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Shopping, Misc., and Summary
Bayreuth doesn’t carry a large variety of souvenir type items, however the Tourist Bureau sells a cute Ring T-shirt with caricatures dancing in a ring (about €18). One must order the T-shirt a day or so in advance as they seem to be custom produced. Other kitsch may be purchased along Bahnhofstraße and at a little stand across from Villa Wahnfried. The best collection of Wagner-related postcards, CDs, books, etc. is at the kiosk to the left of the Festspielhaus.
There are many antique shops—some open by appointment only—and some very interesting book stores along Maximilianstr. In the pedestrian district, the Markgrafenbuchhandlung across from the Hotel Goldener Anker sponsors artists who sign books and photographs and is a good source for libretti.
There are two large bookshops and both have “Signaturstunden” where singers from the Festspiel come and autograph pictures, programs, books, and pose for pictures. Annoucements are posted in the shops as well as in the local newspaper.
Markgrafenbuchhandlung (click on the owl)
Opernstraße 1-3 next to Sternplatz; across from Hotel Goldener Anker
Rolf Geilenkirchen is the proprietor, and speaks excellent English. Largest selection of Wagner related books. Also runs the kiosk opposite the Festspielhaus itself. Upstairs are English paperbacks and he also has English periodicals (International Herald Tribune and magazines in the racks outside). Be sure to look at the remainders (“Modernes Antiquariat”), books are sometimes very cheap.
Thalia (Formerly Gondrom)
Maxstrasse 18 (on Marktplatz)
Also a large bookstore, with remainders on carts in front of the shop.
Several used bookshops are worth a visit:
Wagner-Antiquariat Hanny Kopetz
Literally “on the other side of the tracks” from the Bahnhof. Lots and lots of Wagneriania. Purchase: a gold locket with two pictures of Wagner. How could one not? The shop also has a large selection of 19th century Wagner-inspired drawings, LPs, books, artwork, and musical scores. Walk under the Bahnhof platform tunnel and continue east, or better yet, take a taxi. (Give Frau Kopetz best wishes from Dr. Evan Baker!)
Antiquariat Walter Bösch
Carl-Schüller Straße 9, around the corner of the Goldener Hirsch Hotel, off of the Bahnhofstrasse.
Wonderful selection of books, prints, and old opera post cards. Charming owner speaks perfect English (his daughter lives in Southern California).
Sophienstrasse 7 (off of the Marktplatz)
Not only books, but LPs, busts, postcards, and other knick-knacks relating to Wagner.
Walküre Porcelain Shop (click on “Werksverkauf”)
Gravenreutherstraße 5, just off Tristanstraße
Museum (weekdays 10:00-16:00), retail and workshop. You will see the “Wagner Cups and Mugs” all over the city.
Internet & Wi-Fi
Most hotels have internet hookup for fee which can vary, and it can be quite expensive. Many hotels have a free internet kiosk in the hotel lobby and printers for airline boarding passes. For those who need to log on for a while, there was one intenet “Hot Spot” on Maxmillian Strasse in the Lavazza Coffee Shop – noted by Al El-Sayed (2011). Apparently it doesn’t shut off at night so you can move to the cafe next door and continue tapping away into the night.
There is also a free wi-fi Hot Spot on the 1st floor of the Stadtbibliothek on Richard Wagner Strasse 22, noted by Terri Stuart in 2011. Open Tues-Friday 10- 5 and Saturday 10 to 3. During 2011 there is a “Lust for Liszt” exhibit in the Bibliothek which outlines the composer’s career as both a performer as well as a composer and revered teacher.
Doctors and Dentists
The Tourist Bureau maintains a list of doctors and dentists who will be glad treat visitors. Prices are regulated by the state.
Parsifal Apothek, near the Bahnhof. There is a sign that lists the “after hours” apotheke if you need something urgent.
No matter what you do or how you plan, you will have a wonderful time. It is particularly rewarding to meet with other participants from the Bay Area and to discuss (argue fine points) about performances. Of course, if no one coordinates such meetings, individuals tend to scatter. It is worth making the effort, however, to get together.
And don’t forget to add your own discoveries so that those who follow you can benefit as—we hope—you will have from the material above.