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Schwabach, town of goldsmiths

Schwabach is called the town of goldsmiths because in the 15th century manufacture of golden wire and foil here reached unimaginable heights. The “Noris Blattgoldfabrik” factory still functions in the town. It is the only manufacture in the world where gold sheets of 32 different hues are made as well as silver sheets and golden and silver powders! The golden spire of the town hall shines over the town, and its golden hall dazzles visitors. The abundance of Fachwerk houses that are preserved in excellent state turns your head…

History of Schwabach that became popular as the town of goldsmiths began in 1346. The local monument to a goldsmith is dedicated to the most famous craftsman Werner Wolf who made wonderful gold wire and foil. It was he and his colleagues who completed the laborious task of decorating the extremely exquisite town hall roof that resembles a Chinese pagoda. Since then it has been called the Golden Roof Town Hall. This building also has a beautiful golden hall. Besides, Schwabach is known in Germany for the font “Schwabacher” that was developed here around 1470. It was this font that the first Bible in German was published in.

There are many Fachwerk houses in Schwabach that are protected as cultural heritage of the town and region. That’s why you definitely need to walk the streets and find the most unique house. The most effective ones are found in Marktplatz. Here you will see the shining spire of the town hall too. Next to it is the town church of St. Johannes & St. Martin, notable fountain of 1717 with portraits of the family members of the town rulers – Schwabach margraves. Marktplatz is also a wonderful place to drink coffee “with view on history”!

If you inquire after the local food, you’ll learn that in the season people of Schwabach love to eat carp from the local lakes. Among the dishes available throughout the year pork shoulder Schäufele and potato trickled pastries are popular. Asparagus is used as side dish from the end of winter throughout the whole spring. It is very popular in salads too. You will be reminded about the proximity of Nuremberg by Nürnberger Rostbratwurst with the omnipresent sauerkraut. Out of the variety of beer sorts, in Schwabach you should try smoked beer Schkenkerla from Bamberg. Wine lovers will like Franconian Riesling. Franconia, where Schwabach is located, is, after all, famous for its vineyards that produce high quality, tasty white wine.

Schwabach is considered a cultural town. As the town authorities always protected and renovated old buildings, in 1979 Schwabach received the Europa Nostra medal for preserving its cultural heritage. Famous artist of German Renaissance Albrecht Dürer was a frequent guest in the town. One of the most interesting late Gothic era sculptors of Germany Adam Kraft – the author of Landauer Epitaph and tabernacle in St. Lorenz church in Nuremberg – is buried here. Born here was virtuoso pianist, teacher, and composer of the 19th century Adolf von Henselt who lived and taught in Russia for a long time. Several vivid events seal the reputation of Schwabach as a cultural centre. Firstly, it is the International Festival of Puppet Theatre Art that is conducted in May. Secondly, it is the art festival Ortung Schwabach that takes place every other year in August. This event is always conducted in the old town. Its aim and main topic is to support traditions of goldsmiths and blacksmiths in Schwabach. The winner for the best project with “golden” topic receives an award of 5,000 euro from the municipality. 

It is nice to have a walk in Schwabach, and you will find a lot to see. Numerous pubs and cafes with Franconian and German cuisine, nice houses and “golden” history will be to the liking of travelers who are tired from the bustle of big cities.

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