To visit a German castle, is to step into a fairy tale setting, where castles sit atop high mountain peaks, their towers and turrets reaching to the sky. Germany is famous for its castles, with their pasts filled with knights, dukes and territorial defences. The castles, which boast a rich history, have been restored to their former glory and, in some cases, are lived in by families of the founders. Their treasures include previous artifacts, paintings and classic furniture.

10. Reichsburg Cochem

Reichsburg Cochem

The Reichsburg Castle in Cochem was built around 1000 AD, by a palatinate count, and later changed hands when an emperor pawned it to pay for his coronation. It was nearly destroyed in the 17th century when French King Louis XIV invaded the region. The castle was rebuilt in Neo-Gothic style. Sitting on a hill overlooking the Moselle River, the castle has an impressive display of Renaissance and Baroque furniture.

9. Mespelbrunn Castle

Mespelbrunn Castle

Mespelbrunn Castle began as a simple house, built on the water by an early 15th century knight. Located within the Spessart forest between Frankfurt and Wurzburg, the castle may lack the gingerbread look of other German castles, but its simple beauty makes it one of the most visited water castles in Germany. Indeed, it has been described as one of the loveliest castles in Europe. This northern Bavaria castle is privately owned, but the family opens its doors to tourists throughout the year. Taking a walk on the paths throughout the castle grounds is highly recommended by past visitors.

8. Wartburg


Wartburg Castle was founded in the 11th century, but its fame dates from a few centuries later. Located in Eisenach, Martin Luther hid out there while he finished translating the Bible in the early 16th century. In the 20th century, Adolf Hitler wanted the castle to take down its cross and replace it with a swastika. One of the best preserved medieval castles in Germany, visitors have the option of taking a hike up a steep slope to reach the castle or take a shuttle bus.

7. Lichtenstein Castle

Lichtenstein Castle

Lichtenstein Castle is one of Germany’s newer castles, built only in the 19th century, to honor the medieval knights of Lichtenstein. A castle stood on the site as early as the 12th century, but fell into disrepair until the current castle was built. It stands boldly atop a hill, accessible by a stone bridge, stretching to yet another hill. Located in the Swabian Alps near Honau, the Neo-Gothic castle is known for its collection of historic weapons and armor.

6. Schwerin Castle

Schwerin Castle

Schwerin Castle sits on an island in the main lake at Schwerin, where a castle reportedly stood as early as the 10th century AD. For many centuries, it was home to the grand dukes of Mecklenburg. In the 20th century, it was a college for kindergarten teachers, and a museum. Today the castle serves as a museum and as a government building for the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state parliament.

Visitors with an interest in the paranormal will want to look for Petermännchen, the resident ghost who has been spotted wearing 17th century garb. The castle, with its many towers and turrets, is considered a prime example of Europe’s historicist architecture.

5. Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg castle is located 80 meters (260 ft) above the northern part of the local hillside. Its ruins are among the most important Renaissance structures north of the Alps. It has had a long and turbulent history since the earliest castle structure was built in the 13th century.

Having been totally destroyed during the Thirty Years War, and later by the French in the 17th century, the castle was struck by lightning in 1764 and  its stones were taken to build new houses in Heidelberg. All the subsequent rebuilding has led to a variety of architectural styles which adds to the castle’s charm and an eccentric mix.

4. Hohenschwangau Castle

Hohenschwangau Castle

Maximillian II, father of Ludwig II, discovered Hohenschwangau Castle when he was still the Crown Prince. The vicinity in which he found it, pleased him immensely. In spite of it being in ruins, he bought the castle and renovated it. When the work was complete, Maximillian used it as a hunting lodge, and for a summer palace.

Ludwig II reigned after Maximillian died in 1864. He never married, so his mother remained at this home for the rest of her life. It is located in the village of Hohenschwangau near the town of Füssen.

3. Burg Eltz

Burg Eltz

Burg Eltz Castle is situated near the Moselle River between Koblenz and Trier. It has been the ancestral home of the Rübenach, Rodendorf and Kempenich families, since it was built in the 12th century; the castle still boasts some of the original furnishings. It sits on a huge rock in the middle of a forest; medieval architecture is unique also contributing to the uniqueness the fact is that it has never been touched by war.

Its armory, filled with gold and silver artifacts, as well as porcelain and jewelry, is considered one of the best in Europe. The castle’s exterior was featured in the 1979 movie, “The Ninth Configuration”.

2. Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern Castle

Sitting atop Mount Hohenzollern, this castle had its beginnings in the 11th century AD. The original site was destroyed over the centuries with only the chapel remaining. The present castle was built in the mid-19th century by King Frederick William IV of Prussia. Located 50 km (30 miles) south of Stuttgart, the building is the ancestral home of the Hohenzollern family, from where emperors and kings emerged.

Today the castle is a museum unlike any other. It is filled with treasures including the crown worn by Prussian kings and a uniform worn by Frederick the Great. One of the most visited castles in Germany, and it is privately owned.

1. Neuschwanstein Castle

#1 of Castles In Germany

The most photographed building in Germany, Neuschwanstein Castle, is also one of Europe’s most popular tourist destinations. Nestled among the breathtaking beauty of the Bavarian Alps, near the town of Fussen, this fairy-tale castle served as the inspiration behind Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty movie.  It was constructed in the late AD 1800.

Neuschwanstein was never built for defense purposes as most castles were. Instead, this castle was created as a fanciful retreat for Ludwig II of Bavaria. Dazzling chandeliers and beautiful paintings adorned every room in the castle, while the third floor was devoted to Ludwig’s fascination of swan scenes from operas by the famous composer Richard Wagner, whom Ludwig deeply admired.

Yours Truly,

Charlotte Fellows

Researcher and Writer




 Sarah McNaught

Managing Director



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