The lookout tower on the 690 meter high pressecker knock is considered the landmark of the beautiful frankenwald village. Years ago, when the trees were not as tall as they are today, many guests were able to enjoy the view from this vantage point in all directions: to the thuringer wald, to the striking mountains of the fichtelgebirge, to the sophienberg near bayreuth or even to the staffelberg.
The older of the two authors will never forget the visits he made to the tower in his youth, as he was able to watch countless st. John’s bonfires from up there. And an experience as a teenager with older friends remains eternally in memory. "Come smoke a cigarette and take a deep breath", there was a blow. I will never forget that, that was the first and only cigarette in my life. Thanks to the tower!
A varied history
In the past months, hikers and visitors stood in front of a closed door – for security reasons. The timbers were badly damaged by the weather, and important load-bearing parts were affected by rot.
A new building seems to make sense, since a renovation would be very expensive. Since the trees in the surrounding area have reached a stately height, it was necessary to think about adding a new storey. Which material would be suitable to withstand the rough weather in the frankenwald?? To preserve the pressecker landmark, much still needs to be clarified.
It was an old wish of the people of presseck to crown their knock with a tower. As early as 1902, the local preservation society started building the tower. Many donations and the issue of share certificates meant that in june 1914 the tower’s coffers were well filled with 2000 gold marks and donations of wood. But at the planned start of construction, the first world war broke out and more important things had to be thought of. The construction of the tower became a secondary matter, the money collected was swallowed up by inflation in the post-war period.
First tower was hexagonal
In 1933, things moved even faster. The building site had been provided by a friend of the frankenwald, and in july the first sod was turned. Everyone helped energetically – and after only a few months of construction, the first 20-meter-high hexagonal tower could be inaugurated.
400 linear meters of fir wood, 80 linear meters of planks and 300 square meters of boards were used for its construction. The inauguration took place on 8. October 1933. At the behest of the local NSDAP group, the tower was given the name of a man who was the talk of the town at the time. Heinrich fischer pastor i spoke the festive grave. R. From bayreuth.
During the war and after 1945 the maintenance of the tower was neglected, so that it had to be closed because of structural damage.
"A landmark of the homeland"
On 5. October 1952 saw the inauguration of the second tower on pressecker knock. The then chairman of the frankenwaldverein, hans seiffert, said in his speech: "so the tower stands in the frankenwalde, despite all the detractors, a symbol of the homeland, a reminder of the care of the homeland, of love of the homeland and of loyalty to the homeland."
The wooden construction, however, meant that it did not last forever either. Again and again serious damage had to be repaired. However, all those responsible agreed that there had to be a lookout tower in presseck. The demolition of the "old guy" took place in 1984, as it was affectionately called by some presseckers.
At the same time, the chairman of the presseck local group, fritz jungkuntz, tried to secure financing for the new building, which was estimated at over 100,000 marks. A house collection among the people of presseck, the support of the frankenwaldhauptverein with adolf thumser at the head as well as the member of the state parliament herbert hofmann and the indefatigable mayor erhard hildner provided the necessary support for the project.
On 8./9. June 1985 was the inauguration of the structure, which was tied by the company gebruder findeib from schwarzenbach am wald. The then new chairman of the frankenwaldverein, robert strobel, was grateful that the efforts to finance the project were successful in a time of austerity measures. In the end, the tower cost almost 110,000 marks.
At the ceremony, it received its official name: "pressecker-knock-turm".
But in 2003, after only 18 years, a general renovation was necessary, as load-bearing components had become rotten. Workers replaced the main columns, using douglas fir donated by baron ludwig von lerchenfeld.
The pressecker chairman of the frankenwaldverein, willibald gareib, buried numerous honorary guests and burghers on a stormy saturday for the rededication of the tower. "May the tower have a long life, so that many hikers and visitors can consciously recognize the nature and the homeland", he said.
Now, in the winter of 2020/21, the historically significant tower on the pressecker knock will be closed again. The harsh weather of the frankenwald has taken its toll, the trees tower above it. What will become of it?