© Maren Kowalke

Franconian variety – hiking the Fränkischer Gebirgsweg in 21 stages

Hiking Collection by Franken Tourismus
18-40 days
3-6 h / day
272 mi
26,375 ft
26,550 ft

With 21 stages and 270 miles (430 km) of pure hiking pleasure, the ‘Fränkischer Gebirgsweg’ mountain trail guides you through the varied region of Franconia. Majestic peaks, picturesque valleys and charming Franconian villages greet you as you walk from Untereichenstein to Hersbruck. Along the long-distance trail, you can explore fantastic hiking destinations such as Frankenwald, Fichtelgebirge, Franconian Switzerland and Nürnberger Land. In addition to scenic treasures, cultural gems such as the festival city Bayreuth or Waldsassen, the center of the Oberpfälzer Stiftland lie en route.

The start and endpoints of your adventure are easy to reach by train. You can also find train stations and bus links at each stage destination, and even at some waypoints along the way, making it easy to shorten your hike if 21 stages are too much for you. You will also find comfortable accommodation options at the end of every route. It’s worth booking in advance, especially as some of the smaller destinations cannot cater for very many guests. If you get hungry during your hike, pleasant villages offer shops and inns where you can stop for provisions.

Whether you choose to complete the whole trail or just part of it, the Fränkische Gebirgsweg will surprise you with its variety. From fantastic views to mystical rock labyrinths, from lonely forest trails to magnificent buildings and from stately castles to quaint inns – you will find an abundance of sites in Franconia.

Has this sparked your curiosity? You can get to know the Bavarian region even more on the 310 mile (500 km) Frankenweg trail. A detailed description of its 23 stages can be found here: komoot.de/collection/897918/vom-rennsteig-zur-schwaebischen-alb-der-frankenweg.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    04:21
    9.49 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,250 ft
    1,000 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Start your 21-day hiking adventure in the Bavarian Untereichenstein, the hub for hikers. Where the Rennsteig ends, the Franconian mountain path begins. If you arrive by train, then you drive to the neighboring Blankenstein, walk a little way along the Saale to Blankenberg, cross the river - and thus the border - and meet the actual start of the long-distance hiking trail.You walk southwards, the path leads you gently uphill along the Kemlasbach. Soon you will reach Issigau. The path continues between Reitzenstein and Griesbach through to Rothleiten, which is located with its upper and lower village on the ridge of the Franconian Forest.You continue hiking in a relaxed up and down until you reach the place Rodesgrün. The Neuhaus Palace, a late medieval building owned by the Vogtland Knights, is enthroned here.Not for long, then you have reached the city of Selbitz, your destination today. In the village you will find a small selection of restaurants and some inns to stay. If you have only planned a day's journey, you will also find a train station in Selbitz.

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  • Difficult
    06:01
    13.6 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,200 ft
    1,125 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Freshly rested and strengthened, you start the second stage on the Franconian mountain path. The almost 22-kilometer tour takes you in a beautiful up and down from Selbitz to Münchberg.Passing pasture green and Uschertsgrün you continue to Schauenstein. In the place worth a longer break, because here are three museums that tell you more about the region.Continue on field and meadow paths to Laubersreuth and on to Münchberg. You leave the region Frankenwald, in front of you is the northern Fichtelgebirge.In Münchberg you will find several cafés and restaurants for a leisurely hike, before you settle down in one of the inns. There is also a train station if you want to get on or off here.

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  • Intermediate
    03:25
    7.81 mi
    2.3 mph
    700 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Day three on the Franconian mountain path awaits you with a relaxed hike through the northern Fichtelgebirge. The good 13 km long tour runs on a relatively flat surface, only at the end it is still a few meters uphill.You leave Münchberg and walk south. The path leads you through the Kreuzberg Hohlweg and past the Kriegsdenkmal. You continue hiking through Mechlenreuth to Kleinlosnitz.How about a short detour to the Upper Franconian Farm Museum? The spacious open-air facility provides you with plenty of information about the history of agriculture in the region.Continue along Haidbach towards Oberhaid. You hike over the nearly 670 meter high ridge of the Haidberg and you already see Zell in the Fichtelgebirge in front of you. On your way downhill to your destination today, you will pass a beautiful lake. In the past, people worked here in the quarry, meanwhile the pit has been filled with water. From here it is not far to Zell, where you have earned a sumptuous dinner in one of the inns.

