Medieval Castles in Germany/Austria

May 9th, 2003, 09:22 AM
  #1  
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Medieval Castles in Germany/Austria

We are taking our two kids (10 & 13) to Germany, Switzerland, and Austria and would like opinions on your favorite medieval castles. While Neuschwanstein (sp?) is beautiful, we tend to go for more of the fortified castles. We have been all over England and Wales so now we would like to take them to the continent. Thank. Julie
jaconway is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 09:23 AM
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It's older than medieval, but the Fortress overlooking Salzburg is beautiful. You can take a tram up to it and explore it. Like a city unto itself. Well worth it!
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May 9th, 2003, 09:32 AM
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My personal favorite is Hochosterwitz:

http://www.frommers.com/destinations...908025112.html
elberko is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 01:36 PM
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Burg Eltz on the Mosel River (www.burg-eltz.de) and
Marksburg on the Rhine(www.roadstoruins.com/marksburg.htm)
are both original, never-destroyed medieval castles just northwest of Frankfurt, near Koblenz, that will do the trick. Tours last less than an hour. They're usually in German, but you can pick up an English pamphlet at the entrance to guide you through, and the guides will answer questions in English for you, normally. If going by train, Marksburg is a short (20 minutes or so?) uphill hike from the station in Braubach; Burg Eltz is much more remote, requiring 45-50 minutes' walk minimum each way from the nearest train station in Moselkern. In the same general area, Burg Rheinfels in St. Goar on the Rhine is a ruined castle that can be good for exploring if you have a kids' imagination.
Russ is offline  
May 9th, 2003, 01:59 PM
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There is also a great fortress outside of Wurzburg.
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May 9th, 2003, 02:04 PM
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Sorry, the castle outside of Wurzburg is Festung Marienburg
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May 9th, 2003, 02:28 PM
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Hohenzollern Castle in Germany is located on a great hill with good fortifications. In the Stuttgart area.

Another smaller castle is Lichenstein near the Stuttgart area.

There are books on the castles of Germany. You may want to look at one of those to plot your trip as you will be getting suggestions on places all over Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
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May 9th, 2003, 02:57 PM
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Thanks for all your suggestions. Our view of castles is - the older, the better. And ones that are in ruins are great for the imagination.
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May 10th, 2003, 03:46 AM
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I guess you wonyt make it to East Germany, though, but it is a great place for exploring castles. The fortress Kynigstein near Dresden is located on a hill above the Elbe river providing stunning views. You can see fortified architecture from medieval through to 19th century times. In a couple of buildings you can find exhibits of the military museum Dresden.

Another great example in this region is castle Stolpen, partly ruins, but really with medieval charm. It is located on the top of a hill again with great panoramic views.

In Switzerland you find some of the finest medieval castles at all: Bellinzonays three castles figure on the list of UNESCO world heritage. And castle Chillon is truly medieval with plenty to explore for children. Other examples are Gruyeres, Grandson, Estavayer-le-Lac, Thun.
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May 10th, 2003, 11:16 AM
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I think the old castle at Meersburg on the German side of Lake Constance is worth a sidetrip. It's supposed to be the oldest castle in Germany, built in the 7th century I believe. A good display of armor and weapons and cool jousting helmets. We've visited a couple of times and enjoyed it as well as the town.
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May 10th, 2003, 04:25 PM
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jacoway - I agree with you - castle ruins are much more intriging than the pristine varieties and the castle ruins along the Rhine are more exciting to me than Neuschwanstein, Burg Eltz, and the Marksberg. Last summer we had the opportunity of staying at Burg Gutenfels in Kaub on the Rhine. The hotel section is in a restored section, but the majority of the castle is still in ruins and we really enjoyed scrambling over the ruins to parapets and lookouts over the Rhine. Your kids will be entranced.
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May 10th, 2003, 06:35 PM
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Burg Metternich is a nice ruined castle above the town of Beilstein on the Mosel.
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May 10th, 2003, 07:02 PM
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I second the recommendation of Burg Hohenzollern. It is at the top of a hill where you can see the countryside below for miles. It is still owned by descendants of the last Kaiser. The tour is only in German but just read an English language guidebook beforehand and you will know what is going on.

Burg Hohenzollern is between Stuttgart and the Black Forest.
LaurenSKahn is offline  
May 11th, 2003, 06:00 AM
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Burg Hohenzollern is indeed magnificent, as is Sigmaringen, Burg Eltz and Marksberg, but they are all pristine and leave little to the imagination. For a list of German Castles along with pictures and descriptions (state of repair) go to "www.roadstoruins.com" it is an excellent site and fun to explore.
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May 11th, 2003, 07:33 AM
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rex
 
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Slightly off topc, perhaps - - but if you are going as far east as Vienna in Austria, it wouldn't be all that much further to the Silesia area of Poland. I am hoping to be able to report back on two or more of the following:

http://www.visit.pl/objectsPlace.php...astles&regID=2

(probably just lunch or dinner visits).

Back home after May 23.

Best wishes,

Rex
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