This past weekend, the soft Autumn sun has graced Franconia, so yesterday I grabbed The Significant Other and my Leica M and headed out for a hike in the Steigerwald, a hilly region rising up to 500 meters above sea level and bordering on the valley of the River Main. The slopes down to the river are famous for their vineyards. And, this time of the year, are also famous for their colorful autumn views.
We departed from Handthal, a s mall but picturesque village about an hours drive west of Nuremberg. Hiking up the hills, we soon enjoyed the marvelous views down to the Main valley and the beautiful colored autumn foliage of the Steigerwald. We passed several old crosses of atonement that people erected several centuries ago on historic pathways through the forest. Famous is the “Steinernes Kreuz” with its baroque elements that was erected in 1773. Visible behind and below is a smaller stone cross from 1617.
Hiking along the hill ridge, we reached the ruins of Stollburg Castle on the top of the 476 meters high Stollberg, Franconia’s highest vineyard. Of the former castle complex, a 14-meter-high remnant of the octagonal keep with walls up to 2.5 meters thick is still preserved. Further, the castle ruins show even smaller remains of walls and vaults and a half-buried cellar entrance.
The castle was built in the 12th century by the lords of Stollberg, and came in 1151 as a gift from the Würzburg monastery to the nearby Ebrach monastery. According the legend, famous medieval singer Walther von der Vogelweide is said to have been born on the Stollburg around 1170. On May 2, 1525, the castle was destroyed and burned down in the Peasants’ War.
Just below the castle ruins is a small restaurants that offered to purchase glasses of local white wine (Silvaner), that we enjoyed together with the splendid views of the autumn colored vineyards and the valley – the Franconian version of an Indian summer.
Images taken with the Leica M and processed in Lightroom Classic. For tips and inspirations around photography, check out my free Learning Center.
Wish you a great start into the week and stay safe!