- Franken or Franconia is divided into 3 regions, Upper, Lower and Middle.
- All of Franken is just a little larger than New Jersey.
- Home to about 300 breweries.
- The village of Aufseß is in the Guinness Book of world records with the most breweries per capita. It has 3 breweries for 1200 people.
- Many Americans are familiar with the town Frankenmuth, Michigan as billboards advertising it can be found along I-75 almost all the way down to Florida. As the name implies, the towns ancestors originate from Franken.
Well known for the Bier, there are many other things to see and do!
According to the web site bierland-oberfranken.de:
“More than 1,000 different beers are brewed in “Beer Country” Upper Franconia. Upper Franconia has more breweries than every country in Europe and worldwide this speck of land is only beaten by the USA, China and Russia”.
So there is a brewery for every 5500 people living there. Compare this with Belgium, often quoted by American Beer Enthusiasts as the “Beer Haven of Europe” with a country total of 113 breweries or about 1 for every 90,800 people living there or the USA with over 200,000 people per brewery.
With the emphasis on beer there are many breweries open for tours and some noteworthy museums dedicated to this liquid are in Bamberg, Bayreuth and Kulmbach.
The area has many other things to enjoy, like the River Main offers a trip on a raft in Lichtenfels for an enchanting experience, no, this has nothing to do with white water rafting, but a leisurely ride including beer, food and music. Click “The Places” link above for what not to miss in this area.
Middle Franconia or Mittelfranken, this regions main attractions, known from countless travel and historical shows on TV, are Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Nuremberg, but there are so many other places just as charming and well worth your exploration.
The walled town of Dinkelsbuehl comes to mind, with it’s own enchanting sights and history, Fuerth, the university town of Erlangen, Ansbach and all the little towns in between, with one outstanding building or church, one see-worthy fountain, the brewery pub with the best dark beer in the area, a festival drawing thousands of visitors or just a restaurant serving the best venison dish and even just their homemade sausages, well known to locals in the area.
Unterfranken or Lower Franconia, centers around the River Main and with it the local natural and often dry “Mainwein” bottled in practical shaped bottle called “Bocksbeutel”, a flattened bottle known already in antiquity. So with this in mind, most festivals in this Franken area are wine themed. Take a boat ride on the river from Wuerzburg to the Rococo gardens in Veitshoechstheim or a ride to the wine town of Volkach or drive into the region of the Spessart and visit the castle at Mespelbrunn.
This area as a whole might not have the grandious Alps as background, but the midsize mountain regions like the Franconian Jura, Fichtelgebirge, Frankenwald all the way over to the Spessart have their own charm.
Cities like the medieval walled city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Coburg, Nuremberg, Wuerzburg, Kulmbach and the ever enchanting Bamberg are just waiting for your visit and they do not disappoint.
Festivals are abundant throughout the year and along the River Main in the area around Wűrzburg you might step away from the beer and try a glass of local wine.
Things to do in this area can be found on our “Meet the Region, Towns and Places” site under “The Places” link
This area’s Germanic history is actually older than the rest of Bavaria. It was never overrun and conquered by the Romans. The difference is also reflected in the local dialect and in the regional “Kűche” or culinary experience.
The “Romantic Road” goes through here as well as the “Castle Road” and it calls the “Franken Beer Road” it’s own. (we are still working on publishing articles about these)
There is a multitude of things to see and do in this region.
Have you ever –
- Sat under a blooming chestnut tree and enjoyed a beer in a beer garden?
- Looked at beautiful decorated fountains at Easter time?
- Strolled from one beer garden to the next close by as at the Kellerwald?
- Enjoyed a “Brotzeit” at a beer garden in the middle of the woods?
- Listened to a Sunday afternoon classical concert in a park at one of the Bath (Spa) towns?
- Strolled through the pedestrian zone in a 1000 year old city?
- Sat in a sidewalk cafe and watch the people go by?
- Walked up to a huge castle and step back in time?
- Been part of the Geműtlichkeit in one of the many beer tents with oompah music?
- Strolled through an outdoor market with a large assortment of diverse merchandise?
- Indulged in a delicious fresh piece of tort or pastry and a cup of coffee at a local bakery or sidewalk café?
- Experienced real Bavarian food?
- Had a pair of mouth watering Bratwurst on a bun from a vendor at a festival?
- Slept in a century old castle?
- Gone on a bar hop in a horse drawn wagon?
- Been at awe in a beautiful church on a hill in the middle of nowhere to end the visit there with an excellent beer from the church brewery next door?
These are just a few of the many possible experiences waiting for you.You will come for the beer, enjoy the food and you would not be the first to fall in love with this region.
Franken Bier, is there a difference?
While in former East Germany during a Luther tour, Ray, one of our guests asked me where you could buy an above average beer and I told him, that I will let him know when we come into the area I grew up in. We crossed into Franken to spend the night in the town of Coburg. This evening during dinner Ray approached me with the statement:
“We must be in your area now!”
He really did notice the taste difference of the beer, so don’t just take my word for it.