November 5, 2005

Burg Colmberg, Rothenburg

Filed under: Travels, Germany — Alex Ravenel @ 4:54 pm

Castle ColmbergI just returned from my travels for the weekend. On Thursday morning, I hopped a train to Ansbach, and then from there a bus through endless green farmfields to Colmberg, a sleepy Franconian farming town just inside Bavaria. You immediately notice the castle sitting on the hillside, surrounded by fields on one side and forests on the other. It’s a most impressive sight–all the moreso because I knew I was staying there for the next two nights.

Castle Colmberg, ApproachAs I walked up the hill and into the castle, I became more impressed with every passing minute. The place just oozed character, from the 14th century stones to the green moss on the trees. I checked in and walked to my room, continuing to be impressed by the castle as I wound my way up the stairs to my room. After dropping off my bags, I proceeded to explore the castle, trying to see every bit possible. Castle Colmberg, SunsetThen, noticing the sun going down, I went out to watch it dip below the sunset from the castle walls. That evening, as I was walking around, and through the restaurant, I heard two people–the only two in the restaurant at that time–speaking the strangest combination of German and British English. I noticed this and started talking to them, asking them why that was. They explained that they were married, and that they both spoke the other’s language, though when speaking, they just sorta mixed it together in whatever jumble it happened to come out in. Castle Colmberg, Derrek and HeidiAs we started talking more, they invited me to sit down with them, and treated me to a glass of wine as we continued our conversation. We discovered that we had several things in common–them with relatives in Maine, and a love for Charleston, SC; in fact, they are going to Charleston for Christmas, while my family is coming here. Seemed an odd switch to all of us. They soon invited me to dinner, and insisted on paying, treating me to a wonderful pumpkin soup and venison steak served in a peppercorn sauce. It was a delicious meal, and I enjoyed it all the more having such an interesting conversation with such an interesting–and generous–couple.

Castle Colmberg, ViewThe next day, I wandered around the castle some more, this time camera in hand. There was a thick fog and it felt like it was going to rain, but this only added to the atmosphere and made the place seem even more real. I trapsed all around the borders of the castle, then headed back inside to read for a few hours in one of the common areas I had all but claimed as my own.Castle Colmberg, Lounge Something about the room really resonated with me; I think it was the combination of the high, dark, exposed wood cielings combined with the furniture and the old bookcases crammed with old books, and the view out the windows into the castle courtyard. I read half of my 900 page novel sitting here over the two days I was at the castle.

RothenburgThe next morning, after thoroughly relaxing and enjoying my time at the castle, I departed, catching the 8:00AM bus to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a notoriously touristic–though gorgeous–medieval German town. Luckily I got myself there early, and enjoyed a couple of hours of quiet, winding cobblestone lanes before someone opened the floodgates and Rothenburg, City WallI found myself suddenly crushed between throngs of Japanese tourists running around trying to get pictures of themselves in front of every possible building, fountain, streetsign, and storefront. Tour busses. Anyways, I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee and small lunch, then walked to the town walls and walked around the tops of them for a while, where I found it much quieter and more relaxing. Besides, it’s always interesting to get up close to something like that, and the views it afforded were quite rewarding as well.

Rothenburg, CathedralSo, after deciding that I was tired of schlepping my luggage around and feeling somewhat tired, I walked back towards the train station, making sure to pass once more by the cathedral to admire at how it had been seemingly built in the air, with the road going underneath it. Four hours later, back in Tübingen; time to start planning a trip for next weekend. As always, make sure to check out the photo gallery for more images.


  1. i went to Burg Colmberg and Rothenburg this summer. They were both great. I actually stayed in a house right outside the walls of Rothenburg. Your statement about these places oozing character is completely accurate.

    Comment by Lorenzo — November 6, 2005 @ 8:30 pm

  2. I didn’t know you’d been to those places. I enjoyed Rothenburg, but given that Tübingen has much the same feel, minus the tourbus crowds, I’m not sure I’d go back on my own, though I suspect I’ll be taking others there. Colmberg was incredible though… I just wish there were an easier way to get there–you really need a car to do it easily.

    Comment by Alex Ravenel — November 7, 2005 @ 6:28 am

  3. yea, a car makes alot of things easier. We cruised all through bavaria, because we had a sweet bmw 3 series diesel. If you get a chance, take a weekend trip to Neuswastchien (i dont really know how you spell it). It was one of Ludwig’s castles, and even though there are a shit ton of tourists, the views from the Alps cant be beat.

    Comment by lorenzo — November 7, 2005 @ 7:38 pm

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