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Town square
Town square
Coat of arms of Bayreuth
Bayreuth is located in Germany
Coordinates 49°56′53″N 11°34′42″E / 49.94806°N 11.57833°E / 49.94806; 11.57833
Country Germany
State Bavaria
Admin. region Upper Franconia
District Urban district
Lord Mayor Michael Hohl (CSU)
Basic statistics
Area 66.92 km2 (25.84 sq mi)
Elevation 340 m  (1116 ft)
Population 73,048  (15 January 2010)
 - Density 1,092 /km2 (2,827 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate BT
Postal codes 95401–95448
Area codes 0921, 09201, 09209

Bayreuth (German pronunciation: [baɪˈʁɔʏt]; Upper Franconian: [ba(ː)ˈɾaɪ̯t]; English: /beɪˈruːθ/) is a city in northern Bavaria, Germany, on the Red Main river in a valley between the Frankish Alb and the Fichtelgebirge. It is the capital of Upper Franconia and has a population of 73,048 citizens (2008).



Wagner family home, Haus Wahnfried.

The city is believed to have been founded by the Counts of Andechs on an unknown date in the Middle Ages and was first mentioned in 1194. The city centre still possesses the typical structure of a Bavarian street market: the settlement is grouped around a road widening into a square; the Town Hall was located in the middle. The church stood apart from it and on a small hill stood the castle. Some sixty years later the town (at that time a tiny village) became subordinate to the Hohenzollern state, and when this state was divided, Bayreuth belonged to the county of Kulmbach. The city suffered several plagues and wars until in 1430 it was destroyed in the course of the Hussite Wars. In 1602 there was another plague, and fires damaged it in 1605 and 1621.

The turning point of the town's history was in 1603, when Margrave Christian of Kulmbach (Brandenburg-Kulmbach) decided to move his residence to Bayreuth. The development of the new capital stagnated due to the Thirty Years' War, but afterwards many famous baroque buildings were added to the town. Christian died in 1655. His grandson Christian Ernst, who ruled from 1661 until 1712, was an educated and well-travelled man, whose tutor had been the statesman Joachim Friedrich von Blumenthal. He had built the fountain of the margraves and an equestral monument, placed at first in the courtyard of the Old Castle and now in the middle of the square in front of the New Castle. In 1701 the town of St. Georgen was founded, later absorbed into Bayreuth in 1811.

Bayreuth's Golden Age was that during the reign of Margravine Wilhelmine, the favourite sister of King Frederick II of Prussia. Several parks and castles were built which constitute much of Bayreuth's present appearance, together with the Opera of the Margraves, the most beautiful extant baroque theatre in Europe.

In 1769 the last margrave of the Principality of Bayreuth died without an heir, and the state was annexed by the neighbouring Principality of Ansbach. Bayreuth was no longer a state capital. Soon after it became Prussian (1792), French (1806) and finally Bavarian (1810).

In 1804, the author Jean Paul Richter moved from Coburg to Bayreuth until his death in 1825.

In 1872 the composer Richard Wagner moved to Bayreuth. For the connection between Wagner and the town, see below.

In 1886, the composer Franz Liszt died in Bayreuth while visiting his daughter Cosima Liszt, Wagner's widow. Both Liszt and Wagner are buried in Bayreuth, however Wagner did not die there. Rather he died in Venice in 1883, but his family had his body brought to Bayreuth for burial.

Later Bayreuth became a scene of the Nazi ideology. Nazi leaders often visited the Wagner festival and tried to turn Bayreuth into a Nazi model town. It was one of several cities in which town planning was administered directly from Berlin, due to Hitler's special interest in the town and in the festival. Hitler loved the music of Richard Wagner, and he became a close friend to Winifred Wagner after she took over the Bayreuth Festival. Hitler frequently attended Wagner performances in the Bayreuth Festspielhaus.

During World War II, a subcamp of Flossenburg concentration camp was located here.[1] Bayreuth was heavily bombed at the end of World War II. One third of the city was destroyed and about a thousand people died.

After the war Bayreuth tried to part with its ill-fated past. The Wagner festival started again in 1951. In 1975 the University of Bayreuth was founded and largely contributed to the further growth of the town. In 1999 the world gliding championship took place at Bayreuth municipal airport.

Bayreuth Festspielhaus, as seen in 1882.
Bayreuth Festspielhaus, as seen today.
New Castle.

Richard Wagner and Bayreuth

The city is best known for its association with the composer Richard Wagner, who lived in Bayreuth from 1872 until his death in 1883. Wagner's villa, "Wahnfried", was constructed in Bayreuth under the sponsorship of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, and was converted after World War II into a Wagner Museum. To the north of Bayreuth is the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, an opera house specially constructed for and exclusively devoted to the performance of Wagner's operas. The premieres of the final two works of Wagner's Ring Cycle ("Siegfried" and "Götterdämmerung"); of the cycle as a whole; and of Parsifal took place here.

Every summer, Wagner's operas are performed at the Festspielhaus during the month-long Richard Wagner Festival, commonly known as the Bayreuth Festival. The Festival draws thousands of attendees each year, and has consistently been sold-out since its inauguration in 1876. Currently, waiting lists for tickets can stretch for up to 10 years or more.

