963-laue castle hotel Franconia Forest Bavaria castle hotel Germany upper Franconia, near Thuringia and race track, Ludwigsstadt Saalfeld Saale Kulmbach Ilmenau overnight stays Lichtenfels chocolate factory road map tributary stream Loquitz river Erfurt Bamberg Nurnberg / Nuremburg Amberg distances Gera beer garden opening hours golf hiking slate museum Thuringia fairy mineral grotto weekend Selbitz Sonneberg parsonage Lauenstein restaurant honeymoon suite Weimar slates wood processing Franconian wedding Kronach Coburg Eisfeld Schleusingen yard Hirschberg Rudolstadt Suhl Jena Triptis Bayreuth

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Burghotel Luftaufnahme963-laue castle hotel Franconia Forest – Franconian hospitality on the beer street (Bierstrasse) and german castle road (Burgenstrasse)

High above the part town of Ludwigsstadt in Franconia, a state-proved recreaction town near the border to Thuringea, the legendary castle 963-laue, a jewel in the Franconia Forest, rises on top of a forested hill over the valley of the Loquitz river, a left tributary stream of the Saale river.

In the buildings of the pre-castle, the former deanery from 1749 and the former parsonage from 1831, the 963-laue castle hotel Franconia Forest offers over 30 overnight stay possibilities, modernly furnished, rustical guest rooms and lounge, which are ideal for festivities, family festivals, meetings and seminars, as well as a romantic beer garden. You can dine excellently in the restaurant "Burghalle" (castle hall) [Jagdzimmer (hunting room)] or in the restaurant "Hochzeitszimmer" (wedding room) as well as in the view terrace (upper and lower porch). You also have a beautiful view towards the town and the Loquitz river valley from the beer garden.

Sightseeings and excursion trips

View tower Thuringian Warte (look-out)
The tower Thuringian Warte (look-out) rises 26.5 meters high on the top of the 678 meters high Ratzenberg hill, about 2 km away from the 963-laue castle hotel  Franconia Forest. The air-line distance from there to the country border of Thuringia is only 200 meters. It was built in the year 1963. Because of its unique situation at the former border between Bavaria and the German Democratic Republic, it was not only a "window" to the other part of Germany, but also an important touristic attraction in Bavaria, which has seen up to about 1 million visitors until present. Even today, after the reunification of the two German states, the Thuringia Warte (look-out) is still an attraction, from where you can look far towards  the "Grune Herz Deutschlands" ("green heart of Germany") (Thuringia slate mountains). An exhibition inside the view tower lights up the history of the internal German border.

Slate museum
Slate mining and slate working had a long tradition in Ludwigsstadt on the Loquitz river and its town parts until the middle of the 20th century. Especially the manufacturing of slates achieved great importance. A museum, founded in 1981 and brought under in a former factory building since 1993, reminds of the great importance.
The slate rmuseum dedicates itself among others to the subjects geology in the area Ludwigsstadt, history of the slate mining, working in the slate disruption and in the cottage, slate and stylus making, slates as raw material for the industry, and social history of the slate industry.
Opening hours: Tuesdays to Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Special performances upon agreement.

Chocolate factory (confiserie)
The chocolate factory (Confiserie) in Ludwigsstadt makes handworked chocolates. A visit of the manufactory is not only interesting for gourmet friends. Here you can watch the Chocolate factory during their work and follow the way from the raw materials to the gourmet product. The noble delectabilities are also offered in direct sale.
Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The fairy tale grottos in Saalfeld
The fairy grotto in the Thuringian Saalfeld (about 30 km north) are considered to be the most colorful show grottos of the world. They arised from a closed slate mine. Numerous stones (stalagmites and stalactites), which have grown in relatively short time, present themselves in the most bizarre forms. The richness of colors has its cause in the appearance of multifarious minerals. The single cave rooms have names such as Marchendom (fairy tale dome), Blaugrune Grotte (blue-green grotto) or Butterkeller (butter basement). A big adventure playground awaits the small visitors in the fairy tale grotto park. A guest house and the grotto inn take care of your physical well-being.
The fairy tale grottos can also be visited in a program of a 45-minute guidance. Directly near the grottos there are plenty of parking lots.
Opening hours: March to October daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., in November only Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in December to February daily from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Further excursion trips
The 963-laue castle hotel Franconia Forest is an ideal starting point for

