The 7 Most Beautiful Castles in Germany
7. Löwenburg Castle
Translated as “Lion’s Castle” is unique among all the castles in Germany in that it was conceived as a romantic medieval castle ruin. The design of Löwenburg Castle was based on a fantasy of Landgrave Wilhelm IX, but experts regard it a very important historical monument, because it was the first neogothic structure in the country.
Unfortunately, Löwenburg Castle actually became a ruin after the damage sustained during the Second World War, and had to undergo serious repairs. It is now one of the biggest attractions of Wilhelmshöhe Hill Park, near the city of Kassel, and of Germany’s most popular tourist attractions.
6. Lichtenstein Castle
Like many of the castles and fortresses in Germany, Lichtenstein Castle was built on the ruins of a ruined castle dating back to the 1200s. It sits on top of a cliff in the Swabian Alb Mountain range, and just like Neuschwanstein Castle, it looks like it belongs in a fairytale.
The Castle was built between 1840 and 1842, in neogothic style, as a safe-haven for the dukes of Urach. The lower levels of the castle were carved into the rock upon which it was constructed. Lichtenstein is still owned by the dukes of Urach, but it is open to visitors. Those fascinated by knights will enjoy the weapons room.
5. Hohenschwangau Castle
Hohenschwangau Castle was built in the 19th century, on the ruins of Schwanstein fortress, near the village of Schwangau, southern Germany.
Crown Prince Maximilian discovered the ruins of the old fortress and, fascinated by its rich history and by the beautiful surroundings, commissioned a summer and hunting residence.
Fortunately, the beautiful neogothic-style structure wasn’t damaged during WWI and WWII and is now one of the most visited castles in Germany. Around 300,000 people arrive at Hohenschwangau every year.
4. Sanssouci Castle
Designed as Frederick the Great’s summer palace, Sanssouci is considered by many a German rival of Versailles.
The palace of Sanssouci was built on a small terraced hill, at Potsdam, to fulfill Frederick’s need of a relaxing retreat. The name itself means “careless”, “without cares” and the fact that it resembles a one-story villa proves it wasn’t meant to represent a seat of power.
Sanssouci is famous for its extensive gardens, filled with beautifully designed temples and follies and also for its original Frederician Rococo style, named after the great monarch, who’s personal taste influenced the architecture and decorations.
Sanssouci has been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites List and has become one of Germany’s top tourist destinations.
3. Burg Eltz
Isolated in the valley of the Mossel River, near Koblenz, Burg Eltz is an authentic medieval castle, dating back to the mid twelfth century. Unlike other old German castles, it has never seen serious battles, so it maintains its original appearance without the help of modern architecture.
Burg Eltz was built atop a 200 meter rock spire and is surrounded on three sides by the Eltz River and a thick forest. Its picturesque setting and impressive architecture have made Burg Eltz the most popular castle in Germany
Two thirds of Burg Eltz Castle are available to the public, while the other is the residence of the 33rd generation of the Eltz family.
2. Hohenzollern Castle
Built atop 855 meters-high Mount Hohenzollern, this incredible example of German architecture stands as homage to the Hohenzollern dynasty, that ruled over Prussia since the Middle Ages, until the end of World War I.
During a trip to Italy, Frederick William IV of Prussia, was passing through southern Germany and felt the need to learn more about the history of his family. He climbed to the top of Mount Hohenzollern and decided it was the perfect spot to build a memorial for the powerful dynasty.
Designed in Gothic Revival style, Hohenzollern Castle was built to resemble a medieval knights’ castle, very much like Neuschwannstein, only without the fantasy elements.
1. Neuschwannstein Castle
Also known as “the fairytale castle”, Neuschwannstein is considered the most beautiful castle in Germany, and one of the most beautiful in the world.
Located in the state of Bavaria, this amazing architectural achievement was commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria, later known as Ludwig the Mad. In a letter to his muse, the famous German composer, Richard Wagner, he said he wished to build a castle in the style of the old German Knights, in the most beautiful place one could find.
Open to visitors in 1886, after Ludwig’s death, Neuschwannstein Castle has become one of Germany’s most popular tourist destinations and the most photographed building in the country. Over 50 million people have visited this fairytale castle ever since its opening.