Hohenzollern Castle
Hohenzollern Castle

Noblesse oblige: it's time to explore the Zollernalb region – the Hohenzollern Route.

The Hohenzollern Route runs for some 300km through the former territories of the House of Hohenzollern, an aristocratic dynasty that once ruled over a region covering the Upper Neckar, the Alb foothills, the Swabian Alb, the Danube valley and large parts of Upper Swabia.

The House of Hohenzollern, which still exists today, is one of the oldest and most distinguished Swabian aristocratic dynasties. Hohenzollern Castle, famous regional landmark and the dynasty's ancestral home, looks as if it has come straight out a story book as it sits in splendour on top of the highest point of the Swabian Alb, with breathtaking views on all sides. The castle is one of the finest and most visited castles in Europe. This masterpiece of fortress architecture in the 19th-century Neo-Gothic style, with its fortifications, castle garden, museum (complete with treasure chamber) and a myriad of other rarities including a recently uncovered secret passage, is an experience not to be missed. The castle still belongs to the noble Houses of Prussia and Hohenzollern. Not to be outdone by this however is Sigmaringen Castle, the Danube seat of the Princes of Hohenzollern, with its sumptuous ceremonial rooms and the biggest private collection of weapons in Europe. From here, it's well worth checking out the hauntingly rugged Danube valley, maybe including a visit to the prestigious Beuron Abbey. The Hohenzollern Route has beautiful countryside, romantic river valleys, unspoilt nature, art, culture, palaces, castles and abbeys. Whether you opt for a tour on foot, by bike or from the comfort of a car, don't forget to take full advantage of the delicious Swabian cuisine – in the style of the Hohenzollerns, of course.

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