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The fairy tale like 14th century Franconian Castle of Colmberg sits on a hill above the pretty town of the same name in northern Bavaria. It forms a picturesque part of two of the most scenic, and romantic routes in Germany; the Castle Road and Romantic Road, as well as being very near the best preserved medieval town in Germany, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and the Franconian capital Ansbach.
Both the town of Colmberg and its castle are more than just stops on the way though, they are also tourist destinations in their own right, which makes a stay at this hotel an extra indulgence.
The castle dates back to 1318 and is a cosy, very atmospheric place with friendly, personable staff who go out of their way to make you feel at home. Their restaurant is a particular highlight too, it serves up hearty traditional Franconian and Bavarian food in a pleasingly medieval ambience.
A you will see on the booking page, they have a great range of eclectically styled rooms, none of which are terribly spacious but this is in touch with the cosy ambience of the hotel in general.
For the most part the hotels rooms are original castle rooms with historical touches on display; sturdy old walls, medieval style windows and wooden beams etc., but they do mix it up with modern hotel room styling in terms of some of the furniture and fabric choices, and with their modern conveniences.
All of the rooms are doubles, of various sizes, most have gorgeous countryside views, and those that don’t still look out on the romantic old courtyard.
The pick of the bunch is probably either the spacious, elegant Baroque style Honeymoon Room, the Lord Room with its lovely old hand made wooden bed or the large Prince Room which has a separate lounge area.
In general though you’ll find any room choice good value and the whole hotel experience is bound to please. Around the labyrinth like building there are interesting little quirks, nooks and crannies, and comfortable, cosy seating places.
A long leisurely meal at the restaurant is a good way to feel like old Franconian Royalty. There is a choice of three dining areas, all of them rustic and traditional which compliments the interesting food on offer.
It is very much old style Franconian and Bavarian fare; hearty and filling with specialities like venison (from the castle’s own estate deer outside), goose, wild boar, small game-salami sausages and venison pâté to name just a few.
The quality of the food is excellent as is the service and general ambience. They have a wine cellar at the castle too and a great selection of wines to enjoy.
Outside the doors of the castle you can enjoy a romantic walk through the woods and around the castle estate which has its own herd of fallow deer. The countryside is gorgeous and the views from the castle and the grounds are really quite inspiring, whatever the weather.
The village of Colmberg is, as mentioned above, on Germany and Bavaria’s famous Romantic Road & Castle Road tourist trails. This is mainly of course due to the presence of the castle, your hotel, though, which rises fairytale like above the village and finds itself much photographed by passing travellers.
Colmberg itself though is a lovely little place despite being, almost literally, overshadowed by the castle. It is small of course and there isn’t a lot to see or do but it is very pleasant to stroll around with a handful of nice little cafes, restaurants and shops. And for nature lovers around the area there are many lovely hiking and cycling routes through the forests and hills.
More notable towns in the immediate vicinity are the gorgeously medieval Rothenburg ob der Tauber and the larger town of Ansbach. Both of them are within 20 minutes drive of Colmberg Castle and in fact Colmberg serves as the main stopping point between the two for those touring the Burgenstraße (Castle Road).
Bavaria’s state capital, Munich, is less than two hours to the south with Stuttgart being around an hour and a half, and Nuremberg a little less than an hour.
Colmberg Castle is nearly 1000 years old and is forever associated with the Franks. From the 8th century onwards, this part of Bavaria was the territory of the Franconian kings. It was mainly a wild area of forests and had a reputation for excellent hunting. Even Charlemagne, the most famous of all the kings, was said to regularly hunt aurochs here.
The first castle on the site of Colmberg was built in 1140 by the Hohenstaufen or Staufer Dynasty. Following the loss of much of their territory in Italy (They also ruled the Kingdom of Sicily) the Staufer’s power quickly waned in all of their territory, and they lost the castle to the Altentrühdingen or Earls of Truhendingen.
Financial woes though forced the Earls to sell it on to Burgrave Friederich IV of Nuremberg in the late 14th century, and both the castle and the estate would remain in his family’s hands for 500 hundred years, putting their own indelible mark on the history of Colmberg.
At first Friederich, who lived at Colmberg his wife Elisabeth von Bayern-Landshut, known as Schön-Else – Beautiful Else, was not such an important political figure but, in the early 15th century, after successfully campaigning with King Sigismund of Hungary against the Turks the political powers that be granted him the far more noble title of Friedrich I Margrave of Brandenburg in the Holy Roman Empire.
This was powerful title which could be passed down the generations and allowed its holders to, amongst other things, elect emperors of the Holy Roman Empire as well as the Brandenbırg-Prussian Empire.
Friedrich died in 1440 but his descendants maintained and further strengthened this power, becoming known as the Hohenzollern dynasty, a dynasty which would have the title of Emperors of Prussia from 1701 until 1871 when the last emperor, Wilhelm I of Hohenzollern became Emperor of the newly formed Germany.
Colmberg Castle was bought by Dr Arthur Voretzsch, the last imperial consul of Japan in 1927 who kept ownership though ww2 until 1964 when it was sold to the present owners, the Unbehauen family. It was they who converted it into the hotel we see today, one which is now in its third generation with the same family.
WHAT OTHER GUESTS SAY:
“Fabulous presentation of a wonderful old building. Loved everything about our stay…”
“The location of this hotel is unbelievable. While out in the country, there’s suddenly a castle on top of the hill and that’s where you’ll be staying the night. As you wind you way up the hill you are on a narrower road and then through the gates and along the ramparts you go until you reach the final portal. You can picture knights of old coming up to visit their leader…”
Address: Burg 1-3