Owing to Wagner's relationship with the then unknown philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, the first Bayreuth festival is situated as a key turning point in Nietzsche's philosophical development. Though at first an enthusiastic champion of Wagner's music, Nietzsche ultimately became hostile, viewing the festival and its revellers as symptom of cultural decay and bourgeois decadence—an event which lead him to turn his eye upon the esteemed values of morality held by society as a whole. Nietzsche's book "Human, All-Too-Human" developed out of this experience, a summary of which appears in his late book, "Ecce Homo", and where many of these concerns are expounded upon in detail.

Main sights

  • New Castle, seat of the margraves from 1753 on
  • Bayreuth Festspielhaus
  • Richard Wagner Museum (Villa Wahnfried)
  • Jean-Paul Museum
  • Franz Liszt Museum
  • Margrave's Opera House, one of the finest Baroque theatres of Europe, built in the 18th century
  • The German Masonic Museum
  • The Goldener Anker hotel
  • Baroque parks:
    • park of Eremitage and Old Castle, former seat of the margraves, outside the inner town
    • castle and park of Fantaisie, in the vicinity of Bayreuth
    • park Sanspareil, about 30 km west of Bayreuth
  • Ökologisch-Botanischer Garten der Universität Bayreuth, the university's botanical garden

City partnerships

Famous people



Bayreuth is served by Bindlacher Berg Airport.


  1. ^ Christine O'Keefe.Concentration

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Richard Wagner's Festival Theater (Festspielhaus) in Bayreuth
Richard Wagner's Festival Theater (Festspielhaus) in Bayreuth

For the city in Lebanon, see Beirut.

The festival city of Bayreuth in Upper Franconia (Oberfranken) is relatively quiet most of the year until the Richard Wagner Festival settles in for 30 days every summer. Bayreuth features a wealth of impressive baroque and rococo architecture, as well as freshly-brewed Franconian beer in the local Biergartens. Although the city remains fairly tame compared to the much larger cities in Germany, the presence of almost 10,000 students at the University of Bayreuth means an active nightlife is not difficult to find.



The town of Bayreuth first emerged during the Middle Ages, with a typical Bavarian street market in the center of town. In its early history, Bayreuth was only a small village in the Hohenzollern Empire and suffered many plagues and wars. The town was completely destroyed during the Hussite war in 1430, suffered major plagues even until 1602, and incurred major damage by fires in 1605 and 1621. Margrave Christian from Kulmbach moved his residence here in 1603, and after the Thirty Years' War the town began to develop as a more important city with more distinct baroque architecture. When Margrave Friedrich married Wilhelmine, the sister of King Frederick II of Prussia, Bayreuth began to develop its current appearance.

Margravine Wilhelmine was an active lover of the arts and architecture. She commissioned famous Italian architects to design the Margravial Operahouse, which was the largest in Germany for over a century. It still stands today as one of the most ornate baroque opera houses in the world. In addition, Wilhelmine expanded the Margrave's summer residence and gardens and commissioned the architecturally impressive New Palace. During the reign of Friedrich and Wilhelmine, the arts flourished in Bayreuth. The magnificent opera house even attracted Richard Wagner to Bayreuth in 1872 until his death 11 years later. Since then the city has had an integral relationship with Richard Wagner. The Richard Wagner Festival started in 1876 to commemorate and perform the works of the famous composer. During the Nazi rule, Hilter considered Bayreuth one of the most important cultural centers in Germany, and as such, Bayreuth was heavily bombed during World War II. In the last half century, Bayreuth has rebuilt, continued the Richard Wagner Festival and grown quietly, mostly around the University, which was established in 1975.


Bayreuth is famous in Germany as the host of the Richard Wagner Festival (Festspiele) each year from July to August. In that respect, most of the tourist industry has evolved around the life and times of Richard Wagner as well as Margravine Wilhelmine, one of the major contributors in bringing the arts to Bayreuth. For most of the year, Bayreuth is quiet, somewhat out of the way of the major tourist itineraries. However, during the Festspiele, the town fills to capacity; hotels are nearly impossible to book and the traffic almost slows to a stop. Winter is normally overcast and wet, with temperatures not deviating too far from freezing. The springtime can be relatively cool, but the weather slowly becomes more pleasant and is welcomed by numerous street fairs and festivals (See Events). Summer is also pleasant, punctuated by occasional hot days. During the warmer seasons, outdoor cafes and Biergartens abound in the cobblestoned city center.

The Tourist Information[1] office provides lots of very detailed information. They are located at Luitpoldplatz 9, between the city center and the train station (office hours M-F 9AM-6PM & Sa 9:30AM-1PM yearlong, also Su 10AM-2PM May - Oct). The offer a two-hour city tour (in German) daily at 10:30AM (only Saturdays from Nov-Apr) for 5.50 €. The meeting point is the TI office. For visiting the sights and taking the buses, they offer the Bayreuth Card, which provides three days of free bus travel, the city tour, and entry to 9 different museums (11.50 €, available at the TI, at many attractions, and at some hotels). Combination tickets are also available for the Margravial Operahouse and New Palace for 8 €, and the Kombikarte Bayreuth allows entry to any three city museums for 10 €. The TI office also provides city maps and city/regional maps for bicyclists.

