Schöneck/Vogtland is not far from Plauen. The town is the highest town in the Vogtland region and a popular recreation and winter sports resort that is just perfect for a time out.
Schöneck was once a medieval manor with a castle. The first castle owner, castrum Schoennecke, to be mentioned in a document was Albertus de Schoenegge (1225). He was not only a castle owner but also a town owner.
The ownership of the castle changed back and forth over many years. In 1370, Schöneck was granted town rights by Emperor Charles IV, who put it on an equal footing with the town of Loket. Despite further changes of power, the town rights remained untouched by the respective owner.
In 1546, during the Schmalkaldic War, imperial troops devastated the town and captured the castle. In the following years, the dominion and the castle were pawned several times. No one really cared about the property any more and the complex fell into disrepair. In 1580, part of the lower castle was finally dismantled and an electoral hunting lodge was built.
The Thirty Years’ War, the Seven Years’ War and several fires destroyed large parts of the castle and the town. In 1765, the last remains of the castle were finally removed and the stones used to rebuild the town. Only the castle hill “Alter Söll” has been preserved until today.
From the 17th century onwards, the construction of musical instruments was predominant in Schöneck. From 1865 onwards, cigars were produced in home and factory work in the town. Today you can learn more about this time in the cigar and local history museum.
Holiday resort Schöneck/Vogtland
Schöneck/Vogtland has been a state-recognised resort since 1962. In 1967, the first ski lift was built and in 1985, the most striking building in the village to this day, the “Ferien- und Erholungsheim Karl Marx” (Karl Marx Holiday and Recreation Home), which is now used as an IFA hotel, was built. The skiing area “Skiwelt Schöneck” and the “Bikewelt Schöneck” have been created around the hotel.
In the region around Schöneck, hiking enthusiasts will find numerous signposted hiking trails that lead through the beautiful nature of the Vogtland. A visit to the lace town of Plauen can also be easily undertaken from Schöneck.
Those looking for very special accommodation can stay in a sea container directly below the large IFA hotel.
Alter Söll – free viewpoint
The rock Alter Söll or Friedrichstein rises 734 metres high. Schöneck Castle once stood here, but was demolished in 1765. Unfortunately, no remains have been preserved; one can only prove this location on the basis of archaeological finds.
A metal staircase leads up to a viewing platform. From there you can see the Vogtland with the Elster Mountains and the Elster Valley. On a clear day, you can even see the Franconian Forest and the Fichtel Mountains. I find it very nice that information boards help with orientation in the terrain.
A piece of the triangulation column Station 146 Friedrichstein is located on the rock. From 1862 to 1890, land surveys were carried out on the territory of the Kingdom of Saxony and at the same time a trigonometric network was established. This was done in order to create maps and precisely define the state territory. In this way, a total of 158 stations were created for surveying, which were located at fixed distances from each other. This made it possible to create a survey network of 16,000 km². Since the sites had to be freely visible, they were often located on elevations that were hardly forested. Today, these sites are often completely overgrown.
The town hall of Schöneck/Vogtland was built in neo-Gothic style in 1923 and stands below the Alte Söll. It somewhat resembles a castle complex and is intended to be reminiscent of the castle.
St.George’s Town Church
The town church of St. George is located below the Old Soell. This was rebuilt within four years after the last town fire in 1856.
The massive-looking church has a beautiful entrance portal and a rather high steeple. The high windows in the side walls are also impressive.
Unfortunately, it was closed during our visit and so we could not visit the nave.
After a tour of the town, it is worth taking a detour to the Hauptstrasse. We discovered a sweet coffee shop there where you can get delicious homemade cakes and good coffee.
About 20 people can sit in the cosy coffee room, where a fireplace pleasantly heats the room in winter.
Thursday – Monday: 12-17.30 h