The hike is just under 6 kilometres long and took us from Hallerndorf to Willersdorf. Of course, not without making stops at breweries or cellars along the way.
The hike to the Kreuzberg is not a circular walk, but ends in Willersdorf at a hotel where you can stay overnight very well. If you would like to hike back to your car, you should move the starting point of the hike directly to Hallerndorf and look for a parking space there.
You can follow the course of our tour on the map.
Our tour started at the Rittmayer brewery after taking part in a brewery tour there.
After getting to know the production site and the history of the company a little better, we were able to taste the brewery’s beer at a beer tasting. The biggest surprise for us – the non-alcoholic Kellerbier tasted like beer! We have tried many different breweries and their offerings so far to find an alternative to “normal” beer.
So far, no flavour has really convinced us. The non-alcoholic Kellerbier from the Rittmayer brewery met our taste. Of course, we also tried beers with alcohol, such as the seasonal Annafestbier and the Landbier.
Both beers tasted very good and were the ideal prelude to our hike to the Kreuzberg on this day.
Hike to the Kreuzberg
Our hike first went through Hallerndorf until we finally turned off into the beautiful countryside. The path led us past fields shimmering golden yellow. A bench tempted us with a short break. What a beautiful view over the landscape.
A little later we discovered a Stations of the Cross with a beautiful psalm by the wayside. Then we went on a well-paved path into the forest of the Kreuzberg. After a short while, we came closer and closer to our next beer stop.
There are a few cellars on the Kreuzberg that invite you to stop off. If you want to stay here a little longer, it is not difficult to walk the few steps from cellar to cellar. Beer has been stored and, of course, served here since the 18th century.
Kreuzberg Cellar Lieberth
We decided on the “second cellar on the left” (if you are coming from Hallerndorf), the Kreuzbergkeller Lieberth.
We made ourselves comfortable under shady trees at one of the rustic benches and enjoyed a Franconian snack with beer. There is room for about 300 people in the beer garden/cellar. If it rains and you want to sit sheltered, you need a bit of luck. Inside, only 45 people can be seated.
The Lieberth brewery offers various beers from its own production here, such as the Kellerbier on tap, a non-alcoholic Weizen and the non-alcoholic Flechterla Zwickl.
The Kellerbier tasted very good to me. It is drinkable and flatters the palate in a very pleasant way.
It was really wonderful to sit on the cellar and enjoy the beer and a snack.
May to October (weather permitting):
Monday – Friday: from 3 pm
Saturday: from 2 p.m.
Sunday and public holidays: from 11.30 a.m.
Autumn and winter (in the restaurant):
Saturday: from 4 pm Sun
Holidays: from 11 a.m.
Closed from the beginning to the end of November (parties and events bookable).
The Kreuzberg Church near Hallerndorf
Right next to the beer cellars is the Kreuzberg Church on the Kreuzberg. It is a small pilgrimage church that has always been the destination of pilgrim hikers and pilgrims.
The Kreuzberg Church was built in 1463 on the site of a pilgrimage chapel already mentioned in 1430, commissioned by the Lords of Seckendorff at Hallerndorf Castle.
It is reported that at the height of the pilgrimage movement, up to 23 pilgrimages a day arrived here. In order to still be able to offer a service to the crowds of visitors who could not find room in the small church, an outdoor altar was built on the north-west side of the church.
If you walk around the church, you will notice the niches. There are 15 niches in total, 14 of them representing the 14 Stations of the Cross, one of which we discovered right at the beginning of our walk at the edge of the cornfield. The 15th niche contains the depiction of the finding of the cross by Empress Helena.
Today, only a few pilgrims come to the Kreuzberg, but wedding couples are very enthusiastic about the small church. Unfortunately, the church was closed and so I could not see the nave. But I saw on pictures that the interior is decorated in the style of the late baroque around 1730-1738.
After looking around the little church a bit, we continued on our hike to Kreuzberg. We followed an unpaved path, which led us downhill and should you have enjoyed too much beer at the cellars, certainly not so easy to walk, to our next destination. The route is not really far and after only a few 100 metres we saw the Roppelt beer cellar.
Roppelt beer cellar
The Roppelt beer cellar is quite a large cellar. Numerous tables and benches are scattered around the grounds. You will find seats in the sun, seats under large trees, seats near a children’s playground and, in bad weather, also in a guest room.
You can get liquid and solid food at two small huts. Here, hearty food is the order of the day. Schäuferla, pork knuckles, Salz-Knöchla and, of course, home-made bread and slaughter bowls. It smelled tempting from the kitchen and the food on the neighbouring tables looked too good. We had to try the food and it was really excellent. If you prefer something sweeter, you will also find homemade cakes on the menu.
At the Roppelt beer cellar you can of course also get beer to drink. There is a cellar beer and a wheat beer on offer.
Kellerbier is a light, finely spiced aromatic and hop-accentuated unfiltered beer with an alcohol content of 4.9%. It tastes slightly hoppy, but is very drinkable.
The wheat beer is a fruity and full-bodied beer. Seasonally, the brewery also offers a dark and strong festival beer and a light bock beer.
If you don’t want to hike to the Roppelt beer cellar, there is a large car park. However, it is even better to take the “Hallerndorfer-Keller-Express”, the VGN bus line 265. It stops only a few metres away.
Cellar season from April/May to October
Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and public holidays: from 11 a.m.
Wednesday and Thursday: from 1 p.m. (from 2 p.m. we serve snacks, from 3 p.m. hot food)
Sunday is a day of rest
Closed in bad weather.
Hike on to Willersdorf
Our hike continued from Kreuzberg towards Willersdorf. The route is a good 2 kilometres and again leads along fields and meadows.
Arriving in the village, we were first drawn to one of the oldest buildings in the village, the church of St. Bartholomew Willersdorf.
In the 14th century, there was already a chapel in Willersdorf. It was not long before the chapel was elevated to the status of a parish church. It is known that a new church building with a churchyard fortification was consecrated in 1457.
In the beginning, a priest came from Forchheim to celebrate mass with the faithful on Sundays and holidays. When the journey became too arduous for him, they tried to get regular clerical help from the neighbouring villages. However, the inhabitants of Willersdorf were not satisfied with this solution.
It was possible to find a remedy. Friedrich Bernhard was born in Willersdorf in 1558 and was ordained priest in 1581. He succeeded in having a parish established in his village. After his death, he was buried in the Willersdorf parish church in front of the high altar. Directly next to the right side altar there is a life-size picture of him.
The church is dedicated to St Bartholomew, whose image adorns the Baroque main altar in the Gothic choir, the oldest part of the church. The two side altars with their carved figures and the wooden pulpit from 1610 are beautiful.
If you walk around the church, you can catch a glimpse of the steeple with the onion dome. A stork had built its nest here when we visited and was looking down on us.
We moved on to our last port of call of the day, the Landgasthaus und Hotel Rittmayer in Willersdorf. Here we spent the night in a cosy room and enjoyed a great breakfast.