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Franconia

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Franconia (Franken) is a region of northern Bavaria, a state of Germany, that formerly consisted of several small states before it was given to Bavaria by Napoleon. The history of the area stretches back over a thousand years. Franconia encompasses three administrative regions of Bavaria: Lower Franconia (Unterfranken), Middle Franconia (Mittelfranken), and Upper Franconia (Oberfranken). Culturally Franconians identify themselves as being different from Bavarians. Within Franconia are the historically important city of Nuremberg, the UNESCO World Heritage town of Bamberg, and a huge range of outdoor activities in the Franconian Switzerland and Franconian lake district.

Cities[edit]

Regional Map of Franconia, part of Bavaria, Germany

Lower Franconia[edit]

Middle Franconia[edit]

Upper Franconia[edit]

  • Bayreuth
  • Aufsess — tiny town which the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes as the town with the most breweries per capita! There's even a beer trail that you can hike with stops at all the local biergartens
  • Bamberg
  • Hof
  • Kulmbach
  • Coburg

Other destinations[edit]

  • Fichtelgebirge — is arranged like a horseshoe around an inner hill-landscape; the highest mountain is the "Schneeberg (Snow Mountain)" with 1053 m above sealevel
  • Franconian Switzerland (Fränkische Schweiz) — castle ruins, hiking, canoeing
  • Franconian Lake District (Fränkisches Seenland) — the Lake District comprises of 7 lakes; The total expanse of water is about 20 square km
  • Franconian Wineland (Fränkisches Weinland) — wine tasting, hiking, biking, and more
Banz Abbey near Bad Staffelstein

Understand[edit]

Franconia has many different dialects. The main dialect ist called "franconian" and is subdivided in many and one dialects per village. It is of common knowledge that Franconian has certain specialities as they pronunce the german hard "K" as soft "G" and the hard "T" as soft "D". Hard "T"s respectively "K"s are only used on rare occasions, for example "Karasch" (= Garage, where there is actually a soft "G" in Standard German) and "Senft" (= mustard, that is spelled "Senf" in Standard German). The most famous word in franconian is "Allmächd", which means something like "oh my god" and is used in all manners of happiness and surprise. Franconians rely on the "fact" that their dialect is much better to understand than the dialects of the rest of bavaria.

Talk[edit]

Standard German is the common language in Franconia. You may find a lot of - specially younger people - who speak English.

Get in[edit]

By Plane[edit]

The biggest Airport in Franconia is the "Albrecht Dürer" Airport in Nürnberg. It is the second biggest airport in bavaria and one of the ten most important Airports in Germany. From 1997 to 2013 "Albrecht Dürer" Airport was the Hub for the german Airline "Air Berlin". Passengers reach the Airport via the Main Trainstation choosing the Metroline U2 (Innenstadt, Direction "Downtown"). Taxis get to the city center in about 15 Minutes. The most domestic flights leave for Hamburg, Berlin and Munich. International Flights aim mostly for Fuerteventura, Las Palmas, London and Turkey.

By Train[edit]

There are two main ICE Connections to Nuremberg. One is coming from / to Munich, the other one is coming from / to Berlin. The ICE (fastest german Train) stops at Nuremberg, Erlangen and Bamberg. Regional carriers connect the most important cities in Franconia. So called "Regional-Express" or the "Regional-Bahn" and "S-Bahn" link the greater Transtations in Nuremberg, Fürth, Erlangen, Bamberg, Forchheim with the smaller villages.

Get around[edit]

By Train

Almost all interesting spots in Franconia are connected via the "S-Bahn". The main Trainstation is situated in Nuremberg. From here all main trains leave for certain destinations in Franconia. The so called Metropolregion Nuremberg has the biggest linked transport system [1] in Bavaria. There are certain "leisure-lines" [2], offering special travels with special slogans such as "Bocksbeutel-Express" (Wine-Tour) or "Brauerei-Wander-Express" (Brewery-Hicking-Express).

By Bicycle

There are special road networks for bicycles in Franconia. The city of Erlangen once was the Capital of Bicycles in Germany but lost this title to Münster. Nonetheless going by bike is really popular in Franconia. Special routes combined with sightseeing are offered [3].

By Foot

The Franconian Switzerland offers a lot of hiking trails. Historic routes around the old celtic villages or a hike through the ten nature Parks offer many alternatives for hikers.

See[edit][add listing]

Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Town hall and Market square

Do[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Franconia Food is known as being hearty. Traditional meals are served in the smaller villages. Most Inns in the small village in the Franconian Switzerland are also small breweries and consist also of their own beer garden. During spring, summer, and the beginning of fall people are used to the uncomplicated atmosphere of these beer gardens. On sundays most traditional restaurants are occupied starting at about 11am.

Schäufale

One of the most famous meals is called "Schäufala". This meal is made of the shoulder of a pig. There a mainly two ways of preparation. One is famous in Bavarian-Swabia_(region), one in Franconia. As the shoulder is smoked before being baked in the oven, the franconian "Schäufale" is only baked in the oven. The speciality with the franconian "Schäufale" is the grilled fat-crust atop of the shoulder. Served with dumplings you may have a "Helles" Beer with the "Schäufale".

Fränkische (Franconian Bratwurst)

The traditional franconian Bratwurst is different from the one people know as the so called "Nuremberger". The chopped meat the small "Nuremberger" consists of is less subtle in the "Fränkische" Bratwurst. This sausage is traditionally served grilled with Kraut and / or Potato-Salad and Mustard. A special variation is the so called "Blaue Zipfel" (Blue Bratwurst). Hereby the sausage are not grilled, but cooked in a sour brew until they gain a kind of blue-color. Blaue Zipfel are served with fresh baked bread and onions.

Fränkisches Duo (Franconian Duo)

When Asparagus has its season, many franconians like the combination of a cold Asparagus-Salad and a couple of "Fränkische Bratwurst". It is called the Franconian Duo.

Lebkuchen (Gingerbread)

The most well-known sweats from franconia are the Lebkuchen. A special and famous tradition of gingerbread bakeries can be found in Nuremberg. Since medieval times Nuremberg can rely on its strong production of gingerbread. Gingerbread-Season starts in August and ends in december.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Franconia is known for its wide range of breweries. People in Franconia rely on a proud tradition of craft beer leading to the impression that almost every village in the so franconian switzerland has its own brewery. The variety of beers brewed in Franconia spreads from the commonly known "Helles" (Pale Lager, golden colored, not to be confused with "Pils" which contains more of a bitter taste) over different kinds of "Kellerbier" (a special darker beer brewed within the old beer cellars) up to the dark beer. Dark Beer may be found in certain variations with the famous "Rauchbier" (smoked beer) the city of Bamberg is known for.

The tradition of german beerfests is derived from the strong connection with brewing. Almost every village and city has its own beerfest with the Oktoberfest in Munich and the Bergkirchweih in Erlangen being one of many well known festivities of this kind.

In the spring, summer and early fall season many beer gardens and especially beer cellars work like honey pots for Franconians. People meet up, join for a beer and have a "Bratwurst" or a typical cellar dinner. The last one often contains rural and hefty meals as a handmade Cheese (Obadzda) or so called "Saure Zipfel" (sour ends).

Stay safe[edit]

Bavaria is one of the safest places in Germany. Visiting the touristic spots such as the famous christmas markets tourists have to keep an eye on their pockets.

Get out[edit]

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