Cochem: In the most romantic part of the Moselle Valley, where the river curves between two hiking paradises – Eifel and Hunsrück – lies the old town of Cochem. Even the Romans sang the praises of this remarkable landscape. It is true – a few things have changed since then, but the attraction has remained because the past centuries – above all the Middle Ages – have left their marks here.The magnificent Reichsburg, the big castle, situated on a precipitous rock high above the town, dominates the landscape. The many delicate pointed towers, battlements and oriels give the impression of a typical fairy tale castle, particularly as it is one of the few castles in Germany, which was rebuilt in its original style after its complete destruction. As impressive as the castle itself is the view of the Moselle Valley with its beautiful forests, meadows, fields and vineyards, as well as the old part of the town.The town of Cochem itself is a sight worth seeing, not only because of its narrow streets and twisty alleys, the lovingly restored half timbered houses with the typical slate roofs, the historical market-place, but also because of its medieval town gates, churches and walls. The wine-growers and restaurant owners would also like to take the time to introduce you to the variety of their excellent Riesling wines.

Meissen is a town of approximately 30,000 about 25 km northwest of Dresden on both banks of the Elbe river in the Free State of Saxony, in eastern Germany. Meissen is the home of Meissen porcelain, the Albrechtsburg castle, the Gothic Meissen Cathedral and the Meissen Frauenkirche. The Große Kreisstadt is the capital of the Meissen district. It is the flawless beauty of a porcelain figurine that best captures the essence of Meissen. The town has become famous all over the world for its porcelain, which features the mark of the blue crossed swords. Visitors to Meissen will not only encounter exquisite porcelain, however, but also an elegant town that looks back on more than 1,000 years of history.No trip is complete without a tour of the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory. From the 13th century onwards, porcelain was imported from China for considerable sums of money. It took until the early 18th century for alchemists in Europe to unravel the mysteries of its production. They were working on behalf of the Elector of Saxony, a great admirer and collector of porcelain.

Quedlinburg is a town situated just north of the Harz mountains, in the district of Harz in the west of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Quedlinburg, in the State of Sachsen-Anhalt, was a capital of the East Franconian German Empire at the time of the Saxonian-Ottonian ruling dynasty (919 to 1024). It has been a prosperous trading town since the Middle Ages. The number and high quality of the timber-framed buildings make Quedlinburg an exceptional example of a medieval European town.The extraordinary and worldwide cultural importance of Quedlinburg is based on the close link between its history and architecture, which is intertwined with that of the Saxonian-Ottonian ruling dynasty. Following the coronation of Henry I (876 to 936), the first German King from the Saxonian dynasty, the royal residence of Quedlinburg became the capital of the East Franconian German Empire, the “metropolis of the Reich” of the first German state. A visible testimony to this dynasty is the Collegiate Church dedicated to St Servatius, which was one of the most highly esteemed churches of the Empire during the Middle Ages. Its crypt, with cross vaults, capitals, tombs, and murals, constitutes one of the most significant monuments in the history of art from the 10th to the 12th century. The crypt of the original building is included in the impressive church, which was built on a basilica floor plan from 1070 to 1129.

Dinkelsbühl is a historic town in Central Franconia, a region of Germany that is now part of the state of Bavaria, in southern Germany. Dinkelsbühl is one of the archetypal towns which give the German Romantic Road its character.Along with its two neighbours (Rothenburg to the north and Nördlingen to the south) it is one of the only remaining walled medieval towns in Germany and its imposing minster and the timbered buildings give visitors a strong picture of how the towns appeared in the Middle Ages.An almost unspoilt townscape dating back over 400 years, mighty churches, proud patrician houses and enchanting semi-timbered houses make Dinkelsbühl, “one of the closely packed and best preserved medieval towns in Germany”, say art historians. Today, the Gothic Minster of St. George, one of South Germany’s most impressive hall churches, still dominates an old-town ensemble of particular beauty. The ups and downs of the town’s 800-year history are brought to life in the ‘House of History, Dinkelsbühl – of War and Peace’. And there’s no better way to round off the day than with a romantic tour of the town with the ‘Night Watchman’.

