One of the best things about building a home for yourself in a foreign land is being able to be a tourist in your own home. Even though I've lived in Germany for over five years now, there are still many, many places of interests I haven't been to or visited even in my own backyard - the Blackforest.
The ancestral seat of the Prussian family dynasty, this magnificent, picturesque castle is situated on the top of Mount Hohenzollern, at the periphery of the Swabian Alb. According to castle history, this is actually one of three castles built on the site (the first two were destroyed), and was built somewhere around 1850 as a family memorial by King Frederick William IV of Prussia.
According to the website, he'd "put his long lasting dream into reality and created one of Germany’s most imposing Castle complexes in a neo-Gothic style. With its many towers and fortifications, it is an acclaimed masterpiece of military architecture in the 19th century. Additional civil architectural elements make it a unique attraction today."
Today, the castle is privately owned by the House of Hohenzollern and is still used as accommodation by the Prussian royal family whenever they're in the area.
The castle is certainly imposing, but ever so charmingly so. One cannot miss the magnificent sight of the castle on the hill as you make your way up by car. But there also many other ways to get there including trains, buses and by shuttle. (Check out the website here for further travel information.)
The view from the top of the castle is nothing short of breathtaking, and the castle itself is surprisingly easy to navigate, which is always a bonus when you have two young children often running off in separate directions.
The csstle is arranged in a U-shape that ends with Protestant and Catholic Chapels. A tour of the magnificent rooms inside is possible and guided tours are also available for adults and children alike!
We spent a couple of hours exploring the beautiful castle grounds - inside and out - touring the rooms and learning about its history before retiring to the strategically-located biergarten on the terrace for a spot of lunch, some cold beers and to admire the amazing view of the Blackforest surrounding us, while our boys shot off imaginary cannons at pretend enemies. So you know, win for all.
It was a pleasant and memorable day trip to Burg Hohenzollern - a must-do if you live in the region - but even if you don't live in the Blackforest, it is definitely still worth a visit if you're ever in these parts and makes for a wonderful day out!