Diamonds might be a girl’s best friend, but here in the town of Oberviechtach it’s gold that’s the attraction.
However, the precious metal isn’t all that you’ll find here in the Upper Palatinate Forest Nature Park, just so you know.
Oberviechtach is also the hometown of the celebrated Dr. Johann Andreas Eisenbarth, a 17th century surgeon who had no medical training. He’s so beloved around here there’s a festival in his honor. Come to the local City Museum to learn more about the man who once traveled with an entourage of over 100 people.
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There are a few sights here in Oberviechtach that were here in Dr. Eisenbarth’s day. The Ägidius Church (in the village of Hof) is one of them, built way back in the 1100s. The medieval church is quite impressive, built with wall over a meter-and-a-half thick.
The Burgruine Murach was also built around the same time, and tours of the ruin are available if you’re interested in learning more about its medieval history.
Another of the town’s gorgeous churches is the Pfarrkirche (Parish Church) of St. John the Baptist, whose 36 meter high towers are truly impressive — so is its Rococo designed interior.
Oberviechtach isn’t all history and architecture, mind you. Nope, it’s got that gold thing I was talking about, too. It’s your choice which one of the three Gold Trail routes you want to tackle (all of them?). And if there’s a group of at least six, get in on a Gold Hike (May to October), where you can learn how they panned for the stuff way back when.
Afterwards, why not stop for a beer? Just don’t expect to drink one out of the world’s largest beer stein — which holds a whopping 4,718 liters of the stuff. Good luck trying though, the stein stands 4 meters tall. ;-)
Wait… before you head out to a beer garden — best to get in all the cycling, hiking, fishing, and swimming you can. And don’t think you’ll be without anything to do when it’s winter — there’s cross-country skiing, tobogganing, and skating to do, too.
Told you there was more than just gold to be found here in Oberviechtach — a town that’s truly a gem.