The Smallest Hotel in the World

The town of Amberg, located in the eastern part of Germany near Nürnberg/Nuremberg (view map of Germany), has the smallest hotel in the world. There is no receptionist and your room is spread over seven floors. But be aware, that each room only measures 2.5 meters in width.

To view the hotel’s website in English, click here on Eh’ Häusl (Marriage House). To get the historical facts behind the hotel’s unusual name, visit here.

For being the smallest hotel in the world, it does come with a big price tag at € 240 a night for two people. But if I had some extra money to spend, I would love to stay in this place once. It does come with breakfast, in case you wonder. At € 240 a night, it should.

For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through.

– Steve Jobs –


Country Hotels in Germany

The magazine Geo Saison, in its current October 2011 issue, ran an article featuring their choice of the 18 best country hotels in Germany.

These country hotels are spread out all over the Germany, reaching from the North Sea down to the Alps. One of them is located in the heart of Germany, namely Hotel Schloss Zeilitzheim in Northern Bavaria.

On of our visits to my hometown in Northern Bavaria, we had an overnight at Hotel Schloss Zeilitzheim.

Country Hotel Schloss Zeilitzheim

Quoting an excerpt from the Geo Saison article, written by Hannah Glaser:

Den jungen, gutgelaunten Hausherrn von Schloss Zeilitzheim treffen wir im Garten, auf den Knien beim Löwenzahn stechen (We found the young and good-humored castle owner in the garden, on his knees pulling weeds).

This, among other daily routines, contributes to a familiar atmosphere when staying at the hotel.

Country Hotel Schloss Zeilitzheim

Hotel Schloss Zeilitzheim ranked 7th on the Geo-Saison list (full list available on Presse-Portal).

For more information, visit Zeilitzheim Castle Hotel in Bavaria, Germany.


Tell me a Good Reason for Living in Germany

or … a picture speaks a thousand words.

Beer in Germany

There are some 1,250 breweries in Germany (accounting for 40% of the world’s total), producing around 7,500 different beers. Half the breweries are to be found in my home state of Bavaria.

But the epicenter of this liquid gold is actually in Franconia (Northern Bavaria), where I am from. It is home to the heaviest concentration of breweries in the world.

I grew up with beer. Friends and family have jokingly suggested to throw bottle caps into my coffin instead of flowers. Sounds fair to me.

You can read more about Germany and beer at Toytown Germany beer.

Graveyards in German Franconia

On our most recent trip to my hometown in Franconia (Northern Bavaria), we had to tend to my parents’  and aunt’s grave.

As dusk was rolling in, we were putting on the finishing touches and I noticed how well-kept every single grave looked. The flowers looked splendid, the path was clean, and then I realized it had always been this way.

Graveyard in Germany

Many graves had Stiefmütterchen (pansies), which literally translates to little step mothers.

Pansies, a.k.a. Stiefmütterchen in Germany

Additionally, it is difficult to get much work done as the graveyard, out of all places, is such a social place. Feel lonely on a Saturday evening? Go to your local cemetery, that is where you find a lot of your old friends and acquaintances. Mostly senior ones who have not connected with you on facebook yet.

I was approached by locals who would not have talked to me during my teenage years. I don’t blame them either… people come together for a common cause at the graveyard, and the connecting factor of sharing a family member’s loss overrules any other preconceived notions, at least in regards to my teenage years.

My aunt, who happened to be at the graveyard, told of her most recent visit to Norway, where most graves are covered by a slab of stone (at least the one she had been to). In the U.S.A, I saw many grave stones surrounded by grass only.

Weekly visits to care for the grave are a must-do in these villages, just like sweeping the sidewalk on Saturdays.

Church Bells in Germany

If you have ever lived in rural Germany, then you are familiar with the sound of church bells ringing.

While growing up in a farm house on main street in rural Franconia (Northern Bavaria), I became so accustomed to hearing the bells at all times of the day that the bells’ sound went without perception.

Not until I left home and came back for occasional visits did I learn to appreciate their beautiful sound. Nowadays, when we stay for an overnight at my Elternhaus (parents’ home), I love to wake up to the sound of the nearby church bells.

The village main street on most any morning is filled with various sounds: farmers yelling directions to get the wagon into the barn, women gossiping in front of the house, along with the church bells ringing.

So I was delighted when I discovered Alexander von Halem‘s blog post about various church bells in Bavaria. Alexander has begun collecting the sound of church bells with an iPhone application called

Listen to the sound of various church bells on Zeilitzheim Castle in Bavaria, Germany.

Enjoy it.