Let’s say you find yourself in either Regensburg or Nuremberg and you want something a little different, then I’d have to say come on over to the town of Velburg — both of which are about equal distance. Not to take away from its much larger nearby neighbors, but the forty-nine villages of Velburg are quite inviting, and downright historical.
It seems with all those little hamlets there’d be just as many churches to see, and you’d be right. Now I’m a realist, there’s no possible way to see them all — but look around, you might find a few you like the most.
For me it’s the little yellow colored Chapel of the Sacred Heart in Finsterweiling; the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption with its enormous onion dome (built 1763); and the Gothic styled Sanctuary of St. Wolfgang — even with its bleak looking tower.
You’ll find Velburg’s Town Center to be quite the opposite, with gaily decorated buildings lining the streets, by the way.
And there’s always beauty to be found in a proper German castle, too. Excuse me, there’s beauty to be found in what used to be a proper German castle. Burgruine Helfenberg was one of those castles, although not much remains of this grande dame.
And did you know there were Bronze Age graves found nearby? No, I didn’t either.
Another castle (or, used to be castle) is found at the Burgstall Habsberg. Built a thousand years ago, the castle didn’t survive more than three centuries before being destroyed — at this point it’s been a ruin a lot longer than the castle stood.
Don’t confuse this castle ruin with the ruins of what used to be the Velburg Castle — destroyed by the Swedes during the dreaded Thirty Years’ War.
Oh well, consider it a chance to explore around the Franconian Jura. You could do that as well, if you’re traveling around the town’s eleven marked hiking trails. There’s even a way to explore what lies beneath Velburg, just come to the König-Otto-Tropfsteinhöhle, or King Otto Stalactite Cave, to see what I mean.
Of course if you’d rather enjoy the surface side of town, then you’re more than welcome to give skiing and camping and barbequing a go. Oh yes, there’s a lake to enjoy — complete with a beach volleyball court.
That’s reason enough to leave Regensburg and Nuremberg, don’t ya think? Even better when you add in all the rest of it, too. ;-)