5 German Castles to Visit | Leisure
European history is an incredible curation of tales comprising heroic deeds of knights, unparalleled beauty of damsels, and high-rising castles. While there is no way to tell which of these heroic tales are actually true and not folklore, we can swear on the magnificence of these medieval castles, many of which still stand proudly and exude limitless grandeur. During medieval times, castles were considered as the pinnacle of architectural expertise, and even today, their structural integrity and beauty can easily put to shame any modern-day skyscraper. Many centuries later, these very castles are living proof of the history of kings, their alliances, and vendettas. In this post, we list five such timeless and magnificent castles in Germany that have witnessed and created history. Take a look.
1. Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria
Built in the 19th century during the Romanesque Revival, the Neuschwanstein Castle is a lone star in the otherwise diminutive landscape of Hohenschwangau village near Füssen in southwest Bavaria. While the palace served as the seasonal retreat of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, the Neuschwanstein castle opened its gates for the public after the demise of the king in 1886. Nowadays, the castle tops the list of the most popular and exquisitely built European palaces, the fact that resonates through its apt title of the “castle of the fairy-tale king”.
2. Lichtenstein Castle, Lichtenstein
Lichtenstein (the word translates to ‘shining stone’) Castle is a Gothic Revival castle built between 1840 and 1842 and adorns the Swabian Jura region of southern Germany. The exuberant castle is easily visible from a distance as it sits high on a cliff near Honau on the Swabian Alb, overlooking the Echaz valley in Baden-Württemberg. You may be surprised to know that the structure is still owned by the Dukes of Urach and houses one of the largest collections of armor and weaponry from the medieval times, thus earning the castle the title of the “fairy tale castle of Württemberg.”
3. Hohenzollern Castle, Baden-Württemberg
Designed by Carl Alexander Heideloff and located atop a 234 meter bluff of Berg Hohenzollern, the Hohenzollern Castle is the ancestral seat of the House of Hohenzollern. The exquisite castle towers high above the towns of Hechingen and Bisingen while extending its shadow over the magnificent landscape of the Swabian Alps. Though the castle has been destroyed twice throughout history, the original structure including the medieval chapel still stands, and visitors are still awestruck by the aura of the “Crown of all Castles in Swabia“. A part of the castle’s charm is because of the fact that the final castle we see today was built as a family memorial by King Frederick William IV of Prussia, anytime between 1846 and 1867.
4. Eltz Castle, Wierschem
Eltz Castle is a medieval castle donning the scenic landscape above the Moselle River and between the towns of Trier and Koblenz. Since the 12h century and for more than 33 generations, the Eltz Castle has been under the patronage of the influential Eltz family. In addition, the Eltz castle along with the Lissingen Castle and the Bürresheim Castle forms the famous trio of majestic castles adorning the left bank of Rhine river in the Rhineland-Palatinate. A surprising piece of trivia here - these three castles have never been destroyed throughout history!
5. Schwerin Castle, Schwerin
Visitors flock the city of Schwerin all-year round to visit the magnificent Schwerin Castle. This palatial structure stands tall on an island in the Schweriner lake, overlooking the capital city of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state in Germany. Historically, the castle has been the home of the Schwerin, Ludwigslust, and Güstrow families, and today, it serves as the state’s parliament. In addition, the castle was built between 1845 and 1857, as a cooperation between architects Ernst Friedrich Zwirner, Gottfried Semper, Friedrich August Stüler, and Georg Adolf Demmler.
Castles in Germany are highly-ranked among the most awe-inspiring and influential architecture in the entire European subcontinent. These castles, not only serve as the living proof of the eventful history of the Rhineland but also depict the dexterity and engineering prowess of the flawless German architecture. We can go on and on for hours about the beauty of these medieval castles, but the fact is, you need to visit them and witness history unfold right in front of your eyes.