Best of Germany and Austria Tour  In Depth

Research – Links to More Detailed Information

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There's no need to do homework ahead of time to enjoy this tour, but if you are interested in more background
than is provided in the day-by-day itinerary these links will guide you to more detailed information.


The Rhine, Moselle, and Main Rivers
Burg Eltz

The Rhine River

The Rhine, at 1,320 km (820 miles) long, is one of the longest rivers in Europe, and has been important as a commercial waterway for at least 2,000 years.  The many castles along its banks established control over portions of the river primarily for the purpose of collecting tolls.


Rudesheim am Rhein

Rudesheim (Rüdesheim / Ruedesheim)is located on the east bank of the Rhine at the southern entrance to the Loreley valley.


Rudesheim Site

Rudesheim's own web pages providing  information for visitors


The Moselle River

The Moselle River originates in France and flows through Luxembourg and western Germany on its way to merging with the Rhine at Koblenz.  Like the Rhine, it has become famous for its natural beauty and its productive vineyards.


Burg Eltz (Wiki)

Burg Eltz is a medieval castle dating back over 850 years on a uniquely picturesque site in the hills above a tributary to the Moselle.


Burg Eltz Site

Website of Burg Eltz, still owned by a branch of the same family that lived there in the 12th century.



Picturesque town on the Moselle, dominated by Cochem Castle (optional visit during lunch break).



The city of Heidelberg is located on the Neckar River just up stream from where it joins the Rhine.  Heidelberg is famous for its distinguished university, its high quality printing presses, and the mammoth Heidelberg Castle complex.


Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberger Schloss dominates the city, dates back to 1225, and has had an eventful history of repeated destruction and rebuilding.


Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Rothenburg ob der Tauber is a small and remarkably well-preserved medieval town, complete with town walls and gates and its historic town center, overlooking the Tauber River, a tributary of the Main.



Munich (München) is the capital of the German state of Bavaria, Germany's third largest city (1.3 million), the home of world famous beer gardens and the annual Oktoberfest, and the origin and termination city for this tour.


Nymphenburg Palace

Immense Baroque palace on 200 acre estate in Munich where Ludwig was born


King Ludwig II of Bavaria

Biographical note on Ludwig Friedrich Wilhelm II, King of Bavaria from 1864 to 1886


King Ludwig II of Bavaria

English translations from a German website dedicated to the life and legend of Ludwig II  ( site)


Neuschwanstein Castle

Schloss Neuschwanstein – Ludwig's first and most famous castle, a dramatic Romanesque fortress build on a commanding hilltop high above the village of Hohenschwangau


Village of Hohenschwangau

Hohenschwangau is the small village located between the Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein castles.



Ludwig's third extravagance, a replica of the central section of the palace at Versailles, meant to outdo its predecessor in scale and opulence, built on an island in the middle of Lake Chiemsee

Vienna Hofburg


Capital of the western Austria federal state of Tyrol, renowned winter sports center



Capital of the Austrian state of Salzburg, famous for its baroque architecture


Fortress Hohensalzburg

One of the largest medieval castles in Europe, atop Festungberg Hill



Capital of Austria, its largest city (1.7 million), and the country's cultural, economic and political center


Hofburg Imperial Palace

Former residence of the Habsburg dynasty, rulers of the Austro-Hungarian empire, now the official residence of the President of Austria


St. Stephen's Cathedral

The seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vienna, the main religious edifice in Vienna, and one of the city's defining symbols


Schonbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn is one of the most beautiful and important cultural monuments in Austria, illustrating the tastes and aspirations of successive Habsburg monarchs.  Massive and elegant palace and gardens complex.



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