What she thought
I came across Burg Hohenzollern by chance. One of my favorite things to do is use the picture function on Googlemaps when planning a trip (read more under travel tips). Hohenzollern was one of the pictures I came across. I had never even heard of it or seen a picture of it but immediately new we had to add it into the trip. That morning we had toured both of Ludwig's castle and then headed here. The castle is located east of the Black Forest about 42 miles south of Stuttgart. Unfortunately the castle was closed by the time we made it there but it was still worth the trip. It was another in a line of majestic castles that rise up out of the earth as if they are about to take flight. Upon arriving we parked the car and asked the attendant about visiting. She informed us the castle was closed for interior visits already and buses weren't running but we could feel free to walk up. Nooooo problem. We've conquered two castles already today, what's one more? Oh boy, what a hike up to that castle. I don't recommend three in a day unless you are really used to walking alot. I am and it was still exhausting! And again, it was worth the effort. The walk itself was beautiful and the castle is stunning. Neuschwanstein and Hohenzollern are fairly new castles, both being constructed in the late 1800's. The current castle here is actually the third, built from 1850-1867. The original castle on this spot was first mentioned in 1267. We promise to go back and tour the inside and share pictures with you. Until then, enjoy these pics of Hohenzollern Castle.
What he thought
Of all the castles in Germany, though not quite as famous as many, Hohenzollern, for me, is visually the most beautiful.
So many of the castles you visit are either severely damaged from their last battle or unfinished because construction was halted by a transfer of power. Hohenzollern must be the most complete and pristine of all the real castles in Germany. It has been a seat of power since the first decade of 1000. Though the castle was very different then, it's hard not to get a shiver down your spine when you are standing over the graves of the last prince of Prussia and his wife who are buried there. So much history is condensed into this amazing space!
Hohenzollern is family-owned and has over 300,000 visitors per year. Some even arrive early enough to go inside! Unfortunately, we only managed a tour of the exterior and a peek in the chapel. Next time, we'll see it all. What we thought would be a side-trip, an accidental discovery, actually deserved considerably more attention. That's the greatest frustration with traveling through Europe: there's just never enough time to get it all in!
A bit of trivia: Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben who once served as chamberlain of Hohenzollern, later served George Washington as Inspector General and Major General during the American Revolutionary War.