| The Neckar
Valley, in the north of the state, is a major wine-growing
region, with vineyards located around castles such as Gutenberg,
Hornberg and Hirschhorn, each of which
offers splendid views of the surrounding landscape.
To the east of the romantic university town of Heidelberg,
another scenic route begins, the 280km (175-mile) long Castle Road,
which leads to Nuremberg in Bavaria. This route
follows the river, branching off at Heilbronn and continuing east
to medieval places such as Rothenburg and Ansbach,
also across the state border in Bavaria.
Further to the south is the Swabian Jura, a limestone
plateau between the Black Forest and Europe’s
longest river, the Danube. Interesting places to
visit here include Hohenzollern Castle near Hechingen,
Beuren Abbey and the Bären Caves.
Picturesque towns include Urach and Kirchheim-unter-Teck.
Einstein’s birthplace, Ulm, houses the world’s
tallest cathedral spire (161m/528ft). Following the road from Ulm
one reaches Reutlingen and Blaubeuren,
with its fine abbey. Zwiefalten has remarkable Baroque church.
In the southwestern corner of the state, the Rhine
acts as a natural border between Germany, Germany and Switzerland.
To the east of the river lies the Black Forest
(Schwarzwald) where fine mountain scenery and beautifully situated
lakeside resorts like Titisee-Neustadt and Schluchsee
combine to make the area popular year round with walkers in summer
and skiers in winter. The historical character of the area is preserved
in the Black Forest Open Air Museum at Gutach.
The Romans first recognised the therapeutic powers of the Black
Forest’s springs. In addition to the region’s best-known
spa town, Baden-Baden, there are many other charming
villages and resorts in the surrounding area, principally Freudenstadt,
which claims to have more hours of sunshine than any other German
town. The climatic spa of Triberg has 162m (531ft)
high waterfalls and a swimming pool surrounded by evergreens.
The Black Forest’s chief spa, Baden-Baden,
was the summer capital of Europe during the last century. Travellers
still flock to this delightful town to ‘take the waters’,
which may be inhaled as a vapour, bathed in or simply drunk. Fortified
by the water’s therapeutic powers, one can take advantage
of Baden-Baden's many sporting facilities. For the less energetic,
the evening could be spent playing roulette or baccarat in a casino
which Marlene Dietrich herself regarded as the
most elegant in the world.
Other attractions include the Baroque Kleines Theater, National
Art Gallery, the Friedrichsbad Romano-Irish temple and
baths, the Margravial Palace (museum),
15th-century Collegiate Church, Russian Church, Romanesque
Chapel, parks and gardens, Lichtentaler Allee, tennis,
riding, 18-hole golf course, winter sports, international horseracing
weeks at Iffezheim and a modern congress hall.
Constance is a German university and cathedral town on the Bodensee
(Lake Constance) which has shores in Austria, Switzerland and the
Germany. Constance (Konstanz) is a frontier anomaly,
a German town on the Swiss side of the lake, completely surrounded
by Swiss territory except for a strip along the waterfront.
Attractions include the Konzilsgebäude, Renaissance
Town Hall, historic old Insel Hotel, Barbarossa-Haus,
Hus-Haus, and the old town fortifications Rheintorturm,
Pulverturm and Schnetztor. The town has
theatres, concert halls, a casino and hosts an international music
festival as well as the Seenachtfest, a lake festival.
Reichenau, an island with a famous monastery and
the island of Mainau, with stilted buildings, make
an interesting day trip.
The Bavarian town of Lindau is a former free imperial
city on an island in Lake Constance and has a medieval town centre
and an old Town Hall (1422-35).
Other attractions include Brigand’s Tower, Mang Tower
(old lighthouse), Cavazzen House (art collection),
Heidenmauer (wall), St Peter’s with Holbein
frescoes, harbour entry (new lighthouse), international casino,
and boat trips.
Opposite the town of Constance (Konstanz) is Meersburg,
an old town with 2 castles. Here there is also the German
Newspaper Museum which covers the history of the German-language
press on its 3 floors. The museum is only open in the summer. As
an area Lake Constance is the focal point of a delightful holiday
district, rich in art treasures and facilities for outdoor activities.
The Rheinfall (Rhine Falls) at Schaffhausen,
a Swiss town on the north shore of the lake, are a spectacular draw
just over the border.
