Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Wurttemberg, was once the seat of the counts and kings of that region, prior to German unification. Today it is the center of the German automobile industry, with the headquarters of both Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, and also home to Europe’s second most productive mineral springs, next to those of Budapest.

The city is built in a valley along the Neckar River, and has expanded up the slopes of the mountains, surrounded by forest. The city is a symbol of the modern German nation, but it is surrounded by many important historic sites.

Within easy driving distance of the city are many castles of the old Germanic nations, which offer photographers the chance to see the beautiful German countryside, as well as the region’s castles, some of the most lasting, beautiful examples of German past. You can also rent a premium German automobile for your trip, fresh off the line, for a very attractive rate, which is good reason to start your German castle tour in Stuttgart or ride in train, for more travel and train information db fahrplan is available here.

Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern Castle, built on Mt. Hohenzollern in central Baden-Wurttemburg, is the third and last castle built in its location over the last thousand years. It was the last seat of the House of Hohenzollern, which dissolved its power after the collapse of the German empire after World War I.

Today, it is one of the nation’s most visited castles and a key tourist destination of Baden-Wurrtemburg. The castle was built in the early 1800s in the Gothic Revival style, while also a monument to German Romanticism. The castle has entry via drawbridge, and tickets can be purchased at the parking lot.

Lichtenstein Castle

About an hour from Stuttgart, Lichtenstein Castle is one of Germany’s many fairy tale escapes. It is a Gothic castle built into an exposed cliff overlooking Germany’s iconic forests. In summers, the valleys are lush and green, but autumn is when the views from Lichtenstein are at their best. The hillsides turn every shade of orange, yellow, and red, and stretch on for miles from its high viewpoint.

In winter, the mountains are capped with snow, and while beautiful on its own, the castle is closed for part of the winter. Lichtenstein was built in the 1400s on the ruined site of an earlier castle, and renovated again after suffering some damage during World War II. Its appearance is mix of many ages, and it is one of the many places where fairy tales still live on in the German Countryside.

Neuschwanstein Castle

Deep in the south of Bavaria and a two hour drive from Stuttgart, Neuschwanstein Castle is a Romanesque Revival Palace perched high in the Alps’ idyllic hillside, and a verified fairy tale escape. The castle was built in the late 1800s as a refuge for the shy King Ludwig so that he could have a remote hideaway far from the capital in Munich.

The castle was built as a purely decorative feature so the king could live his fairy tale dream of the Middle Ages high in the Bavarian hillside. Construction of the castle finished after the King died and it was immediately opened as a tourist destination. Nowadays, it’s one of the most heavily toured castles in Germany. Tours are available daily, and it is located near the town of Fussen, which is itself well worth a day trip.