Which churches, sights and natural sites are worth a stop? We reveal ten highlights along the cycle pilgrimage route between Hof and Zell and some practical tips
10 Experiences on the Cycle Pilgrimage Route
Information on the cycle pilgrimage routes and tour suggestions are available online, with GPS tracks (the Hof-Zell-Bischofsgrün route is also available as a track) and in part with short pilgrimage guides. Some guided tours are also offered. The stage lengths of the cycling pilgrimage routes range from 35 kilometres (up to 1,000 metres in altitude) to 65 kilometres (up to 500 metres in altitude), depending on the altitude.
More at radpilgern-bayern.de (only in German)
Selection of cycle-friendly accommodation. Accommodation for one night, lockable room for bikes, provision of a basic repair kit and more. One tip for Hof is the “Hotel Strauss”.
bettundbike.de (only in German)
Another place worth a visit is the romantic “Theresienstein Civic Park”, Bavaria’s oldest civic park, laid out on the model of English gardens, as well as the regional museum “Bayerisches Vogtland für Stadt- und Regionalgeschichte” Every Saturday from April to October at 11 a.m., there is a guided city tour, starting point: the Tourist Information Office.
Fichtelgebirge Nature reserve
The cycle path network in the “Fichtelgebirge” mountains with over 1,000 kilometres of routes has recently been newly signposted. A 1:85,000 cycle map is available at tourist information offices and nature park information points. With national, regional and local themed cycle routes, as well as information on cycle repair shops and rental stations, bus and train, sights and more.
Discover “Margraviate Churches”
Margraviate churches are considered typical of Upper Franconia. They are mostly built in Baroque and Rococo styles, but Gothic churches have also undergone a process of Baroque transformation. Features include: simple façade, bright interior with large windows, pulpit altar with baptismal font close by. Registration for the monthly discovery tours by bike under Tel. +49 (0)921/7574821.
Pilgrimage Church of St. Mary in Weißdorf
The Evangelical Lutheran church was probably built between 1470 and 1500 and is one of the few churches in the region from pre-Reformation times that was not converted to the Margrave style. The Baroque altar comes from the workshop of Johann Michael Doser from Auerbach in Germany’s Upper Palatinate.
weissdorf-evangelisch.de (only in German)
Pilgrimage Church of St. Vitus in Sparneck
Was converted into a Protestant church in 1562. The stucco work in the formerly Gothic choir room is most certainly noteworthy. They were completed at the end of the 17th century by Bernardo Quadri from Lugano, who was in the service of the Margrave of Bayreuth.
Pilgrimage Church of St. James in Weißenstadt
A sign in front of the church says: “From here it’s 2,899 kilometres to Santiago de Compostela!” Hall church with a classicist, hall-like interior with a gallery running around its two storeys. The pulpit altar, typical of so-called margraviate churches (see above), stands free in the choir area.
weissenstadt-evangelisch.de (only in German)
Listed old town. Historic rows of barns on the edge of the old town. Guided tours of rock cellars and the Werra visitors’ mine (tin ore mine) are on offer. Small museum for contemporary art.
“GesundZeitResort” spanning almost 100,000 square metres with extensive thermal landscape, including water and sauna world, medical spa and a four-star hotel. Germany’s deepest thermal borehole produces fluoride-containing sulphur thermal water, over 50 degrees hot, from a depth of 1,835 metres, which, after cooling to around 32 degrees, feeds the resort’s water world.
877 metres high, viewpoint: “Schüsselfelsen”. The granite rocks are particularly striking. In the summit area, mixed forest with old beech stock can be seen, and the summit grade is designated as a geotope. 200 metres west of the “Waldsteinhaus” Inn is the “Bärenfang”, a listed building from the 17th century. The bears were herded into the park in the seventeenth century, where they were subsequently held captive.
fichtelgebirge.bayern/grosser-waldstein, waldsteinhaus.de (only in German)