Our Castle Christmas began with an exploration of other parts of Bavaria, all decked out for Christmas.
This romantic 2,000 year old Bavarian city was our first stop and very magical at Christmas. It is among the best preserved medieval towns in Europe (only 13% destroyed in WWII) with a population of only 150,000. The town has 4 wonderful Christmas Markets to enjoy including my favorite, Romantischer Weihnachtsmarkt.
Stroll the winding lanes of the Altstadt, full of pastel colored townhouses. It was named a Unesco World Heritage site in 2006. You can’t miss Dom St. Peter, the Gothic cathedral’s spires towering over town. Other must see’s are The Stone Bridge (built between 1135 and 1146 for centuries it was the only solid way to cross the Danube River), Porta Praetoris (built in 179 AD by the Roman inhabitants), and Schloss Thurn und Taxis (Franz von Taxi, an Italian entrepreneur, was bestowed with nobility in the 15th century for establishing Europe’s first postal system and acquired this palace, bigger than Buckingham Palace and still residence to Franz heirs; also home to the town’s best Christmas Market).
Historic Goldenes Kruez was our base for four nights. The hotel dates back to 1531 and was an inn to visiting emperors and dignitaries. The nine rooms are named after some of the guests like Napoleon III. Christine Horsch is your lovely host. The rooms are super quaint, breakfast is served in their Vienesse-style coffeehouse downstairs (also a great place for afternoon tea or aperitif), and the rate is only €100 per night!
With over 500 restaurants, bars and pubs to choose from, we dined at Dicker Mann, famous for its traditional fare served in a very German pub atmosphere.
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The heart of Franconia (which is part of Bavaria, although Franconians don’t consider themselves Bavarian), we day tripped here for the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt, one of oldest and biggest in Germany.
We stopped in Bamberg, the baroque and beer town, for a few hour visit and lunch (as it lies halfway between Nuremberg and Coburg). It has the largest intact ensemble of medieval buildings and is known as Franconian Rome because its built on 7 hills like Rome. As the city of beer, it has nine breweries producing more than 50 different beer,s including Bamberg’s famous smoked beer. Hit the Brewery Trail tour with a kit from the tourist office. We did some great shopping here. Visit their website to see all the great things to do here.
See all the photos from our Castle Christmas…a Christmas we’ll always remember!