I once had a conversation with a nice lady from Munich, who had spent the last 20-plus years living in the United States. She admitted she wanted to go back home to Germany to visit, and we talked at length about all the wonders of each region of of the country, but also admitting she didn’t know too much about what was to see in what was once East Germany.
This meant she didn’t know about places like the Thuringian town of Frankenblick.
Truth be told, no one could really know about Frankenblick before 2012, since that’s when the “town” was officially created by merging a whole bunch of smaller villages together. However, the baker’s dozen of Frankenblick’s villages aren’t just a 21st century creation — most of its villages date back to the Middle Ages.
Take the ruins of Burg Rauenstein, for example. The castle itself was constructed way back in the 1300s, only to be destroyed during the ugliness of the Thirty Years’ War. The hamlet itself is quite charming, right down to its half-timbered houses (many found along Lehnergasse), ad its 15th century Church of Sts. Mary & George.
Frankenblick isn’t a one-pony show when it comes to churches. If I did my homework correctly, the Evangelical Church of St. Kilian is the oldest church of them all, dating back to the 12th century. The Cemetery Chapel in Rabenäußig seems to only enhance the natural surrounding beauty, and the Evangelical Church of St. Catherine is a grand design of 18th century architecture.
The same century saw the building of the Evangelical Christ the Saviour Church in Meschenbach, but this village is where you’ll also find a limestone cave known as the Zinselshöhle.
The natural landscape of Frankenblick is definitely worthy of your time — and these days the area isn’t a “no man’s land” because of its proximity to the West German border. Nope, since Germany’s reunification, anyone and everyone can enjoy the 50 kilometers of cross-country skiing trails, the Nordic Walking trails, alpine skiing, and all the biking, hiking, and paragliding one person can handle along the Rennsteig, the Franconian Forest, and the Thüringer Schiefergebirge.
Too bad the village of Korberoth didn’t fare so well during its East German days, but a memorial does stand in recognition of the place demolished because of its location along the Inner German border. Another “war” memorial stands at Freiherr vom Stein Straße 20, in honor of those who died during the First World War.
Yes, Frankenblick does have some somber places to see, but that doesn’t stop it from having a good time now and again. Come for the Kerwa here in Rauenstein every June, and there’s even a Forest Festival at the end of May.
I’d say these are great opportunities to get to know Frankenblick as the great place I know it to be — and Mrs. H, I hope you now know it, too. ;-)