Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Castle hopping in Germany

Berg Hohenzollern

If you have a vehicle in Germany, it can be fun to go castle hopping. I recommend that you take a look at what is in the surrounding areas of your primary destination. (Our travel book, DK Eyewitness Travel, Germany helped us find many of these castles on our visit to main attractions.) Then take a day or two to go out and explore. You can couple these excursions with hikes as public trails abound in Germany and if their is a castle, there is likely a walking path leading up to it.

In the region of the Schwabishe Alb are several castles. The one of the largest we visited was a Prussian home (same family as Frederick the Great), Berg Hohenzollern.

Berg Hohenzollern

Berg Hohenzollern

Berg Hohenzollern

 To the east is Lichtenstein named after the light colored rock it was built of.



Another great area to see castles is father west in the Moseltal (Mosel river valley) where you can leisurely drive and see more castles.  The river has several bends and twists and is known for its beauty and wine. There are castles at nearly every bend.

Mosel River
Mosel River

We drove and/hiked up to a few.
The highlight of that area was Burg Eltz. The Von Eltz family owns this castle but has it open to visitors and there is even a cafe.

Burg Eltz
Burg Eltz

Here is a castle that we saw  from the main road and hiked up a public path to. Unfortunately,it was not open to the public at the time but we were able to see some of the grounds and the hike to and from was lovely.

hiking in Germany

I read once that Germany has the most castles or castle ruins of all the European countries. And I can believe that because of numerous times we saw them. Some are simply remains of walls in the woods at the crest of a hill and others are like these, remodeled and well maintained. We had wonderful time visiting each and all those in between. A visit to these historic house of the powerful not only were an opportunity to ooh and ah and imagine being a princess or knight for the kids. We used the time to discuss historic events and how society was structured in times past. Talk about making history come alive and be fun!

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