One thing that most tourists to Germany want to see is Schloss Neuschwanstein. While it is pretty, has another castle right next to it as well as stunning scenery, it isn't the only castle worth a visit. I have travelled quite a lot in my country and want to show you some castles I have come across along the way. These are far from all, there are loads to see if you take your time with a German roadrip.
Germany is known for its well preserved heritage when it comes to architecture. From old cathedrals to cobblestone market places, many towns have preserved their medieval core but the most striking buildings to be found are still castles. And of those, Germany has quite a lot to offer. Castles in Germany are classified into two basic types, the ‘pretty’ castles mainly built for residence purposes, called Schlösser, and there are castles purely built for defense, referred to as Burgen. You can check out all 30 castles in the slideshow below, but if you want more details, here are my Top 10 out of the castles with some background info:
History was literally written here. It was here that Luther translated the bible despite the devil himself apparently trying to deter the revolutionary monk from it and throwing his ink bottle at the wall. The stain can still be slightly made out. On top of such historic traces, the castle is still very well preserved and its interior takes you back into the middle ages.
Auf der Wartburg 1, 99817 Eisenach, Deutschland
If you are looking for a dream castle in full extravagant rococo style with huge parks and beautiful statues, look no further than Sanssouci in Potsdam, near Berlin. The former residency of the ‘potato king’ boasts great style and taste and invites for a day outing. It does not only include elegant garden houses and neat parks but also a fake ruin.
Schloss Bellevedere, Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Wien, Österreich
A fairy tale castle with golden roof tops, enchanted garden lake coves, huge park areas and canal systems, the castle of the state capital Schwerin has a lot of sheer beauty to offer. It snugly lies in the middle of a freshwater lake and can be discovered through park walks, guided tours within and over the rooftops as well as from a boat cruise.
Schweriner Schloss, Lennéstraße 1, 19053 Schwerin
Another well preserved castle from the rococo baroque era, it can be spotted from afar thanks to its brilliant pastel colours, golden decoration and hundreds of roses surrounding it. In fact, every year a Rose Queen is crowned and represents the small town. Even without the proper timing to meet her during the crowning ceremony, a visit to the castles is well worth it. The gardens are perfectly trimmed and the view down wine slopes and over lush fields and forests is great no matter the season.
Dornburger Schlösser, Max-Krehan-Straße 3, 07778, Deutschland
The ultimate castle for all visitors to Germany, is the fairy tale castle on which Disney based his famous Cinderella castle. Only a little drive from Munich, it can be easily reached by car and after a short walk through the woods. Visitors should be prepared to buy tickets in advance and wait until their numbers are called. The guided tour throughout the rooms is rather short as the castle was never completed after the mysterious death of the king. The rooms shown, however, reflect his eccentricity and romantic approach to interior design at the time.
Schloss Neuschwanstein, Neuschwansteinstraße 20, 87645 Schwangau
Also lesser known but with its burnt rose colour, hard to overlook. The castle was used for hunting purposes in the woods on the island of Rügen, which shows in the furniture made from antlers and many stag skulls decorating the tapestry. The highlight of the castle is the iron wrought wound staircase that leads into the tower. It is rather shaky, you can see through the gaps and has no railing.
Jagdschloss Granitz, 18609 Binz
Errected in the 18th century, the castle in the town of Ludwigsburg served the purpose of a Duke’s residence and is one of the biggest baroque castles in all of Germany. It is surrounded by gardens and parks from three angles, which host annual festivals, such as pumpkin exhibitions. What is visible nowadays is a mix between modern and baroque gardening and known as the ‘blooming baroque’ due to its many flower arrangements. In fact, the whole castle reflects different architectural styles across time as well, for instance classicism.
Ludwigsburger Schloss, Schlossstraße 30, 71634 Ludwigsburg
Castle Augustusburg was built for hunting purposes as well in the 16th century on top of a castle ruin. It as well as the town it is located in were named after Prince Elector August and meant to show his new riches after a successful victory. High up on a mountain near the Saxonian city Chemnitz, it still sits within landscapes of forests and fields. The square complex is rather big with many wings and yards within and is clearly visible with its white walls and decorative red bricks.
Schloss Augustusburg, Schloss 1 09573 Augustusburg
Saaleck and Rudelsburg
Near the city of Naumburg you can see these two castles on overlooking the river Saale and facing each other. The ruins can still be visited today and are part of Germany’s Romantic Road, which connects important castles, cloisters, cathedrals and churches throughout the country. The first church was destroyed in the 30 Year War and the other fell into disrepair over time. Nowadays, they are protected and a popular regional attraction for outings.
Saaleckstraße, 97762 Hammelburg; Burg Rudelsburg, 06628 Bad Kösen