Bayreuth: A city with many faces
Bayreuth became internationally famous as the centre of Richard Wagner’s works. Every year in July and August, thousands of opera lovers from all corners of the world head to the Green Hill to watch and listen to Wagner’s oeuvre. But Bayreuth is also worth a visit as an attractive sightseeing destination.
The Prussian Princess Wilhelmine – the favourite sister of Frederick the Great – established a unique ensemble of palaces, garden art and a wonderful margrave opera house in Bayreuth. The latter is said to be Europe’s most beautiful, preserved baroque theatre and was registered as a “unique example of baroque theatre and festival culture” on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
The Fantasie Castle. © Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung
The New Palace is a true rococo masterpiece with margrave couple Friedrich and Wilhelmine’s historic rooms. Garden art of European importance can be found slightly outside of the city centre at the Bayreuth Hermitage which impresses with its palaces, grottos and water features, as well as the unique, semi-circular orangery which is embellished with glass and quartz. Additionally, its central solar temple is crowned by Apollo, the god of the muses.
Richard Wagner Museum Bayreuth
Richard Wagner’s former residential house ‘Wahnfried’ and the Richard Wagner Museum Bayreuth re-opened in summer 2015 after extensive renovation and extension works. The museum in house ‘Wahnfried’ presents itself in an entirely new light with an extension building and three, thematically different permanent exhibitions. In house ‘Wahnfried’, Richard Wagner’s life, oeuvre and works are documented in an authentic setting. The extension building, created by Berlin’s renowned architect Volker Staab, is dedicated to Bayreuth Festival’s performance history. Here, a large collection of historic stage design models, costumes and equipment from the Bayreuth Festival Hall are showcased. Never before was one was able to see the valuable collection in this diversity.
Richard Wagner Museum. Photo © Bayreuth Marketing & Tourismus GmbH, Harbach
In the Siegfried-Wagner-Haus visitors can gaze at the living spaces of Winifred Wagner, which have been made accessible for the public for the first time in its entirety. Here, Wagner’s ideology history or the Wagner family’s relationship to the Nazi regime are presented. In close proximity, one can find Bayreuth’s Jean-Paul-Museum and the last residence of Richard Wagner’s father-in-law Franz Liszt, which houses the municipal Franz-Liszt-Museum.
Unique beer experience
Bayreuth is able to look back on a long brewing tradition. In 1884, no less than 74 breweries were located in Bayreuth. Around 200 breweries produce over 1,000 different types of beer in the region, and thus, hold the world record for the highest brewery density as measured by population figures. Today, Maisel’s Weisse, which is brewed in Bayreuth, is one of the most popular wheat beers in Germany and Maisel’s brewery museum is the world’s most extensive beer museum according to the Guinness Book of Records. On approximately 2,400 square metres and with over 6,000 exhibits, the museum brings beer culture to life. During Bayreuth’s ‘BeerTour’ through the brewery museum and Bayreuth’s catacombs – a long labyrinth of 400-year-old rock cellars – visitors can learn interesting facts about the city’s brewing history and get to know regional delicacies on two culinary stopovers.
Visitors take a look into the brewing pot. © Bayreuther Bierbrauerei AG
Just in time for the 500 years of beer purity law anniversary, the new Maisel & Friends brewing workshop opened, in which visitors can look over a brewer’s shoulder and follow the entire brewing process from grain crushing to fermentation. The focus is put on traditional brewing craft and Franconian beer culture. The beers that are brewed here can be tried in the new restaurant Liebesbier, which impresses with an incomparable atmosphere. 21 special beer types are freshly tapped from the barrel and numerous bottled beers are served. After visiting the brewery museum, up to 280 guests fit inside the new restaurant and 300 additional guests in the beer garden where they can enjoy more than 80 beers and culinary delicacies.
Bayreuth Marketing & Tourismus GmbH
TEXT: NANE STEINHOFF
Pavilion at the national horticultural show. Photo © Landesgartenschau 2016 GmbH
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