Destinations Magazine

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

By Jsbdsl @jonnyblair
World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

The Kingdom of Romkerhall, in German Konigreich Romkerhall is a micronation and breakaway country housed within the borders of Germany. The Kingdom claims to be the “World’s Smallest Kingdom”. On my ongoing tours to crazy republics and wacaday nations, this one had to be on my list. Just before my trip here, I had visited the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, written about 40 disputed countries I backpacked and outlined by crazy quest to visit 200 real countries by the age of 40. The Republic of Malta was 155, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta was 156, making the Kingdom of Romkerhall number 157 on my list. 43 to go if God spares me. I was really looking forward to this one, and combined it nicely with a trip to watch Northern Ireland play Switzerland in Basel. Ahead of my trip, I got in touch with Suzanne, the Princess of the Kingdom of Romkerhall and arranged my visit in advance. My tour guide for my trip was to be Miss Edith (Edtya), who speaks fluent Polish and therefore we could understand each other.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Where is the Kingdom of Romkerhall?
It is a separate country housed in a hotel called Konigreich Romkerhall, situated deep in German countryside and mountains in Saxony. The nearest settlements are Altenau, Gosler, Oker and Bad-Harzburg.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Kingdom of Romkerhall on the Map

What is the Kingdom of Romkerhall?
The Kingdom of Romkerhall is a fully self-declared and self-run legitimate separate country housed in a hotel called Konigreich Romkerhall in the Saxony area of Germany. The country was declared in 1988 as “the world’s smallest kingdom”, though when I toured it and read up on the history, I discovered that it has a much longer history to it.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

The entire country is housed in a hotel and the grounds around the hotel. It is in a truly tranquil, peaceful and gorgeous setting in rural Germany, like out of a fairytale. It is one of the coolest countries I have ever toured. The Hotel was built in the 19th Century and was originally a hunting lodge commissioned by King George the Fifth as part of his Hanover Kingdom.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

The Kingdom of Romkerhall in all its glory

However, the end of the First World War in 1918 brought an end to the German monarchy and the entire country’s borders were shifted, affecting places like Gdańsk in Poland (then was known as the Free City of Danzig). Oddly a clause was noted that this lodge was not included in any parishes by the new Weimar Republic at the time, which rendered the hotel free and not officially included in German documents, therefore the Kingdom of Romkerhall was in essence not part of Germany even back then in 1918.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Backpacker on tour at the Kingdom of Romkerhall

The situation reared its head again in the 1970s when the parishes were redrawn yet still the Hotel here was omitted. This officially meant that the Hotel was in “no man’s land”, a ‘municipality free’ independent territory. Baron Lechner bought the lodge and set up his own country in it.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Welcome to the Kingdom of Romkerhall

The Hotel had suffered from fire damage but Lechner wanted to make it one of the most elaborate hotels in the world and so he set about design elegant bedrooms, a huge Royal Hall and a cosy restaurant. As the dream developed, so did a flag, a currency, a border, a website, a visa, souvenirs, an anthem and a thriving economy (all the money is made from the hotel – be it food and drink, overnight stays or purchasing of souvenirs). So without further ado, I went to visit and I loved this place, so I hope you can visit it too or even cooler – stay overnight here as it’s a fully functioning hotel and country!

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Dining in the Kingdom of Romkerhall

Getting to Gosler, Oker or Bad-Harzburg in Saxony
I started my latest Germany adventure in Berlin and decided to go by train from Berlin to Gosler. I had noticed that Oker was the nearest decent sized settlement to the Kingdom of Romkerhall, but as Gosler was the bigger one, I assumed that it would have more bus and direct links to the Kingdom of Romkerhall.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Berlin to Gosler by train

