Castles and fortifications in 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

Jettenbach Castle

Jettenbach Castle was first mentioned in the mid-12th century when it was probably a wooden fort. The castle chapel originates from 1356. The castle was replaced by a stone castle in 1511 and expanded in 1622. The other wing was added in the late 17th century. The new brewery was constructed in 1726. Jettenbach was badly damaged by fire in 1855. It was rebuilt in next two years to the current appearance.
Founded: 1511 | Location: Jettenbach, Germany

Wild Castle

Castle Wild (Wildburg) lies southern behind the Castle Treis. It was built in the 13th or 14th century, probably as protection of the southern side of the castle Treis. In the fifties it was restored and made fit to live in. Back then, the northern situated, almost square, donjon was repaired and received a new roof. The great hall and other outbuildings were also rebuilt. Other buildings and the circular wall are just ru ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Treis, Germany

Amlishagen Castle

Amlishagen Castle was built in the 13th Century and first mentioned in 1253. In the second half of the 14th Century, 1601 and in the 19th Century the castle was expanded and renovated. The castle was owned by the Lords of Amlingshagen and later by the Lords of Wollmershausen. The castle is currently privately owned and occupied. After the family von Wollmershausen died out in the 18th Century, the castle was owned by a n ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Amlishagen, Germany

Brenz Castle

During the High Middle Ages ownership of Brenz an der Brenz rested with a minor noble family who took their name from the location. Members of this family are mentioned several times in the records from this time. In the Galluskirche there is a gravestone from 1190 for Sebolt von Brenz who is listed as a Crusader. After 1250 a side line of the noble family von Güssenberg occupied Schloss Brenz. To pay debts, the family q ...
Founded: 1672 | Location: Sontheim, Germany

Warthausen Castle

Warthausen castle is a large country palace which has been home to several famous historical personages, including authors Christoph Martin Wieland and Sophie von La Roche, and painter Johann Heinrich Tischbein. It was the traditional home of the Counts of Stadion-Warthausen. In 1168, a castle was sold to Friedrich Barbarossa, and passed to the House of Habsburg in 1339. The castle burned down in 1474, and was rebuilt. I ...
Founded: 1532-1540 | Location: Warthausen, Germany

Burgrain Castle

The first fort in Isein was built by bishop Atto of Freising in 784-811 AD. The current Burgrain castle dates from 1200s, when the lords of Burgrain built a four-winged building with keep and moat. The extensive additions and renovation was made in the 15th century by bishop Nicodemus. After the secularization in 1804 Burgrain castle has been in possession of several owners. In 1906 it was converted into a home for blind ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Burgrain, Germany

Heimhof Castle

Heimhof Castle was built in the 14th century by the lords of Haimenhofen and is a well-preserved example of a medieval castle residence. It consists of a three storey building with corner towers.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Ursensollen, Germany

Milkel Castle

Milkel castle, surrounded by water on four sides, was founded probably in 1302. In 1719-20 the north tower was built by the Ponickau family and the castle got its current apperance. Today, after 20 years of restoration work, the castle, the cavalier houses, the park and burial places of the previous owners are in a good condition.
Founded: 1302 | Location: Milkel, Germany

Pfersee Castle

Pfersee Castle was built in the 13th century and was known as a home of local robber baron. It was rebuilt in 1579 by Zobel family. Today it houses offices etc. 
Founded: 13th century | Location: Augsburg, Germany

Neuburg Castle

Neuburg Castle was constructed around 1290 to the site of earlier castle owned by the Mosbach Abbey. The main building was reconstructed in 1500-1619 by the lords of Rossau. In 1945 the state of Baden-Württemberg took over the castle. For several years, it served as a refugee camp. Since 2001 Neuburg has been a hotel.
Founded: 1290 | Location: Obrigheim, Germany

Ehrenberg Castle

Ehrenberg Castle dates from the early 12th century when it was built by the Counts of Lauffen. The oldest part of the wall around the main castle. The building of the main castle date from the 12th and 13th centuries. To existing keep dates from 1235. The castle was ruined in the Thirty Years" War. The new residential and farm buildings have been built in the 17th and 18th century. Today Ehrenberg is privately owned ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Bad Rappenau, Germany

Ramsberg Castle

The Ramsberg Castle was built around 1200-1225 probably by the knight Ulrich von Plochingen and Konrad, the monk from Rechenberg. In 1327-1529 the castle was owned by the lords of Rechenberg. The Gothic chapel was built in 1560. It was initially dedicated to St. Margaret and later to St. Martin. Between 1560 and 1580 the castle was rebuilt a second time.
Founded: 1200-1225 | Location: Donzdorf, Germany

Kirchhausen Castle

The moated Kirchhausen castle was built between 1570 and 1576 by order of Heinrich von Bogenhausen (Teutonic Order). He replaced the old castle that was built by Thomas Knoll from Weinsberg, whose stone cutter’s mark is still visible today in the keystone of the archway. Today, the moat around the castle is no longer filled with water. A stone bridge leads the way into the castle courtyard, which took over the form ...
Founded: 1570 | Location: Kirchhausen, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Externsteine Stones

The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.

In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.

The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.

The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.