Coburg in Bavaria - town where European kings came from

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Hello again, summer time kept me busy but now I found the time to tell you some new expericences by me about Bavaria. Today I will show you the town Coburg in the north of Bavaria.

For the new visitors of my travelguide a short introduction of myself: Born and grewing up in West-Berlin I came 1973 to Bavaria. Starting my airportshuttle Munich and limousine service I felt myself forced to learn and know more about my living area becaue customers would perhaps ask something. And step by step I was really surprised which jewelleries are hidden in this nice landscape near the Alps. Let us drive now to a treasure box in northern Bavaria, let's go to the town Coburg.

Mostly my customers land on the Munich airport Franz-Josef-Strauss. To give you an imagination of distances I will start this virtually trip just from there. Munich airport is about 35 km /23 miles in the east of the bavarian capital, very near to the highway A 92 Passau - Deggendorf - Munich. We will take that motorway till the highway cross Neufahrn, where the A 9 Munich - Nuernberg meets it.

On this cross we turn in direktion Nuernberg. Near Nuernberg we will change over to the highway A 73 leading to Bamberg and from there we will take a Federal road to Coburg. The whole distance will be about 275 km or 150 miles, little bit more than a two-hours-trip.

Coming nearer to our target you can recognize it from the far by his great monument, a castle named „Veste Coburg“. This mighty building was over 500 years the home of the Duke's dynasty Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha. An aristocrats family ruling wise and grewing by marriages not by wars.

The British and interested people in history should know that from that town and castle Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria was coming.

And the words of the British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli should also not be forgotten as he said after the sudden death of Prince Albert : „This German prince had ruled the British Empire with such energy and wiseness no real British king never showed up before“.
By the way, the marriage between Prince Albert und Queen Victoria was planned and organized by the king Leopold of Belgium, he was also born in Coburg.

This dynasty was also in earlier times well liked by the folk, what you can see looking at the castle Ehrenburg just in front of us now. The German name „Ehrenburg“ means in translation „castle of honour“ and was build as the town residence of the Duke Sachsen-Coburg and Gotha in 1547 totally without any pressure to the citizens.

This is the second interpretation of that name, where in Europe you will find castles from that centuries set up for freedom? The most others were built with blood, tears and sweat of the population.

Some more words about Ehrenburg castle: it was first built in the style of Renaissance, after a big fire in 1690 renovated in Barock style and the New Gotic fassade you see now was planned and made by a great architect from Berlin in the 19th century. The name of that famous architect was Karl Friedrich Schinkel, perhaps somebody of yours had heard from him.

In the inside you can later visit nice stuccos, marvellous and pretious furniture in french style „empire“ and last not least, one of the first water toilets in whole Europe. Perhaps from there the Bavarian king Ludwig II., the king of tale and owner of the famous castles in Linderhof and Neuschwanstein or Hohenschwangau has got the same idea to install this in his castles.

Now we reach the market place. The houses around show up all architecture styles. The house at the picture below is one of the oldest half-timbered houses from Germany, 14th century and it is still a private flat.

Can you imagine how much money the owner must spent to keep it in such excellent condition? Old house designs document a kind of art and the town Coburg is a treasurebox of a lot different things in arts. In the main castle, the Veste Coburg you will find big collections of paintings, venecian glasses, ceramics and tin, porcellan, historical weapons and one of the biggest graphic collection of the world. The Coburg Copperplate Cabinet contains about 300.000 printings and 5.000 hand paintings.

So you see, there will be a lot of things to visit. But I know some people don't like too much old things and are more fans of sports or shopping. For every taste the town Coburg offers something. Making holidays here you will find a lot of nice accommodations, sporting fans can swim, riding horses in the nice surrounding landscape, go fishing, play golf or tennis, paragliding, biking or in winter times skiing. The shops offer from old to new stuff nearly everything and the kitchen, whow, you must be careful there, they cook marvellous. And, in honour to people with very fine taste, they decorate gingerbread with real gold leaves, very known under the name „Coburger Goldschmaetzchen“. If you don't get it in your area, let me know, I will organize it for you.

You see, Coburg as a town is very interesting, people are nice and familiar, the ladies pretty and brave. About that there are two histories, both documented. First, music lovers attention please, one Coburg lady stole a heart from a world known king - from the „King of waltzes“ Johann Strauss. Yeah, he was born in Vienna, but since 1887 he was citizen of the town Coburg till he died. The city of Vienna was so mad about that they denieyed after his death a long time to set up a monument for him.

How that came? Easy, like always if a man fell in love to a woman. The „King of waltzes“ was married in Vienna, but his wife, an actress was not honest and so they lived separated. In Coburg Johann Strauss as the Duke's Orchestra Master met a lady, curiously she had the same name, a widow Adele Strauss. He fell in love, wanted to be devorced, but the strong catholic Vienna was not willing to do that. The Duke of Coburg offered to devorce Johann Strauss if he would be a citizen of his country. So Johann Strauss canceled his citizenship to Austria, got a new ID card and was till end of his days a guy from Coburg.

The ladies of Coburg, that was only one example. The other one is a little bit older and documented by a painting in the castle. You know, sometimes males are eating sweeties out of the hand from females, but in Coburg even bears were doing that in real. This historical story was following:
In older times the Dukes of Coburg had on their castle two bears in a cage for fun. Someday, all aristocrats just had taken their places for dinner, the door opened and the two bears came in. The responsible animal watchers had mad a mistake and so the bears came free and walked to that lovely smelling room. Everybody was crazy of fear but not one lovely and pretty lady. She took a plate with fruits and sugar cakes and offered that to the bears. These were very excited about that, ate with fun and in silence till the bear watcher was in and took them back to their cage.

Ending my trip today I will not say, somebody of yours is looking like a bear but believe me, Coburg offers so much for eyes, mind, body and stomache you must visit that town and will be kept there from history, ladies (?) and more. Even in the heraldic of that town you will find a picture of an African, how that happens, the nice people of the tourist office can tell you. If they forget, I will tell it you on the drive. To get informations about accommodations and all possible events you can visit the town website of Coburg if you like.

I hope this short overlook has given you some reasons to plan your next vacation in northern Bavaria, to serve you by driving there I would appreciate.

Till my next trip to another nice place in Bavaria I say goodbye

sincerely your George

PS. Staying in Munich and have one day free for a day-visit, no problem, call me. We can make a drive with some nice stops on the road, you will here more stories from Bavaria and I try to get a good guided tour in Coburg for you. About the price we'll talk then, ok?

Script by J.W.Lohfink, for any mistakes in spell or grammar I apologize as a precaution, corrections, questions or comments please mail to me.

And last but not least, if you like to search on my page more or in the internet,

then you'll find at the bottom the marvellous search-help by Google.

©®J.W.Lohfink

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