Get in

By train

Frequent train services connect Bayreuth to other regions of Franconia and Northern Bavaria. Regular services exist seven days a week to and from

  • Nuremberg
    • Regional-Express (RE) trains once an hour (66 minutes travel time). Many times these trains separate en route, so make certain to board the correct train segment.
    • As a stop on the Interregio-Express (IRE) service between Nuremberg and Dresden (49 minutes from Nuremberg, 3.5 hours from Dresden)
  • Würzburg
    • Direct RE trains every two hours (2.5 hours)
    • Otherwise a change in Nuremberg or Lichtenfels is necessary
  • Dresden - With the IRE in 3.5 hours
  • Bamberg - 1.5 hours by RE, sometimes a change in Lichtenfels is necessary

The Hauptbahnhof (main train station) is located approximately 1 km north of the city center, easily accessed by foot. Several buses also run from the train station to the central bus station in the town center (Lines 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, and 13).

By car

Bayreuth is easily accessible on the autobahn A9, approximately 70 km north of Nuremberg and 40 km south of Hof.

By plane

The nearest airport with regular commercial service is in Nuremberg. Many international flights arrive in Germany via Frankfurt or Munich, however. The nearby Airport Bayreuth [2] is available for private planes or to charter planes.

Detail of Bayreuth's city center
Detail of Bayreuth's city center

The bus network around Bayreuth provides extensive coverage of the city and surrounding areas, with most buses running in 20-minute intervals. The central bus station (Zentrale Omnibus Haltestelle, ZOH) is located one block north of Maximilianstrasse near the city hall (Rathaus). The bus plan and schedule can be found at the website for BVB-Bayreuth [3] (in German only). Day passes (Tageskarte) are available.

Compared to larger cities, Bayreuth is relatively easy to tackle by car. The pedestrian-only area in the center of town is confined to a few streets, and parking garages are easy to find.

Biking is easy and convenient in Bayreuth. Many scenic bike paths radiate from Bayreuth into the surrounding areas.

Most sights of interest are easily reached by foot within the city. Exceptions to this are the Festspielhaus and the Eremitage, both of which are easily accessed by bus or bike.



Most attractions in Bayreuth hail from the residence of Margravine Wilhelmine and her husband Margrave Friedrich. A diligent supporter of the arts and culture, Wilhelmine brought Italian architects and French builders to construct many of the town's historical landmarks. As such, much of the architecture reflects heavy baroque and rococo influences. With its wide pedestrian streets, the city center is easy to stroll, and provides a pleasant contrast to many other Bavarian towns loaded with medieval architecture. During the summer many cafes and ice cream parlors set up outdoor seating on the main shopping streets, Maximilianstrasse, Sophienstrasse, and Von-Römer-Strasse. The attractions below can easily be combined with cheaper combination tickets. A ticket to the Margravial Operahouse and New Palace are available for 8 €. In addition, a ticket to visit any three attractions (Kombikarte Bayreuth) is available for 10 €, either from the ticket office or the tourist information.

