Lichtenstein Castle is known as the "fairytale castle of Baden-Württemberg, Germany". Lichtenstein Castle (Schloss Lichtenstein in German) is not famous outside of Germany, but it’s known as the fairytale castle of Baden-Württemberg and is worth a visit. It’s not nearly as famous as Heidelberg Castle or the Residenz in Munich. It also doesn’t have a claim to fame like Burghausen Castle, the longest in all of Europe. But don’t mistake its relative obscurity for uninteresting. Here are seven facts that will make your visit to this reconstructed medieval castle more enjoyable.
1. Lichtenstein Castle Has a Nickname It’s a source of pride among locals in the southwest state of Baden-Württemberg. So much so that it has acquired not one, but two nicknames. The first is Neuschwanstein’s Little Brother, after Neuschwanstein Castle, the most famous castle in all of Germany. The second, as already mentioned is the Fairytale Castle of Baden-Württemberg, again indirectly referring to Neuschwanstein Castle, which was the inspiration for the Disney castle. No word on what the proud residents of the nearby Hohenzollern Castle, or Ludwigsburg Palace have to say about that. You cross a drawbridge to enter the castle which overlooks Honau, a nearby village in the Swabian Alps.
2. It Isn’t Overrun with International Tourists Despite being a source of local pride, it isn’t on the radar of most international tourists. As a result the 30 minute tour is only available in German. Travel tip: English-speaking guests can ask a handout in English on the tour. It may also be possible to arrange a tour in English or French, but it is only for groups and arrangements must be made ahead of time. Despite it not being a stop for most international tourists, it’s popular with German tourists eager to see the castle and the fantastic views. I loved Lichtenstein Castle. Even J.P., my German husband who’s not much of a castle guy said it was “cute.”
3. It’s a Relatively Young Castle It’s still an infant in castle years having being built between 1840-1842. However the grounds have a much older history. The original castle dates back to 1200, but it was destroyed twice until it finally fell into ruins. It was reconstructed to feel like a medieval knight’s castle though, so it feels older than it actually is.
4. It’s a Small Castle Lichtenstein Castle is the smallest castle I’ve been in to date in Germany. However that doesn’t make it any less impressive. One of the things I loved most were the vast views of the Echaz Valley and Swabian Alps. And when you consider that it was only built as a hunting castle, it does start to seem rather large. I’ve never thought of a castle as cozy but that’s the feeling I had as I toured inside – well except for all the antique rather uncomfortable looking furniture.
5. It’s Based on the Novel “Lichtenstein” How many castles have been inspired by a book? This is one of them, the 1826 novel Lichtenstein by Wilhelm Hauff. I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s on my reading list. I’m curious to find out how a book inspired this Neo-Gothic structure.
6. Its Name is Self Explanatory No real secret here if you speak German. Lichtenstein is German for light coloured stone on which the castle is build on. Clearly German practicality has been around for at least a couple of centuries. The castle is perched on a cliff overlooking Honau in the Swabian Alps,
7. Lichtenstein Castle is Definitely Worth a Day Trip from Stuttgart It’s only an hour drive south of Stuttgart . You’ll pass by rolling hills and small villages through the Swabian Alps. If you like castles, this one is worth a visit. You can also turn it into a day trip by visiting Germany’s only Easter Egg Museum in nearby Sonnenbühl and Bear Cave and Fog Cave two interesting Show Caves. Now that you know these 7 facts about Lichtenstein Castle, your visit is sure to be even more memorable!