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The Best Palaces and Castles in Germany

The most beautiful palaces and castles in Germany. Fairytale views, rooms full of history and royal elegance: / The Best Palaces and Castles in Germany

Palaces and castles throughout Germany are popular tourist attractions and destinations. One castle is more beautiful than the other and historic castles offer insights into history, some of which goes back centuries. Which are particularly worthwhile for a trip. / The Best Palaces and Castles in Germany

Whether royal residences, castles as film sets or medieval castles. With their history and their often fairytale appearance, many German palaces and castles fascinate visitors and tourists from all over the world. They enable excursions into the past of important noble families and are the scenes of historical events. The fairytale backdrops not only serve as photo motifs, but also have a real educational factor to offer. Which of the most beautiful palaces and castles are worth a trip to and which history is behind the places: TRAVELBOOK provides an overview.

1. Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is one of the most famous and most photographed castles in Germany. It is rightly one of the most beautiful “fairytale castles” in Germany and worldwide. Construction began in 1868 according to the ideas of Ludwig II. He was inspired by the ideas of a medieval knight’s castle. A visit to the Wartburg inspired him, as did Richard Wagner’s operas, whose medieval legends are depicted in the form of wall paintings in the castle. Despite the ideal of a medieval-style castle, the most modern technology of the time was used during construction. Unfortunately, Ludwig II did not live to see the completion of his “New Castle”. He died in 1886. Only a few weeks after his death, the castle was opened to visitors and finally completed in 1892 in a simplified form.

2. Schwerin Castle

Schwerin Castle
Schwerin Castle

Anyone planning a trip to Schwerin should definitely plan a detour to Schwerin Castle. The history of today’s seat of parliament for the state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania goes back to the 10th century. It was not until the 19th century, however, that the conversion of Schwerin’s residential palace began under Grand Duke Friedrich Franz II. Built in the French Renaissance style and situated on an island in the middle of the lake, the castle offers an impressive and at the same time idyllic sight. Visitors can admire not only the castle itself, but also the huge gardens, which invite you to stroll along the avenues and canals.

3. Moritzburg Castle

The baroque Moritzburg hunting lodge should be familiar to fans of the film “Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella”. A special exhibition on the Christmas classic still takes place there every winter. The Saxon castle near Dresden served its owners as a hunting lodge and pleasure palace before it became a film set. In particular, the extensive gardens and parks, including ponds and pheasant castles, still bear witness to the former use as a residence for noble hunting parties.

4. Reichsburg Cochem

The history of the Reichsburg Cochem dates back to the year 1000. The castle is said to have been built around this time. Formerly owned by the Palatinate counts, the castle fell after being occupied by burghers of King Konrad III. in the administration of the empire and thus became an imperial castle. There was another battle to occupy the castle during the Palatinate War of Succession, when French troops occupied and finally destroyed the castle and town in 1689. Until the Berlin merchant Louis Ravené bought the property and rebuilt the castle in 1868, it remained a ruin for almost two centuries. After 75 years in family ownership, it finally became imperial property and is now owned by the city of Cochem. The Reichsburg Cochem towers 100 meters above the Moselle and is still the city’s landmark today.

5. Babelsberg Palace

Babelsberg Palace is located in the Babelsberg district of the city of Potsdam. The sight resembles that of a fairytale castle with its towers, balconies and fountain in front of the castle backdrop. It was built directly on the Havel in the middle of Babelsberg Park as a summer residence for Prince Wilhelm of Prussia and his wife. In 1833 the construction of the castle in the English neo-Gothic style began. After Prince Wilhelm first became King of Prussia and was proclaimed Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany in 1871, Babelsberg became a politically and socially important place. Today, after extensive renovation work on the facades and terraces, the palace is a real must for visitors – Lake in Potsdam. The palace and park invite you to take walks in a fairytale setting.

6. Hohenzollern Castle

Of course, Hohenzollern Castle should not be missing from the list of the most beautiful palaces and castles in Germany. Located in Baden-Württemberg surrounded by a picturesque mountain landscape, it offers an impressive sight. The history of the castle dates back to the 11th century. Since then it has been destroyed and rebuilt several times: in 1423 it lay in ruins for the first time. Reconstruction began in 1454 and later it was reconstructed as a fortress due to the Thirty Years’ War. In the course of time, the castle fell into disrepair due to a lack of adequate maintenance, until Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia finally took over the ruins in 1819 and rebuilt them in the neo-Gothic style from 1850 onwards. Today Hohenzollern Castle is owned by the Prussian descendants and the descendants of the House of Hohenzollern.

7. Wernigerode Castle

Wernigerode Castle
Wernigerode Castle

Wernigerode Castle towers over the town of Wernigerode in the Harz Mountains. It is a real landmark of the region. Over the centuries, the castle has undergone a number of changes: the originally medieval castle was rebuilt in the Renaissance style in the 16th century and transformed into a romantic residential castle after it was devastated in the Thirty Years’ War. Today, visitors can marvel at the interior of the castle on a tour of the castle or take part in various festivities such as the Wernigerode Castle Festival.

8. Eltz Castle

The castle with almost 900 years of history is not only one of the most beautiful castles in Germany, it is also a special feature among the remaining German castles. It has been owned by a single family since it was built and has remained unscathed from destruction by enemy attacks and sieges over the centuries. The castle was first mentioned in a document in 1157 when the lord of the castle, Rudolf von Eltz Castle, signed a document from the emperor as a witness. The name of the castle, and thus also of the family, probably comes from the Elzbach that flows around the castle. In the following centuries, the castle was expanded, new buildings were added and the castle was built higher. Burg Eltz was temporarily divided among several lines of the family and served as a kind of residential community for family members. The castle is still owned by the descendants of the family today.

9. Sanssouci Palace

The summer residence of Frederick the Great is probably one of the most beautiful palaces in Prussian history. With its vineyard terraces and Sanssouci Park, which is perfect for fairytale walks, the palace is Potsdam’s tourist flagship for a reason. But there is much more to explore in the park and the surrounding area, such as the Chinese tea house, the Orangery Palace or the New Palace. Incidentally, the name of Sanssouci Palace means “without worries” and, true to its name, it was the retreat for the Prussian king, who even wanted to be buried on the upper vineyard terrace of the palace. Today, the grave of “Old Fritz” is actually on this very spot, where he is buried next to his beloved dogs.

10. Hermitage Palace

The Hermitage palace complex in Bayreuth is divided into the old and new palaces and has an impressive park area with fountains and an orangery. The name Hermitage derives from the word hermit, hermit, since the complex was built “as the center of a courtly hermitage”. The planning and expansion of the site and its buildings goes back to Margrave Georg Wilhelm and his wife Wilhelmine, to whom he gave the complex as a gift in 1735. The beauty of the two castles and the garden has been preserved to this day, so that they were recently even used as a series film location. The Netflix hit series “The Empress” made the castle gardens and interior rooms its own as a setting.

11. Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg Castle is located above the city of Heidelberg and the river Neckar. During a guided tour of the palace complex, visitors embark on a journey into the past of Palatinate history. The construction of the complex began in the 14th century as the seat of the Palatinate counts and later electors. After destruction during the Thirty Years’ War, the Palatinate War of Succession and a fire caused by a lightning strike, all that was left of the former seat of government of the electors was a ruin. Around 1800 the castle ruins were revived as a symbol of the Romantic era. Poets like Johann Wolfang von Goethe wrote verses about them. The complex was finally reconstructed and rebuilt about a century later.

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