‘proof of the financial power of Nurnberg’s citizens’
The wealth of the Upper Palatinate and Amberg with its official residence and importance at the centre of the mining industry influenced the architecture in the area greatly. Between the ‘Hammerschlösser’ (the mansions built by the aristocracy near their works) a union of the owners of the mines and iron works was established, the Hammereinigung (1387-1626), a fore-runner to the European agreements of today and a kind of mining union enabling the free trade and transport of the materials between signatories was ratified.
Nur kein Neid!
Beispiel für ein ehemaliges Hammerschloss ist die
Cage, Ade! Schloss Neidstein: Wie gewonnen so zerronnen - eben noch freute sich die Oberpfalz über den prominenten Neubürger Nicolas Cage, da hat der Filmstar das sanierte Objekt auch schon wieder abgestoßen.
Macht nichts, der Kastenbau mit dem hohen Walmdach (1513, Umbau 1860) ist auch ohne Hollywood-Kitsch ein Blickfang - wenngleich auch weiterhin leider nur von außen!
Ernhüll: In luftiger Hochebene hat sich das gotische Kirchlein St. Margareth zu 18 Wohnhäusern gesellt.
1719 neu gebaute und kürzlich sorgfältig sanierte Anlage mit dreigeschossigem Mittelbau in Weigendorf-Haunritz 11. Jobst Tetzel wird 1387 als Hammerherr mit Wohnsitz im Vorgängerbau (14. Jh.) genannt.
Prominenter Schlossherr des Landsassenguts im Högenbachtal (Weigendorf- Högen 1), ein zweigeschossiger Walmdachbau, der schlesische Schrift- steller Christian Knorr von Rosenroth (gestorben 1689 in Sulzbach)
Vom Felsenkeller der Brauerei Pürner mit schattigem Kastanien-Biergarten bietet sich der schönste Blick auf das Kirchdorf (Hauptstraße 3). 1,7 Kilometer nördlich ziert die Burgruine Rupprechtstein einen Berggipfel.
Beeindruckende Aus- und Einsichten verspricht der 585 Meter hohe Burgberg. Ein Förderverein stoppt seit 2000 den Verfall der stattlichen Ruine (um 1300) der Grafen von Sulzbach.
It is at this stage of the journey that the Golden Road splits. The good took the ‘right’ way through Weiden and Bärnau, the bad through Wernberg and Waidhaus, which in the end proved to be the cheaper of the two. Despite the popularity of two routes the trade that Charles IV supported and promoted brought much wealth to many a town and the region in general. Majestic town halls sprang up in which the tradesmen could do business. Later during the baroque period the acanthus leaf found fame in interior architecture and decoration. The Ancient Greeks and the Romans used the motif widely, and it was ‘rediscovered’ and used in the embellishment of many an altar and church.
Kaiser Barbarossa made Eger the seat of his Kingdom and the surrounding area was redesigned and refurbished, creating what was to be an example to all regions under the name of Provincia Egrensis. Later as Kaiser Ludwig of Bavaria had to give up the town to his rival and successor Charles IV the region retained its importance and its own parliament until 1806 when it became a part of Bohemia.
The neighbouring Stiftland, or as it was known the ancient province of Tirschenreuth, was under the jurisdiction of Cistercian monks in Waldsassen during this time and they kept a very close contact with Egerland.
The Kaiser ordered the use of his own official route but was also very aware of the advantages of the ‘forbidden’ option. Charles IV sent his own Imperial Regalia on the forbidden street through Waidhaus, which shows that there was indeed good reason to circumnavigate the heights of Bärnau as proved by the routing of the A6, the modern alternative to the ancient trade route, which seems to follow the unauthorised path.
Goethe composed poems during his stay in Karlsbad around July 1806 of which several contain references to the healing waters and clays of the mineral springs. He did more for Bohemian bathing culture than anybody else and he probably owed his Faust-like creativity and libido to his stay here, having drunk the waters then as we do today, from a small spouted cup decorated with roses.
The Golden way, or Zlata cesta drives a path through Bohemia, a blessed land that had been cultivated for years by the locals until it was torn to pieces in the Nationalist uprising of the 1930’s and 40’s. Villages and towns were raised to the ground and all that remains are mere traces that might be stumbled upon by the more adventurous of ramblers.
At the time of Charles IV Prague was one of the largest cities in Europe with over 40,000 residents. The Prague of today has 30 times that many and it houses the inhabitants in seemingly endless rows of high-rise concrete blocks. The tradesmen of yesteryear were spared this rather grey view of the town, and that is why we chose to approach the city of a hundred spires along a different route. Prague was not only full of churches, but also surrounded by a ring of castles and fortified houses that should not escape your attention. But first we will stick to our original plan and near the town of Udolky, the last port of call before Prague, we will visit a fictional medieval village.