Self drive in Germany is easy once you get used to driving on the right hand side of the road. There is a large variety of scenic roads focusing on many different themes such as food, history, buildings, fairy tales and many more. The Castle Road, one of Germany's longest-established scenic routes, celebrated its 55th anniversary in March 2009. Fully signposted and running for around 1,000 km from Mannheim to Prague, it offers plenty of diversity, historical sites and delightful scenery peppered with romantic castles and fairy tale palaces.
The impressive past, still very much in evidence today, has left its imprint on many towns and villages along the route. The scenery along the route is as fascinating and awe-inspiring as the region's history. As the river Neckar meanders through the legendary Odenwald region, the Neckar valley reveals itself in all its grandeur. The Hohenlohe plain seems almost endless, but then come the rolling Franconian Heights, then the northern part of Franconian Switzerland.
In Mannheim and Heidelberg visitors can still admire the legacy of the former Palatine electors, who adored the arts.
The Castle Road leads visitors from one amazing castle, palace or town to the next. Sights include gems of medieval architecture and romantic towns galore There are even relics of the Roman era, such as watchtowers and other Limes remnants. Mosbach, Bad Wimpfen, Schwäbisch Hall and Rothenburg are quaint old towns with picturesque half-timbered buildings. All are well worth a visit and will leave a lasting impression.
Near Heilbronn, the Castle Road passes through large areas of winegrowing country. There are imposing fortifications and baroque architecture to see in the rococo town of Auerbach, the medieval imperial city of Nuremberg and the ancient towns of Bamberg, Coburg, Kronach, Kulmbach and Bayreuth. The Castle Road then continues into the Czech Republic, passing the famous spa towns of Karlovy Vary and Marianske Lazne, before ending in style at Prague.
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