Getting to know an entire region on vacation is not always easy: the areas are often too large, the distances too far. In order not to miss anything in northeastern Bavaria in the Fichtelgebirge and really take every adventure with you, there is our wish list with the best attractions in the Fichtelgebirge.
Schneeberg: the highest mountain in the Fichtelgebirge
Where Fichtelgebirge says, there are peaks. At 1051 meters, the Schneeberg is the highest mountain in the Fichtelgebirge. Together with his little brother, the Ochsenkopf at 1024 meters, it is not only an important excursion destination, but also tells an exciting story.
On the mountain massif stands an ancient telecommunications tower, which is a remnant of the Cold War. After World War II, US forces captured part of the summit. In 1963 the telecommunication tower of the telecommunication sector E, also known as “The Ear of the East”, was erected.
From up there, the Bundeswehr and the US military have been eavesdropping on the countries of the former Eastern Bloc. Today the summit of Schneeberg is freely accessible. Those who reach the top can climb the Backöfele, a 14-meter-high wooden tower built in 1926. The name was born because refugees fleeing the Thirty Years War prepared bread here.
Ochsenkopf: The mountain of action
While on the Schneeberg it is always quiet, as there are no restaurants or cable cars, on the Ochsenkopf there is always something to do. From the south and north, take the cable car up to the Ochsenkopf. On the summit there is a restaurant, a lookout tower and a broadcasting tower of the Bavarian Radio. The latter is responsible for the fact that the Ochsenkopf was called “the ear to the west”. At that time, the Bayerischer Rundfunk increased its frequency so that people in the GDR could listen to West Radio, which had been banned.
If you want to see the Fichtelgebirge mountains including Schneeberg and Ochsenkopf in a panorama, you should go to Röslau in the Wunsiedel district. There is the view of the twelve peaks, where you can see all twelve peaks of the Fichtelgebirge at 602 meters.
Kösseine: summit with double top
The mountain with the most striking peak of the Fichtelgebirge is clearly the Kösseine: it is 940 meters high and has a double peak with the Kleine Kösseine and the Große Kösseine. A trip is worth not only for the view, but also for the vast sea of granite blocks, which covers an area of 15.8 hectares and is a nature reserve.
Exciting: the European watershed between the North Sea and the Black Sea crosses the Kösseine mountain range. At the top you can stop at the Kösseinehaus, built by the Fichtelgebirge Association in 1898 and is today the oldest mountain-top inn in the Fichtelgebirge.
Luisenburg rock labyrinth: sea of granite stone
You will discover an exciting superlative in the Fichtelgebirge in Wunsiedel: there is the largest granite sea in Europe! The “Luisenburg rock labyrinth” was created over the centuries. Huge boulders stand next to each other and pile up on each other, forming caves and gorges. Its rounded shape is interesting: it was formed over time due to atmospheric agents and erosion.
Today you walk through the largest rock labyrinth in Europe, learn a lot about the geology of the region, and enjoy fantastic views, as it constantly climbs. The magical landscape took its name from the Prussian queen Luise, who arrived there in 1805 and rejoiced at the rocky labyrinth calling it the “true Eden”.
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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was also enthusiastic and wrote: “The enormous size of the masses of granite that fell on each other without any order, trace or direction is a sight that I have never seen anywhere else in my voyage”.
Erika Fuchs House: Duckburg in the middle of the Fichtel Mountains
The next special show in the Fichtelgebirge is in Schwarzenbach an der Saale. Here you go to Duckburg, because the Erika-Fuchs-Haus is a museum for comics and linguistic art and the only museum of comics in Germany. But who was Erika Fuchs? She was born in Munich, she lived for a long time in the Fichtel mountains and translated Mickey’s brochures into German from 1951 to 1988.
But their work was not just translations. Erika Fuchs revolutionized the German language and created, for example, shortened verbs at the root of the word, such as “stöhn”, “ächz”, “grübel”, which everyone knows from comics. The Erika-Fuchs-Haus with a colorful and interactive exhibition has been there since 2015. If you want, you can put comics to music, play comic pantomimes or take a bath with Scrooge McDuck in his money basket.
