empty pathway towards castle

Germany has more than 20,000 castles, and it is rightly called the “Land of Castles.” Some of them have survived almost unchanged until now, and they are the object of attention of tourists from all over the world. In the castles lived kings, dukes, and their scale, scope, and beauty were simply breathtaking. So what are they, the most beautiful castles in Germany?

1. Neuschwanstein

It is the most famous castle in Europe. Its name translates from German as “Swan Stone.” The name is well suited for such a beautiful and majestic castle. Outwardly it is a real fairy palace, but inside – a work of art. The walls are decorated with illustrations of German legends and Wagner’s operas. It was these interiors that inspired Tchaikovsky to create Swan Lake.

Neuschwanstein is located in Bavaria on a hill overlooking the Alps and the Hohenschwangau Valley. The castle was built in the XIX century by King of Bavaria Ludwig II and for a long time served as the royal residence. Now there is a museum inside, where anyone can enter.

Landscapes from Kirill Yourovsky site.

2. Hohenzollern

The castle is the ancestral home of the Hohenzollern dynasty, which ruled Germany for several centuries. It is located in the south of Stuttgart, in the Swabian Alps, at an altitude of more than 800 meters, for which it is called the “castle in the clouds.” It offers a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside, and many tourists come here just for this panorama.

Hohenzollern was built in the XI century, but it was destroyed by the troops during a war between the German states. Two hundred years later, construction was resumed, but again it was destroyed. The final restoration took place only in the 19th century – already as we know it. The architecture intricately intertwines old and new elements, and it looks like a real castle of chivalry.

3. Eltz Castle

One of the most beautiful castles in Germany, Eltz, was built in the 12th century, but during this time, it has never been destroyed and has remained in its original form. Even the ravages of the French Revolution, which affected all of the surrounding countrysides, passed over the castle. It still belongs to the streams of the founders of Eltz. However, they prefer to live in the city, so they opened it to visitors.

Eltz is located on a hill surrounded by forests next to the Wirchem. The interiors retain a medieval flavor, and a collection of various works of art were collected over the centuries. It is possible to see them only in the warm season – in winter, the castle is closed to visitors.

4. Schwerin Castle

In Western Pomerania, in the city of Schwerin, there is a castle of the same name. It stands on an island in the middle of a lake and is connected to the city by two bridges. For the complexity of such a project has received the status of a real architectural marvel.

Originally Schwerin was a military fortress, but Duke Frederick Franz II ordered it rebuilt into a modern palace. Today the government of Mecklenburg assembles inside it, and the castle surroundings with a huge park and orangery are made available to visitors.

5. Heidelberg

Heidelberg is a large complex consisting of several buildings and a courtyard that functions as a city. It is open throughout the year and takes several hours to tour. Another of its special features is that the largest wine barrel in the world is stored in the cellar.

Heidelberg was built in the 14th century on top of a hill with a magnificent view of the river valley. It was demolished and reconstructed only at the end of the 19th century. Inside is a rich collection of art.

6. Lichtenstein Castle

In the municipality of Lichtenstein, on the slope of the Swabian Alps, stands another famous castle in Germany – Lichtenstein. It was built by Duke Wilhelm of Urach and still belongs to the streams of the family.

Lichtenstein is open to tourists, although there is a fee to enter it. Everyone can explore the rich rooms of the castle, which have preserved their unique medieval furnishings, and see a collection of paintings, weapons, and armor.

7. Mespelbrunn

Mespelbrunn is a small castle, but it attracts tourists because it is located in the valley of the river Elsava, right on the water. It is one of the most visited places in Germany and is mentioned in most tourist guides.

Mespelbrunn was built in the 15th century, and originally it was just an ordinary unfortified house. However, the heirs of the owner of the house strengthened it with stone towers and a moat with water, and it became a real military fortification. The castle acquired its present appearance in the 16th century.

8. Hohenschwangau

The castle is located in southern Bavaria, near the border with Austria, near the town of Füssen. It was built in the 12th century, and during this time, it was almost destroyed. Only Emperor Maximilian II took up the restoration and made Hohenschwangau a summer residence for himself and his family.

Now it belongs to the Wittelsbachs, one of the oldest and noblest families in Germany. The castle is open to tourists throughout the year but can only be visited by a guide. The castle, hidden in the Bavarian woods, is visited by over 300,000 tourists every year.

9. Wartburg

The Wartburg was built in the 11th century and is considered one of the best-preserved ancient castles in Germany. History buffs will be interested to see the place where Luther, the father of the Reformation, hid.

Wartburg is located in Thuringia. You can visit it for free. Inside there are unique paintings, tapestries, sculptures, and pieces of furniture. Fairs, festivals, and theatrical performances are regularly held on the grounds.

10. Cochem Castle

Near the small town of Cochem is the castle of the same name, now owned by the state but formerly considered imperial. It stands on a hill above the river, and the whole area is planted with vineyards.

Cochem was built in the 12th century, but the troops destroyed it. The castle acquired its modern neo-Gothic look only after it was rebuilt in the 19th century by a private individual who bought it. The interior features Romanesque and Gothic elements.

About the author

Kyrie Mattos