Gems of Germany

Rothenburg o.d.T.

These are my Gems of Germany, from where I’ve been so far. They are not strictly “hidden” gems but they’re precious none-the-less. Also note, these are gems of Baden-Württemberg, a state in the south-west of Germany. Over the summer, James and I spent a couple of weeks there. This is also where I spent time on a student exchange when I was 16, it’s where my German family live, it’s my home state in Germany.

 

Heidelberg

A beautiful university city in the north of Baden-Württemberg, famous for its castle. The Heidelberg castle looks over the city and the Neckar river.

Heidelberg - Castle

During the Grand Alliance War in the late 17th century, Heidelberg and its palace were attacked repeatedly by the French. Once an astounding renaissance palace, iconic in the Holy Roman Empire, the Heidelberg castle now stands over-looking the city of Heidelberg in red sandstone ruins. However ruined it is, it’s still spectacular and there is still plenty to see and do in the castle grounds.

Heidelberg - Castle

Heidelberg - Castle

Heidelberg - Castle

The weather was not been the best, but it was still a cool castle.

Heidelberg - Castle
Jenny and I walking around the castle grounds.
Heidelberg - River
Pretty neat view down to Heidelberg’s old town and the Neckar river

In the castle is a world’s largest filled wine barrel.  It was constructed in 1751 and could hold 221,726L of wine. After taking pictures in front of a pretty big wine barrel near the entrance. We walked around the corner to find the ACTUAL largest wine barrel which was humongous. You could even stand on top of it.

We thought this was the big one..
Heidelberg - Wine Barrel
But the biggest one was actually this one. There was a staircase to walk up to the top. Anyone thirsty?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like most European towns, Heidelberg has a magnificent old town area with a beautiful cathedral, cute shops and cafes, and quaint alleyways all over the show.

Heidelberg - Church

Heidelberg - Old Town

Heidelberg - Old Town

Heidelberg - Bridge

Heidelberg - Bridge
The view from the Neckar, back up to the Castle.

 

Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg is a well preserved medieval town just across the state border in Bavaria. During the Middle Ages, it was a free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1803, it became part of Bavaria, and later Germany. The name translates as “Red Fortress above the Tauber”, Tauber is the river that runs nearby. Red is presumed to be from the plethora of red and orange rooves. It is such a cute town, it feels like a fairytale when you walk through it. Perfect for a day trip.

Rothenburg o.d.T.

Rothenburg o.d.T.
The old town area is still surrounded by the old city wall.
Rothenburg o.d.T.
View while walking along the wall.
Rothenburg o.d.T.
An old watchtower from the Middle Ages.
Rothenburg o.d.T.
James walking along the wall.
Rothenburg o.d.T.
It’s so magical walking along the cobbled streets past the brightly coloured houses.

It’s mandatory for the stores to have old-fashioned signs hanging outside. This makes it feel like you’ve travelled back in time.

Rothenburg o.d.T.

Rothenburg o.d.T.

Rothenburg o.d.T. is famous for their “snowball” treat. A delicious deep-fried dough wrapped up in a ball, with your choice of toppings. You can choose from icing sugar to Nutella to cinnamon. They’re very awkward to eat but delicious. One of the bakers also gave us a demonstration on how they make them.

Rothenburg o.d.T.

The best views of the city are from the Town Hall tower.

Rothenburg o.d.T.
You can climb all the way to the top of the white tower to look out over the town.
Rothenburg o.d.T.
Climbing up the last bit to the top of the tower.
Rothenburg o.d.T.
I wonder where the “red” name comes from?

Rothenburg o.d.T.

Rothenburg o.d.T.

Rothenburg o.d.T.
Orange rooves for days! It looks like a fairytale.

 

Schwarz Wald/The Black Forest

We also road-tripped to the Black Forest for a day. It didn’t disappoint. Dense forest as far as the eye could see.

Schwarz Wald
I may have been a little bit excited to see some trees.

Schwarz Wald

Schwarz Wald

Schwarz Wald

We walked through the forest on a raised walkway called Baumwipfelpfad (good luck pronouncing that one). Along the walkway, there were learning and activity stations with tree facts, squirrel facts, fun bridges and platforms to walk over. At the end of the walk was an awesome viewing platform in the middle of the forest, with views for miles.

Schwarz Wald
The walkway spirals all the way to the top, 360′ views of trees, trees and more trees.

Schwarz Wald

Highlight: in the middle of the platform was a slide, for €2 you could slide all the way down instead of walking. Pretty simple decision, really.

Schwarz Wald

 

Schwarz Wald

Ludwigsburg

Another German town, with another gorgeous city centre and lovely church. We had a beautiful sunny day to walk around Ludwigsburg.

Ludwigsburg - Church

We spent most of our time walking around the grounds of the Ludwigsburg Palace. It’s a Baroque style castle with large grounds and lovely gardens. It’s nicknamed the Versailles of Swabia.

Ludwigsburg - Palace

Ludwigsburg - Garden

Ludwigsburg - Garden

Ludwigsburg - Garden

Ludwigsburg - Garden
There were some amazing sand sculptures in the gardens.

We also found some sand from New Zealand.

Ludwigsburg - NZ sand
A little piece of home.

A highlight, of course, was the Märchen Garten (Fairytale Garden). This garden is a child’s dream, filled with all sorts of characters from fairy tales with buttons to press, levers to pull, talking statues, mazes and heaps more. So naturally, I felt right at home. All the stories were from German fairytales, some were familiar, some not so much. But still heaps of fun. At each fairytale area, there was a shortened version of the fairytale written and an activity or scene from the story.

Ludwigsburg - Marchen Garten

Ludwigsburg - Marchen Garten

Ludwigsburg - Skipping
Walking on a cloud after reading fairytales all day.

 

There we go, four perfectly beautiful fairytale locations in southern Germany. Comment below if you think I’ve missed any Gems of Germany. Where are some more fairytale locations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

German Gems Pinterest Image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Replies to “Gems of Germany”

  1. Wonderful Ash 😀 and beautiful photos. Luv Mum xxoo

    1. Thanks Mum 😀 xox

  2. So cool! I love Heidelberg and Rothenburg. I went to Rothenburg a few years ago and still remember having the best/my favorite German meal ever in a little restaurant there!! (Saurbraten) It was soooo yummy. I have never been to the Black Forest or Ludwigsburg but a whole day reading about fairy tales?? I’m in!! Can’t wait to check it out next year 🙂

    1. That sounds delicious! haha, Ludwigsburg is also beautiful in the wintertime, especially around Christmas, there’s a beautiful traditional Christmas market there 🙂

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