Never conquered, never defeated
Towering high above the old town of Kronach on Rosenberg hill is Rosenberg Fortress, the former palace of the Prince Bishops of Bamberg and later a regional stronghold. The origins of the fortified hill remain lost in the obscurity of the High Middle Ages. What we do know for certain is that the oldest surviving document with the name ‘Rosenberg’ dates from the year 1249. Today, the fortress is one of the largest remaining fortifications in Germany, covering 23.6 hectares. The complex of walls, moats, buildings and gates that emerged over the centuries is still completely surrounded by the fortress pentagon with its five mighty bastions. It is also easy to see the different building phases, from the medieval keep and the expansion into a Renaissance castle in the 15th and 16th centuries to the additions that created a Franconian baroque fortress with bastions. Having never been conquered, Rosenberg Fortress provides a unique opportunity to study, at a single site, how defensive architecture managed to keep pace with military developments over nearly five centuries. It ceased to function as a military fortress in 1867 and was acquired by the town of Kronach in 1888. It has been owned by the town ever since. The entrance to Rosenberg Fortress is one of the most beautiful early baroque fortress gates in Germany. It was built in 1662 to designs by the architect Antonio Petrini and served as a model for the fortress gates in Würzburg (1684) and Forchheim (1689). The extensive network of underground passageways is also of particular interest and can be seen on one of the many guided tours.