The Birthplace of Lucas Cranach the Elder

Lucas Cranach was born here in 1472, the son of Hans Maler. He later called himself after his home town. Cranach’s relative Matthias Gunderam wrote in his biography in 1556 that Lucas was trained in the graphic arts by his father.

Rosenberg Fortress, Kronach, GermanyTo discover more about Cranach, our journey begins in Kronach, Upper Franconia.

In 1495 Hans Maler’s family became entangled in a neighbourhood dispute that was brought before the municipal court. The trial was recorded in an official court book, which is still kept in Kronach. The witness accounts reveal that Lucas was able to articulate his views quite vehemently. It is an indication of his temperament, which is also evident in his expressive early works, most notably in the Crucifixion from 1503, which is in the Bavarian State Paintings Collection.

Majestically towering above the town of Kronach is the Rosenberg Fortress, in which late works by Cranach are now exhibited such as Christ and the Adulteress (about 1520), Lot and his Daughters (1533), Man of Sorrows (after 1537) and Venus and Cupid the Honey Thief (1534). In addition to the Cranach paintings, the Franconian Gallery at the fortress houses a prestigious permanent collection of late-Gothic Franconian art from the holdings of the Bavarian National Museum in Munich.

Particularly noteworthy are the outstanding sculptures by Tilman Riemenschneider and his peers, and portraits by contemporaries of Dürer.

The Rosenberg Fortress is the most famous landmark in the town of Kronach, which looks back on more than 1,000 years of history. Up until the 19th century, the town was an important hub for the rafting trade thanks to its favourable location on three rivers. Today the historical charm of Kronach’s old quarter is complemented by a modern service centre for innovative information technology.

Places to visit

Rosenberg Fortress with the Franconian Gallery, a branch of the Bavarian National Museum in Munich with its Cranach room and collection of late-Gothic Franconian art including works by Tilman Riemenschneider, Hans von Kulmbach and other contemporaries of Dürer

Cranach Trail – In the footsteps of Lucas Cranach the Elder a mobile phone audio guide tour through the upper part of the old quarter of Kronach with commentary on Cranach, his family and the history of this part of town.

Further Information on Kronach in English ...

In 2015, the Luther Decade, with its theme of "Visual Arts and the Bible", celebrates the 500th birthday of Lucas Cranach the Younger - a good reason for the Franconian Cities Kronach, Coburg, and Nuremberg to celebrate the entire Cranach family of painters.

The booklet Franconian Ways - En Route to Cranach is available for Download (PDF, 6,3 MB)

Guided Tours

The Upper Town

Discover the History of the Historic Centre of Kronach!

Starting at the Lucas Cranach memorial on the market place, you will see the Upper Town with its battlements and towers, cellars, wells and alleyways. The historic centre, which is surrounded by a completely maintained town wall, will enchant you with its late medieval character. The tight bond between the town and the fortress will be shown by means of stories and historical background information.

Duration: 1 hour
Admission Fees: Group adults: 70,00€; Group Students: 30,00€

Opening hours for individual travellers:

May-September: every Thursday and Saturday at 10:30; meeting place: Lucas Cranach memorial on the market place

Opening hours for groups of up to 25 persons:

By appointment only

Contact Information:
Tourismus- und Veranstaltungsbetrieb der Lucas-Cranach-Stadt Kronach
Marktplatz 5
96317 Kronach

+49 9261 97-236
+49 9261 97-310

Rosenberg Fortress

Discover one of the largest and best maintained fortresses of Germany!

“Rosenberg” is one of the largest and best maintained fortresses of Germany. The guided tour starts at the beautifully preseverd baroque gate and leads you across moats and through subterranean corridors to the bastions from where you'll have an amazing view of the town of Kronach. You’ll see the different construction phases, from the medieval donjon to the late baroque pentagon, which demonstrate the constantly changing demands challenging the construction of weir systems. Since this is an outdoor tour we recommend you bring sturdy shoes and a torch.

For groups to 25 people we offer separate tours.

Admission fees for special tours through the fortress Rosenberg:
Group adults up to 25 persons: 100,00€
Group students up to 25 persons: 40,00€

Opening Hours:
March – October : 9:30am – 17:30pm

Monday: closed

No tours on Allhallows, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and on Shrove Tuesday.

Regular Tours:
March – October: 11am, 12:30 am, 2pm and 4 pm
The admission to the Franconian Gallery and to the special exhibitions are included.

November – February: 11am and 2pm
During the winter months, the Franconian Gallery is closed.

Contact Information:

Festung Rosenberg
Festung 1
96317 Kronach

+49 9261 60410
+49 9261 604118