The Wittelsbacher Turm is a 33 meter observation tower atop the 400 meter Scheinberg outside of Arnhausen. The entire area falls under the Bad Kissingen postal code in Lower Franconia. Inaugurated in 1907 in homage to the close association of the spa town and the Wittelsbacher family. Topped by a lion wearing a crown, the limestone structure affords fine views over the surrounding countryside. A memorial to WWI causalities was built in 1924 and a log cabin structure served as a restaurant from 1930 until its burning down in 1933 by alleged arson. It was rebuilt in stone later the same year. The tower fell into disrepair in the 1970s and was closed to visitors. It was restored for the 800th anniversary of the Wittlesbachers
The beer tourist will be happy to find another reason to come climb the tower:
Wittelsbacher Turn Bräu
Wittelsbacher Turm 1
97688 Bad Kissingen (Arnshausen)
Closed Monday & Tuesday (outside of holidays)
Wednesday to Saturday 11:30 to 21:00
Sunday & holidays 11:00 to 19:00
Bad Kissingen (Saale) station 6 km
While there’s been a restaurant on this site since 1930, the current set-up with its own brewery was founded in 2000. It’s quite large to accommodate bus groups which descend on the Tower daily in warmer months. The interior was a bit of a mix. The rear room near the copper brewing kettles was done up to look like you were in the forest! The front room had a Kachelofen but it unfortunately wasn’t on. It was a bright sunny day but too cold and windy to sit outside and enjoy the view. It was sadly also cold inside as it’s a large old stone building and without the heat on, not exactly cozy.
the mixed interior of Wittelsbacher Turm Brä
After a long drive, we arrived at 12:30 expecting a full lunch menu. I ordered their house-brewed Weißbier and looked the menu over. I’d read Schäuferla was their specialty and I was hungry so opted for the generally large meal. My wife was intrigued by the Gänse Hackbraten, a meatloaf made of chopped up goose breast. Both came with one of our favorites, Wirsing. The server explained that the Schäuferla weren’t ready yet. It seemed odd since it was right at lunch time, not early in any way. I hadn’t looked at anything else and just got the same as my wife.
an anything but satisfactory meal
The Weißbier was okay but the food was insanely salty. My wife ate the dumplings and Wirsing and when the server took her largely untouched meat away, she didn’t ask if there was anything wrong with it. My wife loves salt and never complains but told her that it was inedible. The server didn’t say anything and I ploughed my way through most of my meat. I was hungry and it didn’t look like we were going to get a credit on the meal. The cake looked good in the display case and I told my wife to get something so she ordered a cheese cake. I got their Vollbier. There was no way I could consume that much salt with one beer.
part II wasn’t much better
As salty as the meal had been, the cake was that sweet. If you’ve been to Germany, you know that German cakes are a LOT less sweet than cakes in the US. This was like a US cake. It was a huge piece so one was ample for both of us. Even worse, the Vollbier was a diacetyl bomb. I would have tossed it but I needed it to finish my salty meal. The butter and salt combination was reminiscent of old popcorn in a seedy movie theater.
the place to sit
When I got the bill, the server explained they had only charged for one of the meals which took some of the sting out of the experience. I’m sure it was a bad choice but a restaurant shouldn’t try to unload bad food. It’s no way to get return business. As a beer person, I would be hard-pressed to return for the beer. It was awful too. We noticed the nice outside seating area and if we were ever to return again, we’d come on a warmer day to sit out there. Not sure I’d eat but I’d try the beer to see if it was just off that day.
We did enjoy walking up the tower after lunch. There are trails into the forest surrounding the tower as well.
Schwarzbier in February
Maibock in May
Rotbuchenbier in Jul
Festbier in September
Weihnachtsbock in December