10 Most Beautiful Castles in Germany That You Should ABSOLUTELY See
Deutschland is a treat for the eye with its picturesque postcard beauty, and the cherry on the cake is a line-up of the enigmatic Castles in Germany. For all those of you who have always been fascinated with knights in shining armours, medieval tales, fantasy epics, fairytales or for that matter Disney movies with its beauteous castles – well Germany is a place that could help you live your dream of visiting a real time castle and soaking in all the enriching experiences that come along with it.
So, without further ado we present to you a list of the most magnificent castles in Germany, which will take you on a magical journey to a time far away.
Beautiful German Castles
1. Neuschwanstein Castle
A castle that actually looks right out of a märchenhaft (German for fairytale); the Neuschwanstein Castle was built according to the Romanesque revival architecture in the 19th century. It was constructed with the idea of being a retreat for Ludwig II of Bavaria, who wanted to replicate a perfect German Knight’s Castle from medieval times. The beauty of the castle is the inspiration behind Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle and it has also featured in many Hollywood films. Unsurprisingly, the Neuschwanstein Castle is now among the foremost attractions in the country and also one of the prettiest castles in Germany.
2. Hohenzollern Castle
Another castle that looks right out of a Fantasy Epic is the majestic Hohenzollern Castle in Germany. Its location, right atop the Mount Hohenzollern, adds to its majestic charm. The castle was the ancestral seat of the German Emperors from the Hohenzollern family, and was built in three phases in the 11th, 15th and 19th century respectively. The spectacular vision that stands tall today is mostly the result of the last phase of construction which was conducted in the Gothic Revival style.
Though the castle was mostly used as a showpiece, however the last Prussian King William lived here for a long duration. It is not a wonder that he stated “The view from up here is truly worth a voyage.”, and you will second this fact on visiting this picturesque castle. Apart from the gorgeous view, the art collection and historical artifacts, like the Prussian King’s Crown, will leave you spellbound.
3. Löwenburg Castle
The Löwenburg Castle in Germany’s Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe is the perfect example of a Knight’s Castle from medieval times. However, interestingly, it was built only in the 18th century. Also known as Lion’s Castle, the place was more of a leisure palace; today it houses an interesting collection of items that include tapestries, historic furniture, stained glass windows and paintings etc. Visitors can take a guided tour of the complex to gain a deeper insight.
4. Schloss Johannisburg
The Schloss Johannisburg in Aschaffenburg makes it to our list, though it is more a chateau than a castle, due to its picturesque façade. Constructed in the 17th century, the red sandstone walls of the schloss make for an arresting backdrop against the lush green landscape. The chateau served as the summer retreat for King Ludwig I of Bavaria during the 19th century. Today, sightseers can visit the place and marvel at the Renaissance architectural style that was used to build it, apart from taking a tour of the museums and galleries housed in its interiors.
5. Burg Eltz
Nestled in the hills and surrounded by a river on three sides, the Burg Eltz, with its Romanesque and Baroque architectural style, is the perfect definition of a medieval castle. Its grayish blue turrets actually brings to mind the castle illustrations from storybooks that would fascinate (and in many cases, still do) us during childhood. One of the more interesting aspects of the Burg Eltz, apart from its appearance, is the fact that it has belonged to the same family since the 12th century, with 33 generations of members living in it. Quite, a rich history there! A tour of the treasury with its artifacts kept intact, as well as the armory is a great way to spend a visit here.
6. Hohenschwangau Castle
The Hohenschwangau Castle is a 19th century schloss built on the remains of a 12th century fortress. Constructed in the Neogothic architectural style, the place was used as the childhood home of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Surrounded by picturesque beauty all around, the castle has a breathtaking aura and it is no wonder why the place is so popular with tourists. It is open throughout the year, apart from Christmas.
7. Heidelberg Castle
A 12th century castle, which is mostly in ruins now but nonetheless doesn’t fail to impress is the magnificent Heidelberg Castle. However, the castle that we see today is the result of reconstruction that took place during various phases in history, mostly to mend destruction due to both natural and manmade causes. As a result the façade that we see today is a combination of Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles.
8. Reichsburg Cochem
The Reichsburg Cochem Castle is yet another 12th century castle which was in had fallen into ruins and was reconstructed to look like the Neo-Gothic beauty it is today, though with a few traces of its original Romanesque style – namely the Octagonal Tower and the Hexenturm. Legend says that the Hexenturm, which translates to Witches Tower, was once used for the trial of women who practiced witchcraft by pushing them off the upper window. Some tale that, right out of a storybook! Well no one does any pushing these days, luckily, and visitors can enjoy a good repast at the restaurant on the castle’s sun terrace.
9. Schwerin Palace
Designated to become a World Heritage Site soon, the Schwerin Palace ofcourse is much more than a castle, as its name already suggests. The palace is built according to the Romantic Historicism style, and served as the residence of the dukes and grand dukes of Mecklenburg. Nowadays, it is the seat of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state parliament. The origin of the castle can be traced back to the 10th century, however like all the other castles that we have seen on this page, the Schwerin Palace has also gone through heavy periods of restoration, renovation and reconstruction to look like the vision it does today. The palace also has its own house ghost called Petermännchen, who is supposedly not too tall and has a penchant for 17th century clothing, making Schwerin one of the most interesting castles in Germany. In case you ever come across him, on your visit, and manage to capture him on camera – please don’t forget to share it with Travelerati!
10. Sigmaringen Castle
The Sigmaringen Castle adds grandeur to the skyline of the surrounding town of the same name. The castle that dominates the skyline is not the same that once stood here during the 11th century, what we see today is generations of additions both in terms of architectural style and expansions. Nowadays, visitors can admire and appreciate the ornate objects and artefacts on display. One of the largest collection of weapons, right from the medieval times to modern age, in the whole of Europe is displayed in the Hall of Weapons here. There is another museum in the castle grounds that exhibits a fine line-up of carriages.