Rosenberg Fortress

Kronach, Germany

Towering high above the old town of Kronach on Rosenberg hill is Rosenberg Fortress, the former palace of the Prince Bishops of Bamberg and later a regional stronghold. It was officially mentioned first time in 1249.

The early building on the Rosenberg became the castle of the prince-bishop and was, thus, immured and enlarged in the years that followed. Another section of walls, along with the Arsenal Gate in the South, the Old Arsenal and the former construction of the present-day Commander's  Building, were developed under the reign of the prince-bishop Philipp von Henneberg (1475-1487).

After the experiences of the Margrave War in 1553, the prince-bishop Veit II von Würtzburg ordered his master builder Daniel Engelhardt to complete the ward as a four-winged fortification. Soon extensions and  new constructions of the Old and New Arsenal followed. In the 1570s bastions were developed.

The worst time for the town and the fortress happened to be the Thirty-Year War, when the Swedish tried to capture Kronach several times from 1632 to 1634. Due to the steadfastness of the inhabitants and to the defence readiness of the fortress, whose outer ring still consisted of soil and wood bastions at that time, the plan had failed. The Swedish left Kronach.

After the Thirty-Year War the fortress Rosenberg was armed  with lithic bastions in their contemporary shape.  In 1699, under the reign of prince-bishop Lothar Franz von Schönborn (1693-1729), the fortification was finished.

In 1867, Rosenberg lost its fort property and in 1888 the town of Kronach acquired it for 32,000 Deutsche Mark, and still own it today.

During the First World War, the fortress served as a prison camp for officers. One of the inmates was the later French president Charles de Gaulle.  After World War II, several refugees found shelter in the fortress. Some years later, flats were set up in the Old Arsenal and The Commander's Building. Some of them still existed in the 1970s. 

Today, the fortress is one of the largest remaining fortifications in Germany, covering 23.6 hectares. The complex of walls, moats, buildings and gates that emerged over the centuries is still completely surrounded by the fortress pentagon with its five mighty bastions.




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Festung 1, Kronach, Germany
See all sites in Kronach


Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Narc Zuckerberg (2 months ago)
Can’t walk around the back/top of the hill behind the fortress but otherwise cool place to see. Worth stopping at if you’re visiting Kronach. Close enough to the train station that it’s not too far a walk, but be warned it is a steep climb.
Jan Ward (2 months ago)
This is one of the most impressive fortresses that I have seen in Europe. Definitely take the tour so you can get inside the walls of the fortress. If you are into how fortresses evolved from the middle ages to the 1900s this is a must see.
m “MM” m (3 months ago)
Well this fortress was nothing special. There is a Cafè to the left if you go up the stairs and they have such nice ice cream up there You also have great view from there. All in all really. You can walk around the fortress but nothing. Still do come here if you are close by!
Kelly Shearer (10 months ago)
The atmosphere was so gracious, peaceful and beautiful. Out first dinner in a castle together. Even though our language barrier played a challenge in our discussions. Photos were the next best way to share what we are passionate about. We had the best time and are very thank-you to our family friend and guide ❤️ to sharing were she was from the the history of the castle. Surviving the middle ages by sheer placement of the castle. It remains undefeated to this day. ? felt honored to be able to see and feel the atmosphere of noblemen from that time period. I could imagine the hustle at the farmers markets, carts full of hey with cattle being bought and sold. People just living their lives so simply and with purpose. Wonderful place and the view is spectacular!!!!!
Kalema Francis (18 months ago)
You can view the lovely town of Kronack very well
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