After visiting the Steiff Museum, we made our way to the small, quaint, town of Blaubeuren to spend the night in a hotel. The next morning, Aaron woke up early (he is a morning person....I am not) to take advantage of the ''golden hour'' and get some pictures of the town before breakfast. Speaking of which, the hotel we stayed at, the Hotel Ochsen, had one of the BEST breakfasts I have had, and dinner the night before in their restaurant was just as tasty! After a hearty breakfast, we set out to go see one of the most picturesque castles in Germany that kept popping up on my Pinterest - Schloss Lichtenstein. It's much smaller than many other castle, but it's precarious position, perched on a cliff overlooking the valley below, makes for a stunning pit stop.
The castle was first built around 1390, but was abandoned in the 1500s and fell into disrepair. In 1802, the lands were acquired by King Frederic I of Würtermberg. He dismantled the old ruins and built a hunting lodge at the site. In 1837, the Duke of Urach bought the lodge and land, and built the castle that still stands today. It is still owned, and I suspect even used, by the same family that built it.
The castle itself is only accessible by a bridge, and, being on a cliff in the Swäbian Albs, is brutally windy. I was kind of regretting not bringing a warmer coat, but between a scarf, and Aaron making sure my hood was up and cinched tight, I managed to keep warm enough. Inside is an impressive array of antique armor, weapons, and even a champagne glass that hold three bottles of champagne and requires three people to drink from it - one to hold it, one to drink from it, and one to hold the drinker. On the second floor, there is an old mirror with a large crack in it. There are two theories as to how the crack appeared. The first is that during the second world war, a bomb hit the castle, causing the cracks to form. The second, and much more colorful, theory is that a drunken knight stumbled up the steps, saw his reflection in the mirror, thought it was an intruder and attacked. Only history can say what really happened!
The tour lasts a half hour, cost 7€ for adults, and is held only in German. Thankfully, they do have foreign language cheat sheets that give most of the same information (although, we could tell that there was a lot more information from the guide). Pictures are not, unfortunately, allowed inside the castle. For those, we will direct you to their official website. I have to say, it ended up being a nice stop on our way back home that day. If you're in southern Baden-Würtemberg, perhaps visiting the Black Forest, and looking for a cute castle, this one should definitely be on your list! They are closed a portion of the year, so check their schedule to make sure they are open, and for the most up to date opening times.