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

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Adam Wiącek (16 months ago)
Beautiful view
Russell Garbutt (16 months ago)
Outstanding castle. Did a guided tour with printed English supplement. Cafe was useless as we were ignored and left before being served. Gallery in castle incredible.
Jörgen Andersson (2 years ago)
Very knowledgeable guide, the fortress is in a great shape. Well worth a visit. The beergarden as well.
Ralluca Moroşan (2 years ago)
It was a very nice place to eat and to chill.
Luděk Černý (2 years ago)
I visited this place during Kronach leuchtet 2018 (light festival). It was really great experience. And the view from the fortress is stunning.
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