Once a traditional post office, the wonderful baroque palace at the gateway to the Altmühltal Valley visibly fell into disrepair – until the hotelier family Amrhein freed it from such ugly shackles and transformed it into a regional jewel once more, with loving attention to detail.
Hotel Post Berching
SPONSORED STORY Actually, Christian Amrhein had only been asked by a Berching councillor friend to take a look at the run-down building in the heart of the city. After all, he and his wife Denise had already tastefully developed the family-owned hotel “Fuchsbräu” in Beilngries, just ten kilometres away. What should have been “taking a quick look” turned into “several hours of scrambling around in the ruins” – and after roughly a year of calculating and planning, the decision was made to take over the traditional “Hotel Post Berching” and to renovate it from the ground up.
Ceiling Beams from 1736
That was in 2016, and after three years of construction, it was able to open as planned on 31.12.2019. “We also owe this to our local craftsmen, who were on fire for the project,” says Amrhein. “And most of them now remain loyal to us as guests in our beer garden or at family celebrations in our function rooms.”
And with that, this impressive estate resumed its key role in the little town of 9,000 inhabitants that it had played over the centuries. With more than 100 rooms “all sporting an awfully mundane interior”, says Amrhein, the “Hotel zur Post” was even the largest hotel in the Upper Palatinate in the 1970s.
Today, the “Post Berching” presents itself with its 32 elegant rooms and suites in a blend of old and new that has been thought through right down to the last detail – everything that had been added instinctively to the original 18th century ensemble was removed by the Amrheins in accordance with the listed building preservation order. The new rooms in the attic are particularly impressive, where the mighty beams from the founding year 1736 have been uncovered. “We scrubbed them all down by hand several times,” Christian Amrhein recalls with a laugh.
Old Boards in the Bar
Custom-made cupboards, tables, shelves and boards emphasise the spatial effect just as much as the restored natural stone walls in some rooms, or the light larch wood floors from a sustainable South Tyrolean craftsman’s workshop. Works by regional artists such as Donata Oppermann, Elke Schwarz and Martin Herler create stunning accents in the rooms and corridors. The newly built cultural hall in the town of Berching also found its space on site.
“We have refurbished everything that has survived the centuries,” says Christian Amrhein, “and used old floorboards from the attic for our bar, for example.” The restaurant is housed in the former stables, a vault that is nothing short of impressive. As followers and supporters of the Slow Food movement, the Amrheins place great value on regional and seasonal products here. They were able to draw on their experience from the Beilgries “Fuchsbräu”.
Slow Food and Beer from the Region
The two culinary experts have also already demonstrated their skills in this department. Whether “Böfflamott” from Juradistl pasture-raised beef from Germany’s Upper Palatinate region, or dumpling specialities interpreted according to the time of year with seasonal vegetables – the menu has a finely composed selection of regional specialities ready to welcome meat fans and vegetarians alike.
Fish from local waters is also available, of course. The beer served is “Schattenhofer Helles” and Pilsner from Beilngries, and the wheat beer and dark beer are also supplied by breweries from the region nestled between the Upper Palatinate, Franconia and Upper Bavaria. Since 1834, the then “Gasthof zur Post” was even a brewery and beer tavern itself.
As a royal post office, the imposing estate also flourished – all the more so when the Ludwig Canal opened in 1846, itself the first navigable connection between the rivers Danube and Main. From then on, tow horses pulled barges loaded with goods along the waterway. Ship riders and horses found accommodation and food at the “Gasthof zur Post”. Today, such true-to-the-original “tow trips” are among the attractions that guests can experience in Berching.
Climbing Garden and Maybach Museum
Encapsulated by a completely preserved medieval wall with 13 towers, the small town is perfect for a decelerated time-out in a historical ambience. For a small fee, the Tourist Information Office also offers regular guided tours of the city. Hikers, cyclists and canoeists will find the best conditions in the nearby Altmühltal.
For families in particular, Christian Amrhein also recommends the “Altmühltal Adventure Park” with a forest climbing garden, the spectacular “Altmühltal Dinosaur Museum” and the “Berle” Adventure Pool, open all year round and located directly in Berching. With the “Maybach Museum” in Neumarkt, less than 20 kilometres away, he also has a special tip in store for classic car fans.
At a glance
- 32 rooms and suites
- 3 meeting rooms for 10 to 120 people
- Parking facility for bicycles
- Free parking spaces
- Vernissage in the hotel, music events in the beer garden