Most Famous Castles in Germany
Germany is a big country with very rich history. There are as many as 20,000 castles in Germany for tourists to visit. These spectacular castles range from medieval fortresses to noble palaces. Scattered all across the country, most are steeped in history, and some are still owned by the original families.
Germany is home to the world’s largest castle complex, and huge numbers of the nation’s castles sit roosted high over the encompassing view on hills and even precipice edges, charitably overlooking the nearby lands. While some have stood the trial of time unaffected, others have been at the very heart of furious battles, fortunately, restored to recount to the tales of the past. Here is the list of most Famous Castles in Germany.
Reichsburg or Cochem Castle which overlooks the beautiful Moselle River and the lush green winemaking region of Rhineland-Palatinate. The castle had its first documentary mention in 1130. In 1151, it was occupied by King Konrad III, who declared it an Imperial castle. In late 17th century, the castle was overrun by French King Louis XIV’s troops and was destroyed it. The castle complex long lay in ruins before in 19th century it was bought by the Berlin businessman Louis Fréderic Jacques Ravené and then reconstructed in the Gothic Revival style. Since 1978 it has been owned by the town of Cochem and is administered by a company named Reichsburg GmbH.
Schwerin Castle is a schloss situated on an island of Lake Schwerin. For centuries the castle was the home of the dukes and grand dukes of Mecklenburg and later Mecklenburg-Schwerin. Today parts of it serve as the residence of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state parliament, other parts are open for tourists.
There are records that indicate that the first fortress on the island dates back to the 10th century. The oldest parts of the current castle date back to the 16th century, however, the current castle was built in the 19th century. The castle is regarded as one of the most important works of romantic Historicism in Europe and is designated to become a World Heritage Site.
Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The castle was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and in honor of Richard Wagner. The castle was intended as a home for the King, until he died in 1886. It was open to the public shortly after his death. Since then more than 61 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with as many as 6,000 per day in the summer.
Hohenzollern Castle is the ancestral seat of the imperial House of Hohenzollern and located atop Mount Hohenzollern, above and south of Hechingen, on the edge of the Swabian Jura of central Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
The first castle on the mountain was constructed in the early 11th century. The castle was completely destroyed in 1423 after a ten-month siege by the free imperial cities of Swabia. The current castle was built in 19th century as a family memorial by Hohenzollern scion King Frederick William IV of Prussia.
The Lichtenstein Castle is a privately-owned Gothic Revival castle designed by Carl Alexander Heideloff and located in the Swabian Jura of southern Germany. The castle overlooks the Echaz valley near Honau, Reutlingen in the state of Baden-Württemberg. The modern castle was inspired by the novel Lichtenstein by Wilhelm Hauff and was built in 19th century. The ruins of the medieval castle that inspired the novel are a few hundred meters away.
Wernigerode Castle is located in the Harz mountains above the town of Wernigerode in Saxony-Anhalt. The present-day building, finished in the late 19th century, is similar in style to Schloss Neuschwanstein, though its foundations are much older. It is one of the most frequently visited in Saxony-Anhalt.
Burghausen Castle in Burghausen, Upper Bavaria, is the longest castle complex in the world. This incredible stronghold was a clear indication of the power of Bavarian dukes, and the castle was both a royal residence and a military fortification. The Gothic castle comprises the main castle with the inner courtyard and five outer courtyards. The outermost point of the main castle is the Palas with the ducal private rooms. Today it houses the castle museum, including late Gothic paintings of the Bavarian State Picture Collection.
Rheinstein Castle or Burg Rheinstein is a castle constructed in the early 14th century and located near the town of Trechtingshausen in Rhineland-Palatinate. The Rheinstein Castle was important for its strategic location but by mid 14th century, the castle was in decline and by the time of the Palatine War of Succession, the castle was very dilapidated. During the romantic period in the 19th century, Prince Frederick of Prussia bought the castle and it was rebuilt.
Dresden Castle or Royal Palace is one of the oldest buildings in Dresden, Germany. It served as the residence of the electors and kings of Saxony from the Albertine House of Wettin as well as Kings of Poland. The castle is known for the different architectural styles employed, from Baroque to Neo-renaissance.
Nowadays, the castle is a museum complex that contains the Historic and New Green Vault, the Numismatic Cabinet, the Collection of Prints, Drawings and Photographs and the Dresden Armory with the Turkish Chamber. It also houses an art library and the management of the Dresden State Art Collections.
Eltz Castle or Burg Eltz is a medieval castle nestled in the hills above the Moselle River between Koblenz and Trier, Germany. It is still owned by the Eltz family that lived there in the 12th century, 33 generations ago. The castle is surrounded on three sides by the Elzbach River, a tributary on the north side of the Moselle. It is on a 70-metre (230 ft) rock spur, on an important Roman trade route between rich farmlands and their markets.