Must-see German castles
Germans know a thing or two about castles. You see, Germany is home to least seven monoliths that would look right at home on set of The Lord of the Rings. If you love history, jaw-dropping scenery and architecture, it might be time to book a trip to Deutschland for a spot of castle hopping.
1. Neuschwannstein Castle
It might be hard to pronounce, but it’s easy to see why King Ludwig’s famous fairy tale castle, Neuschwannstein is the most-photographed building in Germany. Sitting pretty in the southeast state of Bavaria, this architectural triumph was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
2. Hohenzollern Castle
If you like Neuschwannstein, you’ll love Hohenzollem Castle. Located in southern Germany, this incredible example of German architecture was built to resemble a medieval knight’s castle. Built atop 855 metres-high Mount Hohenzollern, it stands as homage to the Hohenzollern Dynasty that ruled over Prussia during the Middle Ages.
3. Burg Eltz
Only two thirds of Burg Eltz Castle are available to the public as the 33rd generation of the Eltz family lives in the other third. Pretty cool, don’t you think? Tucked away in the valley of the Mossel River, near Koblenz, this is an authentic medieval castle dating back to the mid-12th century. Unlike other old German castles, Burg Eltz doesn’t have any war wounds so it’s in pretty good nick.
4. Sanssouci Castle
Anyone with a name like Frederick the Great deserves to have a palace built in his name. Considered by some as a rival to France’s Palace of Versailles, Sanssouci Castle in Potsdam is famous for its extensive gardens and original Frederician-Rococo style. The palace was built as a relaxing retreat for the monarch and the name itself means “careless” or “without cares”.
5. Hohenschwangau Castle
Yet another tongue twister, Hohenschwangau Castle in southern Germany was built in the 19th century as a summer and hunting residence for Crown Prince Maximilian. Fortunately, the beautiful Neo-Gothic-style structure wasn’t damaged during the world wars.
6. Lichtenstein Castle
This awe-inspiring beauty looks like something right out of a fantasy movie. Towering on top of a rugged cliff in the Swabian Alp Mountain range, it’s got The Hobbit written all over it. The castle was built between 1840 and 1842 in Neo-Gothic style. If you’re fascinated by knights, you’ll swoon over the weapons room.
7. Lowenburg Castle
Translated as ‘Lion’s Castle’, the design of this Neo-Gothic marvel was based on a fantasy of Landgrave Wilhelm IX. Sadly, Lowenburg Castle actually became a ruin after WWII, and had to undergo serious repairs. It’s now one of the biggest attractions of Wilhelmshohe Hill Park, near the city of Kassel.