The Romantic Road has become a much beloved tourist trail with picturesque scenery, beautiful villages and towns and historical castles and churches. It is renowned as portraying what is regarded as quintessential German culture. The route starts in northern Bavaria at Wurzburg and winds south to Fussen near the Austrian border.
The Romantic Road is popular with international tourists who follow it in organised parties, or who plan to take the 250 mile trail as individuals. The route was known during Roman times and became a major route for trading during the Middle Ages.
The start of the trail in Wurzburg gives visitors the opportunity to visit one of Germany’s most beautiful baroque palaces, the Residenz. The Residenz, built in the 18th century, was the seat of the prince bishops of Wurzburg and is now home to one of the largest wine cellars in Germany.
Some 60 miles south of Wurzburg is Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It is a wonderful example of a mediaeval town, and many of the original buildings still remain as it was spared the bombing which destroyed much of Germany during World War II. Tourists will be enthralled with Rothenburg ob der Tauber’s mediaeval fortifications, its Renaissance Town Hall and Christmas Museum.
Augsburg, roughly 165 miles down the Romantic Road, boasts exceptional examples of renaissance buildings and fountains. The Golden Hall – Goldener Saal in German – set in the town hall, is replete with frescoes, marble and golden stucco.
Continue the trail for another 25 miles and the traveller comes to Landsberg am Lech. The town contains the Church of the Holy Cross – Heilig Kreuz Kirche – decorated with enchanting frescoes.
The Romantic Road takes visitors into the foothills of the Bavarian Alps. There lies the town of Schwangau, home to two neo-Gothic castles, Schloss Hohenschwangau and Neuschawanstein.
At the end of the Romantic Road is Fussen. The town has wonderful examples of baroque churches and gothic houses. Fussen is also handy as a base to visit the Zugpiste, set in the Wetterstein mountains, and at 10,000 feet the highest peak in Germany. People can take a trip up the mountain on the gear train.
Some organised tours of the Romantic Road extend the journey to the Bavarian capital of Munich. Should you take to the Romantic Road with an organised tour, or make the journey privately, you will get a sense of the beauty and history of this enchanting part of southern Germany.