Schönwald is situated in the most North-Eastern part of Bavaria, with the Czech Republic only a few miles away.
It is one of the stops along the “Porcelain Route”.
During the Cold War this town was cut off in the North by the Iron Curtain dividing Germany and the same in the East to Czechoslovakia.
The B-15, a major north-south route, crossing the main east-west route going into the former East bloc countries nearby, passes right through the town and after the re-unification of Germany traffic became so heavy that they had to install two sets of traffic lights to let the pedestrians cross the street. Within a couple of years the Hof-Regensburg B-93 Autobahn was built, eliminating all that extra thru traffic and returning the “quiet” back to the town.
The close-by Autobahn makes it easy to visit all the sights of the region.
The town is located at the Northern rim of the Fichtelgebirge.
The Fichtelgebirge is a horseshoe shaped mid size mountain region (highest elevation is the Schneeberg with 1,051 meters above sea level) which is considered Europe's water divide.
Home to the springs of four rivers, the Saale, the Eger, the Naab and the Main running into the for directions of the compass. The Saale running north and joins the Elbe on it’s way to the North Sea at Hamburg, the Eger east also joins the Elbe, the Naab on it’s way south joins the Danube and the Main west ends at the Rhine just west of Frankfurt.
Numerous well marked hiking trails criss-cross this area and are ideal for Nordic walking and hiking. Groomed cross country trails and downhill skiing on the nearby Kornberg combined with the fresh, unpolluted air makes this region a year round drawing point.
Upper-Franconia is the most northeastern of the three counties that make up Franken or Franconia, with the county seat in Bayreuth.
For those of you familiar with Frankenmuth, Michigan I will mention that the ancestors there originated from this three county region.
Besides being home to some of the biggest names in the German china industry it also has the highest concentration (by area) of Breweries in the world.
Many imposing castles and beautiful churches are located all over this area and I will work on this further on.
Bavaria - if you think of Germany most of the pictures and occasions that come to mind are Bavarian. From the Neuschwanstein castle to the other palaces of Bavarian King Ludwig the II, Weisswurst to Bratwurst, the Alps and the Oktoberfest in Munich they are all very much rooted here in this charming part of the world. Even though they are often copied, none of these copies come close to the original!