To visit a German castle is to enter a fairy tale setting, where the castles settle on the peaks of high mountains, their towers and towers that reached the sky. Germany is famous for its castles, for its past full of knights, dukes and numerous Germanic wars. The castles, which have a rich history, have been restored to their former glory and, in some cases, are inhabited by the families of the founders. Its treasures include previous artifacts, paintings, furniture and weapons. To enter these castles is to make a historical and cultural trip.
Built in the late 1800s, Neuschwanstein was not built for defense purposes like most castles. Instead, this castle was created as an imaginary refuge for Ludwig II of Bavaria. Neuschwanstein has dazzling chandeliers and beautiful paintings that adorn every room in the castle, while the third floor is dedicated to Ludwig’s fascination of swan scenes from the operas of the famous composer Richard Wagner, whom Ludwig admired deeply.
2. Hohenzollern Castle
Located on Mount Hohenzollern, the castle had its beginnings in the 11th century. The original castle was destroyed for centuries and only remained a chapel. The current castle was built in the 19th century by King Frederick William IV of Prussia. Located 50 km (30 miles) south of Stuttgart, the castle is the ancestral home of the Hohenzollern family, from which emperors and kings have emerged. Today the castle is a museum like no other. It is full of treasures, including the crown worn by the kings of Prussia and a uniform worn by Frederick the Great. It is one of the most visited castles in Germany, which is now privately owned.
3. Burg Eltz
Burg Eltz Castle is located near the Mosel 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 has some of the original furniture. Burge Eltz sits on a large rock in the middle of a forest. Its medieval architecture is unique. Also contributing to the uniqueness is the fact that it has never been touched by war. Its arsenal, full of gold and silver, artifacts, as well as porcelain and jewelry, is considered one of the best in Europe. The exterior of the castle was used in the 1979 film, “The Ninth Configuration”.
4. Hohenschwangau Castle
Maximilian II, father of Ludwig II, discovered the castle of Hohenschwangau, while still the crown prince. In the surroundings, he found him immensely pleased. Although it is in ruins, he bought the castle and had it renovated. When the work was completed, Maximillian used it as a hunting lodge, and for a summer palace. Ludwig II reigned after Maximilian died in 1864. He never married, so his mother stayed in this house for the rest of his life. It is located in the village Hohenschwangau near the town of Füssen.
5. Heidelberg Castle
Heidelberg castle is 80 meters (260 feet) from the north side of a hill and overlooks the old town of Heidelberg. The ruins of the castle are among the most important structures of the Renaissance north of the Alps. It has had a long and turbulent history, since the oldest structure of the castle was built in the 13th century. After 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 even took their stones to build new houses in Heidelberg. All subsequent reconstruction has resulted in a variety of architectural styles which adds to the charm of the castle.
6. Schwerin Castle
Schwerin Castle is located on an island on the main lake in Schwerin, where a castle reports, stood as early as the 10th century. For many centuries it was home to the great dukes of Mecklenburg. In the 20th century, it was a school for kindergarten teachers and a museum. Today the castle serves as a museum and as a government building for the state parliament of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Visitors interested in the paranormal will want to look for Petermännchen, the resident ghost who has been seen wearing 17th century attire. The castle, with its many towers and turrets, is considered an example of historicist architecture in Europe.
7. Castle Lichtenstein
Lichtenstein Castle is one of the most recent castles in Germany, built only in the 19th century in honor of the medieval knights of Lichtenstein. A castle was in place already in the 12th century, but fell into disuse until the current castle was built. It boldly stands out on top of a hill, with access by a stone bridge that extends to another hill. Located in the Jura of the Alps, near Honau, the neo-Gothic castle is known for its collection of historical weapons and armor.
Wartburg Castle was founded in the 11th century, but its fame dates back a couple of centuries later. Located in Eisenach, Martin Luther hid here while finishing the translation of the Bible in the 16th century. In the 20th century, Adolf Hitler wanted the castle to finish off his 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 bus.
9. Mespelbrunn Castle
Mespelbrunn Castle started as a simple house built on the water by a knight from the early 15th century. Situated inside the Spessart forest between Frankfurt and Würzburg, the castle may lack the gingerbread appearance of other German castles, but its beauty simple makes it one of the most visited water castles in Germany. In fact, it has been described as one of the most beautiful castles in Europe. This northern Bavaria castle is privately owned, but the family opens its doors to tourists throughout the year. Taking a walk along the paths through the grounds of the castle is highly commended by previous visitors.
10. Reichsburg Cochem
The Reichsburg castle in Cochem was built around 1000 by a Earl of the Palatinate, and later changed hands when an Emperor pawned to pay his coronation. It was almost destroyed in the 17th century, when the French king Louis XIV invaded the region. The castle was rebuilt in neo-Gothic style. Sitting on a hill overlooking the Mosel River, the castle boasts an impressive display of Renaissance and Baroque furniture.