This fortress is much less well known than for example Neuschwanstein, but it is no doubt much more interesting. It is one of the most important castles in Germany and when you go inside you know why. It has several floors with many rooms full of decoration and objects that tell you about its rich past as residence of some of Europe’s most influential families. You can easily spend two (for a fast visit) to four hours there.
How to get there: it is located on a hill next to the town of Coburg. You can either walk there from the town center through the pretty park Hofgarten (about 30 minutes), or take the tourist train that leaves from the town center and goes up the Veste, or if you have a car there is a small parking lot next to the kiosk, a five minute walk down from the Veste, or a bigger parking lot some further away (10-15 minutes’ walk). The parking lot next to the kiosk, where we parked our car, cost 2 Euros a day.
As for the entrance fee, you can either pay just for this attraction or buy a ticket that also includes other castles in Coburg (Schloss Ehrenburg, Schloss Rosenau). There is also a family ticket. Just ask at the ticket counter at the entrance and they will tell you about the options.
We had one day in Coburg and visited the Veste, then Schloss Ehrenburg and afterwards Schloss Rosenau outside the town (with a lunch break at noon), which took us all day and is only recommendable if you are in a hurry. Better would be two days.
The Veste itself offers a great view on Coburg and its surroundings, no need to get into the museum for these views.
It also has a restaurant with typical Franconian food, which we have not tried. Prices looked reasonable.
When we visited the Veste’s museum there was a temporary exhibition about glass objects, which was quite interesting (they also charged us somewhat more therefore in the entrance fee, which could not be avoided). The temporary exhibitions change over time; have a look at their webpage to know more about the current one.
The museum is a succession of rooms, each one with its rich original artisan decoration, many paneled with wood and heavy tiled stoves (after all, this was a winter residence, the summer residence being Schloss Rosenau). Martin Luther spent some time on the Veste and you can see pictures about his stay, an old bathroom, a chapel, paintings of important people, religious motives, suits of armour, torture instruments, weapons, canons, cannon balls, horse carriages for road and snow (even the world’s oldest one that is still working is there), stuffed animals (hunting was the nobles’ sport)..all this gives a great feeling about how these aristocrats lived.
It is not allowed to touch any of the objects (better don’t go with very young children, as the museum’s personnel will be watching) but a good thing is that you are allowed to take pictures as long as you do not use flash.
A very recommendable and surprising visit.
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