UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Franconia
Architectural monuments, urban ensembles, industrial monuments, and extraordinary natural landscapes are prerequisites for the designation of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Five of these World Heritage Sites are also in Franconia under special protection: the Old Town of Bamberg, the Residenz Castle in Würzburg, the Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth, Bad Kissingen as part of the "Great Spa Towns of Europe" and the Upper Germanic-Raetian Limes.
Old Town of Bamberg
The Old Town of Bamberg has been an UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to its early medieval basic structure of a Central European city, since 1993. The cathedral, the old court, the Böttingerhaus, and the town hall surrounded by the Regnitz river and the row of houses called "Little Venice" together form a spectacular cityscape in which guests are taken back to past centuries.
Residence Castle in Würzburg
The Residence Castle in Würzburg has been an UNESCO World Heritage Site in Franconia since 1981. As one of the most uniform and extraordinary baroque palaces, the residence was built in the 18th century by court architect Balthasar Neumann and the Venetian Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, among others. Not only is the ceiling painting in the stairwell impressive, but also the hall of mirrors and the magnificent gardens provide extravagant sights.
The margravial opera house in Bayreuth
The margravial opera house in Bayreuth, made entirely of wood, was completed in 1750 on behalf of the Margrave couple Friedrich and Wilhelmine von Brandenburg-Kulmbach. Due to the uniqueness of the carved and painted decoration, it is one of the most important architectural monuments of the absolutist age and has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Franconia since 2012.
The city of Bad Kissingen was honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the course of the "Great Spa Towns of Europe" award in 2021. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was considered a model spa of European standing, which was partly due to the use of brine as a healing method. Chancellor Otto von Bismarck liked to spend his time off in the spa town of Bad Kissingen - the Obere Saline Museum commemorates this today. The Wandelhalle (foyer) and the regent building still bear witness to the splendor of the historic spa town.
Upper Germanic-Raetian Limes
Since 2005, the Upper Germanic-Raetian Limes, together with other historical borders which include Hadrian's Wall in Great Britain (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987), has formed the World Heritage Site "Borders of the Roman Empire". With forts, watchtowers, walls and palisades, the Limes runs 158 kilometers across the Franconian territory. With a total length of 550 kilometers, it is the longest archaeological monument in Europe.