Of all European countries, Germany features the biggest collection of beautiful castles worth seeing for any visitor. Germany has numerous castles ranging from defensive huge wonders to amazing fairy tale castles emerged right out of a story book. Some of these huge castles were constructed for the protection of people while others resulted out of Kings’ pleasures. German castles serve as inspiration, all through the times till date, for many. Brothers’ Grimm’s fairy tales all revolved around the German castles while Walt Disney used one of them as an inspiration for developing Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Disneyland.
Visiting a German castle is like stepping into some fairy tale scene where you see castles sitting on the top of mountain peaks with their towers touching the sky. Germany is popular for its castles, each associated with a history of dukes, knights and their wars and victories. These German castles depict a luxurious history and were used by families of their founders. Treasures of these castles include weapons, paintings, furniture and artifacts from that time.
During the Medieval period, Germany existed as a group of small states and this unstable situation led to the creation of fortified, secure castles in different parts of the country. There are more than 25,000 castles, small and big, in Germany. Some of them exist as only debris while many are well-preserved and restored to their existing glory in the form of restaurants, hotels, and museums.
Table of Contents
Top 10 German Castles
If you are visiting Germany, seeing these wonderful castles should be on the top of your itinerary list. Here are the top 10 most amazing castles in Germany to consider:
10. Wartburg Castle
Established in the Middle Ages, the Wartburg Castle is more beautiful than the surrounding lush-green forest of Thuringian and the Eisenach town. This castle served as the venue for one of the most significant historical events. Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer took refuge in this castle in support of Frederick the Wise after his suspension by the Pope. He translated the New Testament into German in the years 1521 to 1522.
In the centuries following this event, the castle was deteriorated and ignored. However, in the 19th century, Wartburg Castle was restored and is today one of the most popular tourist attractions.
9. Lowenburg Castle
A romantic castle from the Medieval Age, Lowenburg Castle means ‘Lion’s Castle’. It is located in the Bergpark Wilhelmshohe and represents itself as the Knights castle.
The interior of the castle includes living rooms designed to match the knight’s taste. It exists as ruins and depicts the wars and destruction it witnessed. Most of the parts of the castle are open for public visit and parts of the living rooms are transformed into a museum. Guided tours are available for visiting this museum and anybody traveling to Germany can mark this castle ruins on the itinerary.
8. Marksburg Castle
The only Middle Age castle that did not get destroyed, Marksburg Castle is located above the town of Braubach in Germany. The amazing fortress sits on a high cliff protecting it from enemy forces and this is why it has survived for more than 700 years. It was mainly used for protection by people of the time rather than as a royal residence. It was built by the Eppstein family in 1117 to protect the town and reinforce the facilities.
The castle was rebuilt constantly by noble counts in the 14th and 15th centuries. In 1900, the castle was finally sold to the German Castle Association. A huge number of visitors travel to The Rhine every year to visit the Marksburg Castle though there are many other sight-seeing places in the valley.
7. Albrechtsberg Castle
One of the most magnificent castles of the Middle Ages, Albrechtsberg Castle is a late-Gothic creation situated on a peak by the river Elbe in Meissen. In the 10th century, a fortress existed on this site and 500 years later, this castle was constructed in its place. It adopted the title of trendsetter not just in the architectural context but for its timeless beauty.
The beautiful castle is located at a distance of 25 km from Dresden. It is the oldest German castle and is turned into a museum attracting millions of visitors worldwide every year. A visit to this castle is a popular itinerary for travelers.
6. Schloss Nordkirchen
Renowned as ‘the Versailles of Germany’, the Schloss Nordkirchen castle is surrounded by a canal on all the sides. This broad canal resembles a moat though Moats were no longer in function during the time this palace was built and were used for show only. The huge dimension of the castle and the impressive garden design make this creation so special. The castle was originally a residence of the Prince of Munster in the 18th century.
Today, this castle is one of the tourist attractions in Germany and makes a popular day trip for travelers. There is a restaurant in the interior of the castle and you can enjoy delicious local dishes in an extravagant atmosphere.
5. Charlottenburg Palace
One of the most popular tourist attractions of Berlin, Charlottenburg Palace is the largest of all the castles in the city. It is a living example of the skills and passions the Prussian Kings had for architecture. The palace features many wonderful gardens in baroque style kept open for public visit. The palace and its gardens were constructed in the 19th century originally. However, after the Second World War’s bombardment, there emerged a serious requirement of reformation on this site. Efforts were made in this direction after 1950.
Festivals, celebrations, and events occur at regular intervals within the premise of this monument, attracting people from around the globe. Charlottenburg Palace park is one of the most popular parks in Berlin and a must visit place for Germany visitors.
4. Heidelberg Castle
Considered to be one of the most distinguished landmarks in Germany, the ruins of Heidelberg Castle are world-famous. This amazing castle stands on a hill 300 feet high near the city of the same name. It is a combination of multiple buildings around a central courtyard, each of which reflects the individual period from the German architecture.This is one of the German castles destructed by France and it was never again reformed to its existing glory. It was constructed in the 13th century and destroyed during the War of the Grand Alliance in the 17th century. In the 19th century, the castle ruins attracted attention and today, it draws millions of visitors every year.
However, there is something special about the place which makes a visit to it an unforgettable experience. One can make use of group tours organized for exploration of the historic castle interiors.
3. Schwerin Castle
Situated on a tiny island in the Schwerin Lake, this castle was constructed at the place of an old castle which existed thousands of years ago. It is believed that the old castle was home to many nobles and dukes. It is also said that a ghost called Petermannchen also lived there. The benign ghost was only a few feets high and wandered in the entire palace to make sure that things were in order.
During the 19th century, dukes of Mecklenburg designed the castle and its shape and form are retained. In 1913, a fire destroyed about one-third of the palace which then underwent some exterior reconstruction. Later, the castle was turned into a museum. Today, the castle serves as a seat of the state parliament. It is considered to be one of the most amazing German castles in the Europe.
2. Hohenzollern Castle
Located in the south of Germany, Hohenzollern Castle was designed to resemble a Knight’s castle in Middle Age. It is situated on the peak of mountain Hohenzollern and it offers beautiful views of the countryside surrounding it, making the castle one of the most amazing in its class. This romantic castle was once the house of the Imperial family when monarchy existed before the First World War.
It was considered as a seat of power and consists artifacts from that time and the rule. After 1952, the castle has been equipped with historical artifacts and art pieces from the collections of the royal family. It also contains the crown of Kaiser Wilhelm II and King Frederick the Great’s uniform. Many royal family members were buried in the castle and it is open to the public today.
1. Neuschwanstein Castle
The mysterious king named Ludwig II constructed the highly romantic castle using his personal funds to get a private retreat for him. One of the most popular European tourist destinations, this castle resembles a fairy tale castle. The castle was created to interpret the ideals of the Middle age and was dedicated to a great composer of the time, Richard Wagner.
Few weeks after the King’s death in 1886, the castle was opened for public visits and today, it is one of the most visited castles in the world. What makes this castle so special and famous is its incredible beauty resembling a creation emerging from a fairy tale. Though resembling a medieval creation, the castle is equipped with extraordinary technology from the time. One can find air heating system all over inside the castle and toilets with automatic flushing system on each floor. It is definitely a charming and interesting place that you would want to learn about. It is one of the most popular German castles capturing sights and attention from all the corners of the globe.
Visit these amazing German castles to experience their beauty and understand the historical importance associated with them.