Mödlareuth: The divided village
One of the most famous villages in Germany is located in the Fichtel mountains. Why: Mödlareuth is known as the divided village. As Germany was divided into four occupation zones after World War II along the old national borders of the German Reich, the village was divided. The dividing line ran between Mödlareuth-Ost in the Soviet occupation zone and Mödlareuth-West in the American occupation zone.
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In those days, families were separated from one day to the next and the proximity to the Wall created a depressed and tense atmosphere for decades. For over 37 years it was not possible to cross the border. The Americans even called Mödlareuth “Little Berlin” because, like Berlin, the Wall divided a city. Today the German-German Museum Mödlareuth remembers that period.
Dreiländereck: border area in the Fichtelgebirge
At the edge of the Fichtelgebirge, a path leads visitors to a small boundary stone from 1844. The numbers 1/1 mark the first boundary stone. In the 19th century the state borders of Bavaria, Bohemia and Saxony met in the border triangle which until 1918 was the border between Austria-Hungary and the German Reich.
And until 1990, in this forest there was the internal-German border between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, but also the border with Czechoslovakia.
The border triangle only opened in 1989. Today you walk through the forest and visit a soldier’s grave from 1945 and the former Grenzschänke Hofmannsmühle in Czech territory, immersing yourself deeply in nature. Because the border triangle is the destination of numerous hiking trails, including the Kammweg and Ostweg.
Mehlmeisel Wildlife Park: animal adventures
In the idyllic Mehlmeisel you will find the most beautiful mix of nature and animals. There is the Waldhaus Mehlmeisel wildlife park, where everything revolves around the local fauna. The peculiarity is the location: the wildlife park is located in the middle of the forest, the whole structure is an animal enclosure. The grounds and enclosures are so large that the animals live almost as if they were in their natural environment.
A highlight is the walk through the lynx and wild boar enclosure. At a height of three meters you are in the perfect position to observe the animals closely. In addition to wild boars and lynxes, the park is also home to deer, roe deer, wild cats, foxes, badgers, raccoons, goats, sheep, rabbits, wild geese and many more.
Weißenstadt: Lake with sun and bad weather program
Weißenstädter See is the largest lake in the Fichtelgebirge and one of the most popular destinations. The lake was not created naturally, but it is an artificial basin. But there is a lot to experience: swimming, SUP riding or just sunbathing. There is also a four kilometer long coastal path around the lake.
If the weather is bad, the Siebenquell GesundZeitResort is worth a visit. The water comes from a depth of 1835 meters over 53 degrees of hot and fluoridated sulphurous thermal water through granite rock to the surface. A total of 1500 m2 of water surface is available. GesundZeit is an area for adults where everything revolves around wellness, beauty, spa and medical wellness.
Waldsassen: monastic city full of magic
The monastic town of Waldsassen is located directly at the Czech border crossing point of Hundsbach, from which it is only a few meters away from the Czech town of Eger. The place is known for the Waldsassen monastery. The Baroque building combines Bohemian, Italian and South German elements.
Equally interesting are the Abbey Library in Waldsassen and the Trinity Church in Kappl, considered one of the most important Baroque round buildings north of the Alps and which attracts attention with its six round towers.
Bayreuth: Baroque residence city
A trip to the Fichel Mountains does not pass beyond Bayreuth. The Baroque residential city is famous for the Richard Wagner Festival, which was first held in 1876. But not just the Festspielhaus on Green Hill or the Richard Wagner Museum: Haus Wahnfried is worth a visit, Bayreuth has a lot to offer far away by Wagner.
The most beautiful building in the city is the Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth. At the same time, it is clearly one of the most beautiful Baroque theaters in the world. It is thanks to the Margravina Wilhelmine von Brandenburg-Bayreuth, who had a penchant for pomp and splendor, that one is amazed today when she is in the opulent theater room.
Wilhemine also attracted attention outside the city gates: with the Hermitage, he created a historic park with a palace, fountains and orange grove, which is now considered one of the most beautiful Baroque gardens in Germany.