The former Free Imperial Town of Goslar has an over-1000-year history. Probably the discovery of silver and copper ore deposits induced the Saxon and Salic emperors to establish their largest and most secure palatinate here in the 11th century. For centuries it was the favoured seat of government in northern Germany and at the same time a centre of Christianity. The spires of the 47 churches, chapels and monasteries delineated the town’s unique silhouette. It was referred to as the “Rome of the North”.The copper, lead and tin mines of Rammelsberg mountain, in the Harz region, were worked continuously from the 11th century until the 1980s. They bear outstanding testimony to mining installations and practices in Europe, both in terms of surface and underground remains, particularly from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period.The remains of the Cistercian monastery of Walkenried and the mines of the Upper Harz bear testimony to the first attempts to systematically extract non-ferrous metal ores (including silver, lead, tin and copper) in Europe, and to develop water-management systems for this purpose.Located close to the Rammelsberg mines, the town of Goslar played an important part in the Hanseatic League because of the richness of the Rammelsberg metal-ore veins. From the 10th to the 12th century it became one of the seats of the Holy Roman Empire. Its historic centre, which dates back to the Middle Ages, is perfectly preserved, and includes some 1,500 timber-framed houses from the 15th to 19th centuries. The Upper Harz water-management system, through its extensive surface area, including a large number of artificial ponds and ditches, together with drains and underground shafts, bears testimony to the importance of the management and use of water for mining purposes, from the Middle Ages until the end of the 20th century.

Rüdesheim am Rhein is a town in the Rhine Valley, Germany. It’s known for winemaking, especially of Riesling wines. In the center, Drosselgasse is a lane lined with shops, taverns and restaurants. Nearby, Siegfried’s Mechanical Music Cabinet is a museum of automated musical instruments. Medieval Brömserburg Castle is home to the Rheingau Wine Museum, exhibiting wine paraphernalia from ancient times to the present.Rüdesheim lies at the foot of the Niederwald on the Rhine’s right (east) bank on the southern approach to the Lorelei. The town belongs to the Frankfurt Rhine Main Region and is one of Germany’s biggest tourist attractions. Only Cologne Cathedral draws more tourists from other countries. Making the town worth visiting is, not only the wine or even the Old Town itself, but also the picturesque Rheingau landscape together with the romantic Rhine.Rüdesheim am Rhein has warm, humid summers (Jun–Aug) and cool winters (Dec–Feb). Peak travel times are May–Oct. Popular regional events include Rhine in Flames (Jul), a festival of riverside fireworks displays, and the Rüdesheim Wine Festival (Aug), with wine, food and music in the market square.

Michelstadt in the Odenwald is a town in the Odenwaldkreis in southern Hesse, Germany between Darmstadt and Heidelberg. It has a population of around 16,000.Michelstadt borders in the north on the municipality of Brombachtal, the town of Bad König and the municipality of Lützelbach, in the east on the town of Klingenberg, the market municipalities of Laudenbach and Kleinheubach, the town of Miltenberg, the market municipality of Weilbach, the town of Amorbach and the market municipality of Kirchzell, in the south on the town of Erbach, and in the west on the municipalities of Mossautal and Reichelsheim.Michelstadt had its first documentary mention in 741 from Mayor of the Palace Carloman, Charlemagne’s uncle.Michelstadt is one of the oldest settlements in the inner Odenwald. Its castle grew out of a Frankish baronial estate. This was built into a refuge for the local inhabitants. As a royal estate, Prince Carloman donated it in 741 to Saint Boniface’s pupil Burchard, the first Bishop of Würzburg. This donation was apparently meant for Bishop Burchard personally, for the Michelnstat area passed back to the Frankish Crown upon Burchard’s death in 791.In 815, the Michlinstat area was donated once again. In recognition of his great merit as confidant at Charlemagne’s court, Einhard acquired the main town and all land within two leagues (roughly 15 km) from Charlemagne’s son, Louis the Pious, as a freehold. Einhard also built the Einhardsbasilika. In 819, he bequeathed his Odenwald holdings to Lorsch Abbey and in so doing precisely defined the boundaries of the Mark Michelstadt. Upon Einhard’s death on 14 March 840, the monastery came into its inheritance.

