Bayreuth. Sanspareil Rock garden

Last Updated on 14/05/2023

We continue the story about the creations of the Wilhemina of Prussia. This time about the Sanspareil rock garden in Wonsees.

The area around the castle Zwernitz served as hunting grounds for the margraves. The name Sanspareil comes from the words of one of the court ladies about the new rock park (Felsengarten) – “This is something incomparable!” The lady spoke in French, and these French words Wilhemina used to rename the place.

About Bayreuth
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The creators of the park took advantage of the natural heap of rocks, adding various structures and ladders to them. Each group of rocks was named after episodes from the French novel “The Adventures of Telemachus”. Now, almost nothing remains of the buildings, but the rocks and stairs are still here.

How to get to Sanspareil rock garden Wonsees

The nearest small town is Wonsees. It can be reached by bus.
The first option: to Hollfeld (it can be reached from both Bayreuth and Bamberg), then to Wonsees by local bus or line 25 Hollfeld – Kulmbach.
The second option from Thurnau (bus 26 Turnau – Bayreuth), then bus. 25. There are other rocks around Wonsees: for example, in the villages of Krögelstein, Schirradorf.

The entrance to the park is free, a small palace-type house called Morgenländischer Bau can be visited with a guided tour (tickets are at the ticket office at the castle).

Zvernitz Castle with an exhibition dedicated to the Margrave hunting can be visited without a tour.

Zvernitz Castle

Let’s start with the castle. Its main value seems to be the views from the tower. We were no longer able to climb up.

The castle is built on a rock.

As in the entire region, there is a lot of flowering trees here. South of Pottenstein there is a 9-kilometer cherry blossom trail.

Rock garden Sanspareil

Morgenländischer Bau.

“Bear” cave and a large grotto of the Volcano.

Tower of Aeolus. Once upon a time there was a gazebo upstairs, reminiscent of a Chinese gazebo in the Eremitage Park.

This is how it looked before.

The stones added by a human hand are almost indistinguishable. Half of the stairs to the top are closed, as they are not protected from falls and debris.

The cliff in front of the Aeolus tower and the grotto of sirens.

“Broken rocks”

Sanspareil rock garden Wonsees

Part of the Belvedere – but you can’t go upstairs, it’s closed.

The most impressive building is the ruin theater built into the grotto. Only a select few could watch the show, as the auditorium-grotto is too small.

View from the stage to the auditorium.


Orchestra pit.

Next – Pottenstein.
All sights of Franconian Switzerland on the map.

Bayreuth and sights around it is part of tourist route “Burgenstraße” (Castle road) – #burgenstrasse.

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