Porcelain and Granite
A letter written by the famous poet and natural scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe that is dedicated to Charlotte von Stein says: “The granite cought my attention in a quite especial way.” From 1782 to 1822 Goethe made three extensive trips to the Fichtelgebirge. “All those tons of monstruously huge stones are piled up without any system of direction or classification. Nowhere have I seen a similar sight again. If somebody tries to explain this inexplicable view - which excites astonishment, amazement and horror at the same time – he or she would surely speculate about floods, cloudbursts, storms and earthquakes, volcanoes and other forces of nature. I understand that it seems to be mysterious, but with in-depth knowledge of nature and its real calm and slow forces, it is possible to find a solution to the mysterie.”
The landscape of the Fichtelgebirge stimulates the imagination of each tourist with its bizarre rock formations (like the bowl-shaped ‘Druidenschüsseln’), mysterious labyrinths and dark green spruce forests. Nothworthy are also the lakes in the depressions and the valleys, the highmoors and the velvety green moss landscapes. All those miracles of nature create a fairytale ambience. The mountain range gives stunning views of the wonderful nature. You can find many colors here, from the shades of dark blue-green to the brighter ones. They just seem to melt into the contours of the horizon. A look at the map shows another green carpet-like region: the villages, which reach from Auten- to Zettlarsgrün. It is not surprising that the names of many villages in this region end with a ‘grün’, which in English means ‘green’.
From spring to autumn many hiking enthusiasts and tourists come to the Fichtelgebirge. Over 4000 km (2484 miles) of perfectly signposted paths lead hikers and mountainbikers to the top [more than 1000 m (3280 feet) over sea level].
Most of the peaks of the Fichtelgebirge are used for cultivation. They are ideal for a snack stop (the regional cuisine is famous for the delicious farmhouse bread and the homemade sausages) or for enjoying a beer in lofty heights.
Not only the three parts of granite (feldspar, quartz y mica) were characterizing for this region, but also the porcelain which some people of Germany call ‘the white gold’. The discovery of kaolin in Selb made it possible to establish a huge porcelain industry that still exists in contemporary times – examples hereof are the companies Rosenthal, Hutschenreuther und Villeroy & Boch.
In the biggest museum for porcelain, the ‘Porzellanikon’ in Selb and Hohenberg, you can watch how the porcelain is produced. You can get information about the kind of porcelain and the requirements for its production. You also have the possibility to go to the factory outlet in Selb and buy some porcelain souvenirs.
Bayreuth (34,8 miles)
Richard Wagner Museum, Richard Wagner's Festival Theatre, Margravial Opera House (World Heritage), Eremitage
Bischofsgrün (26,7 miles)
Funicular to the Ochsenkopf, summit crossing to the valley station in Fleckl
Fichtelberg (34,2 miles)
Automobile Museum, Pond Fichtelsee, crystal grinding
Fleckl (29,8 miles)
Funicular to the Ochsenkopf, summit crossing to the valley station in Bischofsgrün
Hohenberg an der Eger (27,9 miles)
Porcellaine museum, factory sales
Mehlmeisel (30,0 miles)
Selb (21,1 miles)
City of porcellaine, factory sales
Selb-Plößberg (18,6 miles)