Ansbach in Bavaria has major cultural festivals including the Rokoko (Rococo) and Kaspar Hauser Festspiele (festivals) and the Bachwoche (Bach Week). The strange case of Kaspar Hauser has intrigued Germany for generations.
Cultural Festivals in Ansbach
The annual Rokoko-Festspiele (Rococo Festival) is held the first week of July in Ansbach. The Rococo Festival recalls the courtly glamour of the 18th century and involves concerts, parties, and parades in period costume. A series of guitar concerts is scheduled each year.
The Bachwoche Ansbach (Bach Week), Postfach 1224, 91503 Ansbach, tel 0981-15-037, is the region’s premier cultural event. It is held in uneven years end July, early August and draws world-class artists to perform over 30 Johann Sebastian Bach-related concerts.
Ansbach keeps the legend of Kasper Hauser alive, not only with museums and monuments but also with a bi-annual Kaspar Hauser Festspiele (Festival). The Kaspar Hauser Festival is held in Ansbach early August in even years and involves a series of plays, musicals, and films on themes related to Hauser.
CSI: Kaspar Hauser, Prince of Baden?
It is hard to avoid Kaspar Hauser when visiting Ansbach. Kaspar Hauser appeared on the streets of nearby Nürnberg in 1828 as a confused, unintelligible youth. It soon transpired that he was not mentally ill but rather had been in captivity for 16 years, chained in a small, dark cell without any human contact. He proofed quite intelligent and could read and write within months.
After an assassination attempt on the boy, he was moved to Ansbach where the town’s judge Feuerbach advanced the proposition that Kaspar Hauser was actually the prince of Baden, who purportedly died at birth. Feuerbach died soon after and in 1833, Kaspar Hauser was stabbed to death by unknown assailants in the Hofgarten in Ansbach.
Ever since there have been speculations over the true identity of Hauser – a huge number of books and articles were written on the subject and at least two films made. In 1996, a major German magazine did DNA tests of the blood on Hauser’s underwear to proof that he was not related to the House of Baden.
The case did not end: there was no proof that the tested blood or clothes were really Hauser’s. A further test in 2002 of the sweatband of Hauser’s hat, showed some resemblance, but no conclusive proof to the genetic code of the House of Baden-Zähringen. The case will probably remain open until permission is obtained, and it is very difficult in Germany, to open Hauser’s grave and test his remains.
More on Romantic Franconia:
- Romantic Franconia Overview
- Ansbach’s Baroque Residence and the Hohenzollern Connection
- Ansbach’s Old Town Sights
- Romanesque Church in Heilsbronn
- Colmberg Castle with Cheap Hotel & Restaurant
- Bad Windsheim – Open Air Museum, Spa, and Model Trains
- Open-Air Adventures in Romantic Franconia
- Hotels and Restaurants in Romantische Franken Towns