Burg Hohenzollern

Swabian Alps Region

Rising dramatically from an exposed crag, with its medieval battlements and riot of towers and silver turrets often veiled in mist, Burg Hohenzollern is darned impressive from a distance, but up close it looks more contrived. Dating to 1867, this neo-Gothic castle is the ancestral seat of the Hohenzollern family, the first and last monarchical rulers of the short-lived second German Empire (1871–1918).

History fans should take a 35-minute German-language tour, which takes in towers, overblown salons replete with stained glass and frescos, and the dazzling Schatzkammer (treasury). The grounds command tremendous views over the Swabian Alps.

Frequent trains link Tübingen, 28km distant, with Hechingen, about 4km northwest of the castle.

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