Castles and fortifications in Germany

Stolzenfels Castle

Finished in 1259, Stolzenfels was used to protect the toll station at the Rhine, where the ships, back then were the main transport for goods, had to stop and pay toll. Over the years it was extended several times, occupied by French and Swedish troops in the Thirty Years" War and finally, in 1689, destroyed by the French during the Nine Years" War. For 150 years the ruins decayed, until in 1815 they were given ...
Founded: 1259/1826 | Location: Koblenz, Germany

Guttenberg Castle

One of the few intact medieval castle complexes from the Stauffer period lies high above the romantic Neckar River valley surrounded by vineyards and endless forests. The Guttenberg castle has been in the possession of the barons of Gemmimgen-Guttenberg since 1449. The castle was never destroyed. The complex includes, among others, a local history museum 'Life in a Knight´s Castle'.
Founded: c. 1225 | Location: Haßmersheim, Germany

Trifels Castle

Trifels Castle is a reconstructed medieval castle near the small town of Annweiler. It is located high above the Queich valley within the Palatinate Forest on one peak of a red sandstone mountain split into three. Trifels Castle is on the peak of the Sonnenberg, and on both of the other two rock elevations there are castle ruins: Anebos Castle and Scharfenberg Castle. Trifels Castle has been gradually restored since the ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Annweiler, Germany

Dilsberg Castle

Dilsberg Castle is a castle on a hill above the River Neckar. The castle was built by the counts of Lauffen in the 12th century. In the 13th century it became the main castle for the counts. In the 14th century it became part of the Electorate of the Palatinate and received town rights in 1347. During the Thirty Years" War, the castle was considered impregnable until Imperial forces under Tilly took the castle in 1622 aft ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Dilsberg, Germany

Neuburg Castle

The original Neuburg castle was built in the early Middle Ages by the Agilolfings noble family. This was acquired by the Wittelsbach dukes in 1247. When Count Palatine Otto Henry began his rule in Palatinate-Neuburg in 1522, he found a medieval fortified castle in his residence city of Neuburg, which, unlike similar than other royal residences was still not adjusted for the demands of a modern royal court. So from 1527 he ...
Founded: 1527 | Location: Neuburg an der Donau, Germany

Willibaldsburg Castle

The castle complex on the Willibaldsberg was begun in 1355 and extended in the second half of the 16th century under Martin von Schaumberg. It was transformed into an impressive residence by Elias Holl during the reign of Prince-Bishop Johann Conrad von Gemmingen (1595-1612) – at this stage of the building"s history the towers were crowned by onion domes. Gemmingen also laid out the renowned botanical garden H ...
Founded: 1355 | Location: Eichstätt, Germany

Ortenburg Castle

Ortenburg castle in Bautzen stands on the site of 7th century fort enlarged by Henry I in the 10th century. In the 15th century the castles was rebuilt in the late-Gothic style by Matthias Corvin, King of Hungary, following two devastating fires. The tower on the north wing still bears a relief representing the king. In 1698, at the height of the Baroque period, three Renaissance gables were added to the castle.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Bautzen, Germany

Schwarzenberg Castle

Schwarzenberg Castle was based on a medieval fortification and together with St. George"s Church dominates the scene of the large county town of Schwarzenberg.  The castle was probably founded in the 12th century as a fort and was the original base for the settlement of Schwarzenberg and its vicinity. The former castle was given its present appearance by a conversion into a hunting lodge for the Electorate o ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Schwarzenberg, Germany

Zülpich Castle

Zülpich Castle origins may be traced to a Roman castrum. The present site was built in the late 14th century as a symbol of sovereignty and outpost of the archbishops of Cologne against the County of Jülich. Razed by French troops at the end of the 17th century, the ruins of the lowland castle ended up in private hands. The Zülpich manufacturing family of Sieger opened a schnaps distillery in the castle unti ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Zülpich, Germany

Altrathen Castle

Unlike the neighbouring Neurathen Castle very little is known about the history of Altrathen Castle. It was probably built at the same time in the 11th century. The castle was first mentioned in the records in 1289. In 1469 Altrathen and Neurathen castles were slighted. In 1888 the industrialist, Eduard Seifert, bought the ruins of the castle and rebuilt it in 1893 in a Neogothic style. Of the medieval castle only t ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Rathen, Germany

Ingolstadt New Castle

The New Castle in Ingolstadt is one of the most important Gothic secular buildings of the 15th century in Bavaria. The builders were Louis VII, Duke of Bavaria-Ingolstadt and Duke George the Rich of Bavaria-Landshut, both of the Wittelsbach dynasty. The neighboring Old Castle, a medieval fortress from the 13th Century, is today called Herzogkasten. As a brother of the French queen Isabeau, Ludwig spent more than ten year ...
Founded: 1418 | Location: Ingolstadt, Germany

