I wonder when some mucky-muck politician comes up with the idea of combining villages and hamlets into whole new ones, how do they come up with the name? Does it have anything to do with the most populated? The biggest in area? How about they do it by what’s the easiest to pronounce? Yes, that’s got to be it — otherwise the Bavarian town of Kemnath might have one of its other village names, like Hahneneggaten or Oberneumühle. ;-)
Whatever you want to call them, it doesn’t change some facts about Kemnath. Like, did you know Kemnath is known as “das Tor zur Oberpfalz”? Excuse me, the “Door to the Upper Palatinate“, for the English speakers… or would this be readers?
— Top Areas Of Interest
Anyway, the Altstadt (Old Town) of Kemnath is quite charming and pretty, but then again, so is the rest of the place. Now more famous for its location at the Fichtelbirge (and just 55 km from the Czech Republic border), Kemnath used to be known for its Franciscan monastery, Kloster Kemnath. Sorry, it wasn’t a medieval one — founded only in 1658. Too bad it never got any older than a mere 144 years old, as it was dissolved in 1802.
The Wallfahrtskirche zur Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit (Church of the Assumption) is older, built way back in 1448. I know, you can’t tell because of its Baroque interior, but that came along much later.
Even older than that are parts of the original city wall (Stadtmauer) from the 14th century; and along Schmidtstraße you’ll find the Stadt und Zwingermauer, also from the 1300s.
I’d say the only thing older at this point is Burg Waldeck, a castle built in 1124. Well, it used to be a castle — it’s been a ruin for 200+ years.
Good thing you can follow the fish to do and see some of the best of Kemnath. Follow the fish? Yes, that’s what I said — known as the Karpfenweg, you trek along looking for the brightly colored carp around. I know, that’s a new one for me.
What’s not new to me is partying like a Bavarian. And that’s not always the “let the beer flow freely” kind of partying. Actually, Kemnath is famous for its Passion Play (like the ones in Oberammergau), held every five years — the one in 2013 brought folks from all over the region, and beyond.
The only thing I haven’t experienced here yet is all the winter sports. When the powdery white stuff comes to town, so do all the cross-country and downhill skiers, along with all the ice skaters. Too bad for me, that’s not on the agenda yet.
Oh well, hopefully when I walk back out the Gate of the Upper Palatinate, they won’t lock it behind me. ;-)