Freiburg is the gateway to the Black Forest, an
archepiscopal see and an old university town. The Gothic
Cathedral (12th-15th centuries) has a magnificent tower
(116m/380ft) and is a much lauded architectural masterpiece. Views
from the top are spectacular after quite a climb.
Other attractions include the historic red Kaufhaus
on the Cathedral Square (1550), Germany’s oldest inn, Zum
Roten Bären, and many excellent wine taverns. The
city is famous for its trout and game dishes and environmental innovation
and for which it has earned the title of ‘green capital’
of Germany. Museums include the Zinnfigurenklause
(pewter figures) and the Augustinemuseum housing
Upper Rhine art. The Wentzingerhaus hosts the City
History Museum. The nearby Schauinsland Mountain
(1284m/4213ft) is accessible by the cable car.
Nearby Todtnauberg in the Upper Black Forest is
the highest resort in the Black Forest (1006m/ 3300ft) and a perfect
observation point is the Belchen summit nearby. The highest mountain
is the Feldberg, with its popular winter skiing
The most famous place on the Neckar River is Germany’s oldest
university town, Heidelberg, dominated by the ruins
of its famous 14th-century castle.
Other attractions include more than 10 museums, the ‘Giant
Cask’ in the cellar holding 220,000 litres (48,422
gallons), Church of the Holy Ghost, St
Peter’s Church, Karlstor (gate),
and wine taverns. The castle is partly Renaissance, partly Gothic
and Baroque in style, and serenade concerts take place during the
summer in the courtyard area. Another highlight is the German
Museum of Pharmacy.
Heilbronn is a former imperial city, surrounded
by vineyards and situated on the Castle Road. The Renaissance
Town Hall has an outside staircase, clock, gable and astronomical
Other attractions include the 16th-century Käthchen
House, the Gothic Kilian Church with its
62m (203ft) high tower (1513-29), and the Shipping Museum. The town
is also a good base for tours into the Neckar Valley.
The prime reasons for visiting Karlsruhe are the town’s Schloss
and surrounding Schlossgarten parkland. It also offers the ZKM
Centre for Art and Media museum.
Mannheim is a commercial, industrial and cultural centre on the
confluence of the rivers Rhine and Neckar.
Attractions include the former Electors’ Palace, now the university,
the Kunsthalle fine arts museum, the Barockschloss
castle, Municipal Art Gallery, Reiss
Museum in the old arsenal, the old Town Hall and Market
Square and the National (Schiller) Theatre.
The state capital is a green and open city surrounded by trees and
vineyards with only a quarter of its total area built on. Two of
the major industries in Stuttgart are car manufacture and the publishing.
Attractions include the modern Staatsgalerie, the
Prinzenbau and Alte Kanzlei on
the Schillerplatz, the Neues Schloss, a vast palace now accommodating
the State Museum, which served as the residence
for the kings of Württemberg and has been painstakingly restored
after 1945; Württemberg Regional Museum, 15th-century
Collegiate Church; TV Tower (217m/711ft high); Killesberg Park;
Ludwigsburg Palace; Wilhelma Zoo, botanical gardens, theatre,
and mineral-water swimming pools. The Stuttgart Ballet and
Chamber Orchestra enjoy worldwide renown.
There are Mercedes and Porsche
museums, a covered Markthalle (Market Hall), and
wine and beer museums. The city is also home to the Carl
Tübingen, south of Stuttgart, is a world-famous romantic university
town on the River Neckar. The old town centre is
Attractions include the Castle of the Count Palatine (1078);
late Gothic Collegiate Church (1470) with royal burial
place, Market Square with Town Hall (1453), picturesque Neckar front,
Hölderlin Tower, former student dungeons (1514),
old and new lecture theatres (Aula) of the university; Bebenhausen
Abbey and the Schloss Hohentübingen museum.
Ulm is famous above all for its soaring Gothic Cathedral
(768 steps in the 161m/528ft tower, choir stalls by J Syrlin).
Other attractions include the beautiful Town Hall with famous astronomical
clock, Corn Exchange (1594), Schuhaus
(1536), Schwörhaus (1613), old town and fishermen’s
quarter with city wall and Metzgerturm (butchers’ tower),
Wiblingen Abbey, Baroque library, German Bread
Museum, and the Municipal Museum with local works of art.