Last Updated on 28/07/2022
We travel futher along Neckar valley cycle route. Not forgive – it can be also Neckar valley car route or Neckar valley train route. In the first post there were castles and towns from Mannheim to Eberbach. Now from Zwingenberg to Bad Wimpfen
From Neckarsteinach to Zwingenberg it is the most beautiful part of Neckar for cyclists.
Zwingenberg – a small village with a very beautiful privately owned castle (it belongs to Ludwig Prince of Baden). The castle was built in 13 century.
To get to the cycling road from the train, you need to cross to the other side over the bridge.
The ruins of the Hornberg castle are located near the village of Neckarzimmern. The castle is considered the oldest in the Neckar Valley (1184). In the 13-16 centuries, it was rebuilt and expanded. An old winery (450 years old) still exists at the castle. The ruins can be visited (€ 3).
To get to the Hornberg you need to cross to the other side from cycling route on a new bridge.
There is already a wider valley, the road does not go through the forest. In the village, on the side of the cycling road, there is also a stopped nuclear power plant.
Schloss Horneck in Gundelsheim is one of the castles of the German (Teutonic) Order on the Neckar. The exact time of foundation is not known. In 1438 the castle was handed over by Konrad Horneck to the German Order, to which it belonged until 1525, when it was destroyed by fire during a peasant uprising. Although the castle was soon restored, the palace in Bad Mergentheim became the seat of the order. Now there are various organizations in it.
Burg Guttenberg in Neckarmühlbach opposite Gundelsheim has never been destroyed and has been inhabited for almost 800 years. Castle was built around 1200 to protect the imperial palace in Bad Wimpfen. The walls and tower are what remained from the 12th century.
The modern history of Gutenberg Castle began in the 15th century, when it was bought by Hans Rich von Gemmingen. Thanks to the correct marriage and successful acquisitions, Hans managed to increase his own funds, for which he received his nickname. With him began the Gemmingen-Guttenberg line, whose descendants still own the castle today.
The castle managed to go through several wars intact. The part that houses the museum was built in the 15-17 centuries. Residential building, closed to the public, was built in the 16th century.
At the very beginning of the 16th century on the site of the old chapel, from which the development of this place began, a new one was built. To the chapel you need to follow the sign through the forest. The popular amoung local people forest walk Fünfmühlental (5 mills) also begins a little higher up the gorge.
In the lower part, where there was obviously a moat before, birds of prey are housed, with which a show is held several times a day. The castle regularly hosts various events – historical performances, markets and tournaments. Information can be found here.
At the castle
The exposition of the museum is not very diverse, but the ticket price is also appropriate. The most valuable exhibit is the 18th century library with old books. I was also curious to look at the dolls of the mid-19th century and many smallest items of doll furnishings.
There are several scenes with soldiers showing major battles. The museum has about three floors with three small rooms each. You need to climb the steep stairs.
Further, you will meet another castle – small Burg Ehrenberg (12th century) in the village of Heinsheim. The castle partially preserved the buildings of the 12-13 centuries, but most of them were badly damaged during the 30-year war and were rebuilt in the 17-18 centuries. The castle is privately owned and closed to the public.
Bad Wimpfen is one of the prettiest small German towns.
People settled here in the Stone Age. Around 450 BC the Celts appeared. Under the Romans, one of the most important ports was built, which was later destroyed by the Germanic tribes. According to legend, the Merovingians built the first castle to protect the crossing of the Neckar, but the settlement was destroyed by the Hungarians, who ravaged the valley.
In 1182, Emperor Frederick 1 Barbarossa decided to build an imperial palace on a hill above the Neckar. Emperors periodically lived with their court in Wimpfen.
Around 1300 Wimpfen became a free imperial city. In the 15th century, the city reached the pinnacle of its development. Since the 30-year war, its decline began – a tenth of the population of the city remained.
Bad Wimpfen – what to do
Among the sights of the city: the remains of the imperial palace in the Romanesque style (circa 1200, the Blue Tower, the Red Tower, the palace chapel, the arches of the Great Hall).
You can climb the Blue Tower (from October to March, depending on the weather, from April to September from 10.00 to 18.00, about 1.50 euros).
And this is a Red Tower (left).
Steinhaus – the largest residential building in Germany in the Romanesque style (possibly a palace for women).
There are many half-timbered (Fachwerk) houses.
Read more about Fachwerk history.
Evangelical parish church (13-16 centuries) with a late medieval altar, wall paintings and a pieta from the 14th century, near the church – a sculptural group (c. 1551).
There are some small museums: Reichsstädtische Museum in Alte Spital (13 century), Historical museum in Steinhaus.
In the lower part of the city, the oldest (near the Neckar), there is a significant gotic church with a 10th century Romanesque wing, a Gothic nave and a cloister.
After the discovery of salt deposits in the middle of the 19th century Bad Wimpfen, like neighboring Bad Rappenau, is a popular spa resort. However, Bad Wimpfen lost the race for resort properties – deposits in Bad Rappenau were discovered earlier. Most of the clinics are concentrated there. Bad Rappenau has an excellent Rappsodie pool, but nothing else is interesting about the city. True, you can walk between cities – in autumn the forest is very beautiful, and the distance is short.
In addition, it is just pleasant to walk in Wimpfen – old houses, a lot of greenery and flowers, and it is even better to go to some festivals, for example, to the “oldest” (according to the organizers) Christmas market in Germany, or a carnival, or on a spring night festival – something happens very often here.
There are salt relaxation and treatment thermal pools in Bad Wimpfen, Bad Rappenau (Rappsodie – more for people from sanatoriums and relaxation), Heilbronn (Soleo – rather for locals), and since 2013 also in Sinsheim (“Tropical paradise” – expensive and with high standards).