Germany, Rhineland-Palatinate, Wachenheim, Wachtenburg, ruin
Wilfried Wirth/age fotostock
Although it has just 4,800 inhabitants, the town of Wachenheim is quite well known, both for its vineyards and its castle. Thought to be built in the 12th century by King Konrad von Hohenstaufen, Castle Wachtenburg is popular mostly for its tremendous views over the surrounding Rhineland, which earned it the nickname “Balcony of the Palatinate.” It’s much larger up close than it looks from down the hill, and also has a preserved tower, wall sections that date from its 12th century beginnings, and the remains of a historic palace. Look around, then head to the on-site café, which serves as a location for various events and wine festivals.