Guten Tag Kaptain Kenny readers,
Today we’d like to present to you two of our favourite and seemingly less-known castles in Germany.
Every one knows Neuschwanstein (pronounced: Noy-Schvarn-Schtein) which is the classic Disney castle. Yes it’s beautiful and I would thoroughly recommend you go there. But unless you like sharing your precious space with half of Japan/Korea/China/U.S.A/Britain etcetera…. then you’re best off seeing the smaller castles!
Eltz Castle (German: Burg Eltz) is a medieval castle nestled in the hills above the Moselle River between Koblenz and Trier, Germany. It is still owned by a branch of the same family (the Eltz family) that lived there in the 12th century, 33 generations ago. Bürresheim Castle, Eltz Castle and Lissingen Castle are the only castles on the left bank of the Rhine in Rhineland-Palatinate which have never been destroyed.
Burg Eltz is certainly a little bit off the beaten track. In fact, both times we’ve driven visiting friends there, we’ve gotten a bit lost! There are two points of access and for the life of me, I couldn’t explain how to get there. My best advice is print some directions as the navigator in the car made us drive around and around both times.
One access point will be a nice 15 minute walk through the forest and the other side is a little more strenuous and hilly at 30-40 minutes depending on weather.
There is a bus which can take you but why would you? Get some fresh air and enjoy the peace and quiet of this lovely forest.
Next up is the Heidelberg Castle. Well now it’s more like 50% ruins and 50% renovated castle but it’s absolutely worth the trip nonetheless.
Heidelberg Castle (German: Heidelberger Schloss) is a ruin in Germany and landmark of Heidelberg. The castle ruins are among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps.
The castle has only been partially rebuilt since its demolition in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is located 80 metres (260 ft) up the northern part of the Koenigstuhl hillside, and thereby dominates the view of the old downtown. It is served by an intermediate station on the Heidelberger Bergbahn funicular railway that runs from Heidelberg’s Kornmarkt to the summit of the Königstuhl.
The earliest castle structure was built before 1214 and later expanded into two castles circa 1294; however, in 1537, a lightning-bolt destroyed the upper castle. The present structures had been expanded by 1650, before damage by later wars and fires. In 1764, another lightning-bolt caused a fire which destroyed some rebuilt sections.
I’ve taken probably five friends here all on separate occasions. Heidelberg is always a winner because it’s what the tourists want. It’s a cute little student town, close to Frankfurt where we live and it’s paved with cobblestones.
Out of those 5 occasions, I have walked from the centre of town up to the castle 4 times. Yes it’s a slightly tough walk but it’s really worth it to see that view.
The last time I went, I made the *MISTAKE* of taking the railway up the hill. DO NOT DO THIS, especially in summer. It was the
most un-German slowest process of my life. We had to line up to buy tickets, line up to take the first train, line up to take the second train and once at the top of the hill, we had to do it all again to come down.
Admittedly the view at the top was nice but in my personal opinion, I’d recommend you just walk to the castle and zip around the side to get a much more detailed panorama of Heidelberg.
Thank you for reading and if you’d like to know more about other castles, keep an eye on my upcoming posts as there’ll be one soon on Schloss Johannisberg in Geisenheim and one on the Nymphenburg Palace in Munich.
Dankeschoen for reading! Do you have a question? Drop us a message – we read them all 🙂
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