Rauher Kulm – Neustadt am Kulm, Germany - Atlas Obscura
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Neustadt am Kulm, Germany

Rauher Kulm

A tiny basalt mountain with an observation tower overlooking the beautiful Bavarian countryside. 

Stand at the top of this mountain’s observation tower, and you’ll be rewarded with sprawling vistas of Bavaria’s forests and countryside. On a clear day, you can even see Franconian Switzerland, a picturesque patch of Germany well-loved by tourists, in the distance.

Rauher Kulm is a small basalt mountain, so it makes for a lovely hike to the top. Trekking up the observation tower reveals beautiful views of the lush landscape speckled with quaint villages.

The looming 82-foot-tall observation tower that stands atop the summit today wasn’t the first tower built on the mountain. The original one was built in the early 1800s and boasted a gilded sun. By the end of the 19th century, this first version became too dilapidated and a newer model was erected in its place. The most recent tower was erected in the late 1980s after an arsonist set a previous one ablaze.

A stoic castle crowned the mountain during the Middle Ages. But sadly, the fortress was destroyed during the Second Margrave War of the 1500s. Some of the old walls still stand on the mountain, though they’re all that remain.