Plenty to do and see on Kreuzberg (Rhön), not to mention some damn good beer!
With winter almost over, Jim and I decided to go with a few friends to enjoy the last of it. Driving to the well-known Bayerische Rhön Nature Park we were excited to enjoy a gorgeous day out and try the world-famous beer we’d heard so much about since we arrived in August.
These views greeted us on the sunny, yet cold, Sunday morning as we parked the car and climbed to the monastery to start our exploration of the area.
The first stop was the Information Center in the Franz-House which gave an overview of the history of the chapel and monastery. Then we entered the old monastic brewery where the Franciscan monks started making beer in the 7th century right after they converted to Christianity.
The medium-dark beer was creamy and smooth and just what we were looking for. At about noon, we ambled in and had this guy pour us a couple mugs to take on our walk around the area. There were plenty of people, some equipped with sleds or hiking sticks, others just like us to take in the last vestiges of winter and enjoy a beautiful day out.
We took our beers and took one of the many paths around the mountain enjoying the warm sun on our backs and twinkling icicles beginning to melt off of the trees.
Kreuzberg is known as the “Holy Mountain of the Franks” and there were plenty of people here. I’m not sure if they came for the winter activities, for a pilgrimmage, or for the beer. All were worthwhile. There is also a fantastic Frankish Kitchen in the Brewery building. The food is served cafeteria style and it is hearty and very German, not to mention downright delicious!
We had a great time on the mountain and learned that next time we need to bring our sleds. The monastery is now a hostel and you can easily stay there overnight. There is a part of the mountain with a ski lift and even a luge run, so there are plenty of things still to do. We ate, we walked, we drank beer, and we enjoyed the mountain. And now we realize it has more to offer. We’ll be back.