Brush Brett and I studied in the same course at uni and started at the same company together. Brett and Bel, his wife, moved to Germany about 2½ years ago so, when we decided we were going there, we got in touch.
By a happy coincidence, Chis John and Bec, other ex-colleagues and friends who currently reside in London, were visiting Brett at the same time Melissa and I were scheduled to be in Deutschland. Since it was going to be a party Brett (minus Bel who was away on work) decided to take us all to Burg Hohenzollern, a castle some 65km out of Stuttgart.
The castle is set atop Mount Hohenzollen, the tallest point in the area and, at 885 metres, there’s a spectacular view of the surrounding countryside from the top.
John couldn’t hold it any longer…
The castle has been built three times over the years. First in the 11th century, none of which remains because it was totally destroyed in a siege in 1423. It was rebuilt from 1454 to 1461but by the 18th century it was somewhat worse for wear and now only the chapel remains. The castle we see today was built from 1846 to 1867 so, since it’s not that old, it’s in extremely good condition. Although it’s housed royalty (Prussian and Brandenburg rulers) in the past this third revision of the castle is essentially a monument, built for show. As such it’s a really pretty castle with soaring towers and cobblestoned paths. However, it’s still intimidating! We were all envisaging trying to attack the castle and figured it would be damn near impossible – the defences would repel all but the nuttiest of attackers.
Imagine running up the spiral staircase while…
…having stuff thrown down on you and being peppered by arrows
We took the tour of the castle (an English tour was recently added) and it was quite interesting. Not nearly as opulent or ornate as, say, Versaille, it feels very real – you can imagine people living here. The treasury was the highlight with many historical artifacts, including some amazing tobacco holders and a copy of the Prussian King’s crown.
Very pretty once inside the walls
Kinda like a fairytale
The wikipedia entry has much more detail about the fascinating history of his beautiful castle. Very impressive!
You can also view a slideshow of the photos from Burg Hohenzollern.
Brett also took us to Tübingen, a beautiful medieval town with a hilltop castle. As well as old cobblestone roads and gorgeous half-timbered houses there is a significant university there that breathes fresh young life into this old town. A really nice place to relax and hang out for awhile.
Something that did impress everyone was a beautiful ice sculpture just randomly sitting in the middle of a street.
Ice sculpture, in the middle of the street. As you do.
Two roses embedded in the ice sculpture
While the Schloss Hohentübingen (the hilltop castle) delivered great views over the region we’d have probably been more impressed if we had not just come from Burg Hohenzollern…
Tübingen was a lovely town, nice to walk around, very relaxing. Probably a good place to stay for a couple of days.
A drive back to Ettlingen to watch some of the football (and make use of Brett’s German for ordering) rounded out a great day.
Vielen Dank to Brett for organising the day (ok, sure you didn’t do much – still appreciate it!) and for John & Bec for sharing it with us.