Kids and Castles 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

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.


Rheinfels Castle

Rheinfels Castle above St. Goar bills itself as "for 500 years the largest and most imposing castle on the Rhine".  Much of the castle was converted to ruins in 1794, but the remains still impress all who tour the site.


Marksburg Castle

Marksburg Castle, on a hill high above Braubach, has survived for over 700 years and is the only hill castle on the Rhine that has never been destroyed.  Visits here make the river control and defensive functions of these castles very clear.



The Moselle River joins the Rhine in what is now the city of Koblenz, at what is known as the German Corner.  The strategic importance of this location was recognized as early as 1000 BC.

The Moselle, Neckar, Tauber and Main Rivers
Burg Eltz

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.



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.

Stuttgart and Günzburg


Stuttgart is the sixth-largest city in Germany (city population ~590,000, metro 2.7 million), known for its high-tech industry. Some of its most prominent companies include Daimler AG (Mercedes-Benz), Porsche, and Bosch, and it is considered by many to be the starting point of the worldwide automotive industry.


Wilhelma Zoo

Wilhelma is Europe's only large combined zoological and botanical garden – home to over 8,000 animals and 5,000 species of plants.  It is especially famous for keeping all four kinds of great apes and for its aquarium and magnolia grove.


Mercedes-Benz Museum

The Mercedes-Benz Museum is Daimler AG's public showcase, appropriately located in the city where its world headquarters and a major manufacturing plant are located.  The museum was opened in 2006 and is noted both for its strikingly modern architecture and its collection tracing the complete history of the development of the automobile.  (Wikipedia)


Mercedes-Benz Museum Site

Website of Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz Museum (English pages)


Legoland Germany

Legoland Germany at Gunzburg (Günzburg) is one of four Lego-themed fun parks created by the Danish company.  Legoland is for young families, and although it has a number of roller coasters and thrill rides, they are not as numerous or as extreme as those in other parks.  Legoland also features a model village made from millions of genuine Lego bricks and a fun-based learning centre.  (Wikipedia)


Legoland Deutschland Site

Website of Legoland Deutschland (English pages)

Southern Bavaria

Neuschwanstein Castle

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


King Ludwig II of Bavaria

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


King Ludwig II of Bavaria

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


Village of Hohenschwangau

Hohenschwangau is the small village located below Neuschwanstein Castle.



The Tegelberg Aerial Tramway climbs 893 metres / 2,930 feet to the top of Mount Tegelberg, affording a breathtaking view across the Allgäuer and Tyrolian mountain ranges and the valley lakes.  Catch a glimpse of Neuschwanstein in the valley on the way up.  In summer Tegelberg is a popular launching site for hang- and paragliders.



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