Germany's two thousand years of historic past left a legacy of impressive architecture: castles, abbeys, churches and charming medieval towns. The country has 39 World Heritage Sites and 19 other sites planned for inclusion on the list.
Oberstdorf is a popular hiking and skiing destination in Bavaria, Germany.
Village of Hohenschwangau
The Village of Hohenschwangau, which means the "High County of the Swan", is where you will find King Ludwig of Bavaria's famous castles -the Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle.
Schwangau is a charming town with rich historical past and colonization dating back to the Mesolithic Period, which is around the year 15 B.C.
Ottobeuren is a modest size spa town in Bavaria's Allgäu Region. The town is surrounded by pastoral scenery and green rolling hills. Many come here for the city's health treatments, to celebrate music and to visit the Benedictine Abbey.
The historic city of Ulm is located at the point where the rivers Blau and Iller join the Danube river. The city is best known for its Gothic Church, the Ulm Münster, the Fisherman's Quarter and the city wall.
Heilbronn is known for its wine industry. The hills around the city, as far as the eye can see, have numerous vineyards that produce excellent wine. Some vintners open their houses here at a certain month for home-style meals, with selections of "new wines" from their own vineyards.
Besigheim is a 12th century medieval city located at the confluence of the Neckar and Enz Rivers. It is one of the best preserved charming old towns in southern Germany. Many buildings here date back to the mid-1400s.
Just a few miles from Heilbronn is the historic spa town of Bad Wimpfen. The well-preserved houses here date back to the 14th century. The discovery of underground salt water is the main reason why this town became a popular spa.
The medieval spa town of Schwäbisch Hall prospered because of salt. The salt trade turned this charming town into the architectural gem it is today. A "Cake and Salt Festival" has been celebrated here every year since the 14th century.
Castles in Bavaria
The famous Neuschwanstein Castle, built by Bavaria's legendary King Ludwig II, is located in the village of Hohenschwangau. Nearby is also another castle, Hohenschwangau Castle, built by King Ludwig's father, King Maximillian II.
Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau
Hohenschwangau Castle, Schwangau
Food to eat when in Germany
Over 50 varieties of bratwurst can be found in Germany and each region has its own version - size, seasonings and texture. Many of the well-known varieties come from Bavaria.
Cathedrals & Churches in Bavaria
Bavaria is the oldest and largest state among the 16 states in Germany. The state makes up more than a quarter of the country. The land is beautifully blessed with mountains, foothills, lakes and rivers, fertile valleys and forests. In addition to that, it has a rich history and rich traditions dating back centuries. It borders the countries of Austria and the Czech Republic.
Bavaria has a long and predominant tradition of the Roman Catholic Faith. You will find evidence of the state's rich monastic past and religious faith. Some of the most incredibly grand and lavishly decorated churches can be found here. Some are very well known throughout Europe as pilgrimage churches since the 18th century.
Parish Church of St. Barbara, Oberstdorf
The Parish Church of St. Barbara in Oberstdorf was first built from 1458 to 1477 in Gothic architecture.
Parish Church of St. Maria and Florian
The Parish Church of St. Maria and Florian is located in the village of Waltenhofen in Schwangau. Its historic past goes way back to the church's first consecration in 746.
Wieskirche, also called the "Wies"or the Pilgrimage Church of the Scourged Saviour or the famous Pilgrimage Church of the Meadow, was already well known throughout Europe in the 18th century as a place for reverence. This church is visited by pilgrims and tourists from all over the world, hoping to get cured of whatever ails them.
Steingaden Abbey was founded in 1147, dedicated to St. John the Baptist. This abbey was looted and burned during the "German Peasant's War" in 1525. Then it was almost completely destroyed during the "Thirty Years War".
Rottenbuch Abbey was founded as an Augustinian monastery in 1073, on the site of the Old Minster.
The Pligrimage Church of the Visitation (Ilgen Wallfahrtskirche), also called "Mariae Heimsuchung Pilgrimage Church" was built from 1670 to 1676 by a Baroque stucco-worker.
St. Andreas Kirche, Trauchgau
St. Andreas Kirche ("Trauchgauer Church of St. Andrew") is located in the village of Trauchgau. The present church sits on the site of an earlier church built around 720.
St. Coloman Church
St. Coloman Church, located in the middle of a meadow in Schwangau, was built in honor of St. Colman, an Irish Pilgrim.
Ottobeuren Abbey, formerly a Benedictine Abbey, is 1200 years old and is the biggest monastery in the world. It was first founded in 764 by Blessed Toto, the church's first abbot.
Ulm Münster is a Gothic church. Although it is a huge church of cathedral proportions, it is not by definition truly a cathedral since it has never been the seat of a bishop.
The Church of St. Killian, Heilbronn
The church of St. Killian was first built from 1513 to 1529. It was fully restored after it was burned during the bombing of World War II.
St. Michael Church, Schwäbisch Hall
St. Michael's Church is more than 500 years old. Its impressive stairway, 53 steps in all, has been used for open air performances since Schwäbisch Hall became a festival town in 1925.
Parish Church of St. Martin, Freiburg
The Parish Church of St. Martin was built on the site of a much older church. Traces of it can be found in the new church dating back to between 1000 and 1050.
Tiefenbach-Oberstdorf is a popular hiking destination in Germany. Oberstdorf, meaning "Uppermost Village" is the highest town in Germany and the southernmost. It is a major attraction for winter sports. Ski jumping is a big event here, and there are over 124 mile (200 km) trails for hiking as well as cycling. The nice part about hiking here is, you can shorten it by taking a cable car up. Also, you will find restaurants along the trail so you have an option of resting, have a beer or snack before continuing on.