Bayreuth's Operahouse
Bayreuth's Operahouse
  • Festival Theater (Festspielhaus), Festspielhügel 1-2 (Bus 5 to Am Festspielhaus), +49 (09 21) 7 87 80, [4]. Open Daily except Mon. 10AM and 2PM (Dec-Apr) or 10AM, 11AM, 2PM, and 3PM (Sept-Oct). Built in 1872, this opera house still ranks among the best in the world in design and acoustics. Home to the Richard Wagner Festival every summer (see Events below). Just north of the main train station, take bus 5 to Am Festspielhaus. The grounds are crowded, tours seldom, and tickets rare during the annual Richard Wagner Festival in late July-August each year. 5 €. (latitude,) edit
  • Garden Museum Fantaisie Palace and Park (Schloss and Park Fantaisie), Bambergerstr. 3, 95488 Eckersdorf/Donndorf (Take bus 8231, 8433, 8446, or 8449 towards Donndorf to stop Fantaisie), +49 (09 21) 73 14 00 11, [5]. Open Daily except Mon. 9AM-6PM (Apr-Sept) or 10AM-4PM (Oct 1st-15th), closed Oct. 16th to Apr 1st. The 18th century palace designed by the daughter of Margrave Friedrich and Margravine Wilhelmine, features Germany's first garden design museum. Located 5 km west of Bayreuth, take bus 8231, 8433, 8446, or 8449 towards Donndorf to stop Fantaisie. 3 €. (latitude,) edit
  • Hermitage/Old Palace (Eremitage/Altes Schloss), Eremitage 1 (Take Bus 2 or 3 to Eremitage), +49 (09 21) 7 59 69 37 (), [6]. Open Daily 9AM-6PM (Apr-Sept) or 10AM-4PM (Oct 1st-15th), closed Oct. 16th to Apr 1st. The old palace of Margrave Georg Wilhelm on the outskirts of town, the palace was expanded and the gardens created by Wilhelmine as a summer residence. The ornate fountains begin their waterworks on the hour from 10AM to 5PM. Guided tours are available. The Eremitage is approximately 6 km outside Bayreuth, take bus 2 or 3 to Eremitage. 2.50 €. (latitude,) edit
  • Margravial Opera House (Markgräfliches Opernhaus), Opernstr. 8, +49 (09 21) 7 59 69 22 (), [7]. Open Daily 9AM-6PM (Apr-Sept) or 10AM-4PM (Oct-Mar). The baroque opera house, commissioned by Margravine Wilhelmine and designed by famous Giuseppe Galli Bibiena and son Carlo from Italy, was completed in 1748 and remained Germany's largest opera house until 1871. This ornate opera house partially drew Richard Wagner's attention to Bayreuth. 5 €. (latitude,) edit
  • New Palace (Neues Schloss), Ludwigstr. 21, +49 (09 21) 7 59 69 21 (), [8]. Open Daily except Mon. 9AM-6PM (Apr-Sept) or 10AM-4PM (Oct-Mar). The new residence of the Margrave Friedrich and his wife Wilhelmine after their old residence burnt down. It was designed and built by the French builder Joseph Saint-Pierre, and completed in 1754. The entrance fee includes entrance to the two museums inside: The Museum "Margravine Wilhelmine's Bayreuth" and the museum "Bayreuth Faience - Rummel Collection," featuring porcelain manufactured in Bayreuth in the 18th century. Rooms of interest include the Garden Rooms, Cedar Room, Old Music Room, and the Cabinet of Fragmented Mirrors (designed by Wilhelmine herself). 5 €. (latitude,) edit
  • Castle Church and Tower (Schlosskirche and Schlossturm), Schlossberglein 5, 95444 Bayreuth, +49 (09 21) 885 88. Opens for prearranged tours. The court chapel and tower were also commissioned and built by Friedrich and Wilhelmine, completed in 1758. The burial vault of the Friedrich and Wilhelmine is located here. The spiral staircase in the tower features a ramp to bring supplies up to the guardroom, which has a great view over the town and to the nearby Fichtelgebirge. 1 €. (latitude,) edit
  • Spitalkirche (Spitalkirche), (At the west end of the main market street Maximilianstrasse).  edit
  • Stadtkirche (Stadtkirche). The Stadtkirche is since 2006 closed and undergoing renovations.  edit


For a town of its size, Bayreuth is rich in museums; over two dozen can be found in and around the city. Noteworthy among the many are the Richard Wagner Museum and Franz-Liszt-Museum, documenting the lives of these prominent German and Hungarian composers, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized Maisel's Brewery and Cooper's Museum, as well as the museums located in the New Palace: Bayreuther Faiences - The Rummel Collection, The State Galleries and Margravine Wilhelmine's Bayreuth. Every fall the museums offer a Bayreuth Museum Night (Bayreuther Museumsnacht). On this night, a single ticket allows entry to every museum in the city from 8PM until 2AM. (Typically either late October or early November, see Tourist Information or the website [9] (German only) for more precise information)

