from west to east
from east to west
On the 10th March 1954 the cities of Mannheim, Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Ansbach and Nuremberg came together to form a joint venture group. Its aim was to promote tourism in the attractive vacation and excursion areas lying on either side of what was then the only west-east route through Germany. This made it one of the first routes in Germany dedicated to tourism. The numerous castles and palaces along the holiday route led to an obvious suggestion, Castle Road, so obvious that from the very outset this was the only name under consideration.
The initial initiative behind this joint venture came from the city of Heilbronn, the central office of the Castle Road is today still located there and continues to receive the cities support. The city of Heilbronn made an essential contribution in the success and continuity of the Castle Road project.
German Railways set up a coach route with the same name - which rapidly became an international term. In May 1954 the first trips for the travel media took place - "Vom Neckarstrand ins Frankenland" (From the Banks of the Neckar River to Franconia). Travel linked with history and culture in one package, which following the Second World War was now accessible and also affordable to many.
At the beginning of the 1990s with the opening of the borders to the East, it was now possible to initiate contacts with the Czech Republic. The negotiations were successful and in 1994, the 40th anniversary of the Castle Road, the route was extended to the "Golden City" of Prague. The original route of 320 kilometers had now become 1,000 kilometers. At the same time the Castle Road between the cities of Nuremberg and Bayreuth was further enhanced by the inclusion of the cities of Coburg, Kronach and Kulmbach with their imposing fortifications as well as the World Cultural Heritage City of Bamberg and the "Wagner" City of Bayreuth.
With the ever changing demands of the travel sector the founding joint venture group was, in 2000 transferred into a non-profit association reflecting the current demands of the travel sector.
The current focus is on re-working and optimizing the Czech section of the Castle Road. The original aim was to enable the Castle Road to present itself on its 50th anniversary in 2004 as an international tourist route that has been regularly enhanced with the inclusion further attractions.
The ongoing development of the Castle Road remains to this day a never-ending process.