CONTRIBUTED BY ALEXIS TUCKERIf you live in Germany you know that there seems to be a castle on every corner. With all of these castles someone is bound to have a wedding in one of them at some point. I found a nearby castle called Festung Rothernburg with a hiking trail and decided to drag my husband along.
I researched the castle prior to going and found out that the castle was built between 1300-1330 by Dietrich von Wildenstein. He sold it in 1360 to the emperor and Bohemian king, Charles IV, who had the fort upgraded into a border castle in order to be further protected. It was upgraded again in 1729 to geometric principles and since they wanted to avoid blind spots, bastions were built to a star-shaped design. The overall plan was a polygon with a bastioned tower at each corner that looks so neat from an aerial perspective.
In 1841 the construction was left to fall to ruin and now they offer tours. They gave us an English accommodation sheet that explained the history a little bit.
We visited the castle twice. It was tough the first time because the address doesn’t lead you to the castle but to the town instead. We followed the winding roads towards the castle up to the hill where we saw an Edeka and turned down that road to the castle. Once we reached signs for the castle and parking lot we parked among other cars.
You can see where two hiking trails went off in different directions. We walked around for an hour & a half trying to figure out which path was the one that led us to the castle. We finally found out the correct (easier) path is the one on your left when facing both paths. It was an uphill hike for maybe a mile but then we approached the booth for tickets.
We noticed there was a sign on the window but since it was in German we did not understand it. I knew that sometimes festivals go on in the castles and admission is free but the food & activities are not so I wasn’t sure if that was one the sign was stating. Therefore, we timidly approached the bridge to the double doors. We heard music and laughter within the castle walls. We looked at each other unsure of what to do next. As I stepped closer to the double doors a few men in tuxedos walked out for a smoke. It was part of the wedding party… we almost had accidentally crashed a wedding in our hiking clothes, haha!
Thomas & I decided to go back to Festung Rothernburg the following week because it looked so alluring on the outside. I was dying to see what was on the other side of the walls. The weather was better that day & we bought our tickets at the booth.
The only way you can see the castle is by doing the German tour. It happens every hour on the hour. I wish the tour was a little bit slower because the castle was so interesting & I love to take pictures but I was just so happy to be within the walls.
We took our small dog & that was a terrible idea because she whined when we had to stand in one spot and wait for the gentlemen to finish talking after about half an hour. If you want to hike and see the outside of the castle but not the inside bring your dog because they will love it!
It is very dark inside of the castle so wear stable shoes. Most castle ruins you can no longer go within the castle because it is dark and torn up too much. So we loved that we were able to tour the interior of this castle. Since you can hardly see in front of you we had to carry our dog. She was barking because of a goat that was roaming around on the castle wall and it embarrassed us that she was acting out.
This place may not be pet friendly, but it is great for adults! I wouldn’t bring small children because you have to stand still for long periods while the guide speaks in German. As a teacher, I know that children get restless easily. I highly recommend this castle because of its unique wall structures. It is perfect for a couple or for you and your friends to explore together without the kids for a day.
Festung Rothernburg Information
To the hiking trail:
To the castle:
End of March until the beginning of November:
Tuesday – Sunday: 1000 – 1800
Monday: Closed (except for holidays which fall on Monday, then the castle will be opened on Mondays, but closed on Tuesdays.)
Tours to see the inside are every hour on the hour. Last tour is at 1700.
Adults 14 years and older: €3.00
Children 0-3: Free
Children 4-13: €1.00