The eye-catcher is an imposing iron gate with a horse's head emblem. Until last summer, only a few knew what was hidden behind the metre-high barrier. The former stud farm not far from the A 96 belongs to the Krone family, one of the most famous circus dynasties in the world. Hills, meadows and forests surround the beautiful farmhouse and its stables. The farm is home to former show stars: animals that are no longer used in circus acts spend their retirement here.

In June 2020, the circus farm opened its gates for the first time.Every Saturday and Sunday, up to 100 visitors could take part in a guided tour of the grounds and learn more about the everyday life of the animal retirement home and its residents. These include retired horses, donkeys, llamas and camels, as well as a rescued herd of goats. Currently, the farm is also home to two young zebras that are being trained for future performances.

  • Three camels in a grazing paddock
    Pictures: Elina Gathof
  • Zebra stands in front of stable
  • Camels and zebra standing in paddock
  • Goat

Crossing one of the meadows, you can reach the remaining pitches in a large tent.Here, besides the oldest inhabitant of the farm – a 37-year-old donkey – also live llamas and camels.

Man stands in front of a wagon with snacks
Frank J. Keller, 57, is the animal welfare officer of Circus Krone and guides visitors around the farm.

Another highlight is the small circus museum in an old wooden barn. There are nostalgic carriages to admire, a piano on which elephants used to "play", as well as old circus signs and programmes – just a few things, but enough to take your mind back to former times. Because the museum has been so well appreciated, there are plans to expand it. Right next to it, the retired Indian tigers spend their retirement in an old circus wagon with an outdoor run. A few impressions of their career are pictured along the fence. Completely unimpressed by the spectators, they take a nap in the sun. Tigers sleep about 18 to 20 hours a day – in the circus as well as in the wild.

The guided tours of the site should help through the crisis, at least a little. After all, circuses are not recognised as culturally relevant in Germany and are therefore not subsidised. Since it is not yet foreseeable how things will develop with public events, the Krone Farm will open again this summer, provided the conditions allow it. Because: "The show must go on!"

Read the full article in SeeMagazine 2021.

Cover of SeeMagazin 2021
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We love the Fünfseenland in the south of Bavaria. That is why we capture the distinctiveness of the region once a year with beautiful pictures and stories in our SeeMagazin. We meet interesting people who are enthusiastic about what they do and turn their passion into a profession. The motto of the 2021 issue is "Time for pleasure" - with delicious ideas and inspiration for everyone who celebrates life.