Rosenberg Fortress

Towering high above the old town of Kronach on Rosenberg hill is Rosenberg Fortress, the former palace of the Prince Bishops of Bamberg and later a regional stronghold. It was officially mentioned first time in 1249. The early building on the Rosenberg became the castle of the prince-bishop and was, thus, immured and enlarged in the years that followed. Another section of walls, along with the Arsenal Gate in the South, ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Kronach, Germany

Plön Castle

Plön Castle is one of the largest castles in the north German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The former Residenz of the Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein-Plön was built in the 17th century during the Thirty Years War and has had a colourful history in which it has, for example, been a school for military cadets and also a boarding school. The earliest Wendish defensive fortification called Plune dates to the 10th century and w ...
Founded: 1633-1636 | Location: Plön, Germany

Parsberg Castle

The Parsberg Castle was first documented in 1205. The first castle was destructed in 1314 by Duke Ludwig of Bavaria due supporting the rebellion. The castle was rebuilt and extended in the end of the 16th century. The next reconstruction took place in the mid-17th century, probably due the damages in Thirty Years' War. The lower castle was added then, where today is a castle museum.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Parsberg, Germany

Wildeck Castle

Wildeck Castle was built originally in the 12th century, by only the keep is left from that. Prince elector Moritz of Saxony had the medieval fortress re-designed into a hunting lodge between 1545 and 1547. The building is characterized be the tower “Slim Margarethe” with its curved roof hood and its dominant gables. Up until the year 1911, different hunting administrations had their seats at Zschopau’s castle. At t ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Zschopau, Germany

Weesenstein Castle

Weesenstein castle was erected here sometime around 1200, built with the purpose of defending the border to the Kingdom of Bohemia; it was mentioned in written sources for the first time in 1318. The oldest part of the presently visible castle is its central round tower, erected sometime around 1300. The castle was built for the burgraves of Dohna; the burgraviate was incorporated in the Margraviate of Meissen in 1 ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Müglitztal, Germany

Hohentwiel

Hohentwiel fortress, whose ruins lie on top of extinct volcano Hohentwiel, was constructed in 914 using stone taken from the mountain itself by Burchard III, Duke of Swabia. Originally, the Monastery of St. Georg was contained within the fortress, but in 1005 it was moved to Stein am Rhein (now in Switzerland), and the Swabian dukes lost control of Hohentwiel. In the later Middle Ages the noble families von Singen-Twiel ( ...
Founded: 914 | Location: Hohentwiel, Germany

Herten Castle

The Herten family, vassals of the Werden Abbey, was first documented in 1286. At that time, their residence was probably in the center of today"s city next to St. Antonius church. In the 14th century, the family with 'Ritter' (knight) status built a fortified house on the site of today"s castle. In 1376, this building was mentioned as fief of Werden Abbey. Through marriage, the Herten house fell ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Herten, Germany

Norderburg Castle

Norderburg is a moated castle that was established in the 14th century. It was destroyed in 1514 during the Saxonian rebellion and rebuilt in 1534 by Hicko Kankena. The castle's architecture is quite impressive with a beautiful facade, flanked by two lion statues at the entrance, an ornately designed Knight's Hall, and a spectacular great hall that features baroque paintings. The castle changed many owners and was also ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Dornum, Germany

Eisenberg Castle Ruins

Eisenberg Castle is a medieval hilltop castle ruin north of Pfronten. Eisenburg Castle was built in 1313, when the nobles of Hohenegg, deriving from the West of the Allgau, were deprived by force of their castle, Loch, by the Tyrolean. In consequence, they moved a few miles further north to establish their new lordship of Eisenberg which centered round a new castle. To visualize their power towards Tyrol/Austria, which he ...
Founded: 1313 | Location: Pfronten, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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Narikala Castle

Narikala is an ancient fortress overlooking Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, and the Kura River. The fortress consists of two walled sections on a steep hill between the sulphur baths and the botanical gardens of Tbilisi. On the lower court there is the recently restored St Nicholas church. Newly built in 1996–1997, it replaces the original 13th-century church that was destroyed in a fire. The new church is of 'prescribed cross' type, having doors on three sides. The internal part of the church is decorated with the frescos showing scenes both from the Bible and history of Georgia.

The fortress was established in the 4th century and it was a Persian citadel. It was considerably expanded by the Umayyads in the 7th century and later, by king David the Builder (1089–1125). Most of extant fortifications date from the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1827, parts of the fortress were damaged by an earthquake and demolished.