Michelau in Oberfranken — Seriously Wonderful In Upper Franconia

To the English reading crowd the name Michelau i. OFr. might look funny. Believe it or not, it tells you a lot about the place. It means, Michelau in Oberfranken. Better yet, Michelau is in Upper Franconia — a region in Franconia, which is (primarily) in Bavaria.

Doesn’t look so funny anymore, does it? Nope, it looks wonderful — especially when the half-timbered Fischerhof buildings are all covered with snow.

Yes, snow. Germany’s not a tropical palm tree paradise, so there’s bound to be a good bit of the white powdery stuff. ;-)

The only bad thing is you can’t swim in the Rudufersee when the weather’s cold. That’s why it doesn’t open up for swimming until May 1st, and closes by the middle of September.

Perhaps this is why Michelau crams so many festivals and markets into the warmer seasons. The Fr├╝hjahrsmarkt (Spring Market) isn’t held until the end of April, followed by the May Pole on May 1st, the Zunftbaumfest (also in May), and the Fisherman’s Festival that’s also a May event.

And with Michelau made up of four villages, there are other festivals and Church Fairs throughout the rest of the Spring, Summer, and Fall. There’s one at the end of June, a Community & Folk Festival that are both in June, followed by two Church Fairs in August, a Village Festival in August, and one Fall Festival in October, followed by another in November.

Only the Christmas Market falls in December, but that’s rounded out with Advent Concerts and other Christmas events.

I’m pretty sure I missed a few — so let me know if I did.

It’s so easy to lose track of time when you’re following along Michelau’s many marked hiking trails. One of the shortest is a mere 6.5km, taking you along the Neuensee lake, passing orchards, and even a pond.

The longest is around 11km, with the highlight being the 16th century gamekeeper’s house and a small fortress. A middle range 9km hike takes a religious theme — going by a 13th century chapel, a medieval cross, and a Baroque church.

One last stop: the Deutsche Korbmuseum, a museum dedicated to the basket and basket making. Don’t knock it… you gotta be able to carry around all the stuff you bought at one of Michelau’s markets, don’t you? ;-)

 

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