Inspiring romance and images of warriors past
Four years ago, we were essentially lost on the backroads of Germany, which is what we refer to as “taking the scenic drive.” We had chocolate in hand and saw a few cars turning left up a long road and thought, ‘why not?’ It wasn’t until we drove into the parking lot and saw the castle on a piece of rock did we realize we’d stumbled on a castle.
This is taken from the armory, located across the bridge, opposite the castle
Getting there & parking
Lichtenstein Castle is on the way to (and about 20 min from) Burg Hohenzollern. If you drive too fast, you will miss the sign and right hand turn. Up a half a mile on paved road is upper and lower parking. The short walk up is on gravel, then arrival at the grounds. Tickets are cheap, 10 Euro for an adult, 7 for a child, and then you wait under the shade for your turn. The tours are limited to eight, which is about the max you can have in a lot of the rooms.
A little factoid is that during the war: the Allied forces had determined not to bomb many of the castles that we’ve seen during our travels, and I’m just so happy. This incredible feat of building the mini-but-super cool castle will be around for hundreds of years to come.
The walk to around one side of the castle
Sadly, no pics of the inside are allowed per usual, but official snaps can be seen on the website and available for purchase. My favorite room is the Knight’s Hall. It’s like a larger American dining room that would fit a twenty-person table. Along the upper moulding is actually a shelf with serious German steins, each with an insignia. Mounted heads of dead animals, boar being the primary one, are stuck on every available inch of wall space (that’s not why I like the room, it just comes with it). At the front is a pedestal, the kind you see at a conference facility, the wood ornately carved. We were told that from this, the hunters would hold a stein of beer and entertain the others with their stories of hunting greatness. I imagined fisherman doing the same: “It was the one that got away! It was thissssss big!”
On the left side of the podium is a secret door with a painted mural blending so well the tour guide had to open it up. This was the means for the Lord of the manner to escape the hunting room and go straight down to the den of sin, where his “ladies” waited for him as his wife was three stories up in her quarters.
This is a shot from the road down below, near the town (see further details in Tips)
The basic tour lasts 30 minutes and it’s of the first and second floors. The narrow, curving stairs weren’t all that hospitable, and that’s all we had time for. That said, the castle now offers a variety of tours, including the “Grand Tour” which we didn’t do because of the time constrictions. Next time around (if we are so lucky), I might be in for the 2-hour end-all-be-all tour. The list of tours with visuals is here.
Another view from the grounds
Across and over the bridge is the gunnery, a round building displaying the cannons and other tools of war. It’s mostly closed off, but you can peek inside well enough to see how the soldiers shot their weapons on the invaders below.
The lower courtyard
For being so small and perched on a jutty of rock, the castle has a surprisingly gracious grounds to walk around. I can see the ladies of the joint enjoying the flowers under the shade of the trees.
What I love
The drawbridge over the infinite drop below, and the view of the castle from just outside the moat. It offers some of the most scenic portraits that even an amateur like me can pull off a good photo. I also love that pedestal and the visual of men lifting their steins, all hailing the boar that got away!
The armory is located on the corner overlooking the valley–and the only means up to the castle. This is one path
In a land where nary a guardrail exists, this has an actual fence, a strange site to behold.
What I don’t
Obnoxious tour companions. Ugh. We had another American who would not be quite, made loud noises throughout and constantly complained about not being able to take photos. About the time my mind started to go to a dark place, I just slotted her to the drawer of an annoying child, which fully enabled me to tune her out and go back to enjoying myself.
A peak inside the armory
Definitely do this if you have time. The tour is short, about 20 minutes, and well worth it. The grounds are lovely and small, so you can do the entire thing in less than an hour. No steep walks!
Every castle worth it’s weight needs a little dog door. Rog tried but didn’t fit
Tip: if you don’t have time to go to the castle, when you see the sign off for Schloss Lichtenstein, telling you to go left or straight, depending on your direction, instead, turn right, because the castle itself will be in your view. Doing this will eventually take you in to town, but half-way there, about five minutes going downhill, you can pull over, and from this vantage point, you can take the excellent shots from the road with your long lens. This way, you get the best (and only) shots without actually going on property, and missing out on your next destination.