Bavaria Experiencing > Scenic Routes > Castle Road

Castle Road

Step back in time into a glorious past

Veste Coburg

The Castle Road, one of Germany's longest-established scenic routes, celebrated its 50th anniversary in March 2004. Fully signposted and running for around 1,000 km from Mannheim to Prague, it offers plenty of diversity, historical sites and delightful scenery peppered with romantic castles and fairytale palaces. The glorious past, still very much in evidence today, has left its imprint on many towns and villages along the route. The scenery along the route is as fascinating and awe-inspiring as the region's history. As the river Neckar meanders through the legendary Odenwald region, the Neckar valley reveals itself in all its grandeur. The Hohenlohe plain seems almost endless, but then come the rolling Franconian Heights, then the northern part of Franconian Switzerland. In Mannheim and Heidelberg visitors can still admire the legacy of the former Palatine electors, who adored the arts.

Rothenburg ob der TauberThe Castle Road leads visitors from one amazing castle, palace or town to the next. Sights include gems of medieval architecture and romantic towns galore. There are even relics of the Roman era, such as watchtowers and other Limes remnants. Mosbach, Bad Wimpfen, Schwäbisch Hall and Rothenburg are quaint old towns with picturesque half-timbered buildings. All are well worth a visit and will leave a lasting impression. Near Heilbronn the Castle Road passes through large areas of winegrowing country. There are impressive fortifications and baroque architecture to see in the rococo town of Auerbach, the medieval imperial city of Nuremberg and the ancient towns of Bamberg, Coburg, Kronach, Kulmbach and Bayreuth. The Castle Road then continues into the Czech Republic, passing the famous spa towns of Karlovy Vary and Marianske Lazne, before ending in style at Prague.

Lining the Castle Road like a string of glittering pearls are approximately 70 impressive monuments of the past - castles, castle ruins, palaces and stately homes. With such a variety of medieval towns, abbeys, historical church and secular architecture and innumerable cultural treasures along the route, every Castle Road tour is bound to be a very special experience. Many of the castles and palaces are steeped in legend. Sagas, myths and fairy tales abound and are a constant source of inspiration. Cyclists will be pleased to know that the route is also a marked cycle trail. Touring along this route is a real pleasure. There are comfortable places to stay, plenty of pubs - always a welcome sight - and friendly hosts offering delicious regional specialities. You can travel on special tours - "In the Footsteps of Knights and  Electors" or on the "Albrecht-Achilles Tour" or the "Emperors-Bishops-Dukes Route", to mention just a few options.

Castle RoadMany castles and palaces along the route host performances in historical costumes, which give visitors a very palpable sense of history. There are guided ghost tours, medieval banquets and historical feasts within ancient castle walls. And, because it is positively buzzing with bars and restaurants, the Castle Road is perfect for gourmet tours. Why not travel the Castle Road in both directions, first concentrating on its scenic beauty, then discovering its wellness and spa facilities? After all, the Castle Road has many different faces. Be generous, allow yourself plenty of time to explore the sights and to enjoy the feel of the "good old days", whether travelling by car, coach or - more leisurely - by bike. The Castle Road is also great for children. To help you plan your journey, the Castle Road Association offers all kinds of ideas and information.

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