The Veste is Coburg. It's outstanding. You can see it from all over the town, and it is fantastically well preserved. Whenever I would come back from a long trip abroad, the Veste would be the first thing I would see heading into the town. It would tell me I was home. It was always a warm welcome.
The castle has a long history, dating back to the turn of the first millennium. It hosted Martin Luther when he translated the bible (part of the movie about him is set here). It was home to the Coburg royal family for centuries, until they moved out to the Palace downtown and other locations. It still contains a significant art collection from those times.
One of the finest churches in the town, St. Moritz was the church of Coburg when it was built. Today it is the Protestant communities church, made special by the visits of Martin Luther, who would preach here back in the 16th century when he visited the town.
The walk to Veste Coburg takes you through the Hofgarten on a 30 to 40 minute hike to the top. It is somewhat strenuous because the entire walk is uphill, but not really difficult if you take frequent rests. I was doing just that when an elderly lady rode past me on a bicycle. I later found out that she is close to 83 years old. That information came from her 79 year old sister who exercises her dog by walking to the market and bakery each day, rain or shine. She lives halfway up the trail. When I got to the top, I thought I was going to die, but I did manage to puff out my chest when the 80 year old started her trip back down. It seems that biking up and down a couple of times each day is her exercise. So much for my conditioning program. (The ladies do have an absolutely lovely home.)
Just when death would be welcome, I came to an oasis called the Festungshof Hotel and Restuarant. I requested and received the best tasting, very expensive water I have ever tested. It was wonderful!
There is hourly public transportation to the Veste. I suggest that those in poor condition avail themselves of the BUS (at least on the trip up)!
This is a city filled with self-pride that shows everywhere. This Christmas Market is a little up-scale, but delightful none the less. They even have a butcher's stall that is filled with all of the hams and wursts that are from the Coburg area. Things do not get much more fresh than in this market.
For a more complete description, please see my album "Christmas Markets in Bavaria."
The city is lovely, proud of itself, and completely enjoyable. It lies just North of Bamburg and I don't understand why it is not much more heavily visited by tourists. The city boasts a very large square in the center of the old city with wonderful small alleys and streets. It also has one of the truly beautiful Vestas (Festung or fortress) in Europe.
Still working on this
The Hofgarten (Royal Garden) is a very large and beautiful green space which has a path that leads up to the "Veste," which is short for "Festung," which means "fortress." It is a lovely, and long walk which is not too steep, but it is still uphill for 30 to 40 minutes, unless you're in really good shape. Not being in really good shape, I don't know how long it would take you if you were. So much for that!
Please refer to my other tips about the Veste; this is just about the walk. It starts with a view from above the Schloss Ehrenburg, continues past a magnificent statue of Otto Von Bismarck, past the the Garden of Eden fountain (refer to other Tip), past the Natural History Museum, then past a gasthaus (perfectly placed), to the Veste. The path is made of asphalt or white, crushed stone. As I was walking, I noticed that the stone had been recently raked. I was so impressed that I took a photo of the rake marks in the stone. Shortly after, I met the rake and the man using it. He was carefully raking up all the debris that had been dropped or leaves that had blown onto the trail. I asked him how often he raked the path and he told me that the path was normally raked weekly and not less than biweekly. I asked him if he got angry at the people who littered the path and he replied that it didn't make any difference to him because his job was to make the park beautiful which helped make the city beautiful. As I walked away, I thought about his attitude and how that translates into both personal and civic pride. I got a lesson that day.
This fountain and others like it caused the problem. The people, when they saw the fountain, figured that it must be ok to do all these things in public. For all you sexists, look at the smirk on Eve's face. Talk about the cat eating the tweety bird...
Please see my Coburg main page for a full explanation.
Ok this is something every (non-vegetarian) visitor of Coburg absolutely has to do:
Try the famous "Coburger Bratwurst". It´s a very long and slender sausage roasted almost black over open fire, fueled by pine cones. It might not be the healthiest food on this planet, but you´ll never forget the taste.
Best way to eat them is at one of the small stalls at the marketplace. If sausage is typical german, then Coburg is the heart of germany.
A pleasant walk on a warm evening is to wander along side the River Itz as it meanders through the town. You can join the river path at one of the many bridges around the town, such as at Mohrenstrasse, or on Bahnhoffstrasse, on the way to the train station.
Coburg's old town, or Altstadt, is demarked by a number of prominent gates, like the Spitalgasse pictured. Inside the gates, there are numerous narrow streets and wonderful old buildings. The whole place is incredibly well preserved, and this has much to do with the fact that the town was one of the few parts of Germany not to feel the effects of Allied bombing during the war. The Altstadt is quite small, and easily encompassed in a day, but even after spending many months in Coburg I kept finding new places to walk down and investigate that I had missed on previous days.
Coburg's townhall, or Rathaus, is an imposing and impressive building located in the central market place. It was built between 1577 and 1579, and remodelled in the 18th century. This huge building, with its ornate and delicately coloured facade, coupled with the Stadthaus opposite, make the Marktplatz a wonderful place to wander around, either at night or during the busy weekends. On those days you can also find plenty of the sausage stalls, like the one pictured, smoking away and creating a tantalising smell that draws you in from all the streets around.
This isn't the most attractive palace I have ever seen, but like the fortress that overlooks it, the building has an impressive history. It was the official residence of the Duke of Coburg from 1547 - 1918, and also houses richly ornamented apartments for Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert, possibly Coburg's most famous son. Construction of the palace started in 1540, but it was greatly remodelled after a fire in 1690.
See description in Christmas Market I Tip
For more information, please go to my album "Christmas Markets in Bavaria."