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Berlin to Gosler by train

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Berlin to Gosler by train

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Berlin to Gosler by train

So your first step is to get to the area where these three settlements are – Bad-Harzburg, Gosler and Oker. All three of them are in Saxony, lofty places up in the mountains. I toured all three on the day. I booked my train ticket from Berlin to Gosler as it was the furthest one away from Berlin of the three. I knew I could then decide which option to take. In the end, I got off early at Bad-Harzburg as I had left quite a bit of time for this one. It meant I could tour a mini waterfall on the edge of Bad-Harzburg, have a short walk round the town (which was admittedly boring) and then work out how to get to Romkerhall.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Bad-Harzburg

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Bad-Harzburg

Bad-Harzburg
So first up I wanted to check out Bad-Harzburg and around. This is not part of the Kingdom of Romkerhall, just an extra few places I personally checked out. From Bad-Harzburg, I got a 820 bus to Radau Wasserfall. The bus took around 12 minutes and once there, I saw the waterfall amongst the rocks and mountain background. There was also a cosy hotel and café here which made the perfect place for a morning coffee while I waited on the next bus back to Bad-Harzburg. Before this, I had already noted that there was no direct bus from Bad-Harzburg to the Kingdom of Romkerhall.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Bad-Harzburg

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Bad-Harzburg

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

On a bus to the waterfall

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Waterfall on edge of Bad-Harzburg

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Woods on edge of Bad-Harzburg

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Coffee on edge of Bad-Harzburg

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Hotel and restaurant on edge of Bad-Harzburg

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Hotel and restaurant on edge of Bad-Harzburg

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Waterfall on edge of Bad-Harzburg

Oker
Oker looked to me to be the most logical place to get a bus to the Kingdom of Romkerhall. So I got a bus number 810 from Bad-Harzburg to Oker Main Station. However, on arrival in Oker, it was clear that there were no buses or signs to the Kingdom of Romkerhall! And there was not much to see and do in Oker other than admire the mountains in the background.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Oker

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Bus to Oker

It was now around 11 am and I realised that a taxi was my best bet. It’s a really remote place, but on the map it looked like Oker was only 10 – 15 kilometres from the Kingdom of Romkerhall. The only problem was – there were no taxis in sight!

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

A bus stop in Oker – no real options from here to Romkerhall despite its proximity.

So I went into the bar opposite the main station in Oker – you can’t miss this bar it’s on the main street and is called Bistro Am Bahnhof. They serve pizza, pasta, coffee, soft drinks and beer. I asked the couple working there (who were Vietnamese, not German) if they could help me get a taxi to Romkerhall. It was a Saturday morning and yes, they were able to get me one. I had a fifteen minute wait and as the mountains all around Oker were pretty stunning and  I was relaxed, I had a beer while I looked at my maps and waited.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Bar in Oker

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Oker

Taxi from Oker, Germany to the Kingdom of Romkerhall
I was trying to think back through those 156 other countries to remember if I had ever got a taxi across a border before. Then I remembered Colombia to Venezuela was a “shared taxi” and so was Armenia to Georgia. There were probably a few other times as well, that I couldn’t recall. But this was a special one.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Taxi from Oker, Germany to the Kingdom of Romkerhall

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Taxi from Oker in Germany for the Kingdom of Romkerhall

However, the most disappointing aspect of getting a taxi to the Kingdom of Romkerhall was the price. Without walking, hitch-hiking or having my own car, there really was no other option for me, so I bit the bullet and took the taxi.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Leaving Oker in Germany for the Kingdom of Romkerhall

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Taxi from Oker in Germany to the Kingdom of Romkerhall

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Taxi from Oker in Germany to the Kingdom of Romkerhall

My taxi driver wasn’t the most friendly and he added on an extra 5 Euro charge. Reluctantly I paid it. The total taxi bill cost me 21.30 Euros and I reluctantly gave him exact change and no more. I felt it was a total rip off as the journey only took about 10 – 15 minutes. I was literally paying almost 2 Euros for a minute. But it was my only option, and it was a cold wet day so I was glad of the speed to get there.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Views on route to the Kingdom of Romkerhall

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Taxi from Oker in Germany to the Kingdom of Romkerhall

Despite the steep price of the taxi, the drive to the Kingdom of Romkerhall was smooth and scenic. Gorgeous Autumn leaves on the trees, and mountains on either side of the road. And besides, before 12 noon I had officially arrived in the Kingdom of Romkerhall. It is a Kingdom housed in a hotel, which claims to be the smallest Kingdom in the world.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Arrival at the Kingdom of Romkerhall – the world’s smallest kingdom!

