With “sightsleeping” hotels, the state of Bavaria offers tourists interesting ways to discover the land of King Ludwig with its many castles. “Sightsleeping” features 19 different hotels all over Bavaria, each unique, and a tourist attraction in and of itself.
Especially interesting are the seven castle hotels at Neuburg, Wernberg, Pommersfelde, Eggersberg, Rothenburg, Burgellern and Hopferau. Each offers a connection between history, culture, art and luxury. (www.bayern.by)
Live like a king, spend as a pauper
Castles, former hunting lodges and manor homes have been turned into bed and breakfast places and even youth hostels. All these castles are pleasant, historic and non expensive getaways, and definitely a good bargain.
Castles, monasteries and manor houses that have joined the Culture and Castles Association, a group of aristocratic families opening their properties to the public, stand out due to their remarkable authenticity, and they provide timeless accommodations for great value, starting at 60 Euro per night. Services range from bed and breakfasts, holiday apartments and wedding facilities, to dreamlike locations for meetings and special festivities. (www.culture-castles.de)
Along the Castle Road, which stretches more than 600 miles from Mannheim/Heidelberg to Prague, some of the more than 70 castles, palaces and castle ruins have been turned into hotels and offer comfortable and fairy-tale like accommodations. For centuries the buildings have survived the vicissitudes of history and stand as reminders of emperors, kings and princes, of poets and thinkers, robber knights and romantic tales of chivalry.
Youth hostels in castles are the essence of great value with a unique experience. Stahleck Castle (www.jugendherberge.de), in Bacharach near the river Rhine river, is Germany’s prime example of spending like a pauper but living like a king. This 11th century castle houses one of Germany’s top youth hostels with plenty of beds, a warm welcome and a medieval view. Prices for an overnight stay can be as low as 20 Euro. Other popular youth hostels can be found in the castles of Nuremberg above the city center: Altena near the Ruhr region, Ehrenbreitstein near Koblenz and Rothenfels in the Main valley.
Baden Wuerttemberg and its Castles
The state of Baden Wuerttemberg in the southwest of Germany is home to many of the country’s finest palaces and the birthplace of its most powerful dynasty: the Hohenzollern, who ruled Prussia and Germany for many centuries.
Castles in Baden Wuerttemberg cannot only be visited, but they also serve as hotels offering guests royal comfort and an unforgettable stay.
A luxury getaway is the Castle Hotel Buehlerhoehe. The five-star hotel, just outside of Baden-Baden, is at an altitude of 2,788 feet, overlooking the surrounding wineries. With luxury accommodations, gourmet restaurants and unique flair, this castle hotel is one of Baden Wuerttemberg’s shining stars and promises an unforgettable stay. (www.buehlerhoehe.de)
Along the castle road lie other unique hotels: A romantic stay in an authentic fortress can be found at Castle Guttenberg. Situated on a mountaintop overlooking the river Neckar, guests will not only sleep comfortable in this fortress from the 13th century, the castle has a rustic charm and invites guests to medieval feasts. (www.burg-guttenberg.de)
The Castle Hotel Liebenstein is a treat for all golfers with its own 27-hole golf course. The castle was built in the 12th century and is situated in close to the river Neckar. With 24 rooms, the hotel promises an intimate experience with personal service. (www.liebenstein.com)
Other castle hotels in Baden Wuerttemberg are Staufeneck, www.burg-staufeneck.de; Haigerloch, www.schloss-haigerloch.de; Hornberg, www.burg-hotel-hornberg.de; Heinsheim, www.schloss-heinsheim.de; and Reinach, www.schlossreinach.de.
From the castle hotels you can take trips to the impressive main castles of the Hohenzollern. The crown of the Prussian kings can be visited in Hohenzollern Castle, a majestic fortress overlooking its environment from the top of a mountain. Castle Sigmaringen, the Hohenzollern’s former seat on the Danube, is also a major landmark. The castle of the princes of Hohenzollern stands high above the Danube on a white Jurassic limestone spur. All the castles of the Hohenzollern can be discovered by following the scenic Hohenzollern route. The route of 143 miles takes you through the countryside and to many sights that once made up “Hohenzollern country.” The route starts from the Neckar Valley in the north and runs down almost as far as Lake Constance in the south, traversing the Swabian Alb. (www.germany-tourism.de)
Besides the castles of “Hohenzollern Country,” there are the impressive palaces of Heidelberg and Mannheim. Heidelberg Castle served as the residence of the Palatine Electors for over four centuries and today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle and its courtyard are famous for celebrations and cultural events, such as the castle festival in the summer (June 21 – August 23). (www.heidelberg-marketing.de)
Reopened last year, the Baroque castle of Mannheim is the pride of the region. Built in 1720 the castle has a long and turbulent history, being destroyed and rebuilt several times.(www.schloss-mannheim.de)