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  • Intermediate
    04:51
    10.6 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,250 ft
    1,250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The fourth stage continues on the Franconian mountain path. From the tranquil resort of Zell, the 17-kilometer hike takes you deeper into the Fichtelgebirge nature park.After two kilometers uphill you will reach the source of the Saale. This is where the more than 400 km long river begins its journey towards the Elbe and then further into the North Sea. You hike uphill through the forest to the summit of the Großer Waldstein, the highest point of your stage today.On the 877 meter high mountain you can discover many extraordinary rock formations that seem to have been created by giants. From the lookout tower "Schüssel" you can enjoy a fantastic panorama of the Fichtelgebirge, Weißenstadt with the lake, the Hohe Matzen and the striking double summit of the "Kßeine".On a forest path you hike downhill again to Frohnlohe. A few meters up to the Luisen table are still waiting for you before you relax and hike down to today's stage destination Kirchenlamitz.

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  • Intermediate
    04:54
    10.8 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The fifth stage on the Franconian mountain path is also promising. On your tour from Kirchenlamitz to Schwarzenhammer, you take a good 17 kilometers back and walk alternately through dense mixed forests and over fields and meadows.The first few kilometers are progressing on a level track. After a good five kilometers, the climb to Kronberg begins. On the way you will pass the ruin Hirschstein, but there is little to see from the former castle.If you have mastered the climb to the Kronberg, you are standing on the northernmost summit of the Fichtelgebirge. If you climb the 114 steps of the Schönburgwarte, you have a fantastic view.Continue south through the villages of Spielberg and Heidelheim. Soon you will reach Schwarzenhammer, where Eger, Selb and Steinselb meet. Schwarzenhammer is known by the porcelain factory Schumann & Schreider, which had its heyday in the years 1905 to 1986.There is no accommodation right in Schwarzenhammer. In a few minutes by bus 1 you can either go to Thierstein or Selb, where you will find a night camp.

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  • Difficult
    05:42
    13.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    875 ft
    975 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today's stage on the Franconian mountain trail leads you through the romantic Egertal. Good 21 kilometers you put back on your way from Schwarzenhammer to Arzberg.You leave the place and soon you are standing on the shore of the Egerstausee. The landscape around Neuhaus is part of the nature reserve Egertal. Beautifully landscaped trails lead you through the picturesque valley with its dense forests and wild granite rock formations.In Neuhaus is the same castle ruins from the 14th century. How about a visit to the medieval site? The trail runs via Kothigenbibersbach, Bergnersreuth and Röthenbach an der Pegnitz to Arzberg, your destination today. In the village you will find a small selection of restaurants and accommodation.

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  • Intermediate
    04:41
    10.6 mi
    2.3 mph
    975 ft
    950 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Stage seven of the Franconian Mountain Path takes you from Arzberg to Waldsassen. The first four kilometers, it goes uphill on the Kohlberg. From the 32 meter high observation tower on the summit you have a fantastic view over the Fichtelgebirge.The path leads you downhill for a bit and then you continue on a relatively level track through the forest. Keep your eyes open for the stone that once marked the border between Bavaria and Prussia.The path will take you past the Holy Trinity Church Kappl, known as the "Pilgrimage Church of the Most Holy Trinity". Part of the baroque church was built in the 12th century. Today it presents itself as a breathtaking sacred building. The Trinity is a theme throughout the building: three towers, three dome pictures, three bells.In Waldsassen you can relax in the city park, refill your supplies and let it go well in your accommodation. You should not miss a visit to the impressive monastery basilica.

