The city of hops with heart
More than a thousand year long history shapes life in the hop metropolis of Franconia. Consciousness of tradition, old walls, and half timbered buildings communicate a historic air.
The city history comes to life in the museum of local history, the craft parlors, and the old fire departement’s museum.
Landscape and guided tours
There is a very ancient cultural landscape with orchards and hop gardens around town. The museum of hops and beer documents the brewing tradition of the city. The foundation of the city lies back in the year 800 as a Benedictian cloister. Historic towers and gates show even today the moving history of the city. Explore the Old Town with one of our guided tours.
1. The “Kornhaus”
The Kornhaus was constructed in the first half of the 15th century as a storage facility for taxes for the archbishops of Eichstätt. Owned by the city since 1862 the noble half-timbered house was used from 1897 to 1984 as a storehouse for hops. The 36 meters long, 13 meters broad, and 20 meters tall Kornhaus will host the Spalter Hops and Beer Museum. It will also be expanded to a culture center with a library and tourist information.
2. Rathaus (Mayor’s office)
The baroque palais was built according to the plans of Gabriel de Gabrieli in the years 1751 to 1756. From 1818-1932 it hosted the finance office of Spalt. Since 1933 it has been the mayor’s office.
3. Municipal kindergarden
Built from 1753 to 1756 as part of the cloister of St. Nikolaus and Emmeram the building became a school then a cloister. Today it is the municipal kindergarden.
4. The ancient collegiate church St. Nikolaus
Built from 1302 to 1313 for the new founded cloister. St. Nikolaus the church is graveside for its donator, the Nürnberger burggrave Konrad II. The Pious (+1314) and his wife Agnes von Hohenlohe (+1319). Completely rebuilt in the baroque era (1767-1771) under the oversight of the Teutonic Knight Matthias Binder from Ellingen; closed from 1806 untill 1863.
On Behalf of the parish priest, the church was given back to the city from the Kingdom Bavaria. It was thoroughly renovated from 1962 to 1966. St. Nikolaus has frescos of the royal painter Franz Kürzinger and there are 24 worth seeing tomb monuments in the ancient graveyard wall; the 11th epitaph shows the cloister dean Wolfgang Agricola who wrote the first Spalter chronicle.
5. Parish church St. Emmeram
It was built in the 12th century as a church for the convent of canons St. Emmeram, which emerged from the Benedictian cloister St. Salvator founded on his part from the Carolingians and Regensburgers. Originally it was a romantic basilica which was renovated a few times during the 16th and 17th century to adopt it to the historic baroque time spirit. The only thing obtained from the crypt under the choir is the apse with its romantic pillars. Not until 1880, the jube ( dividing wall to the choir room ) was removed. At the beginning of the choir there is only the Spaltina-Madonna left, that was given to the church as a gift from Georg Spalatin. The building was completly refurbished from 1976 to 1982.
6. Catholic vicarage
Former Kastnerhaus; it was reconstructed by Moritz Pedetti in the baroque style in 1738; since 1812 vicarage. It has a remarkabele stuccoed ceiling in the first floor.
7. Oberer Turm (Upper Tower)
It was built in 1422 under Prince Bishop Johann II from Heideck; it’s been habitable since 1833; from 1821 property of the city. It was renovated in 1974. Today it is used as craft parlor.
8. Schlenzger Haus
Bizarre-romantic half timbered house, whose western wall is identical with the city wall. A walled up Gothic gate is still recognizable, which was used by knights as access to the city (you can find it around the area of the Hans-Gruber-Keller).
9. Reifen-Turm (Tire-Tower)
The Reifen-Turm was built under bishop Johann von Aich in 1446.
10. Schäfers-Turm (Shepherd-Tower)
It was erected as corner tower of the city fortification in the first half of the 14th century (completed probably around the middle of the 15th century).
11. Stadtmühle (city mill)
It contains rest pieces and crest stones of the previous Nuremberger Gate.
12. Zollhäuschen (Toll-house)
The first floor of the building with its half timbered gable was built in the 18th century. Later it became part of the city wall with battlement.
13. Dr.-Herkules-Turm (Herkules-Tower)
Constructed around 1350. It owes its name to the citizens. Dr. Timotheus Herkules, member of the french academy to Paris, who died on the August 30, 802 in Spalt, lived there some years with his family. He was a nerd and lived a poor life.
14. Birthplace of Georg Spalatin
Spalatin was born in 1484 in Spalt as Georg Burkhardt. Under his humanistian name Spalatin he reached historic importance as promoter of the Reformation, friend of Martin Luther, and confidant of elector Friedrich the Wise of Saxony. He became one of the leading persons of the Reformation as lawyer and theologian, historian and diplomat, educator of the prince and confessor of the elector. In 1519 he donated his hometown the Madonna, which is named after him ( also see St. Emmeram ). He died in 1545 as first superintendant in Altenburg in Thuringia.
15. Schäferhaus (shepherd-house)
Another example of a house built into the city wall. Constructed around 1800; the city wall dates from the 14th century.
16. Drechslerturm (turner tower)
It owes its name the wood turners, who practiced their craft for a long time in the building.
17. Diebesturm (Thief-tower)
Fortification tower of the 14th century. It was used as a jail until the 20th century. Its inmates were transported with the “Schub” to the prison in Roth. Today the tower is used under the title “homeland parlor” by the homeland association as folkloristic collection.
18. Old Mayor’s office
Built in 1524 and assembled with an apartment for the court clerk, the building became municipal in 1816. It stayed the mayor’s office until 1933; after that it became a fire department station. Today the proud edifice hosts the historic museum of the fire depatrment.
19. Protestant curch
The church constructed in the new-Gothic style with homelike sandstone was originally planned as a chapel with a ridge turret. Because of static reasons and because of the parish’s wish to have multiple bells, another tower was added in the southside of the nave in 1895. The central entrance leads directly above two steps made of limestones to the new-Gothic altar. Annexed to the new-Gothic pulpit there is a Christophorus statue with baby Jesus. He is patron saint since the 100th church jubilee. The church council decided in favor for the name because there is a bell hanging in the tower from the Christophorus church in Breslau for the postwar period.
20. Friedhofskirche (cemetry church)
It is sanctified the Saint Bapt. Stephan and Sebastian; from 1715 untill 1717 it was baroquly renovated. Especially noticeable is the steaning outside pulpit from which it is preached regularly on Johanni-Day. Preaching and procession are associated with the occupation of Spalt in 1450; the Nuremberger soldiers are reported to have camped there where later ( 1556 ) the new cemetry was disposed. The occupation was ended by the knights of the Ansbacher margrave Albrecht Achilles on Johanni-Day. Since 1950 this rescue is commemorated every five years with the festival “Die Nürnberger Reis”.
21. Hopfengut “Mühlreisig” (hops house)
Besides that all the hops houses are worth mentioning, they often have fractured, steep roofs, mighty half-timbered gables and up to six roof floors. The cultivation of hops requires big roof volume for drying and storing of the hops that was Spalt’s most important trade good. This way the hops and his particularities have shaped the cityscape and scenery untill today. An especially impressive example is the hops house Mühlreisig, that was completed in 1746, on the road to Wassermungenau.
Translated by Tobias Peter
Special thanks to Kyle Hoffman