartland, stretching from Southern Thuringia to Southeastern Hesse and to Northern Baden-Württemberg. The core area of the region and its largest swath is located in Bavaria and centered around the Main river and its tributaries. There are several small mountain ranges in the region as well as the Franconia lake district, consisting of man-made reservoirs. A few larger cities and countless smaller towns are associated with Franconia, most notably Nuremberg and Würzburg. The region is a popular tourism destination, in particular for wine tasting tours and hiking trips.   

The region is marked by a unique dialect and culture. Visitors will encounter a special Franconian cuisine based on a regional type of sausage and with an emphasis on pork. A characteristic meal is usually accompanied by local wines which are traditionally served in a Bocksbeutel, a wine bottle with a distinct shape. Winemaking has a history in Franconia that goes back more than 1000 years, but the area is also well-known for being home to a higher density of breweries than any other German region. Vineyards and humulus fields are thus a common element of the scenery, which is otherwise marked by rolling hills, forests, creeks and vast meadows.    

The region celebrates the Day of Franconia on 2 July. This is in reference to the creation of the Franconian district by reform in the year 1500, although an unofficial Franconia area had been known for many centuries before that. Franconia enjoys high employment rates and is one of the German regions with the highest per capita income. Several high-profile conglomerates are based in the area, including the tow apparel makers Puma and Adidas, toy maker Playmobil or vehicle manufacturer MAN. Nuremberg regularly hosts several high-profile trade fairs. Tourism is an increasingly important economic factor, with the region putting emphasis on being home to romantic destinations and excellent conditions for biking and hiking. There are several themed scenic routes crossing the region, including the Castle Route, the Romantic Route and wine-themed routes.

 

Ansbach
The central town of the Middle Franconia district, Ansbach is one of the largest Bavarian cities by area, although it merely has some 40,000 residents. Ansbach is located about 40 kilometers from Nuremberg and goes back to an abbey founded in the year 748. The city is home to several historic churches including two built in the 15th century and most notably the Ansbach Residence (Promanade 27), a palace originally built in the 15th century with antique interior that today houses the district administration. The picturesque gardens and the Orangery are hosting a biannual classical music festival.


Bad Windsheim
The small Middle Franconian town has a population of about 12,000 and is a spa town that is well known for its mineral water sources. The town thrives on health and hikining tourism. It boasts a picturesque historic market square with the historic town hall and a Roland statue constructed in 1928, standing 11 meters tall in the center of the square. Bad Windsheim is also home to a thermal spa that boasts an artificial salt lake.  


Neustadt an der Aisch
The former royal court of Riedfeld, from which Neustadt developed, was first documented in 741. The town is encircled by a medieval town wall and features two palaces with the older one, “Altes Schloss” built in the mid-15th century by the margrave. It today houses a carp museum, documenting the more than 1000 years old history of carp breeding in the area. Also worth seeing is the town hall, where a billy goat figure is making its round out of the windows every day at 12 pm, reminding viewers of an ancient legend of town lore.


Nuremberg
Seen by many as the capital of Franconia, Nuremberg is one of the 15 largest German cities. Read more...   


Rothenburg ob der Tauber
One of the most popular German towns for overseas tourists, Rothenburg expects visitors with a picturesque cityscape, almost entirely intact town fortifications and a number of historic attractions. Read more...