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Arrival at the Kingdom of Romkerhall – the world’s smallest kingdom!

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Arrival at the Kingdom of Romkerhall – the world’s smallest kingdom!

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Arrival at the Kingdom of Romkerhall – the world’s smallest kingdom!

Crossing the Border from Germany into the Kingdom of Romkerhall
This couldn’t be simpler – the Kingdom of Romkerhall is the hotel here, so by going in the door of the hotel, you are now in the Kingdom of Romkerhall and have left Germany behind. As you can see from the photos below, the door that acts as the border has the country’s name above it and the crest, both in stained glass windows.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Crossing the Border from Germany into the Kingdom of Romkerhall

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Arrival at the Kingdom of Romkerhall

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Arrival at the Kingdom of Romkerhall

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Arrival at the Kingdom of Romkerhall

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Crossing the Border from Germany into the Kingdom of Romkerhall

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

The Kingdom of Romkerhall

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

The Kingdom of Romkerhall is the hotel/castle. The rest of it is Germany.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Actually crossing the border from Germany into the Kingdom of Romkerhall

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

The Romkerhall Coat of Arms on the border

The welcome room and arrival hall doubles up as the reception, the visa clearance and issuance zone, the customs point and the souvenir shop.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Welcome Room/Arrival Hall in the Kingdom of Romkerhall

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

The welcome room

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Welcome to the Kingdom of Romkerhall

Visas and Border Checks at the Kingdom of Romkerhall
The Kingdom of Romkerhall issues visas but they are NOT compulsory, which means you could backpack it and not even use, pay for or ask for a visa. However, you might know I have a visa series on this blog and therefore I love getting visas and new passport stamps so I had to take up the visa option! The visa policy was launched in 2016 and the income from the visa helps to support the hotel, the Kingdom and the renovation work. I also got a photo by the flag which flies proudly in the Kingdom of Romkerhall.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Visas and Border Checks at the Kingdom of Romkerhall

There are a few visa options:

1.Welcome Visa – 10 Euros
The Welcome Visa costs 10 Euros which includes a welcome drink, a full visit of the castle including the Royal Hall and the Royal Bedroom of Queen Erina. This is the visa option I took. It is actually a multiple entry visa for unlimited stay! But of course if you do that, you’ll have to pay each night for your bed in the hotel. My visa was issued by Miss Edith, who I was later able to call Edyta and amazingly she grew up in Bytom in Poland, so we were able to speak in Polish, thanks to my new project, Northern Irishman in Poland.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Souvenir Shop in the Kingdom of Romkerhall

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Miss Edyta who issued my visa

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

A Romkerhall Coin

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

My visa for the Kingdom of Romkerhall

2.Overnight Visa – Free with a booking
If you book a night in the hotel or even a full meal in the restaurant, your visa is issued free of charge. Prices for hotel bookings are at the bottom of the article.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Visa point at the Kingdom of Romkerhall

3. Transit Visa – 1.5 Euros
There is a transit visa option, which would be good for those just passing through for lunch or a quick beer.

4.No Visa – FREE
If you take the no visa option, you can only stand in the reception area. You won’t be able to eat or drink in the bar, or visit the Royal Hall or Bedrooms.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

My Visa for the Kingdom of Romkerhall

Currency in the Kingdom of Romkerhall
The official currency in the Kingdom of Romkerhall is the Konigsthaler. It is directly pegged to the Euro so a 2 Konigsthaler coin costs 2 Euros. You can buy your Konigsthaler at the reception to the hotel which also operates as the country’s souvenir shop and border control. I picked up quite a few cool souvenirs while backpacking in the Kingdom.

