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Hohenzollern Castle – Germany

Hohenzollern Castle – Germany

Germany is rife with castles including the Neuschwanstein Castle, Lichtenstein Castle and Mespelbrunn Castle, what’s one more between friends?

History of Hohenzollern Castle

Once the throne of the Prussian emperors, the Hohenzollern Castle is a sample of the English and French Neo Gothic Architecture built in Germany. It stands on top of Mount Hohenzollern and therefore is at a height of 855 metres above the sea level. The nearest big city to the Hohenzollern Castle is Stuttgart which is at distance of 50 kilometres.

The Hohenzollern Castle has been through stages of neglect and dilapidation and currently stands in its third version which got initiated by King Frederick of Prussia in the years 1846 and 1867. However, the first version of the castle got built in the 11th century by the Hohenzollern families and its destruction came through a siege which was done by the imperial cities of Swabia.

Thereafter, the second castle came in to existence in 1454 which acted more as a refuge for the Roman Catholic Hohenzollerns during the Thirty Years War. During all these times the ownership of the Hohenzollern Castle constantly kept changing and during the 19th century the castle fell in to a condition of major disrepair. It was then that effort for making the current structure was made by the Crown Prince who saw the family castle in the sorry state.

Hohenzollern Castle or Burg Hohenzollern in Stuttgart, Germany
Hohenzollern Castle or Burg Hohenzollern in Stuttgart, Germany, during the 1890s, vintage engraving. Old engraved illustration of Hohenzollern Castle.

The current Hohenzollern Castle with its fortifications and towers was a dream of the Crown Prince which he got designed by architect Friedrich August Stuler and till the current day remains under the private ownership of the Hohenzollern lines. With its imposing structure, the Hohenzollern Castle is considered to be a masterpiece of both military and civil architecture. Along with the surrounding scenery of the Swabian albs, it is famous amongst a large number of tourists for its picturesqueness.

Though the Hohenzollern Castle is not known to be a typical museum but, it has conserved a number of artefacts of the German royal era. The castle has 140 chambers right now whose walls are adorned with the paintings of the Hohenzollern family tree and a variety of murals too. Amongst the notable rooms are the King’s bedrooms, the family tree hall, and the Queen Blue Salon.

In the last mentioned room, the roof is stunningly gilded, and there are a number of Portraits of the earlier Prussian Queens. Some Royal treasury is also kept on display in the Hohenzollern Castle which includes the crown of Kaiser Wilhelm II. In the current times too, the castle is considered to be an alternate home for the members of the royal family in times of need.

The last Prussian Crown Prince Wilhelm resided there with his wife in the year 1945 and also got buried there after their deaths.

In the current times the finance for the maintenance of the Hohenzollern Castle is generated from the admission fee of the visitors. The castle hosts a number of events across the year which keeps an inflow of visitors as well. There are particular timings of visiting the Hohenzollern Castle and it can be a good option for a day tour with family and friends.

Visiting Hohenzollern Castle

Getting there by car

Travelling by car on the A 81 (Stuttgart–Singen), exit Empfingen, on B463 in direction Balingen, then on B 27 in direction Hechingen (in Hechingen, Burg Hohenzollern signposts give you the direction) or via B 27 (Stuttgart–Tübingen-Hechingen-Balingen), exit Burg Hohenzollern.

The road leads directly to the Castle car park. There is a pathway which gets more steep as you go and takes approximately 30 minutes and leads you to the Castle entrance, the Eagle’s Gate. You will be able to buy your tickets from the booth here. The Castle can be reached more comfortably by taking the shuttle bus (station is next to the parking lot shop). Please refer to the Route planner for your arrival by car.

