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Fussen
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Fussen Germany

The Romantic Road – a popular tourism route that links southern Germany's most picturesque towns and castles – culminates at Füssen, a historic town at the base of the Alps. The medieval walled centre, unscathed by World War II, is rarely empty: scores of visitors pour in on their way to see Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau, two famous castles nearby. There's also charm to be found in Füssen proper, owing to its violin-making heritage and clutch of tour-worthy historic landmarks.

Füssen's major draw is its proximity to Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau – two of Germany's most famous castles hidden in the mountains. Eccentric King Ludwig II modelled Neuschwanstein after Germanic mythology and romantic fairy-tales. Come to see its Gothic-style bedroom, artificial grotto, Byzantine-style throne room and window views of the valley. At Hohenschwangau, the king's childhood residence, you'll be able to take in original period furniture and frescoes.

Füssen biggest claim to fame may be its nearby sites, but there's plenty in town that deserves a look too. Inside the old Benedictine Monastery of St Mang, you'll find baroque architecture, grand halls, gardens and a crypt containing a tenth-century fresco – the oldest in Bavaria. The southwest wing houses the Museum of Füssen and its collection of violins, while the Chapel of St Anne features a must-see macabre painting entitled 'Dance of Death'. Hohen Schloss is another highlight – a well-preserved late Gothic castle with an ornate Rittersaal or 'Knight's Hall' and 15th and 16th-century Bavarian art.

 

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