Castles and fortifications in Germany

Glatt Castle

The moated Glatt castle one of the few preserved water castles in the Germany and one of the oldest Renaissance castles in southern Germany. It was built and owned by the Neuneck family from the 13th century until 1671. The 13th century castle was converted into a Renaissance style in 1533-1540 by Reinhard von Neuneck. Today it hosts a museum center.
Founded: 1533-1540 | Location: Sulz am Neckar, Germany

Zwernitz Castle

Zwernitz Castle was originally the hereditary seat of the Walpodes of Upper Franconia. The keep and the tithe barn made of rusticated ashlars are part of the original Romanesque complex built in 1200. In 1338 the castle came into the possession of the Hohenzollern family. Around two centuries later the half-timbered buildings of the lower castle were added. When the rock garden was laid out, it was designed to incorporate ...
Founded: 1200 | Location: Sanspareil, Germany

Entenstein Castle

Entenstein Castle is a medieval castle surrounded by a moat situated in the center of the town of Schliengen. The origins of the castle can not be clearly dated. The first use of a building at this location can be traced to Walter of Schliengen in 821. By 1000 a tower house might have been in use. In the 13th century, Rudolf von Üsenberg (1207-1231) was the owner of the castle. The name of the castle derives from the ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Schliengen, Germany

Neuburg Castle

Neuburg castle towers majestically over the Inn, having been built in 1050. It has had its current outer appearance since being rebuilt after its destruction in 1310. The Passau court painter gave it the character of a royal renaissance castle. Then, Georg Graf Ludwig von Sinsendorf had it turned into a baroque castle. After been damaged by fire in 1810, the castle complex was used as a brewery and malthouse. Neuburg cas ...
Founded: c. 1050 | Location: Neuburg am Inn, Germany

Staufen Castle Ruins

Staufen castle was probably built in the 12th century to the site of ancient Roman era watchtower. It was first time mentioned in 1248 and owned by the Staufen family until the 17th century. Since 1607 the castle was no longer inhabited. The undefended castle was occupied and destroyed by Swedish troops in the Thirty Years" War in 1632.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Staufen im Breisgau, Germany

Kommende Ramersdorf Castle

Kommende Ramersdorf was established in 1230 as one of the over 300 commanderies of the Teutonic Knights following the crusades. The Georgian chapel , which had been preserved, was built between 1220 and 1230. In the 13th and 14th centuries the commanders of the Ramersdorf were mostly Rhenish nobles, ministerial and urban patricians. After a fire in 1842, the entire complex was rebuilt in Neo-Gothic style. Tod ...
Founded: 1842 | Location: Bonn, Germany

Schlettau Castle

Schlettau Castle dates probably from the 13th century. In the 14th century the castle was extended to a Gothic-style castle palace by the Schönburg-Crimmitschau family. From 1413 to 1536 Schlettau belonged to the Cistercians. After the secularization in 1536 it became the property of the Saxon Electors, who used it as a hunting lodge. The still existing stuctures consist of a Renaissance section (about 1620) and two B ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Schlettau, Germany

Klempenow Castle

Klempenow Castle was built during the time of German settlement in Pomerania in the 13th century and formed part of a series of fortifications on the border with Mecklenburg. The original castle consisted of two towers and a three metre thick defensive wall. It has been substantially altered during the centuries. During the 17th century it acquired more or less the present shape and look. When Pomerania was ruled by Swed ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Klempenow, Germany

Wülzburg Fortress

Wülzburg fortress is situated on the highest point of the south Frankenalb, which rises to 640m. Surrounded by adry moat hewn into the rock, it is an imposing and singular monument of a Renaissance fortress in Germany. From the 11th century onwards a Benedictine monastery stood here. During the Reformation it was dissolved, a provost was put in charge followed by a civil administration in 1537. In 1588 Margrave Geor ...
Founded: 1588 | Location: Weissenburg, Germany

Darfeld Castle

Schloss Darfeld was built in 1612-1616 by the Münster architect and sculptor Gerhard Gröninger, who brought Venetian Renaissance style to the northern Germany. The Droste family to Vischering bought the property in 1680. The house was largely destroyed in 1899 by a big fire. The reconstruction in today"s form according to plans by Hermann Schaedtler lasted until 1904.
Founded: 1612 | Location: Darfeld, Germany

Günzburg Castle

After the Romans left Günzburg in the fifth century, the Alamanni tribe settled there. In around 700 the nearby castle of Ricinis was mentioned by the Cartographer of Ravenna as one of the five most important castles of Alemannia. In 1065 first documentary evidence appears of the town itself as Gunceburch. In 1301 the town became part of the Habsburg house and was developed into the centre of the Margraviate of ...
Founded: 1577 | Location: Günzburg, Germany

Liebenstein Castle

Liebenstein Castle was probably built in the 13th century as well as near Sterrenberg castle. Both were owned by feodal lords of Bolanden (later Sponheim-Dannenfels). The gate tower was added 1363 and tower in 1380 and the castle was enlarged in the 15th century. However, already in 1529 it was abandoned and left to decay. The major restoration took place in 1977 and today Liebenstein is a hotel and restaurant.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Kamp-Bornhofen, Germany

