Birthday Party above the Tree Tops: Steigerwald Nature Park 50th Anniversary

The Steigerwald Forest is one of the most impressive forests in Franconia.

The private organization “Naturpark Steigerwald e.V.” has managed the preserve for 50 years and to celebrate the anniversary, there are special events, such as tours with park rangers. For a close-up experience of this green world and to learn about sustainability, visit the “Steigerwald Zentrum” in the town of Oberschwarzach.

Also great is the fully wheelchair accessible Treetop Trail near Ebrach. For five years now, this trail has provided inclusive opportunities for visitors to experience the forest from a whole new perspective. Events in celebration of the five-year anniversary of the Treetop Trail include a family weekend that is planned for the summer. 

A Declaration of Love to Time: City of Ansbach 800 Year Anniversary

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2021 is a special year for Ansbach, it is the 800th anniversary of the first written record of Ansbach as a town. The document, dated January 22, 1221, is on display at the Margravial Museum.

There are many events planned to celebrate the anniversary year. The motto is “A Declaration of Love to Time” and offered are, e.g., a “Culinary Culture Spring Event” (April 23 to 30, 2021) and an Anniversary Guided City Tour called “800 Years – 800 Steps.” The tour covers the highlights of the former Margravial residence town, including the court chancellery, the Saint Johannis and Saint Gumbertus churches, the Margravial residence and the court gardens

City Full of Music: Würzburg Mozartfest 100th Anniversary

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Würzburg’s event calendar includes a melodious birthday celebration from May 28 to June 27, 2021.

For 100 years the “Mozartfest” has filled the city with music. Keeping with established tradition, concerts will take place at the Würzburg Residenz Castle and the beautifully illuminated courtyard. Musical performances are also scheduled at wine cellars, churches and museums. The musical performances for the anniversary celebration cover a wide range of media, from opera productions, a dance performance of the Mozart Requiem, and an exhibit highlighting the visual arts’ view of Mozart. 

From Bohemia to Bamberg: 75 Years of the “Bamberger Symphoniker”

The City of Bamberg also celebrates a melodious anniversary in 2021. The “Bamberger Symphoniker,” a world-renowned orchestra, has taken the musical reputation of Bamberg far beyond the city limits for 75 years now.

The origins of this ensemble, however, are not in Bamberg but in Bohemia. Musicians from what used to be the German Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague, who had to flee their homeland at the end of WW II, reunited in Bamberg. They founded the “Bamberg Tonkünstlerorchester” (Sound Artists’ Orchestra) that was soon renamed the “Bamberger Symphoniker.”

Their first concert took place in 1946 and they performed works by Beethoven. The anniversary concert on March 18, 2021 will also offer music by Beethoven. Furthermore, there will be family concerts, a “Long Night of Chamber Music” (May 29, 2021) and a summer music festival (July 24, 2021).

Shalom Franken: 1,700 Years of Jewish Presence

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There is one more important anniversary happening in 2021 in Franconia: “1,700 Years of Jewish Presence in Germany.” A decree by the Roman Emperor Constantine from AD 321 in response to a request from Cologne, ruled that Jews were allowed to occupy positions in the curia as well as the city administration.

This decree is the oldest document showing that Jews lived north of the Alps. In Franconia, this anniversary is especially significant because Jewish culture thrived in the vacation region for almost 1,000 years. Jewish scholars, Franconian-Jewish dialects, foundations, synagogues, and more than 100 Jewish cemeteries had a significant impact on all aspects of life.

This ended abruptly with the almost complete annihilation of the Jewish population during the Third Reich. Today, there are again Jewish communities in Franconia, as well as important institutions, such as the Jewish Museum Franconia in Fürth, the “Museum Shalom Europa” in Würzburg, and the “Fränkische Schweiz Museum” in Tüchersfeld.

Guided tours offered in many towns also invite visitors to explore the history and present state of Jewish culture. Other ways to explore Jewish culture include the International Klezmer Festival Intermezzo in Fürth (March 12 to 14, 2021), the Jewish Weekend in Pappenheim (August 20 to 22, 2021), and the Jewish Culture Week in Rothenburg ob der Tauber (October 16 to 24, 2021).

30th Anniversary of the “Main-Tauber Franconian Bicycle Figure Eight”

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Franconia is also a blessing for folks who enjoy bicycle touring. In the Lovely Tauber River Valley, the bicycle route “Main-Tauber Franconian Figure Eight” celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021.

On a total length of 610 km, the trail forms a figure eight with the town of Lauda-Königshofen at its center. This tour through the vacation region combines stretches of “The Classic” with a route along the Main River and side trips away from the river valley. The “Lovely Tauber Valley – The Classic” bicycle route that takes the rider right into history on its 100 km long course between Rothenburg ob der Tauber and Wertheim am Main. 

The Lovely Tauber River Valley is also a celebrant in 2021: 70 years ago, the working group “Lovely Tauber River Valley” was formed. It is the predecessor of the current tourism association. To celebrate, there will be a “No Car Sunday” for cyclists on August 1, 2021 as well as bicycle exhibits in several towns, among other events. 

Fast Triathlon Times, Towing along the Ludwig-Donau-Main Canal

The “DATEV Challenge Roth” triathlon on July 4, 2021 is one of Franconia’s major athletic events. The race is world-famous and the world’s best triathletes compete in it. In 2021, the European and German Ironman champions will be crowned at this event.

The first challenge for the participants is the 3.8km swim in the Main-Donau Canal.

Its forerunner, the Ludwig-Donau-Main Canal is another one of Franconia’s 2021 celebrants. This canal, a pet project of the late Bavarian King Ludwig I, officially went into service 175 years ago. The original canal was 173 km long and connected Kelheim on the Danube River with Bamberg on the Main River. It was an engineering masterpiece at the time: it featured 100 locks, about 100 bridges, 69 lock attendant shacks, seven marinas, and ten navigable aqueducts. Nevertheless, thanks to trains, the Ludwig-Donau-Main Canal was only profitable for a few decades. The parts of the canal that are still in existence today are on the Historic Register and offer great scenery to bicyclists on the Five Rivers Bicycle Trail, or guests on the towboat “Elfriede.” 

Sebastian Kneipp 200th Birthday Anniversary

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The combination of health practices, physical movement, and a balanced lifestyle are front and center in Franconia in 2021, thanks to the 200th birthday anniversary of Sebastian Kneipp.

His natural health practices are still popular today. Kneipp pools and Kneipp applications are offered at many of the hot springs and health resorts in the “Health Park Franken.”

That is especially true for the Kneipp Health Resort in Bad Berneck. Here you find Kneipp pools and an interpretive Kneipp Trail at the resort park. The town also has a Kneipp and Health facility called “radus” that offers, among other things, a week-long program called “Enjoy Kneipp – Wellbeing and Health.” The program consists of herbal baths, Kneipp effusions, water-treading, and much physical activity.