Stadt Feuchtwangen




discover the historic Old Town

Right in the centre, at the heart of the town, is the Market Square, the Marktplatz, which, with its former town hall (today the Tourist Information Office), is widely known as "Franconia's Festival Hall", the Festsaal Frankens (1). Its substantial houses and half-timbered buildings, in traditional Franconian style, give it an unusually enclosed feel. The jewel of the square is the fountain, the Röhrenbrunnen, built in 1727. The statue on the fountain is Minerva, patron of local industry. The fountain surround is decorated with the colourful, historical coats of arms of Brandenburg and Württemberg as well as the imperial eagle and the town crest of Feuchtwangen, the fir-tree.

A flight of steps leads from the Market Square to the Romanesque cloisters, the Kreuzgang (2), which are thought to date from the second half of the 12th century and mean something special to lovers of culture and the theatre: the famous "Cloister Plays", the Kreuzgangspiele, take place here every summer with open-airperformances of classics of world literature. The Craftsmen's Rooms, the Handwerkerstuben (3 ) (For opening times see the Tourist Information Board), situated in the west wing of the building complex, are well worth a visit. These workshops have all been preserved in their original state and you can visit a confectioner's, a dyer's, a potter's, a pewterer's, a shoemaker's and a eaver's. During the drama festival, only patrons of the 'Cloister Café' (Café am Kreuzgang) may visit the cloisters. (Café closed on Mondays.)

The collegiate church, the Stiftskirche (4), is one of the emblems of the town. One can still see significant parts of the former Romanesque monastery church. Gothic elements are to be found mainly in the choir. The altar, dedicated to Mary, was created in 1484 by Michael Wolgemut, who taught Albrecht Dürer. The carved choir stalls were the work of Swabian and Franconian craftsmen around 1500. Particularly noteworthy is the largenumber of epitaphs dating from the Renaissance up until Baroque times. Close by is St John's church, the Johanniskirche (5), which was the former parish church, and which is also well worth a visit. The paintings on the vaulted ceiling of the choir date from around 1400. The Baroque altar was completed in 1680, and the surrounding statues around 1500. The sand-stone relief by Jörg von Ehenheim, who died in 1499, is also animportant piece of work.

Going past the Town Hall, which was the former Steward's Office, in the Forestry Office Garden with the Little Gallery, the Kleine Galerie (6), you come to the Oberes Tor (7), the only one of theoriginal three town gates to have been preserved. Next to the two churches stands the Store House, the Kasten (8). The Chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul once stood on this spot and housed the bones of the dead. This remarkable half-timbered building was used as a store for natural produce from the college lands. In 1982 the old Store House was turned into the Municipal Hall.

Past the Store House, visitors come to the "Dove Fountain", the Taubenbrünnlein (9). The story of Charlemagne's hunt and the foundation of the monastery can be read on the fountain itself. The Zwinger leads to the old Grain Store, the Schranne (10), where, in medieval times, business used to be conducted and which now houses a collection of old fire-fighting equipment. Across the Market Square, the Museumstrasse takes you on to the Franconian Museum, the Fränkisches Museum (11), one of the most beautiful museums of folk art in Southern Germany. The Singer's Museum, the Sängermuseum (12), is a focus for documentation and research into the tradition of lay choristry.