Skip to main content

Burg Hohenzollern, Germany

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. 

For us as a family, the summer months are usually the best time to explore the region, to drive the two or three hours to a new destination that we would not normally do on an average weekend. The Hohenzollen Castle, or Burg Hohenzollern as it is called in German, was one destination that we had the pleasure of exploring last summer.

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! 


Popular posts from this blog

Sintra and Cascais

Remember my recent trip to Lisbon? Well, on the very last day of my trip I decided to venture a little further afield, and booked myself on a Small Group One-Day tour to Sintra and Cascais with 'Lisbon Meeting', a tour company I found on TripAdvisor.

It was the best decision! I was picked up bright and early at my hotel, and from there I could sit back and simply relax while our enthusiastic and very informative guide Bruno drove the group of us (five altogether) to our first point of interest - Pena Palace - so we could be there right when it opened.

Pena Palace is certainly one of the most interesting palaces I've seen in my life, and living in Germany, I've certainly seen quite a few of them! The first thing you'll notice is how absolutely striking it is, due to its slightly hypnotic bright red, yellow and purple facade.

We were there the minute the gates opened, and I loved being one of the first ones in, as I got to truly wander around the palace grounds and …

When dreams come true

I have been working withCity and more, a wine and food company in Baden-Baden, Germany for a few months now. The opportunity came up rather unexpectedly, as most of the wonderful occasions in life tend to do.

I’d attended one of their Weinlagerverkauf tastings (every first Saturday of the month at their shop in Sinzheim if anyone's interested), after hearing about it from a neighbour. The atmosphere immediately appealed to me.

Perhaps it was the wine bottles covering every available surface, or the lovely lady I spent half an hour chatting with, who brought wine after wine for me to taste, or just the general atmosphere of relaxed congeniality as customers mingled, chatted, and nibbled on the platters of salami, cheese and bread provided; but something stirred in me that afternoon. This is what I want, I thought to myself. This is where I want to work. These are the people I want to work with.

I'd just completed one year of German language studies at the time, and was looking …

Weingut Vereinigte Hospitien, Trier

The wine estate Vereinigte Hospitien (United Hospitces), founded in 1804 by Napolean himself, is located in the heart of Germany's oldest city - Trier. It is incidentally also home to Germany's oldest wine cellar, whose origins can be traced back to 330 AD in the time of Roman Trier!
According to the website, the name of the winery refers to the Hospice of St James, which offered refuge to the poor and sick. Today, the winery is run by a foundation that still focuses on the nursing and care of the elderly, which are partly financed from the proceeds of the wine estate.
Vereinigte Hospitien is also one of the founding member of the VDP - Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter - an organisation made up of around 200 of Germany's top wine producers committed to create top quality wines that reflect the terroir. (You'll recognise VDP wines by its distinct logo of an eagle bearing a cluster of grapes, found at the top of the wine bottles.) 

The vineyards of Vereinigte Hospi…