A millennium of cultural treasures
Art, culture and craftsmanship are always dependent on the external conditions permitted by politics and commerce. This can be seen in the days of a divided Germany, as well as in the preceding history of national states, principalities, bishoprics...
History carved in stone
Numerous castles and fortified churches were built in the Middle Ages as a result of the many small states and territories, borders and trade routes. A number of castles were converted to fortresses in later centuries, such as the Rosenberg fortress in Kronach, and others to romantic castles, such as Wespenstein Castle in Gräfenthal or the Mitwitz moated castle, yet others were destroyed in ancient or more recent times, such as in Blankenberg. In Lichtenberg, only a castle dungeon testifies to the mediaeval times when it was a town of robber barons. Lauenstein Castle, between Ludwigsstadt and Probstzella on the other hand, shines in unblemished splendour and houses - like most other fortresses and castles in the region - an impressive collection of valuable cultural artefacts.
A bridge of the Earth's history made of blue gold
A natural treasure connects Franconia and Thuringia underground: slate. This natural rock gained an increasingly commercial importance over the centuries. Houses with slate roofs create a harmonic appearance in many towns and villages. Along the Thuringian-Franconian Slate Road between Steinach, Lehesten and Dürrenwaid, as well as on the Slate Path between Gräfenthal, Probstzella, Lehesten and Ludwigsstadt, you can find many aspects of the "Blue Gold". This includes the Slate museum in Ludwigsstadt, in the Technical Memorial of the slate town of Lehesten and in Lotharheil, the last active slate mine in Bavaria, near Geroldsgrün, where you can explore the over 400 million-year-old history of the "blue gold".