Via GPS:
N  48.32570 | E  8.96390
N  48°19’32‘‘ | E  8°57‘50‘‘

Bus & train to the Castle

If you go by train, get to Hechingen station and from there by bus to the Hohenzollern Castle. Here are a couple of ways:

From Stuttgart main station (Hbf) to Hechingen station by train (IRE)
Stuttgart main station: leaving at 10:16 hrs – arrival Hechingen station at 11:19hrs (daily)
Stuttgart main station: leaving at 12:16 hrs – arrival Hechingen station at 13:19hrs (daily)
Please refer to for further times (please choose “Stuttgart Hbf” as start point and “Bahnhof/ZOB, Hechingen” as destination).

From Hechingen station by bus to the car park at Hohenzollern Castle:

29 April – 15 OctoberSaturday/Sunday/bank holiday09:2509:40
29 April – 15 OctoberSunday/bank holiday12:3312:48
01 April – 31 OctoberDaily13:2513:40
29 April – 15 OctoberSaturday/Sunday/bank holiday14:3014:45
29 April – 15 OctoberSaturday/Sunday/bank holiday16:3016:45

From the car park at Hohenzollern Castle by bus to Hechingen station:

29 April – 15 OctoberSaturday/Sunday/bank holiday10:5911:13
29 April – 15 OctoberSaturday/Sunday/bank holiday12:5913:13
29 April – 15 OctoberSaturday/Sunday/bank holiday14:1614:30
All-seasonMonday to Friday16:0516:24
All-seasonSaturday/Sunday/bank holiday16:1616:30
29 April – 15 OctoberSaturday/Sunday17:1517:30
01 April – 31 OktoberSaturday/Sunday/bank holiday17:3517:48
01 April – 31 OktoberDaily18:3518:48

Please check for return journeys (please choose “Stuttgart Hbf” as start point and “Bahnhof/ZOB, Hechingen” as destination).

The following train tickets enable up to 5 people to travel for a reasonable cost and it includes the bus transfer from Hechingen station to the Hohenzollern Castle parking lot:
– MetropolTicket Stuttgart
– Baden-Württemberg-Ticket
– Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket

Worth noting:

On presentation of the Metropol-Ticket Stuttgart, the Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket or of the Baden-Württemberg-Ticket families are entitled to a reduced admission for the Hohenzollern Castle.

Additional travel information

DB Reise & Touristik
Travel Centre Tübingen Main station
Phone +49 (0)7071 155333
Fax +49 (0)7071 155358

Tourist Information Zollernalbkreis
Wirtschaftsförderungsgesellschaft für den Zollernalbkreis
Phone +49 (0)7433 921392
Fax +49 (0)7433 921667

Tourist Information Hechingen
Phone +49 (0)7171 940114
Fax +49 (0)7471 940108


D-72379 Burg Hohenzollern
Visitors phone +49 (0)7471 2428
Fax +49 (0)7471 6812

Email [email protected]

Europa Park – the largest theme park in Germany

Europa Park – the largest theme park in Germany

If you are on a Europe trotting spree then after Paris, Germany should be your next halt because, for adventure seekers, here is a chance to enjoy eleven roller coasters in the country’s biggest theme park which is also the second largest in the continent and is called Europa-Park. Situated in a place called Rust it falls on the south western part of Germany and has already reached a tourist count of 4.5 million in 2011.


Occupying 90 hectares of land, the Europa Park gives options to an entire family presenting activities which have adventure, thrill and also entertainment. Like the other big theme parks, here too there are theme regions along with pleasant architectural specimens, interesting food options, and other shows. It is under the ownership of Mack GmbH & Co who have specialised over years in making vehicles like previously circus wagons and currently roller coasters. Europa Park has been in existence since 1975 and has been entertaining millions of visitors since 1978.


The themes of the Europa Park include Enchanted Forests, Adventure Land, Children’s World also known as the Viking Land, Germany, Russia, Italy, France, Scandinavia, Portugal, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Greece, England, Austria, Iceland, and lastly the Europa-Park Resort. Amongst all the themed countries, Italy was the first one in the list. Each of the countries has their own specialities like the experience of seas in Greece, the thrill of riding in to the Stars in Russia and so on. All these help in increasing the tourist flow year on year and generate revenue of about EUR 300 million annually. It is for this reason that the number of hotels in the process of construction has also got increased so as to accommodate the crowd during the peak seasons. The best season to visit the Europa-Park is known to be summers as during this time the gates are open from 9am to 6pm unlike the winter timings of 11am to 7pm.


