The Romantic Road is one of the most popular attractions of Bavaria. From the Main River and Wurzburg down to Fussen you will find a series of gorgeous towns and villages with castles, churches and landscapes like in a fairy-tale of the Grimm Brothers.
On more than 350 km the Romantic Road opens up the richness of the south German culture. Off the highway the traveller can enjoy both silence and a choice of impressions: Episcopal residences, princely courts, proud trading cities, Bavarian palaces, all surrounded by beautiful landscapes. Most famous are Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and Neuschwanstein.
Neuschwanstein is a German word that means New Swan Stone Palace in English. Built during the 19th century on a hill, the castle was especially made by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. The castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Germany due to its scenic beauty and gorgeous surroundings.
It is the most photographed building in Germany even though the interiors of the castle cannot be photographed.
During the rule of Ludwig, no visitors were allowed in the castle. It was only after his death in 1886 that the castle was opened for all to view. It is amazing to know that till now, 50 million people have visited the castle. More than 1.3 million tourists visit the castle annually. If we calculate the visits per day, more than six thousand tourists come to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle daily.
The castle has so much charm that even Hollywood succumbed. In fact, the castle has appeared in several movies and so impressed Walt Disney that he used it as his inspiration for Cinderella’s castle in Disneyland.
The Neuschwanstein Castle is a property of Bavaria and Bavaria has spent more than 14.5 million dollars in safeguarding it and on renovation. A visit to the Neuschwanstein Castle is a must if you are taking a tour of Germany.
Another must see location is Rothenburg ob der Tauber, considered one the best-preserved medieval towns in Germany which sits on a plateau, above the scenic valley of the Tauber River. The city’s modestly sized Old Town, complete with encircling wall and gated towers, is one of the most popular stops on the Romantic Road.
Visitors flock to Rothenburg because of its reputation as an “authentic”, walled medieval town. Historic is, perhaps, the most appropriate description. Rothenburg, which dates from the 12th century, was a noted trade centre and one of the most important towns in Germany during the ascendancy of the Holy Roman Empire.
The town is compact and you could see its most interesting attractions in a morning or afternoon, but the real beauty of the city comes out late in the day when the tourists and tour buses have moved on to their next destination and the town almost audibly breathes a sigh of relief. Moving around the town when it is not crowded, which is an impossibility on any summer day, allows you to experience the “real” Rothenburg and imagine what it was like to live here in medieval times. In addition, the numerous houses and lanes crisscrossing Rothenburg add to its ambience.
Take some time to wander around the city and its residential neighborhoods, as doing so underscores the uniqueness of the city.
My visit to Germany came as a great surprise as it was never on my to-do list for a very long time. If you do visit Germany another great location is Berlin. Art lovers visit the east side gallery( Berlin wall).