At first I was surprised by how big the Franconian town of Greding was. At over 103 square kilometers with 31 villages, how is anyone supposed to see it all?
No worries, this is what I’m here for. You don’t have to see all of it (unless you want to).
Following along Greding’s Stadtmauer is a good start. Only 1.25km of the defense wall still remains from its 14th century beginnings, and along the way you’ll see a number of its gates (the Eichenstätter Tor, the Fürstentor, and the Nürnberger Tor).
It’s off to the Alte Rathaus, the Old Town Hall which you’ll find right on the Marktplatz. Um, not really, because Swedish Troops burned it to the ground during the Thirty Years’ War, and a fountain stands there today. A new Rathaus was built in 1699 and is still there in all its Baroque glory.
Also on the Marktplatz is the former Fürstbischöfliches Schloss (Prince Episcopal Palace), that even has its own hunting lodge. An interesting piece of 17th century architecture.
As pretty as all that is, the landmark of Greding is the 12th century Basilica of St. Martin. Sure it’s got Rococo artwork, 15th century frescoes, and 12th century chapel (dedicated to St. Michael), but it’s got a cellar that was used to store the bones of the dead in the 14th century. Truly a unique feature that most churches didn’t have.
The other church you need to see in Greding is the Parish Church of St. James. This isn’t the original one, that was burnt to a crisp during the Thirty Years’ War (you naughty Swedes, you). This one comes from 1725.
Do you want a museum? Good, because Greding has two. One is the Museum Natur und Mensch (Nature & Man Museum); the other is a Banking Museum (called Sparkassenmuseum) from before the days of debit/credit cards, online banking, and Paypal.
You can’t get any further from money than to loose yourself in the Altmühltal Nature Park. The Franconian air will certainly do you good.
So will partying at one of Greding’s festivals. The Spring Fair (2 weeks before Easter) kicks it all off, then July brings on the Jakobimarkt and the Volksfest. On the last Sunday of August is the Altstadt (Old Town) Festival; the Herbstmarkt (Fall Market) is the 2nd Sunday of October; ending with the obligatory Christmas Market on the second weekend of Advent.
The biggest of them all is the Gredinger Trachtenmarkt (1st weekend of Sept), where some 10,000 people just have a good time on their minds showcasing their traditional costumes.
See, you didn’t need to wander all 103 square kilometers — leave it to me. That is, unless, you lost me in the crowd. ;-)