Lichtenstein Castle can be described, without any exaggeration, as the fairy tale castle of Württemberg. The novel "Lichtenstein" by Wilhelm Hauff, published in 1826, provided the inspiration for Count Wilhelm of Urach when building this beautiful castle complex.
The former hunting castle on the steep rock above the Echaz Valley was built during 1840-1842 and contains a large collection of historic weapons, armour and treasures.
It looks particularly picturesque in autumn and in spring when the forest-covered mountain slopes surrounding it change colour with the seasons.
You can get to the castle via the L 230 Lichtenstein-Sonnenbühl-Genkingen.
There is a car park approx. 200 m from the castle.
Hohenzollern Castle is a castle about 50 kilometers (31 mi) south of Stuttgart, Germany. It is considered the ancestral seat of the Hohenzollern family, which emerged in the Middle Ages and eventually became German Emperors.
The castle is located on top of Mount Hohenzollern at an elevation of 855 meters (2,805 ft) above sea level, 234 m (768 ft) above Hechingen and nearby Bisingen, both located at the foothills of the Swabian Alb. It was originally constructed in the first part of the 11th century.
When the family split into two branches, the castle remained the property of the Swabian branch, which was dynastically senior to the Franconian/Brandenburg branch which eventually acquired an imperial throne. The castle was completely destroyed after a 10-month siege in 1423 by the imperial cities of Swabia. A second, larger and sturdier castle was constructed from 1454 to 1461 and served as a refuge for the Catholic Swabian Hohenzollerns during wartime, including during the Thirty Years' War. By the end of the 18th century, however, the castle was thought to have lost its strategic importance and gradually fell into disrepair, leading to the demolition of several dilapidated buildings. Today, only the chapel remains from the medieval castle.
The third version of the castle, which stands today, was constructed for Frederick William IV of Prussia between 1846 and 1867, under the direction of Friedrich August Stüler, who based his design on English Neo-Gothic style as well as the castles of the Loire Valley. Because the castle was built as a family memorial, no member of the Hohenzollern family took residence in this third castle until 1945, when it became home to the last Prussian Crown Prince Wilhelm; he and his wife, Crown Princess Cecilie, are buried there.
Among the historical artifacts of Prussian history contained in the castle today are the Crown of Wilhelm II and some of the personal effects ofFrederick the Great and a letter from US President George Washington thanking Baron von Steuben, a scion of the House of Hohenzollern, for his service in the American Revolutionary War. The castle is today a popular tourist destination.
Cochem is probably the finest looking castle and scene directly on the banks of the Mosel river. The castle enjoys a commanding view over the Mosel and the town of Cochem. However even with the commanding view and the steep access to the castle history has not been kind to the original. It was siezed by the German emperor in 1151 and in 1294 was mortgaged to the archbishop of Trier.
The square tower visible at the center of the castle is the keep that served as a last gasp refuge for its residents when the battle created a serious threat of breach by the enemy. This did in fact happen in 1689 when King Louis XIV of France had the castle totally destroyed. It remained a ruin for about 200 years.
It was completely rebuilt by a Berlin merchant, Louise Ravene, according to the original plans. So, while the structure may not be the original, the plans are true to the original. It was sold by force to the German government in 1942 and since 1978 has been the property of the town of Cochem.
Situated only three kilometres up river from Waldheim, Kriebstein Castles rises on a steep rock over the Zschopau River. Among the large group of mountain castles, it embodies the type of a mountain spur castle, i.e. the castle rests on the outermost foothill of a mountain spur which the Zschopau River flows around on three sides in a wide bend. This foothill is separated from the rising hinterland by an artificially dug moat.
Typologically, Kriebstein Castle represents a combination of a tower castle and a ring castle of oval footprint. As a dominant, the monumental residential tower rises from the highest rock cliff. With its edge lengths of 22 x 12 metres, the tower reaches a height of 45 metres up to its weather vane. Its late medieval bay turrets and ridge turret give the castle its charming looks with its unique roof outline.
The tower-like gatehouse, the ring wall with the utility building, the kitchen building and other outbuildings, including the chapel wing, huddle around the residential tower. A two-bay cross-vaulted Gothic hall and the rear castle are attached east of the chapel wing. This building complex, located immediately above the steep slope down to the Zschopau River, is linked by a common upper floor from the 17th century. The Late Gothic kitchen building is directly attached to the residential tower at the heart of the castle. The overall complex is closed off by a utility wing, which, among others, accommodates the Banquet Hall (now being used as a concert and performance hall) and the Well Chamber, as well as the north defence wall that touches on the gatehouse again.