  • Hikings on the race track (7 km away from the 963-laue castle hotel Franconia Forest and 37 km away to the start resp. finish in Blankenstein on the Saale river), which leads through Thuringia and Bavaria,
  • for trips to the Saale river valley blockades,
  • in the Goethe and Schiller town Weimar (about 80 km north) in Thuringia,
  • in the Bavarian state bath Bad Steben (about 43 km southwest) in Franconia,
  • to Bayreuth in Franconia with the Wagner festival plays (about 86 km south),
  • to Bamberg on the Main river in Franconia (World Heritage Site, about 97 km southwest),
  • to Oberhof in Thuringia for the winter sports (about 75 km northwest),
  • in die beer town Kulmbach in Franconia (about 58 km south),
  • to Coburg in Franconia with its ducal castles (about 60 km southwest)
  • as well as in the Lucas-Cranach town Kronach in Franconia with the fortress Rosenberg (about 38 km south), just to mention a couple of examples.

In the 963-laue castle hotel Franconia Forest the guest can enjoy the quietness and tranquility of the region of the Franconia Forest. Among others, a guidance through the museum of the castle 963-laue, an ascent on the view tower Thuringia look-out or a visit in the chocolate factory (Confiserie).

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Romantic short vacation castle package
The castle package "romantic short vacation" includes 2 overnight stays in a double bedroom in the 963-laue castle hotel Franconia Forest with vacation dinner package "Half-board", entrance in the castle 963-laue, 10% discount by shopping in the chocolate factory (Confiserie) and the booklet "A hiking through the past".

Castle festival
The Lauenstein castle festival is a special highlight on the castle 963-laue, which takes place every two years (odd years, so 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, etc.) on the 4th weekend in June. Then the castle 963-laue and the town transforms into a medieval scenery, where knight's people, jugglers and trooper show themselves in action in their medieval traditional costume.

Town and community
The town part of Ludwigsstadt in upper Franconia, which belongs to the castle
963-laue, is the oldest town of the community Ludwigsstadt. Until the 11th century the area was especially populated from the Sorbs. Then German settlers invaded with the Slavonian population. The foundation of the town is in tight connection with the foundation of the Benedictine monastery Saalfeld. As original feud of the monastery, the town first also belonged in church influence area. In 1125 the churches of the town went to the diocese Mainz, where they stayed until the initiation of the reformation in the year 1525.

Over the centuries, the town was seat of an office, where over 2,500 residents could be counted in the 18th century. Besides the agriculture, the metal working industry in the Loquitz river valley was the source of income for the people. The ruin of the montan industry in the first half of the 19th century lead to a pauperization of the population, which could although be reduced through the soon flourishing slate industry. The development to a tourism town in the 20th century found an abrupt end through the Second World War and the following splitting of Germany. The former border situation at the border to the German Democratic Republic acted repressive for the economy and the tourism. This first changed with the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since 1978 the town is a town part of Ludwigsstadt.

The whole community area of Ludwigsstadt in the valley of the Loquitz river, which meets about 5 km south of Saalfeld in Thuringia at the Saale river, counts about 4,000 residents at present. The foundation of the present town came into being during the time of the end of the 11th and the beginning of the 12th century. In 1377 it became the market law. The medieval town Ludwigsstadt was protected by 3 town gates, but from which none are obtained at present. But there was no town wall. The montan industry was an important economic factor for the town already since the end of the 15th century, but was temporarily stalled in the Thirty Years' War (1618 to 1648). In the 1630s, plunderings and murders were orders of the day. It took about a half a century, until Ludwigsstadt on the Loquitz river recovered from the human and economic catastrophe.

At the site of the dying metalworking industry, the slate mining came to be in the middle of the 19th century, which stayed commanding until the Second World War on industrial area. Today, the economical structure is stamped from a diversified industry, which reaches over from the wood-working to the chemical cosmetic production and the glass industry and porcelain industry to the tourism. Administrative, Ludwigsstadt belongs to the district Kronach in the administrative region upper Franconia today.

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Status: Wednesday, 06. May 2015 - Current URL: http://963-laue.german-castles.biz/index.html