In the recent times, it is known that the 12th roller coaster of the Europa Park is under construction and is expected to get completed by 2014. This ride is known to be coming up in the theme of the Enchanted Forests and is inspired by the film on Arthur and the Invisibles. The upcoming events of the Europa-Park include its 40th anniversary in the year 2015 and also the creation of the water park whose completion is to be marked in 2016 or 17. The upcoming hotels which are to be completed in the Europa-Park Resort are being planned to be of lower budgets unlike the existing ones which are all 5 or 4 starred.


Thus, for an all round entertainment for an entire family Europa-Park is one of the ideal destinations to be ventured in.

Allianz Arena – Munich – Germany

Allianz Arena – Munich – Germany

Allianz Arena – Munich – Germany

If you claim yourself to be a football fan then not knowing about the Allianz Arena football stadium of the north Munich, Germany is a shame to the game. With a seating capacity of 70,000 people, it is the third largest football stadium of Germany and is known to be one of the most modern ones across Europe. Allianz Arena is also home to two of the established football clubs of Germany, namely FC Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munchen. Since 2005-06, both these two clubs now play their home games in this stadium after playing in the Munich Olympic Stadium from 1972.

In Germany, therefore, the three stadiums which have the ownership to the game of football are the Signal Iduna Park of Dortmund, the Olympiastadion of Berlin, and the Allianz Arena of Munich. Although the stadium is named after the global financial service providers Allianz but they are not allowed to use the name at the time of hosting the FIFA or the UEFA matches. The Allianz Arena is also addressed by the name Schlauchboot which means the inflatable boat because of the 2,760 cushions in the shape of diamonds which make up the external covering of the stadium. It is also the first of its kind in being a stadium which changes colours from outside, like being red when hosting the games of Bayern Munich, white when being used by the national team of Germany, and so on.

The planning for the Allianz Arena was done by famous architects Jaques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron. The total area covered by the Allianz Arena is 66,500 sq metre. Such is the planning of the stadium that the entry way to it is separated from the largest underground car park of Europe by an esplanade which is sufficiently raised. Keeping in mind the weather fluctuations of the stadium, the blinds of the stadium can be folded back and forth so as to prevent the hindrance of sun or rain. The entire Allianz Arena is actually wrapped by 2,874 ETFE air panels which are made of foil. These are kept inflated with the help of dry air whose pressure keeps varying. When the panels are viewed at a distance they appear to be white in colour however, coming close you can spot both the small dots and the foil. It is when the panels are lit by various colour lights that the arena starts glowing.


As the Allianz Arena is always favourite with the fans and always gets filled up for any game it hosts, the reception and service facilities of the arena are also maintained with efficiency. The catering service is of about 6,000 sq metres meeting the culinary requirements of visitors. The car park too can accommodate about 10,000 cars so that people can easily reach the Allianz Arena.

As the distance between the Allianz Arena and the Munich city centre is 10 kilometres, it is accessible by public and private transports.

Neuschwanstein Castle – Germany

Neuschwanstein Castle – Germany

Almost all of us, at some point of time in our childhood, grow up listening to the fairy tales and often end up saying fairy tales never happen in reality. But, the Sleeping Beauty Castle of Disneyland is pretty unlike our notions. It is an inspiration from the larger than life Neuschwanstein Castle of Germany which every year draws about 1.4 million foot falls as tourists.

