Sister City Thursday: Bay City and Ansbach

Orangerie im Hofgarten

Orangerie im Hofgarten, © Stadt Ansbach

11.04.2018 - Article

Bay City (https://www.baycitymi.org/) is the city with which Ansbach has been cultivating an international friendship for the longest time, namely since 1961.

The American “sister city” is located in the US state of Michigan in the Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron. Numerous emigrants from Franconia have settled in and around Bay City. They mainly left their homeland between 1800 and 1900, when mainly German-speaking villages, such as Frankenmuth and Frankenlust, were founded in the Bay City area. Old kinship relations lead visitors from Bay City and its surroundings again and again to the Ansbach region and vice versa.

Framed by the Frankenhöhe Nature Park and the holiday region of the Franconian Lake District, the German twin town of Ansbach in Bavaria with its 40,000 inhabitants has almost everything to offer.

As the former residence of the Margraves of Brandenburg-Ansbach, the aristocratic Hohenzollern family had a major influence on the city. The backdrop of the palace, the court garden with the margravial orangery and the numerous baroque building facades dominate the cityscape. The historic old town with its sights is home to all kinds of historical treasures, which can be admired during a tour or a visit to the Margrave's Museum.

The glittering traces of the past can be seen in many other places, however. During a guided tour through the old town with its closed historical townscape, one learns a lot about the eventful history of the Residenzstadt, which stretches back 1250 years. The tour leads past baroque facades and through hidden Renaissance courtyards. Other stations are the city cemetery with the tomb of the famous Kaspar Hauser, the princely tomb with 25 sarcophagi and the baroque synagogue.

In Ansbach not only culturally interested guests, but also cyclists and hikers will get their money's worth: hikers can explore the surroundings of Ansbach on eight circular hiking trails of 9 to 30 km or take a multi-day tour on the European Water Crossroads. Cyclists on the Castle Road Cycle Path or the nearby Altmühl Cycle Path like to make a stopover in the residential town.

Don't miss the Rococo Festival from June 29 to July 3, 2018! When the twilight sinks over the Hofgarten, precious fabrics rustle and the maid of honor presents her noble pallor, powdered wigs and frock coats, the 18th century comes to life again against a historical backdrop. Later in the evening, the colorful fireworks are reflected in the almost countless windows of the Orangery--an enchanting scenery that gives an idea of the splendor of bygone times.

A feast for the ears and a good mood guaranteed at the Ansbach Open. For an entire weekend from July 20 to 22, musical highlights of German-speaking musicians will be presented in the open air at the riding track.

From July 29 to August 5, 2018, the Kaspar Hauser Festival the artistic and scientific contributions of Kaspar Hauser, the famous foundling of Europe, celebrated. Top-class lectures, city tours, a symphonic poem, art exhibitions and film screenings guarantee a unique program.

On September 10 visitors to the Green Night experience the unique atmosphere when Ansbach shines in the green light. Some sights are open to the culture-hungry. The green theme runs through the whole evening and so many green actions in the supporting program surprise the audience. Numerous open-air stands offer different creations - from green cocktails to green cotton candy. On several stages in the old town there is live music of different styles, which guarantees the best atmosphere until midnight.

Nestled between baroque facades and the two large churches, the Franconian Christmas Market Ansbach (November 29 to December 24, 2018) offers an atmospheric and unmistakable backdrop. Here you can not only enjoy mulled wine and gingerbread under the impressive Christmas pyramid during the Advent weeks, but also discover many Christmas “Ansbach products” while strolling around the market.

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