A Night at Zeilitzheim Castle

There are about 25.000 castles and fortresses in Germany. Nobody knows for sure how many there actually are, so the Deutsche Burgenvereiniung (German Castle Association) has decided to do a final count and registration. They expect to have the final results in about ten years’ time.

A week ago, we spent the night in one of these 25.000 castles. Going back to one’s hometown requires accommodation, and over the past few years, we have tried out several places – mostly inns in villages around the northern Franconia area.

This time, we chose Schloss Zeilitzheim (we had spent a night there about 10 years ago). As it was the case back then – we liked the pavilion, the park, and breakfast the best.

We had booked the Kardinalszimmer (sleeps four people) to accommodate all of us.

We enjoyed sitting on the bench looking out over the park.

 

The castle interior is a museum with its artifacts, showcases in the hallway, and authentic furniture.

I can highly recommend this castle hotel to anyone who just wants to get away for a day or two (or more). Buy a bottle of wine from the owner’s Weingut (winery) and sneak off to the pavilion at night. My husband and I sat there under a starry sky, and had a quiet conversation while sipping our wine. Recommended: Bring a flash light or a candle.

If you like really warm rooms, then I’d suggest you go there during the warmer season. This is a true castle, so in early spring, the rooms/radiators do not heat up so quickly. For me, it was perfect though.

Vineyards in Beautiful Franconia

Another drive to my hometown area of Lower Franconia had us stop along the way. Not to smell the flowers this time, but to admire the beautiful hills, men at work, and the progress on the Weinlese (grape harvesting).

Weinberg in Franconia

The colors around this time of year are just superb.

A very narrow tractor works its way through the rows of vines.

Winzer Traktor

As we were driving around wine-making country, I’d suppose this tractor is part of the wine-making process too.

Franconia is home to the Bocksbeutel bottle.

For a place to stay overnight, visit this link on which I left a review for Barockschloss Zeilitzheim. By the way, this same castle has just added wine making to its repertoire of goods and services.

We will get to taste the first wine sometime soon (May 2013).

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.

 

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 audioboo.fm:

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

Enjoy it.

German Autobahn and Franconian Sights

Impressions of Franconia can vary greatly as these photos can attest to. They were taken within fifteen minutes from each other on two different Autobahnen, A3 and A7.

Luke and Duke, the Nukes in Grafenrheinfeld

Luke and Duke, the Nuclear Power Plant towers, have been around since the 1970s. Their ugly pillars loom over the industrial town of Schweinfurt and really darken its rainy skies occasionally.

Schlossresidenz Würzbug

Vineyards in the sun

While resting at a Autobahn Raststätte on the A7, I got to see a very different view of Franconian culture and  its agricultural highlight – vines on every hill.

The area between Schweinfurt und Würzburg, especially around Zeilitzheim, is full of lovely wine fests in the summer.

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