Miltenberg is a town in the Regierungsbezirk of Lower Franconia in Bavaria, Germany. It is the seat of the like-named district and has a population of over 9,000. The old town lies on the Main’s left bank on the “left knee” of the Mainviereck between the Spessart and Odenwald ranges. Since the Main riverbed in the Miltenberg area is relatively near the foot of the Odenwald, only a narrow strip of usable land is left, little over 150 meters in width, which in past centuries was time and again flooded by the Main. The historic centre, which stands on this land, often sustained considerable damage in these floods. Only in the 21st century efficient flood control measures, most of all a wall, have significantly reduced the adverse effects of these floods. Since about the beginning of the 20th century, after buying land from the neighbouring community of Großheubach, Miltenberg has been expanding on the right bank.In pre-Roman times, circular ramparts were built on the Greinberg above Miltenberg and on the Bürgstadter Berg northeast of Bürgstadt. These were in use as early as the Neolithic but mostly date from the late Bronze AgeIn the 150s, the Roman Empire pushed outwards its fortified border in Germania, establishing the Upper Germanic-Rhaetian Limes which replaced the Odenwald-Neckar-Limes. From Miltenberg on northwards, the river Main became the border. East of Miltenberg a fortified palisade stretched to the south and east towards Walldürn and on to Lorch.

Bamberg is a town in northern Bavaria, Germany, laid out over 7 hills where the Regnitz and Main rivers meet. Its old town preserves structures from the 11th to 19th centuries including the muraled Altes Rathaus (town hall), which occupies an island in the Regnitz reached by arched bridges. The Romanesque Bamberg Cathedral, begun in the 11th century, features 4 towers and numerous stone carvings.Bamberg is located in southern Germany in the north of Bavaria. It is a good example of a central European town with a basically early medieval plan and many surviving ecclesiastical and secular buildings of the medieval period. When Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, became King of Germany in 1007 he made Bamberg the seat of a bishopric, intended to become a ‘second Rome’. Of particular interest is the way in which the present town illustrates the link between agriculture (market gardens and vineyards) and the urban distribution centre.From the 10th century onwards, Bamberg became an important link with the Slav peoples, especially those of Poland and Pomerania. During its period of greatest prosperity, from the 12th century onwards, the architecture of this town strongly influenced northern Germany and Hungary. In the late 18th century Bamberg was the centre of the Enlightenment in southern Germany, with eminent philosophers and writers such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and E.T.A. Hoffmann living there.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a town in the district of Ansbach of Mittelfranken, the Franconia region of Bavaria, Germany. It is well known for its well-preserved medieval old town, a destination for tourists from around the world.Rothenburg ob der Tauber is perhaps the best-known of all the medieval “sights” on the Romantic Road.Along with its two neighbours (Dinkelsbühl and Nördlingen to the south) it is a prime example of a walled medieval town – one of the only ones left in Germany – and its beautiful buildings, walls and alleys have led to it becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bavaria.There can hardly be another town of this size that has become such a meeting place of people from all over the world. Adding to the magical flair of this medieval gem is an annual calendar of diverse and atmospheric events. Why not visit the Imperial City Festival from September 1st – 3rd, 2017 ( Sep 7th – 9th, 2018) , when the history of the town is vividly brought to life by a thousand or so people re-enacting scenes from the past. Friday evening gets underway with a torch-lit procession to the market square, organized by the historical society after which the historic town hall and arcades provide the backdrop for a spectacular firework display set to music.


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