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  • Difficult
    07:03
    16.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,375 ft
    925 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today's stage takes you high again, with impressive views guaranteed. With a good 26 kilometers, the tour is quite long, but meanwhile you are already well in training.You leave the tranquil Waldsassen and wander the first ten kilometers in a relaxed up and down through the beautiful landscape. The Wondreb, an inflow to the Eger, always flows near you.Then the ascent to the lookout point begins on the Großbüchelberg. Once at the top, you look over to the almost 700 meter high Teichelberg. The basalt mountain is part of the nature park Steinwald, that low mountain range, which belongs to the high Fichtelgebirge. In the nature reserve, through which the mountain path leads you, you can discover trees that are up to 230 years old.On shady forest trails you continue hiking until you reach your final destination Fuchsmühl after a last short climb. In the village you will find a small selection of accommodation and an information center for hikers.

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  • Difficult
    05:17
    11.4 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,475 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the ninth stage of the Franconian Mountain Path you will find a lot of bizarre rock formations. You wander through the mystical "Steinwald" with its wild formations and the ruin of Weissenstein - the most spectacular rock castle in the Upper Palatinate. Start of the 19-kilometer tour is in Fuchsmühl.The path leads you uphill through the forest until you reach the top of the 946 meter high peak. It is the highest mountain in the Steinwald. From the observation tower you have a fantastic panoramic view.The path leads you past the information center Glasschleif am Steinbach. Here you will learn all sorts of interesting facts about the interesting glass history of the Upper Palatinate.From now on, you will only walk downhill to your Neusorg goal. How about a short break in the beer garden of the Kellermühle?

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  • Difficult
    06:40
    14.5 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,750 ft
    1,700 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Felsen, Fernsicht, Fichtelgebirge - on the tenth stage of the Franconian mountain route, you'll have a good 23 kilometers and more than 500 vertical meters. Starting point of the hike is in Neusorg in the southern Fichtelgebirge.The path meanders through Langentheilen and past Schwarzenreuth. Soon you will see the summits of the Kösseine in front of you. The extensive granite block sea, which forms the summit area, has an area of almost 16 hectares. The terrain is unique and therefore also protected.Through the Tröstauer forest you hike on to the Burgsteinfelsen, another impressive natural monument in the Kösseine-Stock. Shortly after the Kaiser Wilhelm rock worth a visit to the rock labyrinth Luisenburg. In the wildly romantic area you wander between gigantic granite blocks - in the truest sense of the word grandiose!The last part of the stage goes downhill to your destination Nagel on the lake of the same name. On the bank of the water, you can end the day relaxed.

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  • Difficult
    05:48
    12.5 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,775 ft
    1,200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The eleventh stage on the Franconian mountain path takes you to the highest point of the Fichtelgebirge, the nearly 1,100 meter high Schneeberg. Start of the hike is in the charming village of Nagel.After two kilometers you will pass the Girgelhöhle. How about a little exploration? The path will take you further up the hill, giving you a foretaste of the impressive panorama that awaits you from the summit.You wander across a mighty granite boulder field, come past the Gasthaus Seehaus and stand a little later on the Schneeberg. From the observation tower Backöfele offers you a beautiful panoramic view of the breathtaking surroundings.Continue downhill through the Fichtelseemoor natural forest reserve, which is up to 10,000 years old. It is one of the rare saddle high bogs in northern Bavaria and covers about 140 hectares.In Neubau near Fichtelberg, your current destination, you will find a good selection of accommodation. Half of the Franconian mountain path is already behind you, time for the mountain festival.

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  • Difficult
    05:12
    11.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,200 ft
    1,950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    More than half of the Franconian mountain path is already behind you, further exciting tours await you. Just like the twelfth stage with its 18 kilometers route from Fichtelberg to Goldkronach.You leave the village of Fichtelberg and hike uphill to the summit of the Ochsenkopf, the second highest mountain in the Fichtelgebirge. On the 1,024 meter high summit there is a lookout tower from which you have a fantastic all-round view.After you have thoroughly enjoyed the view, you hike downhill again to Bischofsgrün. How about a refreshment in one of the inns? The place is located in the high valley of the White Main, one of the two source rivers of the Main.From Bischofsgrün it goes past the Warmensteinacher Forest and through the Goldkronacher Forest into the town of the same name. The stage ends in the Sickenreuth district. You can find a larger selection of accommodations in Goldkronach, one and a half kilometers away.

