Castles and fortifications in Germany

Heimerzheim Castle

Heimerzheim castle was mentioned for the first time at the end of the 13th century, when it was built by the lords of Heimerzheim as a well-fortified moated castle. In the Baroque era the castle was converted into a residence. Today the moated castle is rented out by the family of the Baron von Boeselager as a conference and event location. The site consists of a main castle and lower castle, with both parts of the castl ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Heimerzheim, Germany

Lengenfeld Castle

Lengenfeld castle originates from the 10th century and the current appearance dates from the first half of the 12th century. The keep was added and castle enlarged by Wittelsbach family around 1123-1146. The castle is enclosed by 800m long curtain wall. Guided tours to the castle are available.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Burglengenfeld, Germany

Heiligenberg Castle

Schloss Heiligenberg is a Renaissance-style castle owned by the Fürstenberg family. It is located on a plateau 730 metres above sea level, with views down onto the Bodensee and the Alps. It was first built in the Middle Ages - in 1250 count Berthold of Heiligenberg built a burgh on the site, which was bought in 1277 by count Hugo of Werdenberg. Under the counts of Werdenberg-Heiligenberg, the castle expanded during t ...
Founded: 1560-1575 | Location: Heiligenberg, Germany

Falkenburg Castle Ruins

Falkenburg Castle is a castle ruin overlooking the village of Wilgartswiesen. It was probably built in the 11th century as a successor to the nearby Wilgartaburg and to protect the adjacent villages. In the documents of Archbishop Erkinbald of Mainz, letters dating to 1019 describe a rock outcrop called the Falkenstein considered as the most northerly border belonging to the principality of Kaiserslautern. Werner I of Bol ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Wilgartswiesen, Germany

Friedberg Castle

The Friedberg castle was subsequently built to serve as a border security and customs post for the Duchy of Bavaria and Swabia, but put the town in opposition to the free city of Augsburg. It was built between 1257-1264 by Duke Ludwig II. The castle was the cause of the first burning of Friedberg by Augsburg in 1396. The town was subject to the many frequent wars between Swabia, Bavaria and Augsburg. A revival in the to ...
Founded: 1257 | Location: Friedberg, Germany

Lindelbrunn Castle

Lindelbrunn Castle was founded in the mid-12th century, presumably as an imperial castle to defend the Trifels. Prior to that it may have been owned by the imperial church at Speyer. It is likely that the main construction phase of the castle with its palas and separate chapel dates to around 1190/1200. At that time, large halls and independent chapels were only built by relatively high-ranking lords; around 1200, not a s ...
Founded: 1150-1200 | Location: Vorderweidenthal, Germany

Morenhoven Castle

Morenhoven Castle consists of outer ward and main castle. The moated castle can be reached over an arched bridge and probably originates from a fortified courtyard of the 9th century. In the 12th and 13th century the forerunners of the current castle belonged to the country manor on the  Swist. During the Thirty Years' War the castle was destroyed by Hessian soldiers. From 1682 onwards the new building was built. Thi ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Morenhoven, Germany

Hainewalde Castle

The  original Hainewalde water castle, built under rule of the family von Nositz, was located north of the terraces of the new castle. The only remain of the old water castle, which was demolished in 1780, is the gate lodge with his west-side Renaissance-portal. Schloss (New Castle) was constructed in 1750–1753, along with its Baroque gardens, under the rule of the Kanitz-Kyaw family. It was renovated in 1883, the ...
Founded: 1750-1753 | Location: Hainewalde, Germany

Katzenstein Castle

Katzenstein Castle is one of the oldest remaining Hohenstaufen castles in Germany. The castle is located in a side valley of the river Egua, near the old Roman road Faimingen–Oberdorf bei Bopfingen. In 1099 the Lords von Cassenstein were first mentioned. The family was a Ministerialis or unfree knight family in the service of the Graf (or Count) von Dillingen. In 1262 Edlen von Hürnheim was listed as the owner ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Katzenstein, Germany

Thierstein Castle

Thierstein Castle was built in the early 14th century by Albrecht VI of Wildstein. Later it was moved to the hands of Nuremberg burgraves and the house of Hohenzollern. In 1553, during the Second Margrave War, Thierstein was occupied by Bohemian troops. In 1603 Margrave Georg Friedrich of Brandenburg ordered to abandon the castle and the construction of a new office building outside the village of Thierstein. Neverthele ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Thierstein, Germany

