Highlights 2020

50th anniversary of the Franconian Lake Region


The Franconian Lake Region, one of Franconia’s favorite vacation destinations, is a manmade paradise and 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of its creation.

In 1970, the Bavarian State Parliament passed the bill authorizing the construction of dams and creation of reservoirs to improve water availability in the dry, north of Franconia. This massive undertaking created an entirely new vacation area that now encompasses 19 km² of water surfaces, delighting surfers, sailors, wakeboarders, and beachgoers alike. The lakes have become a part of the landscape of rolling hills and, today, it seems as if they have always been there.

Easy accessibility is a big draw for the Altmühl, Brombach, Roth, Hahnenkamm, and Dennenloher Lakes. Visitors enjoy sandy beaches, grassy areas for sun tanning, and trails around the lakes for cyclists and walkers, as well as coffee shops and bars with great views of the water. Surfers enjoy easy water access at specially designed launch areas.

Information on the creation of this Franconian lake paradise is available at the 'Seenland Informationszentrum' inside the Mandlesmühle building near the town of Pleinfeld. The hiking trail 'Der Seenländer' conveniently connects all the lakes.

Würzburg Residenz Castle: 300-year anniversary

Cherub in the Royal Garden of the Würzburg Residenz Castle

2020 is a big year for the Würzburg Residenz Castle: May 22, 2020 marks the 300-year anniversary of the laying of its foundation stone.

The Würzburg Prince-Bishop Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn envisioned a “castle above all castles” when he hired the then little known architect Balthasar Neumann and put him in charge of realizing his plans. Neumann hired the most influential, European artists, such as the “ornamental genius” Antonio Bossi and the fresco painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, to create the most spectacular regal residence of the 18th century. As one of the most significant structures of the European Baroque era, the Residenz was dedicated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981 – a first in Bavaria at the time.

The 300-year anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone will be celebrated by the castle administration during a special celebratory week (May 18 – 24, 2020). One planned event is a picnic concert in the royal garden. The highlight of the festivities will be high-caliber musical performances at the Residenz Night.

125 years anniversary of X-ray discovery

The Marienberg Fortress in Würzburg

Another 2020 Würzburg anniversary is dedicated to the sciences. On November 8, 1895, or 125 years ago, Professor Dr. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered the x-rays at the Physikalisches Institut in Würzburg.

The laboratory where the professor made this stunning discovery now houses an x-ray memorial. On display are Röntgen’s personal belongings as well as original and replicated research instruments used during the time.

The anniversary year events are designed to teach visitors how exciting experimental physics was in the late 19th century. The happenings kick off with an event featuring the renowned scientist Professor Dr. Harald Lesch on April 6, 2020. There is a Campus Festival on July 5, 2020 and a festival called “Highlights der Physik” from September 21 – 26, 2020.

The town of Fürth also participates in the celebrations. Their Fraunhofer Institut X-Ray Development Center is on the cutting edge of taking Röntgen’s discovery to the future. Events include an exhibit in the art gallery featuring photographs of the x-ray technology and guided tours with a specially constructed “Röntgenmobil”.


Bamberg: “1000 Years – 1000 Connections.”

The motto in Bamberg is “1000 Years – 1000 Connections.” The St. Stephan’s Church, located in the old town and therefore part of the UNESCO World Heritage, is the cause of this anniversary celebration.

St. Stephan is the oldest protestant church in Bamberg and also the only church North of the Alps that has been dedicated by the pope. The anniversary programming includes worship services, exhibits, lectures, theater performances, concerts, and festivals 


Picturesque – Rothenburg ob der Tauber as a Landscape Garden


Rothenburg ob der Tauber presents itself as a “Walkable Painting” through 2021, during its theme years “Picturesque – Rothenburg ob der Tauber as a Landscape Garden.”

Numerous exhibits explore artists and architects of the English and German “Garden City Movement.” Around 1900, as part of the “Picturesque Moderne” movement, they were drawn to and inspired by the city.

The wistful Rothenburg cityscape also invites regular visitors to explore their artistic leanings. There are painting classes at captivating sightseeing locations that are open to all. Other ways to explore the Picturesque charm of the city is by joining picnics, themed guided tours, or garden tours.


Schweinfurt: 20 years anniversary of Museum Georg Schäfer

The Red Hall inside the Georg Schäfer Museum in Schweinfurt

The Museum Georg Schäfer in Schweinfurt invites visitors to experience great art and impressive, modern architecture.

For 20 years now, the museum has housed a unique collection of German paintings and drawings, including the largest Spitzweg collection in the world. The museum collection includes works dating from 1760 to 1930 and includes creations by the artists Caspar David Friedrich and Max Liebermann that chronicle a time of artistic and social change.

The museum celebrates its anniversary year with three special exhibits: Female, German painters of the Romantic period, idyllic paintings by the Dresden native Traugott Faber, and the work of Karl Hagemeister, the most significant representative of German Impressionism and pioneer of modern landscape painting.


70th anniversary of the Romantic Road


The Romantic Road connects fairy-tale landscapes and the cities of Würzburg and Füssen. Germany’s oldest and possibly most famous scenic drive celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2020.

The route is an early product of the post-WWII economic miracle years. The rationale for the creation of this scenic drive was to promote a friendly and open-minded Germany. The concept was a success. The 460-km long Romantic Road from the Main River in Franconia to the Alps in the Bavarian South is a favorite drive, away from high-speed freeways. Visitors marvel at medieval towns, half-timbered houses, castles, fortresses, gently rolling hills, and vineyards.

Starting in Würzburg, the course of the Romantic Road in Franconia includes the towns of Tauberbischofsheim, Bad Mergentheim, and Weikersheim. From there it is onward to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Feuchtwangen, and Dinkelsbühl. Then the route leaves Franconia and enters Swabia, as it reaches its end point in Füssen via Augsburg. The Romantic Road can be explored by car but, also highly recommended are rides on historical trains, trams and busses, as well as explorations of the equally named bicycle and hiking trail.