What would a trip to anywhere in Europe be without exploring at least a couple of castles and/or churches?
But realize that there are way too many for you to see!
If you would try to count all of them scattered throughout Europe, we guarantee that the numbers would be in the thousands, as the local rulers might have had, besides the castle they lived in, a palace or two in the city, a summer residence at a lake and often also a scaled down palace just to conduct their hunts.
If you want to see old castles, palaces and beautiful gardens, then you do not have to go any further than Bavaria, where the count reaches the multiple of hundreds.
They range from fantastically kept up to just a few left over stones or the ruins of an old tower remaining and tell us stories of their glorious past which is deeply intertwined in the local history.
As many owners of these either moved to more convenient and/or modern dwellings or lost their fortunes over the years, hundreds fell into disrepair. Many more of these were donated to local historical groups, sold to investors to be turned into hotels and restaurants or other tourist attractions, others were turned over to the local authorities and also the state.
A good number of them in Bavaria come under the auspice of the Bavarian Palace Authority (Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung), which does a terrific job keeping them in pristine condition for future generations to experience.
Many of the castles, palaces, gardens and even lakes under their care are included in a little known 14 day pass which really can save you some money on your trip. As we published our work on this at our ggmtours.com website we think following the link will make your research into the “castle visit part” of your trip planning easier.
Below the map with links to many cities and places in the area you find the links to the Bayerische Schlösserverwaltung in the colored box.
We want to point out, that a few of these destinations are part of the top attractions of castles in Bavaria, they include the castles and palaces build by the fairy tale King Ludwig II, many of his family’s, who were the longtime rulers of the kingdom, palaces, hunting lodges and gardens. They also include castles like the Imperial Castle in Nuremberg, which dates back, in importance, to centuries before their time.
Like we stated many of these impressive structures are included in the pass, but there are hundreds more, such as the castle in Coburg or the quaint water chateau Mespelbrunn in the Spessart or even the interesting history behind the church ruin on top of the Katharinenberg in Wunsiedel, which is nowhere mentioned in any of the tourist guides. Many of these are still the residences of the owners and either only in parts or not open at all for sightseeing. Hey, the only way around this is to get to know the owner and be invited in and shown around.
As we only covered castles here, we still have to write about some of the areas churches, which you should not miss, in a future article!
We have quite a bit of information and many interesting links on our ggmtours.com pages under “Discover Bavaria”. After your browsing there, come back here and send us a comment if you found any mistakes and what you generally think of the research we did and are still doing.