Eltz Castle, Germany – A Living Castle

Eltz Castle is a majestic little castle. It sits on a rock in a small wooded valley in Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz) in Germany. Although definitely among the lesser-known castles (unlike Hohenzollern or Neuschwanstein), it is extremely appropriate for its location and has a few unique features, both physically and as well as features of its history. … Continue reading Eltz Castle, Germany – A Living Castle

Laxenburg, Austria – The play park of emperors

Laxenburg is a town in the federal state of Lower Austria /Niederösterreich located to the south of the capital city, Vienna. Laxenburg is well known for its castles. It has three: the Altes Schloss (old castle), the Blauer Hof (Blue Court) and Franzensburg Castle. For a small town of under 3000 people, this is quite … Continue reading Laxenburg, Austria – The play park of emperors

Vaduz, Liechtenstein – A tiny capital for a tiny country

Vaduz dates back to the 1100s (at least, it appeared in manuscripts from the time); a castle dates from 1322, but the Swiss completely destroyed both in 1499. Until 1719, the Hohenems family held Liechtenstein. This is when the Liechtenstein family purchased it. The family originally came from Castle Liechtenstein in Lower Austria. They wanted … Continue reading Vaduz, Liechtenstein – A tiny capital for a tiny country

Loarre Castle, Spain – The final defence

Loarre Castle is quite a special place due to its history; it is not only one of the oldest castles in Spain, but also a fortified abbey. Originally built as the line of last defence in northern Huesca (Aragon) against the Moorish invaders. Then it became a fortified religious site and expanded over the next … Continue reading Loarre Castle, Spain – The final defence

Triesenberg, Liechtenstein – Beginning the ascent of the country

Just south of the capital of Liechtenstein, Vaduz, there exist two towns with similar names. The first is Triesen, which like Vaduz, is located next to the Rhein River. Triesenberg (as the name suggested if you understand German), sits above Triesen on the side of one of the mountains in Liechtenstein. It is hard to … Continue reading Triesenberg, Liechtenstein – Beginning the ascent of the country

Balzers, Liechtenstein – On the valley floor

Balzers is a small town in Liechtenstein that is located in the south-west portion of the country, across the border (and the Rhein River, which is the border) from the Swiss town of Sargans. Balzers (like all places in Liechtenstein) is a small town a few thousand inhabitants. What sets it apart is the castle, … Continue reading Balzers, Liechtenstein – On the valley floor

Vianden Castle, Luxembourg – The birthplace of the lowlands

After visiting Luxembourg City, our next stop was Vianden and its famous castle. Vianden lies in a valley along the German-Luxembourg border where the river Our passes through. The town is located on both sides of the river and has grown along it rather than up the steep sides. It is also partially located in … Continue reading Vianden Castle, Luxembourg – The birthplace of the lowlands

Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – A European capital

Luxembourg City, the capital of Luxembourg, is a truly remarkable city in which you can see wonderful architecture, picturesque views and astonishing places. It holds the world's top spot for personal safety and ranks high for quality of life; Luxembourg the country has the second-highest GDP in the world! If you are looking to move … Continue reading Luxembourg City, Luxembourg – A European capital

Urspelt, Luxembourg – A hidden castle

After Aachen and Maastricht, we drove to northern Luxembourg where we were staying in the Chateau d'Urspelt (Ischpelt in Luxemburgisch) which has a huge population of 100 people. The Chateau d'Urspelt (Urspelt Castle) is a complex that dates back to at least the 11th Century. This is suggested by a well that dates back to … Continue reading Urspelt, Luxembourg – A hidden castle

Castell Ddinas, Wales – Ancient defences

Castell Ddinas was the highest castle in England and Wales. It dates back to the Iron Age, which in Britain was between 600BC and 50AD. Along with many castles in Wales, such as Caerphilly Castle, the Normals built the now ruins during their conquest of Wales in the early 1070s. A Norman castle The Norman … Continue reading Castell Ddinas, Wales – Ancient defences

Caerphilly Castle, Wales – A Staple of BBC shows and documentaries

The largest castle, Caerphilly Castle, in Wales (and the second largest in Britain) has quite a long and bloody history reaching back almost 800 years. A multitude of families have held the castle over the years. It has been both loyal and rebel to the country, and has set a few records in its time. … Continue reading Caerphilly Castle, Wales – A Staple of BBC shows and documentaries

Budapest, Hungary – The twin capital

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is definitely one of the European capitals that I would highly recommend to anyone on a tour of Europe. From brilliant architecture and rich history to the thermal baths to the ruin bars, there is something for everyone. Additionally, as is true with many eastern European countries, Budapest and Hungary … Continue reading Budapest, Hungary – The twin capital

Mainau, Germany – Germany’s Garden

Today I would like to present for your viewing pleasure the wonderful island of Mainau in the Bodensee (Lake Constance), Germany. Mainau, like the rest of the Bodensee, is only a stone through away from the Swiss border. Mainau has a very long history of being a place of human settlement. The Celts, the Romans, … Continue reading Mainau, Germany – Germany’s Garden

Ruine Hochburg, Germany – Defending the entrance to the Black Forest

As I promised those who follow this blog on Instagram, this blog post is on the Ruine Hochburg (High Castle Ruins). The Ruine Hochburg is located in Baden-Württemberg, Germany near Freiburg im Breisgau between the villages of Emmendingen (where I used to live) and Sexau. Originally "Hachberg", the Emmendingen family built the castle in the … Continue reading Ruine Hochburg, Germany – Defending the entrance to the Black Forest

Dresden, Germany – The dark capital

So I was recently able to spend a few hours in Dresden, one of the historic centres of Germany which has enjoyed a lot of power throughout its history. Its importance in the Holy Roman Empire especially led to its prosperity. You can see it in the architecture rebuilt after Dresden's destruction during World War … Continue reading Dresden, Germany – The dark capital