Bayreuth - Kulmbach: Where the Red and White Main meet - Spring Tour in Bavaria 2010 - Part 1 - CycleBlaze

April 7, 2010

Bayreuth - Kulmbach: Where the Red and White Main meet

For both of us this is a first visit to Bayreuth. We're not in a hurry so we spend some time looking at the town's sights.

Bayreuth's Golden Age was mid 18th-century during the reign of Wilhelmine, sister of King Frederick II of Prussia. Wilhelmine made Bayreuth one of the chief intellectual centers of the Holy Roman Empire, surrounding herself with a court of artists and intellectuals, enhanced by the occasional visit of Voltaire and Frederick the Great. At this time several parks and castles were built which constitute much of Bayreuth's present appearance.

We start off the day with a ride through Bayreuth's Hofgarten (Castle Park) behind the Neues Schloss.
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View of the Neues Schloss from the park
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Beautiful concert hall in the Markgräfliches Opernhaus (Margrave's Opera House), a Baroque opera house in Bayreuth, which has been extensively restored. It was built between 1744 and 1748.
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The city is best known for its association with the composer Richard Wagner, who lived in Bayreuth from 1872 until his death in 1883.

The entrance to Wahnfried from the Palace park, once Richard Wagner's domicile and now a museum
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Wahnfried, front view, with a bust of Wagner's devoted patron, King Ludwig II of Bavaria (sometimes known as the "Mad King")
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Again we have a lovely spring day and quiet paths and small roads between fields and villages.

The tame Roter Main as it leaves Bayreuth
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The river becomes more picturesque as we continue.
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It's all about the bicycle.
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If we're not on bike paths, we have traffic-free roads.
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More country roads
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The barn is abandoned and the platform for stork nests is also vacant. In other parts of Franconia we saw many storks and their nests, on this trip we saw none.
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River meadows as we approach the confluence of the Roter and Weißer Main
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Official beginning of the Main River
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My GPS showing the confluence of the two rivers
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Another delightful bike path as we approach Kulmbach
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From the confluence we backtrack a few kilometers for a stop in Kulmbach. The Plassenburg, Kulmbach's landmark, is visible from the distance, high above the town. Unfortunately, it is covered with scaffolding and some less attractive modern buildings flanking the old town don't improve the view.

View of Kulmbach's Plassenburg as we enter the town; in the foreground is the new tourist information center
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The 16th-century Plassenburg castle houses several museums.
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We spend the rest of the afternoon strolling through the town. Kulmbach is known for its beer and we look forward to a meal in a local brewery pub in the evening. Unfortunately, it is full and we have to look elsewhere.

Market Square in Kulmbach with Easter wreaths
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Close up of fountain figure, Market Square
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The Weisser Turm (White Tower), Kulmbach
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Kulmbach
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Kulmbach
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Kulmbach
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Kulmbach has a long beer brewing tradition in which coopers played an important role.
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