Have you ever noticed how artists never, ever (OK, rarely) get the respect they rightfully deserve when they’re, how do I say this nicely, alive? Upper Franconia’s town of Schwarzenbach an der Saale, on the other hand, sang its praises of an artistic local boy.
Jean Paul, as he was known later in life, was originally Johann Paul Friedrich Richter — a German writer whose works were quite popular with the ladies.
Not because of some romantic prose or anything like that, but because Jean Paul created a number of characters who were strong women. Totally revolutionary in the late 18th/early 19th centuries.
In honor of the boy who went on to become Schwarzenbach’s most notable resident, you might want to travel along the Jean-Paul Rundweg. It’s an 150km circular route with places important in the life and work of the prolific writer, with information boards with snippets of his work and ideas.
As amazing as Jean Paul’s work is, you’ll want to explore more of Schwarzenbach — there are 27 districts, so you better get crackin’. ;-)
Some of Schwarzenbach’s villages are just small hamlets, like Götzmannsgrün with only 30 residents (actually that’s not even the smallest, one village has a population of 12!).
In Hallerstein, there might only be like 100 houses, but it’s church is quite historical and houses a beautiful Gothic Madonna.
Other sightseeing would include a trip to the Tractor Museum (yes, that’s really all about the tractor) that’s open on the 1st Sunday of the month from 10am-4pm. You also won’t want to leave before seeing the Gedenkstätte Langer Gang, a memorial to the Nazi victims at the subcamp of the Flossenbürg Concentration Camp here.
In mid to late August, Schwarzenbach holds its yearly Handwerkerfest, a craft festival that’s also chocked full of wine, folk music, beer, and great food.
Hmm, sounds like the best place for artists to get their “props” while they’re actually alive. ;-)