  • Archeological Museum (Archäologisches Museum), Ludwigstr. 21 (Italian Building of the New Palace), +49 (0) 9 21 / 6 53 07, [10]. End of April to beginning of November: 10AM-3PM on Saturdays, or by appointment. Archeological finds from Upper Franconia and laid out in eight rooms, spanning the stone age through the middle ages. Most text descriptions might be only in German. 1 €. (latitude,) edit
  • Bayreuther Faiences - The Rummel Collection (Sammlung Bayreuther Fayencen), In the New Palace, +49 (0) 9 21/7 59 69 21. A collection of porcelain manufactured in Bayreuth between 1716 and 1788. See New Palace above for more information. (latitude,) edit
  • British American Tobacco's Historical Collection (Tabakhistorische Sammlung der B.A.T.), Maximilianstr. 33, +49 (0) 9 21/7 64 53 10. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM; Jul - Aug: also open Mondays. A collection of over 500 objects from British American Tobacco. The history of tobacco culture is presented, encompassing smoking, pipe, and chewing tobacco. This museum is part of the Museum of Art. 1.60 €. (latitude,)  edit
  • Catacombs of Bayreuth's Aktien Brewery (Katakomben der Bayreuther AKTIEN-Brauerei), Kulmbacherstr. 60, +49 (0) 9 21 / 401-234 (), [11]. Tours Saturdays at 4PM, or group tours by prior arrangement. Aktien Breweries provides an interesting tour through the sandstone beer caverns that operated from the 16th through the 19th centuries. Since the caverns stay very cool throughout the year, appropriate clothing is recommended. (latitude,) edit
  • Fire Brigade Museum (Feuerwehrmuseum), An der Feuerwache 4, +49 (0) 9 21/4 82 99, [12]. Open upon prior arrangement. A collection of fire engines from different eras and regions. (latitude,) edit
  • Franz-Liszt-Museum, Wahnfriedstr. 9, +49 (0) 9 21 / 5 16 64 88. Sep - Jun: 10AM-noon & 2PM-5PM; Jul - Aug: 10AM-5PM. The house of Franz Liszt, the famous German composer and father-in-law to Richard Wagner. Very near the Richard Wagner museum. 1.60 €. (latitude,) edit
  • German Freemason Museum (Deutsches Freimaurer-Museum), Im Hofgarten 1, +49 (0) 9 21 / 6 98 24 (), [13]. Tu-F 10AM-noon and 2PM-4PM; Sa 10AM-noon. A museum run by the German Freemason's presenting the history of the organization. (latitude,) edit
  • German Typewriter Museum (Deutsches Schreibmaschinenmuseum), Bernecker Str. 11, +49 (0) 9 21/2 34 45. M-F by telephone appointment. A collection of typewriters dating back to 1864. The collection in Bayreuth began in 1936, and has expanded ever since. Free. (latitude,) edit
  • Historical Museum (Historisches Museum), Kirchplatz 6, +49 (0) 9 21 / 7 64 01 11 (). Tu-Su 10AM-5PM; Jul - Aug: also open Mondays. This museum chronicles the history of Bayreuth from a small Bavarian village to one of the most culturally-important small cities in Germany. The 17th century building provides a suitable setting for the historical collections. 1,60 €. (latitude,) edit
  • Iwalewa House (Iwalewa-Haus), Münzgasse 9, +49 (0) 9 21/55 36 81, [14]. Tu-Su 2PM-6PM. Afro-cultural center of the University of Bayreuth. Free. (latitude,) edit
  • Jean Paul Museum, Wahnfriedstr. 1, +49 (0) 9 21 / 5 07 14 44 (). Sep - Jun: 10AM-noon & 2PM-5PM; Jul - Aug: 10AM-5PM. A small museum dedicated to the life and works of the German poet, who lived his last years from 1804 - 1825 in Bayreuth. The museum is in the former residence of Richard Wagner's daughter Eva. 1.60 €. (latitude,) edit
  • Little Poster Museum (Kleines Plakatmuseum), Friedrich-Puchta-Str. 12, +49 (0) 9 21/8 24 58. Tu & Th 4PM-6PM and by appointment. A collection of contemporary poster art primarily concerning popular culture advertisements (such as movie and performance advertisements). (latitude,) edit
  • Maisel's Brewery and Coopers Museum (Maisel's Brauerei und Büttnerei Museum), Kulmbacherstr. 40, +49 (0) 9 21 / 40 12 34 (), [15]. Daily 2PM. The Guinness Book Of World Records' Most Comprehensive Beer Museum occupies the first brewery building of Maisel's Brewery (taken out of commission in the 1970s). The 90 minute tour covers the entirety of the brewing process, and of course finishes with a glass of Maisel's Weissbier. Group tours for 12 or more people can be booked by calling in advance. 4 €. (latitude,) edit
  • Museum of Agricultural Tools and Equipment (Museum für bäuerliche Arbeitsgeräte), Adolf-Wächter-Str. 17, +49 (0) 9 21/5 75 15, [16]. May - Oct: M-F 9:30AM-noon, Su 2PM-5PM; Rest of the year and for groups, irregularly or by appointment. A collection of agricultural equipment highlighting the tools and techniques of farmers from Upper Franconia. What started as a private collection by Günter Schmidt was taken over by the city and offered as a public museum starting in 1972. Housed in a historic farmhouse. 1.50 €. (latitude,) edit
  • Museum of Art (Kunstmuseum), Maximilianstr. 33, +49 (0) 9 21/7 64 53 10, [17]. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM; Jul - Aug: also open Mondays. Housed in the former city hall's Renaissance-style building, the Museum of Art offers alternating collections of sculpture and painting. 1,60 €. (latitude,) edit
  • Museum of Natural History (Urwelt-Museum Oberfranken), Kanzleistr. 1, +49 (0) 9 21 / 51 12 11 (), [18]. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM; Jul - Aug: also open Mondays. The museum in the main pedestrian shopping area highlights the life, geology and minerology during the last 500 million years of Upper Franconia. In front of the museum looms a giant dinosaur statue, along the main shopping street. 2 €. (latitude,) edit
  • Museum of Wilhelmine's Bayreuth, Museum Das Bayreuth der Wilhelmine. Museum highlighting the life and culture of Bayreuth during the time of Margravine Wilhelmine. The collections are part of the New Palace, see above for more information. (latitude,) edit
  • Natural Science Museum (Naturkundemuseum), Karolinenreuther Str. 58, +49 (0) 9 21/75 94 20, [19]. Nov - Feb: Tu-F 9AM-4PM, Su 10AM-3PM; Mar - Oct: Tu-F 9AM-4PM, Sa-Su 1PM-5PM. This small museum in a farmhouse just outside the city describes the flora and fauna of Bayreuth and Upper Franconia. The museum is especially designed to engage and educate children. 1.50 €. (latitude,) edit
  • Richard Wagner Museum, Richard-Wagner-Str. 48, +49 (0) 9 21/7 57 28 16, [20]. Apr - Oct: 9AM-5PM M,W,F,Sa,Su, & 9AM-8PM Tu,Th; Nov - Mar: 10AM-5PM daily. The composer's old residence (Wahnfried House, Haus Wahnfried) has been converted to a museum chronicling his life and works. The composer, his wife, and their dog are buried in the garden. The museum may be of lesser interest to non-German speakers, as it has few English translations. 4 € Sept - Jun, 4.50 € Jul - Aug. (latitude,) edit
  • State Gallery in the New Palace (Staatsgalerie im Neuen Schloss), Ludwigstraße 21 (In the New Palace), +49 (0) 9 21 / 7 59 69-0. Apr - Sept: 9AM-6PM daily; Oct - Mar: 10AM-4PM (closed M). Occupying three rooms of the palace, this exhibition features 80 works of art from the late baroque. 4 €, entrance fee is included with entrance to the New Palace. (latitude,) edit
  • Court Garden (Hofgarten), (Behind the Neues Schloss). Open 24 hours a day year round. The court garden of the Neues Schloss, this park provides a welcome bit of green in the middle of the city. On sunny days, you can find many residents here relaxing or exercising with a little sport. Free. (latitude,) edit
  • Hermitage (Eremitage). See Hermitage/Old Palace above for information.  edit


