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Unique Parks and Places

Sanspareil – the most beautiful garden in Germany

In the summer of 2002, Sanspareil was nominated the most beautiful garden in Germany by the company Briggs und Stratton. It has a unique historical and cultural design, which includes a park, the MorgenländischerBau(an oriental looking building) and a medieval castle.

“Ah! C’est sans pareil!” There is nothing like it!

This statement, which was said by a noblewoman from Bayreuth’s lady-in-waiting, gave the park and the village their names. During this time the nobility loved living in splendour and had many magnificent celebrations with fireworks and hunting parties. The aristocratic couple Friedrich and Wilhelmine, who cam from Bayreuth, could afford these expensive pleasures and had extensive grounds, in which they could commission such a large garden. “It was built entirely from nature, said Wilhelmine to her brother in a letter about the garden. It is true though, the natural and bizarre rock formations have created the look of the garden.

The architect Joseph Saint-Pierre and the sculptor Giovanni Battista Pedrozzi who were inspired by the novel “Les Adventures de Telemanque”, written by Archbishop Francois de Salignac de la Mote Fenelpn, designed the caves, rockeries, landscapes and sculptures, but the garden was completed by the nobleman Carl Alexander. The theatre made in the rocks was designed to look like a Roman ruin, in which the seats for the audience were made from a natural cave.

Little buildings (mainly made out of wood) were also built. Since then though a lot of these buildings have become derelict and others were sold in the 19th century. However, the rock theatre, the Morgenländischer Bau and a kitchen still stand.

Next to the rock garden is the medieval Zwernitz castle. It used to be the headquarters for the Walpoten, and its existence was first documented in 1156. Between 1338 and 1810 the castle belonged to the people of Hohenzollern, but since then it has belonged to the state of Bavaria. In the castle you will find lots of interesting documents about the history of the castle, the local inhabitants and the village. There is also an exhibition called “Markgräfliche Jagd”, which tells you about the hunting done by the nobility in the 18th century.

Opening Times

The Morgenländischer Bau & Zwernitz Castle:
April-Sept: 9am – 6pm
1st – 15th Oct: 10am – 4pm
16th Oct – 30th March: closed

Guided tours of the Morgenländischer Bau take place every 45 minutes.

Sanspareil is open all the time.

Krögelstein, the village built into the rocks

Some of the houses here are built into the rock face. The date of when Krögelstein was first in existence is unknown as the very first records show it was already populated. The first recording of the town was in 1149 by the bishop Eberhard II of Bamberg. In 1500 Krögelstein parish was given to the bishop Groß (in the Diocese of Trockau), and with this appointment the Diez from Giech were given the ownership of the town. The grandchild of the bishop, Georg Wolf, was married to Ottilie, who was the daughter of Conrad von Absberg.
Hans Thomas used the castle as a sanctuary to hide in after he has raided nearby towns. In 1523 the Swabian Army attacked the castle; the army stood in front of the castle and blew it up. Hans Thomas von Absberg and Georg Wolf von Giech both escaped, but were eventually captured in 1527. Today the only reminder of the castle is a Schwibbogen, as the castle was never rebuilt.

Impressive rock formations in Krögelstein

„Alter Fritz“: 30m high dolomite rock of the profile of the King of Prussia, Freidrich II. „Schwedenfelsen“: the Swedish Lansquenets wanted to throw this rock into the village during the Thirty Years War. „Löwenfelsen“: a rock that looks like a lion. „Höhlenwohnung“ – a cave, which was occupied by Kunigunda Tratz in the 19th century.

Eldorado for climbers

  • Buttresses and overhangs in Kainach
  • Dohlenstein
  • Walls in Krögelstein
  • Tower in Säkirchen
  • Walls in Kuhleutner
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