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  • Intermediate
    03:39
    7.96 mi
    2.2 mph
    800 ft
    1,275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    You can take it easy on the 13th stage of the Franconian Mountain Trail, almost 13 kilometers between Goldkronach and Bayreuth. At the beginning of the stage it is worth taking a short walk through the resort town of Goldkronach, which became known for its gold deposits and gold processing industry. Magnificent buildings such as Leisau Castle are reminiscent of this time.As soon as you are on the actual long-distance hiking trail again, it goes gently uphill. You cross the Kornbach and hike along the Seelohbach and later along the Saulochbach. On the way you will always come across wooden benches that invite you to take a promising break.Around half-way the path leads you through Untersteinach. Here you can fortify yourself in one of the inns. We continue along the nature reserve "Steinachtal with Deichselhölzchen" to the famous festival town of Bayreuth. In your stage destination you will find a large selection of accommodation as well as a train station if Bayreuth is your general hiking destination.

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  • Intermediate
    03:48
    8.85 mi
    2.3 mph
    575 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Off we go to Franconian Switzerland! The 14th stage on the Franconian mountain trail takes you on a relatively flat stretch of Bayreuth, which marks the eastern border of the Franconian Switzerland, to Creussen.After a morning walk through the beautiful Bayreuth you leave the city and dive into the forest. Soon you will reach the sloe mill on the Red Main, the second source river of the Main. The historic mill, which has long been owned by the family, was rebuilt in 1959 as an inn. From here you have a wonderful view of the valley.About Schmelsberg, Ottmannsreuth and Hagenohe you walk along the banks of the Red Main on to the stage destination Creussen. Here you will find accommodation, several restaurants, supermarkets to stock up and a train station.

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  • Difficult
    05:47
    13.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,225 ft
    900 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The 15th stage on the Franconian mountain trail starts with a small round through your starting point in Creußen. Buildings such as the medieval city wall, the town hall and the Hermitage bear witness to an eventful past.You leave the place, hike a bit across meadows and fields until you enter the Lindenhardter forest. It won't be long before you reach the source of the Red Main. It was already set in stone in 1907 and flows from here via a wooden pipe.You hike up and down through the forest, accompanied by grandiose panoramas over the Franconian Switzerland. After 21 kilometers you will reach your stage destination glassworks, nestled in the forested hills and gently surrounded by fields and pastures.

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  • Difficult
    07:03
    16.0 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,400 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    With more than 25 kilometers, today's stage is one of the longer routes on the Franconian mountain trail. You leave glassworks early and hike along the edge of the forest, then through the forest to Obersees.Historical buildings and a modern thermal bath await you in the village if you still have enough time for a short break. About one kilometer northwest of Obernsees is the Knock nature reserve with the summit of the same name. On the mountain you will find a rustic log cabin, which is hosted on Sundays and public holidays, as well as several wooden tables and benches.After a relaxing break you hike on to Schönfeld, then along the Erbach and from Kleinhül towards Wonsees. The path takes you a little northeast of Wonsees to the rock garden Sanspareil, an impressive English landscape garden that was created between 1744 and 1748.From Sanspareil it is only 20 minutes to Wonsees, your today's destination.

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  • Difficult
    07:33
    17.7 mi
    2.3 mph
    850 ft
    1,100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    With more than 28 kilometers, you again have a hard day hike on the Franconian mountain path ahead of you. However, no big climbs await you on the way from Wonsees to Aufseß. From Wonsees or Sanspareil, the path leads you through the town of Zedersitz to the Upper Kaiserbachtal.It continues in the Kaiserbachtal with its impressive rocks on the left and right. You hike through the idyllic landscape and soon reach the resort of Hollfeld, the "City of Arts and Culture". Numerous exhibitions, the “theater summer” and many other events put Hollfeld in the focus of culture. You will also find a selection of refreshments here.The hiking path takes you further to Sachsendorf, where you meet the river Aufseß. You follow the river to the village of the same name, Aufseß. How about a stroll to Unteraufseß Castle before you move into your bed?In 2001, by the way, Aufseß immortalized itself in the Guinness Book of World Records as the municipality with the highest brewery density.

