Another Sunday in the Fränkische Schweiz

The temperature has been climbing up the thermometer for the last week, and can we all give a big “it’s about damn time” on that one? After our very chilly visit to the Fränkische Schweiz on Easter Sunday, I was excited to head back this last weekend with sunnier skies above.

Our destination this time was the town of Gößweinstein, which I had never heard of beyond seeing its name on the map. Thus far, all the places I’ve been in the F.S. (shortening from here on out… it’s just too damn long to type) have been lovely though, with green hills, castles, and (most importantly?) tasty restaurants in the Gasthöfe, so I figured we’d be good to go.  As we drove, BV’s mom showed me a picture in her guidebook that showed a little castle perched on the hill… that’s what we were shooting for.

On the way there we drove through the green hills, past the famous rock formations, and even spotted a horse or two. We stopped for lunch at a Gasthof that was packed to the gills, mostly due to the first round of confirmations that had taken place that morning in the church next door. We watched through the window as people wandered around the church, taking family pictures outside, and looked on inside as the girl at the table next door got her enormous celebratory banana split. Which should really be any kid’s reward for sitting through a morning of church.*

After lunch we continued on to Gößweinstein and imagine my surprise as we passed a pile of restaurants, small shops that were open (what?? It’s Sunday!), an enormous basilica, and finally, that little castle on the hill. We parked the car, started to wander around, and it became clear that this was a premier F.S. tourist destination. Tons of signs pointed the way to various restaurants, hotels, bakeries, shops, the castle (of course), a Franciscan monastery, and even a mini-golf course. Turns out, I was the only one who hadn’t heard of this town. Convertibles and motorcycles purred up and down the street, and everyone had abandoned their jackets to soak up the long-awaited vitamin D. To the photos!

Sun??? Is that you??
Spring??? Is that you??
Castle from below.
Front entrance to the castle.
Now, that’s a door.
There’s also a stone exhibit. And store. With a mammoth outside.
Hey! It’s not freezing!
Basilika Gößweinstein
And from the back.
Coffee and cake? Nein, I want a swan!
Why visit the Easter fountains when you can buy a postcard?

Um, it’s Spring? Isn’t it?
The only semi-success at getting the castle and basilica in one.

The castle is privately owned, and unfortunately for us it was closed that day due to some sort of unforeseen circumstances. Normally you can visit on Sunday, and it’s only a few Euros to see the inside. We did peek into the basilica for a few minutes, but since the afternoon Mass was going on we didn’t get to really look around. The interior was an unusual sea foam green and white combination, which was really lovely and light. Even though we didn’t get a good look, I got to do some nun-spotting, as there were a few sisters seated in the back of the church.

We also found a small trail that led up from behind our parking area to a nice overlook of the city and the surrounding country. It was still a bit brown, but in a few weeks it should be even lovelier. Considering the ease of the Fränkische Schweiz as a daytrip from Nürnberg, I’m very much looking forward to watching it get greener over the next few weeks! 

Any tips for day trips from where you are?   

*My opinion only, don’t shoot me. 

12 thoughts on “Another Sunday in the Fränkische Schweiz

  1. Well if you're ever in Germany and see “Windbeutel” on the menu, you just might be in luck! The rain has returned, but hopefully it's only for a few days… hope the sun is still out by you 🙂

  2. I'm with SL, the swan is amazing! Hahaha, you guys get all cool kitchy stuff in Germany!

    Our forests look bare and wintery as well. What gives?

    I hope you had a lovely weekend..and don't worry about laughing at the catapulted baby, I totally did it too. Does this mean we're not exactly ready for kids?

  3. C'mon, I'm sure you've got French kitsch as well. And I'm sure it's faaaaabulous.

    Got me. The trees all budded over the weekend though, so I'm hoping it stops looking so blah here!

    Likewise… and there's no way I could have kept a straight face if I had seen that in person. Definitely not kid-friendly here yet!

  4. Miss it soooo much. When i was in Germany for four years we were in the Frankische(sorry cant get my umloat to work)almost every weekend. Snow, ran or sun.Whether we were hiking riding or climbing. Brilliant times with fabulous cheap meals. Australia, my home country, is warmer but is lacking that Frankische charm. Cant wait to return.

  5. someone NEEDS to create me a swan cake.

    i love day trips 😉 in norway there are sooo many. from oslo i can take off to sweden for the day too. that is kind of cool to say 🙂

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