Every summer from June to August the Middle Franconian town of Langenzenn gets its Shakespeare on. The Klosterhofspiele Langenzenn perform many of the English author’s work like the Taming of the Shrew and the Merry Wives of Windsor in the courtyard of the medieval monastery.
Why am I telling you this? Simple. Because while the performances are in German, you can brush up on his works in English — and then know what’s going on.
This annual cultural event isn’t all that Langenzenn offers visitors (and residents), although the themes of Shakespeare’s Middle Ages fit nicely with the Prinzregentenplatz medieval market place and the Linden Tower (that was an original part of the town’s defense system).
The Heimatmuseum or Local History Museum has been open since 1957, but houses exhibits on the town’s prehistoric beginnings. It’s here that you’ll find out about the Stone Age arrowheads and tools; and the thirteen burial mounds that date back to 1200 B.C.
No where near as old is the town’s indoor pool which has only been around since the late 1970’s. That’s a mere drop in time compared to Langenzenn’s old hospital that took care of the city’s sick since 1382 before closing its doors in 2007.
It might be a good idea to save the sightseeing for a day when there isn’t a festival going on. On the first weekend after Pentecost (think 50 days after Easter) is the Kirchweih, a church festival. For something a bit more pagan (but, fun nonetheless) is the Summer Solstice Festival at the Swan Pond.
Langenzenn’s Old Town Festival always falls on the 2nd Saturday in September and come the 3rd weekend of Advent (about a week before Christmas) is the Christmas Market.
It’ll be summer again before you know it and the works of Mr. Shakespeare (and others) will be playing again at the monastery soon enough. Someone let me know if they’re playing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it seems an appropriate play in the still summer air of Langenzenn.