Forchheim is a small upper Franconian town 32 kilometresnorth of Nuremberg.It has an approximate population of 30,000 but is quite a vital place withnumerous cafes and restaurants and pubs in the town centre. It recentlycelebrated its 1200th yearanniversary, the town was first mentioned in Imperial edicts in 805 AD.
In July andAugust each year it holds possibly one of the best beer festivals in Germany,the Annafest, held on the Kellerburg, a large hill which has numerous originalbeer kellers (cellars) built into the stone of the hill that date back a coupleof centuries. It is a large festival which has a fair and many booths toentertain the guests as well as the beer kellers which are a must at any beerfestival.
The town alsoboasts the world’s loveliest Advent Calendar when the whole of the town hall(rathaus) becomes one in December – on each day one of the windows is openedand decorated.
TheKaiserpfalz (the Prince-Bishop’s palace) dates from the fourteenth century andcontains a museum. It is surrounded by a moat (now drained) which is often usedfor medieval demonstrations.
Through thecentre of the main street runs a small man made creek (baechla) which adds anice touch to the city centre.
Thefortified walls of the town helped to see Forchheim through the thirty yearswar without harm. The town was besieged several times between 1632 and 1634 andsome of the townsfolk earned the name Mauerscheißer(“wall shitters”) during one of the sieges for the habit of defecating over thewall to show the besiegers that there was still plenty of food in the town andthat their efforts to take it were pointless. There are remanants of thesewalls left and theys can be traversed in places although they no longersurround the city.
TheKatharinenspital (hospital) dates from 1611 and is now an old person’s home, itis built over the river Regnitz and still maintains its old appearance. TheSpitalkirche (hospital church), is even older and goes back to 1490. There isalso an old 17th century mill, the Kammerersmühle, now used as awine bar,
TheMartinskirche ( St Martin’s church)dates tothe 12th–15th centuries and dominatesthe town centre. There is also a monastery church and monastery - Klosterkircheand Kloster that is dated to the seventeenth century.
Althoughonly a relatively small town it is well worth a visit. The town containsnumerous pleasant restaurants, cafes and bars many of which stock the localbeers and during summer the town definitely has the European café society feelabout it. Numerous small villages in the Forchheim area abound and all servelocal delicacies such as Schaufela – a large slab of pork - so called after thebone at the centre which is a small shovel. It is served with potato dumplingsand a lovely sauce and is certainly worth trying out. Many of these smallvillage restaurants also brew their own beer and the Forchheim district and itsenvirons is a veritable beer connoisseurs paradise.
Forchheimis easily one of the more pleasant places to visit in the greater Nuremberg area and I canheartily recommend a trip to this small Franconian town.
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