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Some of my souvenirs from the Kingdom of Romkerhall

World Borders: How to Get to the Kingdom of Romkerhall (Konigreich Romkerhall) from Germany

Some of my souvenirs from the Kingdom of Romkerhall

While the official currency is the Konigsthaler, Euros are also accepted however credit cards and other currencies are not. Here are the prices per night in the Kingdom of Romkerhall.

2017/18: Preis pro Person pro Nacht

(inkl. Frühstück)

Euro

im Standardzimmer (mit Dusche/WC) 35.- Euro

im Komfortzimmer mit Dusche/WC, TV) 45.- Euro

Prinzesschen-Zimmer, Fürsten-Zimmer, Cinderella-Zimmer,

Dornröschen-Suite

(Themenzimmer mit Himmelbett bzw. Baldachin , Dusche bzw. Badewanne/WC, Minibar, TV)

75.- Euro

Königliches Schlafgemach (ehemaliges Schlafzimmer von Königin Erina mit Wellnessdusche/WC, Minibar, Safe, TV sowie offenen Kamin); 80.- Euro

Einzelzimmerzuschlag im Einbett-Zimmer (nur 1 Zimmer verfügbar) 0.- Euro

Einzelzimmerzuschlag im Standardzimmer 15.- Euro

Einzelzimmerzuschlag im Komfortzimmer 25.- Euro

Einzelzimmerzuschlag im Themenzimmer 35.- Euro

Einzelzimmerzuschlag im Königszimmer (nur 1 Zimmer verfügbar) 40.- Euro

Mitbringen von Hunden (nicht in jedem Zimmer möglich) pro Hund/Nacht: 10.- Euro

Reservierungen nimmt entgegen:
Moneypenny Tours (Reservierungszentrale “Königreich Romkerhall”)
Außenstr. 6-8
90453 Nürnberg
Tel. 0911 – 6324673
Fax: 0911 – 6328312
e-mail: info@moneypenny.de

So what are you waiting for? Get backpacking in this amazing Kingdom! I also made some Instagram and Facebook posts about my time there:

Backpacking in Romkerhall, the world’s smallest kingdom! Northern Irishman In Poland on tour. #romkerhall #gawa #switzerlandaway #norniron #yamd #owc #irlandiapółnocna #tourist #travelnerd #travelblogger #travelwriter #whackpacking #backpacking #visitpoland #northernireland #northernirishboy #travelblog #northernirishman #northernirishmaninpoland #polska #mentalhealth #ulsterman #honestman #dontstopliving

A post shared by Jonny Blair (@jonnydontstopliving) on Nov 11, 2017 at 12:29pm PST

Backpacking in Romkerhall, the world’s smallest kingdom! Northern Irishman In Poland on tour. #romkerhall #gawa #switzerlandaway #norniron #yamd #owc #irlandiapółnocna #tourist #travelnerd #travelblogger #travelwriter #whackpacking #backpacking #visitpoland #northernireland #northernirishboy #travelblog #northernirishman #northernirishmaninpoland #polska #mentalhealth #ulsterman #honestman #dontstopliving

A post shared by Jonny Blair (@jonnydontstopliving) on Nov 11, 2017 at 5:54am PST

Backpacking in Romkerhall, the world’s smallest kingdom! Northern Irishman In Poland on tour. #romkerhall #gawa #switzerlandaway #norniron #yamd #owc #irlandiapółnocna #tourist #travelnerd #travelblogger #travelwriter #whackpacking #backpacking #visitpoland #northernireland #northernirishboy #travelblog #northernirishman #northernirishmaninpoland #polska #mentalhealth #ulsterman #honestman #dontstopliving

A post shared by Jonny Blair (@jonnydontstopliving) on Nov 11, 2017 at 5:53am PST

Here are my videos from backpacking in the Kingdom of Romkerhall:

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