Upon the announcement in January that The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh would pay a visit to Germany, the spotlight turned its focus to the country pending the royal visit.
Ahead of the visit, taking place from the 24th to the 26th of June on the invitation of the German President Joachim Gauck, ‘Royal Germany’ has been given a new lease of life. The German National Tourist Office added new stops to its ‘Royal Heritage Route’. The ‘Royal Heritage Route’ allows tourists to trace the British Monarchy’s history with Germany, which even includes the youngest member of the Royal Family – Princess Charlotte.
But how connected is Germany with the British Royal Family? Here’s list of attractions, compiled in alphabetical order.
Brunswick: The city that is home to Baroque-style Richmond Palace. Finished in 1769, the Palace was built for the nostalgic Princess Augusta, to evoke the memories of her beloved British home.
Bückeburg Castle: The site of the Princely School of Riding Art, the British Monarchy has a unique connection to this attraction. They breed luxurious horses, so rare that the nobility was the only institution able to avail of such extravagance. The monarchy was no exception, and these horses almost always led the Gold State Coach up until 1921.
Callenberg Castle: Situated in the north-east of Coburg, this stunning castle is surrounded by beautiful landscape. Queen Victoria said of the neo-gothic building: “A little steep, the way up to Callenberg Castle, but once you have arrived there, you can enjoy a nice cup of tea in a beautiful surrounding”. The castle had to undergo a complete overhaul before being opened to the public in 1998.
Celle: After the breakdown of George I and Princess Sophie Dorothea of Celle’s initially happy marriage, due to an extramarital affair, the couple became divorced. She was banished to Alden Castle in Belgium to spend the rest of her life, which resulted in a lonely 32 years away from her children, ended only by death in 1732.
Dresden: Augustus the Strong completely transformed this city, making it a powerful royal seat. Under his reign from 1697–1706, many historical attractions were built, including Semper Opera House and The Royal Palace.
Ehrenburg Palace: Queen Victoria stayed here in 1863, and met Franz Josef, the Emperor of Austria, for the first time in the ‘Giant Hall’. The apartments she stayed in can be viewed by the public.
The Gardens of Lake Constance: The cluster of gardens will welcome two new arrivals this year. The horticultural trails in Überlingen and Lindau, which give the perfect opportunities to take a scenic route to view some palaces along the way.
Hanover and Herrenhausen: Beginning with King George I and ending with Queen Victoria, Britain and Hanover were unified under one monarch for over 120 years. Herrenhausen Palace and its Royal Gardens in Hanover are the perfect places to visit, to remind people of this extraordinary time in both British and German history.
Marienburg Castle: George V of Hanover gifted this castle to his wife, Marie of Saxe-Altenburg, for her 39th birthday. Construction began that same year, 1857, and the beautiful work of architecture has gone on to become one of Germany’s most beautiful buildings.
Norderny: Sometimes known as the “Royal Island”, this place, situated in East Frisia, was used once upon a time as the House of Hanover’s Summer residence. Over the years, it has welcomed various royals, politicians and diplomats and is still a very popular tourist attraction.
Osnabrück & Iburg Castle: Although it’s located outside the Kingdom of Hanover, Osnabrück’s surroundings acted as a gorgeous backdrop for the romance of George V of Hanover and his wife.
Rosenau Castle: Positioned near Coburg, this was a favourite dwelling of Queen Victoria’s. In 1819, her darling husband Prince Albert was born there, and also grew up in the castle.
Schlosshotel Kronberg: Empress Victoria Friedrich, Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter, resided here. It was built in 1893 after the death of her husband; Germany’s second-last Emperor, Friedrich III. Previously known as Schloss Friedrichshof, it is used now as a sophisticated hotel, beautifully located in Kronberg im Taunus.
Seven Castles in the Weserbergland: Numerous magnificent estates situated in Lower Saxony, have an extremely rich history. They played host to various victories and deeds, under the reigns of Ernst August, George I & George V.
Sigmaringen Castle: Germany’s second-largest palace, it is perched on mountain tops above the town of Sigmaringen. The castle was central to European history in the 16th century. It acts as the principal seat of the House of Hohenzollern.
Veste Coburg Fortress: Holding a rich history, the first record of the Fortress dates back to the 11th century. In 1530, the religious reformer Martin Luther was protected there during the most tumultuous times of the Reformation. It was used as a royal residence right up until the 20th century when Queen Victoria’s grandson, Duke Carl-Eduard of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, lived there.
Klaus Lohmann, commented: “We are very proud the Queen and Prince Philip are to visit Germany and hope this will inspire more visitors from the UK to discover ‘Royal Germany’ for themselves”.
Featured photo credit: Royal Navy Media Archive via Flickr