Drink some of the local wheat beer - Hefeweizen - it is perhaps the best sipping beer in the world.

When traveling in summer, make sure not to miss the beautiful Theta beergarden. It is in the hills above Bayreuth and it's hard to get there. But even taking a taxi would be worth it. For active people it is possible to do a very nice hike here from the Festspielhaus

Catch a movie at the 7-screen Cineplex at the Rotmain-Center (see the Buy section).

Cool off in the Kreuzsteinbad public swimming pool (Universitätsstr. at Frankengutstr., take bus #6) or warm up at the Lohengrin Thermal Baths [21] (take bus #3) outside of town.

Nightlife is not the thing Bayreuth is famous for. A really good place for concerts and parties is the Glashaus on the university campus, while a few good pubs can be found near the city center.


Bayreuth is home to the Richard Wagner Festival for 30 days every year in July and August, when his operas are performed at the Festspielhaus. During the festival, huge crowds flock to Bayreuth for a chance to see the performances. It is estimated that the waiting time for tickets is between five and ten years. For inquiries, contact the Tourist Information office for ideas on the best ways to obtain tickets. Sometimes (with a little luck), last minute tickets can become available.

Maisel's brewery also hosts a Wheat Beer Festival every year in either April or May. (More information on the dates can be found through the Tourist Information or at Maisel's website, [22]. The festival usually extends over a long weekend (Thursday - Sunday) and features various bands and festivities each day. Entrance is normally always free. A Fun Run and kids programs are also offered.


The young University of Bayreuth was established in 1975 and currently has an enrollment approaching 10,000 students. More information at [23].


The city center (especially Maximilianstrasse) has no lack of smaller shops as well as some larger stores. Slightly west of the center is the Rotmain-Center, a large shopping center with many options. The center is easily reached on foot and is targeted towards families.

There is also a souvenir shop run by the tourist information office near the center (Bayreuth Shop, Kanzleistraße 6, +49 (09 21) 1507797 (). M-F 10AM-6PM Sa 10AM-2PM. Note: It is not located at the TI Office  edit).


Bayreuth's status as a university city means that a wide variety of restaurants populate the city, especially pizza parlors and Asian cuisine (including specifically Chinese, Japanese, and Thai), as well as the normal fast food fare in the train station and along the pedestrian streets. Most of the hotels listed below also have an attached restaurant or Biergarten, open for anyone to visit. Small food stands (Imbiss) dot the pedestrian areas and offer quick hot meals for those in a rush. Listed below is a small sampling of the restaurants in Bayreuth. For more options, ask around or just take a stroll through the city.

  • Chinatown, Ludwigstr (Directly next to Hansl's Pizzeria). One of the better Chinese restaurants in the city, Chinatown offers a large selection at reasonable prices.  edit
  • Enchilada, Hindenburgstr. 3, +49 0921 / 66 177, [24]. This chain mexican restaurant offers up traditional Mexican and Latin American fare and a lively atmosphere.  edit
  • Hansl's Wood Oven Pizzeria (Hansl's Holzofenpizzeria), Friedrichstr. 15, +49 0921 / 54344, [25]. 10AM-12:30PM. Small but popular pizzeria at the intersection of Ludwigstr. and Friedrichstr. In warmer months, the outdoor seating provides a great dinner atmosphere. Small/large pizza from €3/4.5.  edit
  • Kraftraum, Sophienstr. 16, +49 0921 / 800 2515. A vegetarian restaurant with a large menu, as well as a great weekend brunch. From €5.  edit
  • Miaimiam Glouglou, Von-Römer-Str. 28, +49 0921 / 656 66. A small restaurant serving up traditional French cuisine. €10 and above.  edit
  • Oskar, Maximilianstrasse 33, +49 0921 / 5160553, [26]. Oskar offers a typical Franconian fair, with a central location right on the main pedestrian street. Mains starting around €9.  edit
  • Dubliner Irish Pub, Erlanger Str. 2, +49 0921 / 512630‎. Bayreuth's Irish Pub, featuring many Irish drinks and even some good Irish food. Occasional live music. Mondays is half-priced drinks.  edit
  • Glashaus, (On the university campus, ask around), +49 0921 / 552198, [27]. A popular club on campus offering many different concerts, films, and other events. You will have to become a member (and pay a membership fee) to take part.  edit
  • Herzogkeller, Hindenburgstr. 9, +49 0921 / 4 34 19, [28]. A Biergarten located outside the city center, just past the brewery. Closed during the winter season.  edit
  • Rosa Rosa, Von-Römer-Str. 2, +49 0921 / 68502. A cozy pub serving local brews and good food specials. Get there early as the seats normally fill up quickly.  edit
  • Underground, Von-Römer-Str. 15, +49 0921 / 633 47. British-themed pub featuring British drinks and decor. Usually a mixed crowd, but this bar does have a sizeable gay clientele.  edit


