Castles and fortifications in Germany

Alt-Trauchburg Castle Ruins

The ruins of Alt-Trauchburg Castle lie above the Weitnau hamlet. Large parts of the original stone walls of the high- to post-medieval castle remain. The ruins are some of the best preserved in the Allgäu region of Germany. The hilltop castle probably goes back to the time of an earlier fortification of counts of Veringen and Nellenburg. This fortress first appears in written sources in 1041. It was probably located ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Weitnau, Germany

Marzoll Castle

Marzoll castle was one of the first buildings made in the Renaissance style in Bavaria. The square castle with four corner towers was built from 1527 to 1536. The castle itself can be visited only in a guided tours but the courtyard is open to the public.
Founded: 1527-1536 | Location: Marzoll, Germany

Ehreshoven Castle

Ehreshoven Castle was originally owned by Siegburg Abbey, which had been founded in 1164 by Archbishop Anno of Cologne. Ehreshoven was first mentioned in 1355 when it existed as a house or small castle. In 1396 it was given to the family of the count of Nesselrode and stayed in their possession until 1920. Under Wilhelm of Nesselrode, the house was essentially remodelled and the medieval chapel built into the structur ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Ehreshoven, Germany

Sausenburg Castle Ruins

Sausenburg Castle was originally the stronghold of the lords of Sausenburg, and is built on a 665 metres high hill. At the beginning of the 12th century, the area was given to the Benedictine monks of the Monastery of St Blaise. The counts of Hachberg acquired the property in 1232 from the monastery. They built the castle in order to protect the area and lived there from 1246. In 1306, the counts founded the Sausenberg dy ...
Founded: 1246 | Location: Kandern, Germany

Tittmoning Castle

The settlement of Titamanninga was first mentioned about 790 AD, then a possession of St Peter's Abbey, Salzburg. After the Archbishops of Salzbug had achieved immediate status in the late 13th century, Tittmoning Castle was built as a border fortress against the incursions by the Dukes of Bavaria. The episcopal administrator of the castle and its environs was called burgrave, as was Ulrich von Wispeck in 1282. Tittmoning ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Tittmoning, Germany

Hohenecken Castle Ruins

The exact date of the foundation of the Hohenecken castle is unknown. Whilst older sources often plump for a construction date immediately following the building of the Barbarossaburg in Kaiserslautern in 1156, more recent sources tend to lean towards a date about 50 years later. The pentagonal bergfried and the massive shield wall in particular point to a construction date of around 1200. In the first half of the 13th c ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Kaiserslautern, Germany

Blumenstein Castle Ruins

Blumenstein Castle is a castle ruin in the Palatinate Forest probably constructed in the first half of the 13th century as part of a line of defensive castles along the Alsatian border. The castle was first mentioned in 1332 in connection with knight Anselm from Batzendorf near Blumenstein. After a feud with the House of Fleckenstein in 1347, the knight was banished from the castle. About 1350, the counts of Zweibrücken ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Palatinate Forest, Germany

Steinenschloss Castle Ruins

Not a lot is known about the Steinenschloss castle history and even the name Steinenschloss exists only since circa 1900. The castle was probably built in approximately 1100. At the end of the 12th century Steinenschloss was destroyed and never rebuilt. The ruin served as building materials for the construction of a railway line and the train station of North-Pirmasens. Only recently efforts are being made to excavate the ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Thaleischweiler-Fröschen, Germany

Lede Castle

Burg Lede in Bonn-Vilich, the oldest part of Bonn, is a real gem. The origins of the site goes back to the 14th century. Von Loë family still lives in the castle. The personal atmosphere of the castle with its salons, the library, the castle kitchen and the small courtyard create an unusual ambiance for events ranging from weddings, official business events to a private cookery course with friends. A limited number of re ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Bonn, Germany

Bischofstein Castle

Folk tales and old Moselle-area historiographies allege that Burg Bischofstein began as the palace for the Holy Bishop Nicetius (527-566). The current Bischofstein castle was probably built in 1270. Archbishop Arnold II. Heinrich von Bolanden bought the half-completed Burg and paid for the rest of the construction himself in 1273. It is said that in 1552 Markgraf Albrecht von Brandenburg attempted, without success, to be ...
Founded: 1270 | Location: Burgen, Germany