The English interpretation of this 19th century romantic castle is New Swan Stone Castle and it costed the German King Ludwig II a fortune to build this in totality. Although, he did not have the luck to see the castle in its complete beauty but, ever since it got opened for public glance, the castle has got featured in a number of movies with over 60 million people already have paid it a visit over the years. It is now one of the most attractive tourist destinations of Europe and is a good revenue earner for Germany. The highest number of tourists, as much as 6,000 a day, queues up in front of the castle mainly during the summers.

Unlike its current popularity amongst enthusiasts worldwide, the castle, on the south western front of Bavaria, Germany was built with a notion to be a retreat for Ludwig II where he could stay away from people. Post his death in 1886, the castle was opened for public viewing.

Located on perhaps the most picturesque locale possible for any such mansion, the Neuschwanstein Castle is made of limestone and is a magnificent blend of both contemporary architecture and medieval romanticism inspired from the operas of Ludwig II’s favourite Richard Wagner. Ludwig II’s recluse in the world of fairytales and legends is very much apparent in the rooms of the castle, especially two of beautiful halls. One of them is the Singer’s Hall whose walls though never got a chance to reverberate to the notes of music but they portray the medieval banquet choices. The other one is Ludwig’s favourite Hall of the Holy Grail which he amalgamated the art of the medieval times with the contemporary technologies. Thus, the entire palace, starting from the dining rooms to the bed chamber of Ludwig is wrapped in embellishments of gold and blue. They partly try to match the splendour of his father’s Watburg Castle and partly are the product of his mythical creative forces.

During Ludwig’s death in 1886, the Neuschwanstein Castle was still in the process of completion but, it was opened for public viewing after the king’s death so that the huge debts incurred for the castle could be dealt with and some income for the Bavarian royal family could also be generated. It certainly served that purpose for the royal family till 1914 after which post the World War I and Bavaria’s republic status is now managed by the Bavarian Palace Department.

The best approaches to the Neuschwanstein Castle is parking at either Schwangau or Füssen and then walk to get the tickets to enter the mansion. There are also public transports like train to Füssen.

Lichtenstein Castle – Germany

Lichtenstein Castle – Germany

An old ruin refurbished in to a new and enchanting castle is the description that may be apt for the Lichtenstein Castle which stands in the region of the Swabian Alb of Germany. The Lichtenstein Castle is built on a cliff and is not very far from Stuttgart.

The actual date of the oldest construction in the location goes back to 1200. The castle which existed that time got destroyed once during the War of Reichskrieg which happened in 1311 and once again by the city-state of Reutlingen during the 1381. Since, after none of these were there any efforts towards the reconstruction of the castle it eventually fell in a state of disrepair and ruin.

It was in 1802 when the land went in to the control of Duke Frederick I of Wurttemberg that he got a hunting lodge constructed in the place of the ruin. After him, the land then got a new owner in the form of his nephew named Duke Wilhelm of Urach and he, after getting inspired from the novel Lichtenstein got the castle constructed. The construction of this romantic castle happened between 1840 and 1842. The Lichtenstein Castle seems to be neo gothic in style and is a true representative of the medieval age.

Though the Lichtenstein Castle is still under the ownership of the Dukes of Urach but, it is also open as a public attraction for tourists visiting the various parts of Germany. In addition to the scenic beauty around the Lichtenstein Castle there are also a number and variety of medieval weaponry and armoury which are on display for the tourists inside the castle.

The Lichtenstein Castle is comparatively a smaller castle as compared to the others present in Germany however, that does not reduce the flow of tourists to the location primarily because of its quite and scenic surroundings which also has tourist friendly facilities like parking, restaurants, and so on. It is usually a good one day destination.

The Lichtenstein Castle opens for tourists every day during the months of April to October. The timing usually remains from morning 9 to evening 5.30. However, during the months of November, February and March the timing of the castle during weekends is from morning 10 to evening 4.30. There are tours available within the premises of the Lichtenstein Castle, most of which may be in Germany but are accompanied with some cards for tourists who only speak English so as to ensure they do not miss any information. There are fees for admission as well as tours along with the provision of enjoying costume tours as well with prior reservations.