Bayreuth's sleeping options are relatively reasonable in price and quality. Be warned, during the Richard Wagner Festival prices can go through the roof. The Tourist Information can help you locate many other smaller guest houses in and around Bayreuth. (Organized by price in each category)

  • Bayreuth Youth Hostel (Jugendherberge Bayreuth), Universitätsstr. 28 (Take bus 4 or 6 to Universitätsstr.), +49 (0) 9 21/76 43 80 (), [29]. The youth hostel provides adequate accommodation at very reasonable prices. As with all hostels, most beds are in dorm rooms, and the rate includes a bed, sheets, and a breakfast. Dinners are also available nightly. Guests over 27 will pay a slight surcharge. Caution, many times in summer large groups of school children will visit, making the hostel very loud. From 20 €.  edit
  • Gasthof zum Brandenburger, St. Georgen 9, +49 (0) 9 21 / 78906-0, [30]. Another small guesthouse in the city part of the attached restaurant. From 24 €.  edit
  • Gasthof Kolb, Wendelhöfen 8, +49 (0) 9 21 / 24216, [31]. Small family-run guest house in Bayreuth with restaurant and an attached Biergarten. From 37 €.  edit
  • Goldener Löwe, Kulmbacher Str. 30, +49 (0) 9 21 / 746060, [32]. From 43 €.  edit
  • Hotel Goldener Hirsch, Bahnhofstr. 13, +49 (0) 9 21 / 23046 (), [33]. Highly reviewed hotel near the train station. Staff can speak English, French, and Italian. From 65 €.  edit
  • Hotel Lohmühle, Badstr. 37, +49 (0) 9 21 / 5306-0, [34]. This self-proclaimed "Franconian" hotel sits a short walk from the city center. From 69 €.  edit
  • add on Kolping Hotel Bayreuth, Kolpingstr. 5, +49 (0) 9 21 / 151238-0, [35]. From 74 €.  edit
  • Arvena Kongress Hotel, Eduard-Bayerlein-Str. 5a, +49 (0)921 727 -0, [36]. From 75 €.  edit
  • Hotel Goldener Anker, Opernstr. 6, +49 (0) 9 21 / 65051, [37]. Highly reviewed hotel very near the Margravial Operahouse, featuring wireless internet and on-site parking. From 78 €.  edit
  • Hotel Bayerische Hof, Bahnhofstr. 14, +49 (0) 9 21 / 7860-0, [38].  edit
  • Hotel-Gasthof Opel, Bayreuther Str. 1, 95500 Heinersreuth, +49 (0) 9 21 / 41884 (), [39]. This hotel occupies a 19th century building around 3 km from the center of Bayreuth and run by the Opel family. Wireless internet is available. From 42 €.  edit
  • Best Western Transmar-Travel-Hotel, Bühlstraße 12 95463 Bindlach, +49 (0) 9 20 / 8686-0 (), [40]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: Noon. Chain hotel near the autobahn. Offers normal amenities such as breakfast, free parking, and wireless internet. From 60 €.  edit
  • Grunau Hotel, Kemnather Straße 27, +49 (0) 9 21 / 7980-0, [41]. Larger hotel located 3.5 km east of the city center. Features wireless internet and bicycle rental. From 65 €.  edit
  • Hotel Bürgerreuth, An der Bürgerreuth 20, +49 (0) 9 21 / 7840-0, [42]. From 70 €.  edit
  • Hotel Eremitage, Eremitage 6, +49 (0) 9 21 / 79997-0, [43]. Upscale hotel located at the Hermitage (Eremitage).  edit
  • Castle Thiergarten (Jagdschloss Thiergarten), Oberthiergärtner Straße 36, +49 (0) 9 20 / 9 9840 (), [44]. A converted castle 3 km outside of the city in the Margraval hunting garden.  edit

Get out

Take a trip to the nearby tiny town of Aufsess, which the Guinness Book of World Records recognizes as the town with the most breweries per capita! There's even a beer trail that you can hike with stops at all the local biergartens.

Visit Bamberg to see the medieval town and try the local smoked beer (Rauchbier).

Take an adventure in the Franconian Switzerland (Fränkische Schweiz) and experience the beautiful local flora, fauna, and scenery.

Nuremberg is also nearby, and an easy, exciting day trip.

