Museen in Oberfranken: Gewürznelken im Deutschen Gewürzmuseum in Kulmbach
The art of indulgence

Culture and pleasure belong together in Franconia. In a network of nine different museums, visitors discover the culinary treasures of this region. We took a look around the "Mönchshof" in Kulmbach.

Reading time: 13 minutes

Culture and pleasure in museums

Dark wall panelling, warm light, old wooden tables: this room of the Bavarian Brewery Museum in Kulmbach's Mönchshof invites you to linger. It is furnished in the style of a traditional inn. The chalkboard on the wall immediately catches the eye.

The innkeeper used to write down the debts of his guests on it. “This is about gastronomy,” explains Helga Metzel, Managing Director of the museums in Kulmbach's Mönchshof. "And about the innkeeper, who not only thinks in business terms, but is also a social worker." A tradition that, according to Metzel, is increasingly becoming a rare luxury item.

3,000-year-old beer amphora

As she continues her tour of the museum, she points out a very special exhibit: a nearly 3,000-year-old beer amphora that was found near Kulmbach. “It has a beautiful, simple shape and is considered one of the oldest indications of beer brewing on German soil,” the Managing Director of the Kulmbacher Mönchshof proudly tells us. “This piece is where beer culture and ceramic tradition meet.”

Dr. Helga Metzel zeigt alte Werbung für bayerische Braukunst
Dr. Helga Metzel: Gepflegte Gastlichkeit in der Zunftstube in Kulmbach

Centre of the culture of pleasure

After a journey through the impressive history of brewing tradition, culture enthusiasts explore the secrets of bakers and spice traders in the other two museums located in Kulmbach's Mönchshof.

In the Bavarian Bakery Museum, everything revolves around the topic of “Our Daily Bread” – from ancient Egypt to the present day. In the German Spice Museum, guests are immersed in the mythical world of spices.

For Metzel, Upper Franconia is a region of pleasure: “Three important things come together here: the culinary arts, crafts and agriculture.” The world's highest density of breweries, bakeries as well as butchers, the fertile soils and the people who still passionately practise their craft today – everything ensures that pleasure and culinary delights are the breeding ground of Franconian culture.

Helga Metzel im Gewürzmuseum

Besides beer, Metzel has two other passions: porcelain and culinary arts. As the daughter of a porcelain-making family, she practically grew up at the tunnel kiln: “For us, it was always about porcelain. That's how I developed an eye for the beauty of table culture.”

From the Kulmbach Mönchshof to the Porzellanikon in Selb and Hohenberg to the Farm Museum in Kleinlosnitz – together the museums in Upper Franconia draw the attention of culture and pleasure lovers to the cultural and culinary treasures of the region.

More about the museums in the Mönchshof:

Museen in Oberfranken: Franken sich erwandern im Fichtelgebirge

... by Helga Metzel

Castles and fortresses
In the pleasure region of Upper Franconia – which is an intangible cultural heritage site – first of all in Kulmbach the Plassenburg is a must, because of its museums and the view of the “Schönen Hof”, which is well worth seeing. In Thurnau it is the mighty castle and palace complex with Renaissance buildings. Bayreuth shines with its Festival Theatre and the World Cultural Heritage Site of the Margravial Opera House. Hof captivates with its old hospital church, also called “Schatzkästlein” (little treasure chest) due to its rich furnishings. In Kronach and Coburg, the ancient castle complexes are well worth a visit. And Bamberg, which is also a World Heritage Site, is almost a living work of art.
Burgen in Franken (only in German)

The “roof of Franconia” is the Schneeberg with the Backöfele, a former watchtower. From here and the nearby Nußhardt peak, the hiker has a wonderfully free and wide view over the entire Fichtel Mountains. Here, you can take a leisurely walk on secluded paths past the famous stone formations. Great wonder and pure nature right on your doorstep – that's my home!
Schneeberg (only in German)

Traditional inn
In Kulmbach, the “Zunftstube” is my favourite pub. The family-run traditional inn in the historic vaults spoils its guests with typical Franconian dishes. What I particularly appreciate here are the warm hosts, the unique crispy schnitzel and a good Pilsner – a place to feel good and indulge.

Pilgramsreuth Parish Church
The Evangelical Lutheran Parish Church of Pilgramsreuth near my hometown of Rehau from the 14th century. It is my personal gem – a unique place of tranquillity. Here, coming from the Kornberg, Rehau's local mountain, you can just be and indulge your thoughts. With fresco remains from Gothic times and the remarkable altar, it is not without reason that it is one of the most beautiful churches in Germany. In the churchyard you will also find the potato monument, which is dedicated to the earliest known potato cultivation in Germany. This is where the cultural-culinary circle closes: this monument symbolises the connection with the earth and the fertility of our region.
Pfarrkirche Pilgramsreuth (only in German)

“Culture & Pleasure” museums in Franconia:

  • Farm museum in Kleinlosnitz
    Is housed in a thatched four-sided farm from the late 18th century. The emphasis here is on “enjoying and preparing the food”.
  • Bavarian Brewery Museum in Kulmbach
    Everything about the history of brewing culture and the art of brewing beer.
  • Bavarian Bakery Museum in Kulmbach
    Entertaining and informative exhibition on the subject of “Our daily bread” from ancient Egypt to the present day.
  • German Spice Museum in Kulmbach
    Here, guests immerse themselves in the mythical world of spices.
  • Gardener and Grower Museum in Bamberg
    An open-air museum that provides insights into the working world of gardeners and winegrowers.
    Gärnermuseum (only in German)
  • German Wicker Museum in Michelau
    Wickerwork from two centuries.
  • Pottery Museum in Thurnau
    Here you can experience the potter's craft live.
    Töpfermuseum (only in German)
  • Herrenmühle Museum in Hammelburg. Dedicated to the topic of “Bread and Wine” with exciting exhibits, productions and interactive stations. (only in German)
  • Bamberg World Heritage Visitor Centre
    Bamberg's gardening culture and urban horticulture in the context of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    World Heritage Visitor Centre         

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