Political thriller in the sign of the castle

Political thriller in the sign of the castle

The planning was ready and waiting in the drawer. The rough project should get a mega claim: 85 percent of the estimated construction costs of 12 to 13 million marks. The result of the exploratory drilling in 1993 was also promising. "Good conditions" for the tunnel construction to plassenburg, geologist klaus-hermann hofmann stated. "I think the slope is stable." Everything is clear? No, because two years later this came out. The underground funicular was never put on the track.

Why was the project to break new ground in traffic development at plassenburg buried 25 years ago?? Newspaper reports from the time – the rundschau was full of them – speak a clear language: it was a political power struggle. The city council was in an uproar. A political crime under the sign of the castle.

Today, there is again a discussion about how people – especially tourists – get to the plassenburg. Opinions clash again. The castle administration wanted a three-kilometer-long asphalt road from the former "waldschlossla" inn building through the buchwald. Its president bernd schreiber describes the strabe as having no alternative. Many people in kulmbach are up in arms against it. A strabe is not to be made also with oberburgermeister ingo lehmann (SPD). He thinks the shuttle bus is working well. A third group, which seems to be getting coarser and coarser, dreams of a renaissance of the ropeway idea. One would like to see a gondola lift whose passengers would float from the grunwehr to the castle.

At the beginning of the eighties, the following problem became apparent: the increasingly rough coaches could no longer get through the narrow burgtor and could not turn around at the schatz parking lot. In addition, it leaked out that the castle administration wants to close the barracks courtyard for cars for reasons of historic preservation.

Railroad should run above ground

The threat of a super-GAU for the hohenzollern fortress prompted horst uhlemann († 2011) to take action. In 1984, the publisher of the rundschau and mazen, who had invested vast sums in the plassenburg, conjured up a visionary proposal: a funicular railroad above ground and on rails that would transport passengers from the grunwehr 30 estate up to the red tower (northeast corner of the castle).

Uhlemann drove his idea forward with heart and soul. In graz, salzburg and baden-baden, the CSU city councillor showed his colleagues what a funicular railroad is all about. But the above-ground routing with a cut in the old tree population met with strong resistance from the population. The "save the burgberg" campaign formed, and the project was not enforceable.

The chairman of the friends of the plassenburg decided on the underground variant: tunnel 265m, 60 passengers, 90 seconds travel time, mountain station in the peacock garden. The general conditions – see above – were right. The city should be left with a maximum of 2.5 million marks. There was broad agreement in the city council. The supporters of the subway were the mayor erich stammberger (WGK/†), the CSU and WGK almost completely and the majority of the SPD, which should still play a leading role.

In 1990, the SPD called it "ecologically sensible and economically justifiable", taking the subway to plassenburg castle. Even when the city council decided to go ahead with the project, most of the reds were still in favor of it in december 1992.

Against luxury project

A year later, however, the SPD changed its mind. The faction argued that the railroad was a luxury project with tight budgets. In times of economic recession and sluggish tax revenues, kulmbach could not afford the consequential costs of operating the railroad. But the majority in favor of the funicular railroad still stands. SPD councillors peter pohlmann and jurgen kohlberger stuck to their guns and left their group. But the city council did not make a concrete decision on construction. This is how the project was drawn into the 1994 election campaign for mayor. Herbert munch (SPD/†) blamed the mayor, otherwise "the funicular would have been built long ago in the years of better finances".

Mayoral candidate inge aures (SPD) announced that she would fight on all fronts to prevent the project from going ahead. She won the election and moved into the town hall in january 1995.

High noon in february

The decisive day was on 16. February 1995: high noon at the haus des handwerks. Before the vote on the construction of the mountain and valley station, project opponent eleonore hohenberger (CSU) left the hall. Pohlmann and kohlberger now voted for the first time with the SPD faction. There was a stalemate: 15:15 – so the motion was defeated. It doesn’t get any tighter than this. Pohlmann explained in the famous meeting that he and kohlberger had not been able to ignore the opinion of the people and the results of the election for mayor. "The right side in the city council" had "failed" with their absolute majority.

"Black day for kulmbach

In may 1996, the city council discussed the funicular railway for the last time. The request was withdrawn. In the end, stefan schaffranek (WGK) said that the railroad was "party-political thinking" failed. Comment by horst uhlemann: "this is a black day for kulmbach." The boomerang will fall back on the city and the city council.

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