Routes through Bayreuth
BerlinLeipzig  N noframe S  NurembergMunich
Merges into Bamberg  W noframe E  Merges into
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BAYREUTH, or Baireuth, a town of Bavaria, Germany, district of Upper Franconia, 58 m. by rail N.N.E. from Nuremberg. Pop. (1900) 29,384. In Richard-Wagner-strasse is Wagner's house, with his grave in the garden. Franz Liszt (1811-1886) is buried here, as well as Jean Paul Friedrich Richter, who is commemorated by a monument (1841). His house was in Friedrichstrasse. Most of the buildings are of comparatively modern date, the city having suffered severely from the Hussites in 1430 and from a conflagration in 1621. There should be mentioned the palace of Duke Alexander of Wurttemberg, the administrative offices, the statue of King Maximilian II. (1860) and the collections of the historical society. Among the ecclesiastical buildings, the Stadt-Pfarrkirche, dating from 1439, and containing the monuments of the margraves of Bayreuth, is the most important. Bayreuth is a railway junction and has an active trade, chiefly in grain and horses. It manufactures woollen, linen and cotton goods, leather, delft and other earthenware, and tobacco, and has also several breweries and distilleries. The village of St Georgen is a suburb to the north-east noted for its marble works; and about 2 m. to the east is the Hermitage, a fanciful building, erected in 1715 by the margrave George William (d. 1726), with gardens containing terraces, statues and fountains. Bayreuth was formerly the capital of a principality of the same name, which was annexed in 1791 to the kingdom of Prussia. In 1807 it was ceded by Prussia to France, which kept possession of it till 1810, when it was transferred to Bavaria.

The Wagner Theatre

Among the many advantages which Wagner gained from his intimacy with Ludwig II., king of Bavaria, not the least was the practical support given to his plan of erecting a theatre for the ideal performance of his own music-dramas. The first plan of building a new theatre for the purpose in Munich itself was rejected, because Wagner rightly felt that the appeal of his advanced works, like the Nibelungen trilogy, would be far stronger if the comparatively small number of people who wished to hear them were removed from the distractions of a large capital; Bayreuth possessed the desired seclusion, being on a line of railway that could not be approached from any quarter without changing. The municipality furthered Wagner's scheme in every way, and in May 1872 the foundation stone of the Festspielhaus was laid, the event being commemorated by a notable performance of Beethoven's Choral Symphony in the old opera-house. The funds for the erection of the theatre were raised in part by the issue of 1000 certificates of patronage (Patronatsscheine), but the bulk of the sum was raised by founding "Wagner Societies" from St Petersburg to Cairo, from London to New York; these societies sprang up with such success that the theatre was opened in the summer of 1876 with the first complete performance of Der Ring des Nibelungen. The theatre, which stands on a height a little under a mile from the town, is built from the plans of Gustav Semper, the idea of the design being Wagner's own, and experiment indeed, but one which succeeded beyond all expectation. The seats are arranged on a kind of sloping wedge, in such a manner that every one has an almost equally good view of the stage, for there are no boxes, and the only galleries are quite at the back, one, the Fiirstenloge, being reserved for distinguished guests, the other, above it, for the townspeople. Immediately in front of the foremost row of seats a hood or sloping screen of wood covers a part of the orchestra, and another hood of similar shape starts from the front of the stage at a slightly lower level. Thus there is left a space between the two hoods through which the sound of the orchestra ascends with wonderfully blended effect; the conductor, sitting at the highest point of the orchestra, though under the screen, has a complete view of the stage as well as of his instrumentalists, and the sound of the orchestra is sent most forcibly in the direction of the stage, so that the voices are always well supported.

As an important addition to the work of the theatre, a permanent school has been established at Bayreuth for the sake of training young musicians to take part in the festival performances, which were at first exclusively, and then partially, undertaken by artists from other German and foreign theatres. The special feature upon which most stress has been laid, ever since Wagner's death in 1883, has been not so much the musical as the dramatic significance of the works; it is contended by the inmost circle of Wagnerian adherents that none but they can fully realize the master's intentions or hand down his traditions. What is called the "Bayreuth Idea" is set forth in much detail from this point of view by Houston Stewart Chamberlain, in his Richard Wagner (1897 and 1900).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

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Proper noun


  1. Bayreuth (independent city in Bavaria, Germany)

Simple English


Coordinates 49°56′53″N 11°34′42″E / 49.94806°N 11.57833°E / 49.94806; 11.57833
Country Germany
State Bavaria
Admin. region Upper Franconia
District Urban district
Lord Mayor Michael Hohl (CSU)
Basic statistics
Area 66.92 km2 (25.84 sq mi)
Elevation 340 m  (1116 ft)
Population 73,794  (31 December 2005)
 - Density 1,103 /km2 (2,856 /sq mi)
Other information
Time zone CET/CEST (UTC+1/+2)
Licence plate BT
Postal codes 95401 – 95448
Area codes 0921, 09201, 09209

Bayreuth is a town in northern Bavaria, Germany.

It is in in the south of Franconia, and the capital of Upper Franconia. The population is about 74,000 people.

Bayreuth is internationally famous for the Bayreuth Festival (Bayreuther Festspiele), a festival of the music of Richard Wagner.

Nearby bigger cities are Coburg, Bamberg, Hof and Nürnberg. Bayreuth has a university.


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