Mittelburg Castle

Mittelburg castle, one of the four castles above Neckarsteinach, was probably built around 1165 by Conrad I of Steinach, the youngest son of Bligger II of Steinach. The castle was rebuilt into a Renaissance palace in the 16th century and Gothicized in the 19th century. Nowadays it is a home to the von Warsberg-Dorth family
Founded: c. 1165 | Location: Neckarsteinach, Germany

Altnussberg Castle Ruins

Altnußberg castle was built by the Counts of Bogen probably between 1174-1194. During the so-called Böckler warin 1468-1469 the castle was burned down and razed. Today the castle is excavated and reconstructed partially. Guided tours through the castle grounds and the attached castle museum are available in summer season.
Founded: 1174-1194 | Location: Geiersthal, Germany

Lisberg Castle

Lisberg castle - one of the oldest castles in Franconia – was first mentioned in an historical document in 820. Being in possession of the Babenberger family – earls of the region – it has been used as a sanctuary for the people of the Region. Lisberg castle belonged to the Catholic prince bishops of Bamberg and the protestant Markgraves of Ansbach at the same time. Whenever necessary, the people of Lisb ...
Founded: c. 820 AD | Location: Lisberg, Germany

Adendorf Castle

Adendorf castle is the successor of a high-medieval castle located to the west of today"s site. The small castle hill is few hundred meters from the current palace and was in the 14th century owned by the family of Hüchelhoven. Arnold von Adendorp built a new castle from 1337 at its present location. It was besieged and conquered by the army of Henry III, Landgrave of Upper Hesse, in the late 15th century. ...
Founded: 1337/1659 | Location: Wachtberg, Germany

Waldeck Castle Ruins

Waldeck Castle was first mentioned in 1124. It was owned by the Landgraves of Leuchtenberg, who sold the castle in 1283 to Duke Ludwig of Bavaria. In the Spanish War of Succession, the castle was besieged by imperial troops , taken in October 1704 and demolished by order of Emperor Joseph I. Although the castle was rebuilt, it was burned down in 1794 and since then has been ruined. Since 1982, the ruins have b ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Kemnath, Germany

Niederalfingen Castle

Niederalfingen Castle, also called the Marienburg, is a spur castle on a rocky hill spur above the Kocher valley. The castle was built around 1050 as a Hohenstaufen fortification to guard the important local trade routes. After 1300, it went into the possession of the Lord of Seckendorf, in 1368 to Count Eberhard the Jarrer of Württemberg, in 1415 to the Lord of House of Hürnheim and in 1551 the now mighty castl ...
Founded: 1050 | Location: Niederalfingen, Germany

Berleburg Castle

Berleburg castle is one of the few noble residences in Germany, which has been inhabited by the same family for the last 750 years. The castle was built in the 13th century. The two-storey north wing was expanded in 1555-1557 and the gatehouse dates from 1585. During the reign of Count Casimir, the three-storey central wing was built from 1731 to 1733. the Corps de Logis (the principal block of palace) was built in 17 ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bad Berleburg, Germany

Wildenberg Castle

The ruins of the Wildenberg hill castle lie on a northeast-projecting hill spur, the Schlossberg. The lords of Dürn, meritorious members of the retinue of the Hohenstaufen emperor and Schutzvögte of Amorbach Abbey, had the castle built sometime between 1180 and around 1200. According to the Amorbach Abbey chronicles, however, his grandson Conrad I of Dürn (died 1258) started construction in 1216. This probab ...
Founded: 1180-1200 | Location: Kirchzell, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Schloßberg

The Schloßberg is the site of ancient fortress in the centre of the city of Graz, Austria. The hill is now a public park and enjoys extensive views of the city. The fortification of the Schloßberg goes back to at least the 10th century. In the mid-16th century, a 400 m long fortress was constructed by architects from the north of Italy. There are records of a cable-hauled lift being in use between 1528 and 1595 to move construction materials for the fortifications. The castle was never conquered, but it was largely demolished by Napoleonic forces under the Treaty of Schönbrunn of 1809. The clock tower (the Uhrturm) and bell tower (the Glockenturm) were spared after the people of Graz paid a ransom for their preservation.

The remains of the castle were turned into a public park by Ludwig von Welden in 1839. The park contains the Uhrturm, the Glockenturm, a cistern and two bastions from the old castle. The Uhrturm is a recognisable icon for the city, and is unusual in that the clock"s hands have opposite roles to the common notion, with the larger one marking hours while the smaller is for minutes. The Glockenturm contains Liesl, the heaviest bell in Graz.

Near the Uhrturm there is a café with views over the old town. Additionally, on the western side of the Schloßberg, there are two small cafés, one with table service and the other one with self-service. Next to the terminus of the funicular railway there is a hilltop restaurant with views of western Graz. In what was once the cellar of one of the ruined bastions is the Kasemattenbühne, an open-air stage for concerts and performances.

Below the Schloßberg hill is an extensive system of tunnels, which were created during the second world war to protect the civilian population of Graz from aerial bombing. Some of these tunnels are still accessible, including a passage from Schloßbergplatz to Karmeliterplatz, and a grotto railway for children. Also in the tunnel complex is the Dom im Berg, which was expanded in 2000 to provide a venue space for up to 600 people.