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  • Intermediate
    04:21
    10.0 mi
    2.3 mph
    625 ft
    775 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The 18th stage of the Franconian mountain trail is a bit more relaxed again at 16 kilometers. On your way from Aufseß to Waischenfeld you initially hike on the brewery hiking trail and pass several quaint parlors. For example, after almost two kilometers at Kathi-Bräu. Time for a second breakfast!The path leads you to Plankenfels. The castle of the same name rises on a dolomite rock and is one of the remarkable features of the picturesque village. You can take a lunch break in the pretty village.Along the Wiesent we continue southwards via Nankendorf to Waischenfeld, today's stage destination. End the evening on the banks of the Wiesent.

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  • Difficult
    08:16
    18.2 mi
    2.2 mph
    2,125 ft
    1,850 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Stage 19 on the Franconian mountain route has its almost 30 kilometers and 650 meters of altitude again in itself. So getting up early is worth it and you should also pack some provisions for a picnic on the way. You will be rewarded with the varied landscape of the Franconian Switzerland.You leave Waischenfeld with its hill castle and soon reach the next medieval splendor, the castle Rabenstein south of Klausstein. The former Adelsburg rises above the valley of the Ailsbach and can be visited. In the immediate vicinity you will find the Sophienhöhle, an impressive stalactite cave, which is one of the most beautiful show caves in Germany.Continue uphill to the Hohenmirsberger Platte, at 614 meters one of the highest mountains in Franconian Switzerland. From the lookout tower offers you a magnificent panoramic view.You walk downhill again and dive into the forest after the village of Oberhauenstein. Soon you will reach the castle ruins Hollenberg and the nearly 100 meter long dwarf cave. Here is worth a longer break, in the immediate vicinity you will also find a cozy snack bar with beer garden.Freshly strengthened, you also master the last kilometers to your stage destination Pegnitz. Here are a few accommodations, a good selection of restaurants and a train station.

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  • Difficult
    07:19
    16.5 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,450 ft
    1,375 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Freshly rested you start into the 20th stage on the Franconian mountain path. Before you leave Pegnitz, it is still worth taking a short walk through the city center with its historic buildings. Then you start in southwestern direction, the nearly 27-kilometer stage to Plech.The path leads you through cozy villages and idyllic landscapes to Betzenstein. Shortly before the village you walk past the Großer Wasserstein, the Hexentor and the Klauskirche - three imposing rock gates, which make this walk section especially beautiful. In Betzenstein you will also find a few restaurants for a lunch break.With new energy you climb the observation tower in Betzenstein, from which you have a great view of the half-timbered houses, the two castles and the city gates. In a relaxed up and down, we continue to your milestone goal Plech. Settle down in the tranquil village for a leisurely evening and recharge your batteries for the final stage on the Franconian mountain path.

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  • Difficult
    10:05
    21.6 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,700 ft
    3,075 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Final sprint! Today the last stage on the Franconian mountain path is on the plan - and with 34.7 kilometers it is the longest. But after 20 mastered tours you are well trained and just start the day early.The last stage of the day connects Plech with Hersbruck and takes you from Franconian Switzerland to Hersbrucker Alb. Look forward to magnificent views and a beautiful landscape that will accompany you throughout the day.The path leads you towards Riegelstein and over the hamlet of Schermshöhe. Then it goes past the village of Illafeld to Hormersdorf and Steinensittenbach, which is surrounded by the Lammbühl, the Schwarzenberg, the Pfaffenberg and the Hohensteiner Berg. It is worth stopping in the newly renovated and accessible Hohenstein Castle. In the neighboring Hohensteiner Hof you can fortify yourself.In the area of the Hersbrucker Alb there are still a few short and crisp climbs waiting for you. You hike through the small town of Kleedorf and then reach your destination in Hersbruck. You can look back on around 430 kilometers traveled and more than deserve an extensive stop. In Hersbruck you will find a selection of restaurants and accommodations if you want to spend the night on the Pegnitz. You can quickly get to Nuremberg by train.If the tour with its almost 35 kilometers is too long for you, you can also get on the bus line 338 in Kleedorf and drive the last kilometers to Hersbruck.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    21
  • Distance
    272 mi
  • Duration
    121:46 h
  • Elevation
    26,375 ft26,550 ft

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