Wäscherschloss Castle

Wäscherschloss Castle was built in 1220-1250. It is named after the knight 'Konrad der Wascher“. The castle is enclosed on the five sides with a nearly ten-meter high wall made of stone. The half-timbered residential building dates from the period 1481-1699. The castle is open to the public.
Founded: 1220 | Location: Wäschenbeuren, Germany

Altleiningen Castle

Altleiningen castle was built on the domed summit of a hill, about 400 metres high, that rises above the left bank of the Eckbach. The name, like that of its sister castle, Neuleiningen 5 kilometres northeast, is derived from the Frankish noble family of Leiningen, who used to rule the territory of the Leiningerland. The mighty hill fortress is built on rocks and was probably established around 1100 to 1110 by the Count ...
Founded: 1100-1110 | Location: Altleiningen, Germany

Falkenstein Castle

Falkenstein castle was originally built by the Bishop Tuto of Regensburg before 1074. The medieval stone castle was built in the early 13th century. It was expanded and rebuilt several times before the castle was burned down by the Swedes in 1634 (during Thirty Years' War). The decayed Falkenstein castle was restored in the 20th century. Today the castle is a museum, festival venue and restaurant.
Founded: c. 1074 | Location: Falkenstein, Germany

Wilenstein Castle

Wilenstein Castle is one of the oldest fortresses of the Pfalz. As early as the middle of the 12th century there is information concerning the sovereigns of Wilenstein. During the Thirty Years" War the castle was so seriously damaged that it was declared uninhabitable in 1664. In the 1950s extensive restoration and conservation work was performed. The upper castle, whose reconstruction work is often considered inappr ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Trippstadt, Germany

Manningaburg Castle

The Manningaburg castle in Pewsum dates back to the year 1458 and was originally - as the name suggests - the headquarters of the chief family Manninga. However, in 1565 the castle was sold from Chief Haiko Manninga to Count Edzard II Cirksenas. Unlike most castles in Ostfriesland, Manningaburg is open to the public and houses a museum dedicated to the chief and castle history. In the ceremonial hall of the castle, you ...
Founded: 1458 | Location: Pewsum, Germany

Holzheim Castle

Holzheim Castle dates to 1333, and its owners were vassals of the Duchy of Jülich. In the 15th to 17th centuries the manor house and gate tower were built, both of which have survived. In 1818, when the region was part of the Prussia county of Düren, the castle and its estates were sold to private buyers. In 1893 it was bought by Richard Schleicher, who also bought the nearby estate of Schönthal. The property ...
Founded: 1333 | Location: Heistern, Germany

Neuenhof Castle

Neuenhof castle was first mentioned in 1326. The current water castle was rebuilt in 1643 and restored after fire in 1693. The main building is a rectangular two-storey house whose courtyard side is flanked by two towers.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Lüdenscheid, Germany

Hoyerswerda Castle

The Hoyerswerda castle is located on a hill in the center of old town. The original castle from the 13th century was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. Under Seyfried von Promnitz a Renaissance castle was erected from it at the end of the 16th century. Baroque elements were added in the first half of the 18th century. Since the 1950s, the castle has hosted a city museum.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Hoyerswerda, Germany

Heinsheim Castle

Heinsheim castle complex has been privately owned by the family von Racknitz since ca. 1720. The main building was erected in the early 18th century, wings and further farm buildings were added in the course of the centuries. It was first mentioned in 1180 in connection with their ancestral seat, Perneck Castle in Styria; in ca. 1720 the family von Racknitz gained the rule of Heinsheim, and in 1727 they acquired all perti ...
Founded: 18th century | Location: Bad Rappenau, Germany

Reichenberg Castle

Reichenberg castle was built in 1230-1231 by the Margrave Hermann V of Baden. In the 19th century it was the seat of the forestry office in the country Württemberg until in 1888 it was given to the Samaritan Foundation, who ran a social services to care for people with disabilities there.
Founded: 1230-1231 | Location: Reichenberg, 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.