There’s lots to see in the vicinity of Coburg in Southern Germany and one of my favourite trips, personally, was taking a little stroll along quaint nature trails and checking out Rosenau Castle near Coburg. It’s not on the radar of most tourists, I’d say. But let’s put it on YOUR radar.
This article is also available in German.
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Where is Castle Rosenau?
Castle Rosenau is located in the German state of Bavaria, near the city of Coburg.
- Address: Rosenau 1, 96472 Rödental, Germany
How to get there
By car you can easily drive to the castle. There is a parking lot at the restaurant Rosenau.
If you arrive by train, then get off at the stop “Rödental” with the regional train and walk about 22min along the Rosenauer Weg along the creek. The path is signposted.
Important: If you take the train back, you’ll most likely have to stand on the same track as when you arrived. Be sure to check this out. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait at least another hour for the next train if you miss it.
There is no underpass to get between the tracks. When the train arrives, the road is closed.
Why visit Rosenau Castle?
What makes Germany’s Rosenau Palace (don’t confuse it with one of the same name in Austria) special is its history. It was here that Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria, was born.
By itself, the castle is rather small and slightly unassuming, albeit pretty. But the former castle was turned into a country house.
Why you should consider hiking here
A day trip into nature to see a historic castle is a perfect blend of culture and natural beauty. It offers the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life, immersing oneself in a serene, historical setting.
The castle’s ancient walls and rich stories transport you back in time, while the surrounding natural landscapes provide a tranquil escape. It’s a chance to appreciate the architectural marvels of the past, enjoy picturesque views, and connect with history.
This experience renews the spirit, offering a deep sense of wonder and a break from the ordinary, making it an excellent choice for a memorable day trip.
The lower two floors of the house are accessible to visitors. You can buy a museum entry ticket in the building next door.
Inside the country palace is an eleven-sided library with paintings depicting Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué’s “The Travels of Thiodolf the Icelander.” This room in particular served as a Russian Orthodox chapel during the Grand Duchess Maria’s time.
The Marble Hall hosts summer concerts for an extra special experience.
Upstairs, you’ll find brightly decorated rooms with typical German Biedermeier furniture, along with family heirlooms, including a cradle believed to belong to Prince Albert of Saxony.
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was born here and in 1840, became the husband and consort of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
The orangery building once housed the Museum Of Modern Glass (Europäisches Museum für modernes Glas), a museum of modern art glass. However, since 2008, this museum has moved to a new building nearby.
The Rosenau Castle has a rich history dating back to medieval times, with records of its ownership dating to at least 1439. Silvester von Rosenau, a friend of church reformer Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon, owned it.
However, due to debts, it changed hands.
In 1704, the Austrian Freiherr Ferdinand Johann Adam von Pernau purchased the estate and conducted bird behavior experiments on the property. The Rosenau then passed to the Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg in 1731 and later to the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld in 1805.
Extensive renovations took place between 1808 and 1817, transforming the main house into a Gothic Revival-style residence. The park was redesigned as an English garden, featuring an orangery, sun-dial, hermitage ruins, and various bodies of water. You can still see some of those layouts today.
Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, was born at the Rosenau in 1819. Victoria held fond memories of the place, and it was also visited by the Tsarevich of Russia and his future wife Alix of Hesse and by Rhine. Alfred, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the second son of Queen Victoria, owned the Rosenau and passed away there in 1900.
In the post-World War I era, the last reigning Duke, Charles Edward, abdicated and reached a termination agreement on his assets in Coburg, including the Rosenau.
It was leased to various members of the royal family, including Marie, Queen of Romania, Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna of Russia, Princess Alexandra of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, and Princess Beatrice, Duchess of Galliera.
The house went through several uses during and after World War II, eventually being restored to its Victoria and Albert era appearance between 1985 and 1990.
Today, the Rosenau stands as a historical site with deep connections to European royalty and history and can be visited.
More travel tips for Bavaria
- Why you should visit the fairy tale stone garden Sanspareil
- What to see in Bamberg on a day trip
- Visiting Seehof Castle in Memmlingen