Merzhausen Castle

Merzhausen castle was built around 1593 to the site of older castle. It is a massive stone building with two stepped gables and half-timbered building. The castle was owned by the Jesuits until 1773.
Founded: c. 1593 | Location: Merzhausen, Germany

Weißenstein Castle

Weißenstein castle was probablhy built in 1210 and it was first time mentioned in a document in 1241. It was moved into a possession of Rechberg Counts in 1384. The castle chapel altarpiece dates from 1471. The castle has been restored twice, in 1700 to the Baroque and in 1877 to neo-Gothic style.
Founded: 1210 | Location: Lauterstein, Germany

Schaubeck Castle

Schaubeck Castle was erected on the remains of a Roman villa and first documented in 1272. The castle takes its name from the Schauwecker family, formerly in the service of Baden in Besigheim. The quadrangular complex with frescos in the inner courtyard and on the façade is surrounded by a beautiful park with wonderful trees.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Kleinbottwar, Germany

Montclair Castle Ruins

Montclair castle was built by Arnulf von Walecourt in the late 12th century. The site was a fief from Trier archbishop. The castle was built to the site of old Frankish castle. In 1351 the castle was conquered and razed by the troops of Archbishop Baldwin of Luxembourg. Jakob von Sierck built the new castle in 1434-1439. It fell into disrepair and started to decay in the 17th century. Montclair was restored in 1992-1993.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Mettlach, Germany

Nörvenich Castle

The Schloss Nörvenich was established in around 1400 by Wilhelm von Vlatten and was remodeled on numerous occasions over the centuries. In the 15th century, the property fell through marriage to Konrad Scheiffart von Merode-Bornheim. Wilhelm Scheiffart von Merode and his wife Agnes von Bylandt enlarged the house in the middle of the 16th century to the West Wing. At the end of the 16th century, the castle fell thro ...
Founded: 1400 | Location: Nörvenich, Germany

Krickenbeck Castle

Krickenbeck moated castle is one of the oldest on the lower Rhine. Its history dates back to the year 1104, when the castle was first mentioned. It is unclear why the old castle, which was certainly inhabited by Count Reginar, was abandoned or destroyed. In the mid-13th century the castle was moved to the current location. At the end of the 14th century the new castle belonged to the Counts of Kleve. Johann Friedrich II ...
Founded: 1903 | Location: Nettetal, Germany

Thorn Castle

Schloss Thorn is a former castle, that has been turned into a stately home. The history of the castle dates from the ancient times. Due to the existence of a ford here, the Romans built a guard tower on a protruding rock here to protect and observe the crossing. This tower would give the later medieval castle its name, the Latin 'turris' meaning 'tower'. Schloss Thorn was built on the ruins of the pro ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Schloß Thorn, Germany

Erbach Castle

Erbach Castle is a patrician Renaissance castle which origins date back to the 12th century. The purpose of the castle was to secure and safeguard the important crossing over the river Danube. The keep was built during the reign of the House of Hohenstaufen and explicitly mentioned in a document from 1384. The Gothic spire was added at the end of the 15th century. The original modest Romanesque castle was extended in the ...
Founded: 1550 | Location: Erbach, Germany

Lauterbach Castle

Schloss Lauterbach stands on a moraine hill in the east of the village of Lauterbach. The main castle complex is surrounded by a moat to the south and west, almost always dry, which is scarcely visible due to the woods that have been allowed to grow. The Lauterbach estate was established by the first half of the 13th century. The Dachau family made Lauterbach their seat from around 1250 to 1437. The castle then passed th ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Lauterbach, Germany

Nassenfels Castle

Nassenfels castle dates from the 12th-13th century. The first reference to the castle is dated to 1245, when Count Gebhard III of Hirschberg was assassinated when he was besieging Nassenfels castle. The castle was reconstructed and enlarged later and the current appearance dates from c. 1400. The three towers were built by bishop Friedrich von Oettingen. Nassenfels was again restored in 1464 and 1699. in 1807 the castle w ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Nassenfels, 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.