Berg (Neumarkt) — Natural Marvel With A Stalactite Cave

I don’t know what’s bigger, the name of the town of Berg bei Neumarkt in der Oberpfalz in the Upper Palatinate, or its 34 districts. You be the judge, I don’t have it in me to debate today. ;-)

What’s not debatable is how lovely the town of Berg (Neumarkt) is, which is part of the Franconian Jura. Even the ruins of Castle Haimburg (a 12th century castle that was looted & burned during the Thirty Years’ War) are lovely.

A couple of other castles you’ll want to see are the Schloss Berg and the Schloss Rohrenstadt. I did say there were 34 villages, so there’s bound to be more than one, right?

If you only see one make sure it’s the ruins of Wolfenstein. It was built in 1150 (and destroyed sometime in the 17th century), and its 22-meter high tower makes a great observation tower. The castle is open year-round, but guided tours are only offered on Sundays.

One of the other “ruins” to see isn’t a castle, but a former monastery (the Kloster Birgitten a.k.a. Kloster Gnadenberg) from the 1430s. Only its external walls still stand, as well as the epitaph of a 15th century knight. Brilliant. I love this place.

If you prefer a church that’s more intact, then the pilgrimage church of Maria Hilf (a Baroque church from 1727) or the Church of St. John (its Gothic Hall was built 1404) is it.

What makes the town of Berg different from most places? Its King Otto Stalactite Cave. Its Advent Hall is the highlight of this naturally made wonder; that’s only open April 1st to October 31st.

Does being underground count as being outside, I wonder. Hmm, again I’ll leave that for you to debate while you’re admiring all the sculpture along the Ludwig Canal, or horseback riding, fishing, and swimming.

You know what’s fun? Taking a carriage ride through town. After a morning shopping at Berg’s Weekly Market (Thursdays 8am-noon), that ride sounds just about right.

While it might be funny to watch everyone debate about Berg’s name — you won’t debate how awesome this place is to see.

 

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