Castles and fortifications in Germany

Plassenburg Castle

Plassenburg is one of the most impressive castles in Germany and a symbol of the Kulmbach. It was first mentioned in 1135. The Plassenberg family were ministerial of the counts of Andechs (later the dukes of Andechs-Meranien) and used as their seat the Plassenburg. The House of Guttenberg, a prominent Franconian noble family, traces its origins back to 1149 with a Gundeloh v. Plassenberg. The name Guttenberg is derived fr ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Kulmbach, Germany

Godesburg Castle

Godesburg castle was built in the early 13th century on the Godesberg, a hill of volcanic origin, it was largely destroyed following a siege in 1583 at the start of the Cologne War. The site has a controversial history. First mentioned in documents from the early 8th century, there was supposedly an old cult site and its name derived from the old Germanic Wotansberg, Woudensberg, or Gotansberg. The fortress founda ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bonn, Germany

Jever Castle

Jever castle dates back to a weir from the late 14th century. The fortress got its typical characteristics mostly from the massive keep, which during the 15th and 16th century was surrounded by a Vierseitanlage. When Jever became part of the Duchy of Oldenburg in 1818, the castle was declared an auxiliary residence of the Dukes of Oldenburg and the now useless outbuildings and fortification were done away with. The museum ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Jever, Germany

Lahneck Castle

Lahneck Castle was built in 1226 by the Archbishop of Mainz Siegfried III of Eppstein to protect his territory at the mouth of the Lahn, where the town of Oberlahnstein and a silver mine had come into the possession of the Archbishopric in 1220. The castle chapel, dedicated to Saint Ulrich of Augsburg, was built in 1245, in the same year the first Burggraf took up residence in the castle. In 1298, King Adolf of Nassau wa ...
Founded: 1226 | Location: Lahnstein, Germany

Hambach Castle

Hambach Castle considered to be the symbol of the German democracy movement because of the Hambacher Fest which occurred here in 1832. Archaeological finds prove that the area of Hambach Castle was used in late Roman times. In late Carolingian Dynasty times and Ottonian dynasty times a castle of refuge was built there. Portions remain in front of and under the outer ring wall. There is little known about its early histor ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Neustadt an der Weinstraße, Germany

Hirschhorn Castle

Hirschhorn Castle was built around 1250-1260 on land given as a fief by Lorsch Abbey, which since 1232 was in the possession of the Archbishop of Mainz. In the castle, which is fortified by walls and towers, a keep, a great hall, stables and several gates and outbuildings can still be seen.
Founded: 1250-1260 | Location: Hirschhorn, Germany

Hohenfreyberg Castle Ruins

Hohenfreyberg Castle, together with Eisenberg Castle directly opposite, are situated on a twin-topped, rocky ridge in front of the Tannheim Mountains. The castle was one of the last great castles of the German Middle Ages. Its lord base dit consciously on the – actually anachronistic – design of a high mediaeval hill castle whilst, in other places, the first castles had been abandoned or converted into schloss-like co ...
Founded: 1418-1432 | Location: Pfronten, Germany

Nordertor

The Nordertor is an old town gate in Flensburg, Germany, which was built around 1595. Today the landmark is used as a symbol for Flensburg. The town wall of Flensburg was built step by step from 1345 onwards. A town gate, named Norder Porte, was built in the northern section of the wall. At the end of the 16th century it was replaced by the Nordertor, a building with stepped gables and archway. At this time ...
Founded: 1595 | Location: Flensburg, Germany

Rosenburg Castle

Rosenburg Castle was built in the 12th century by the Counts of Riedenburg. It has been rebuilt and extended many times, right up to the present day. In the Peasants' War , the castle was conquered in April 1525 by rebels and largely destroyed. A reconstruction took place between 1556 and 1560. In the Thirty Years' War the castle 1632-1634 was sacked several times. During the War of Spanish Succession Rosenburg was conqu ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Riedenburg, Germany

Mitwitz Castle

The moated Mitwitz Castle was mentioned for the first time in documents in 1266. The basement of the north wing and the northern corner tower already existed at that time. In 1525 the castle was sacked during the German peasants war and partially destroyed. In the following years, the castle was only provisionally repaired. In 1596 it was rebuilt and expanded to its present appearance by Hans Veit I of Würtzburg. From ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Mitwitz, Germany

Neuleiningen Castle

Neuleiningen Castle was built in 1238-1241 by Count Frederick III of Leiningen. The French destroyed it in 1690 and it has lain in ruins since that time. Together with, Battenberg Castle, 1,400 metres to the south, the castle controlled the entrance to the Eckbach valley. Passing between various lines of the family, the castle remained the property of the Leiningens for over 200 years. In 1468, Prince-Elector Frederick th ...
Founded: 1238-1241 | Location: Neuleiningen, Germany

Windeck Castle Ruins

Burg Windeck was once an extended castle site, whose dimensions can still be guessed from the current ruins. The previous imposing castle was first mentioned in 1174 as Neu-Windeck. The site was a border fortification of the Count von Berg against the Counts von Sayn (Homberg) and the von Blankenbergs. It was extended a great deal after 1435. Burg Windeck was destroyed during the 30 Years War and in 1672 by the French and ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Altwindeck, Germany

Grünwald Castle

Grünwald Castle is a medieval hill castle. The history goes probably back to a Roman watchtower on the Isar river. The high medieval castle of the 12th century was documented as a possession of the counts of Andechs. In 1293 it came into the possession of the Wittelsbach. Louis II, Duke of Bavaria acquired at that time the possession of the fortress from Ulrich Vellenberg, a ministeriales of the Counts of Andechs. Th ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Grünwald, Germany

Schloss Neuhaus

Schloß Neuhaus, the former residence of the Prince Bishops of Paderborn, is deemed to be one of the most significant early examples of the Weser-Renaissance architecture. The first mention of Neuhaus dates from 1016. The construction of the Palace commenced in the 13th century and continued to be developed until the 16th century to the four-winged building with its four round corner spires and its moat, as we now know it ...
Founded: 1257 | Location: Paderborn, Germany

Hohnstein Castle

Hohnstein Castle is located on a hard sandstone slab, 140 metres above the Polenz valley and is the major landmark of the small town. It was probably built around 1200 or earlier as a Bohemian border fortress for the Margravate of Meißen to defend it against Saxony. In 1353 the castle went into the possession of the Bohemian nobleman, Hynek Berka z Dubé, whose coat of arms with crossed oak branches decorates ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Hohnstein, Germany

Dinkelsbühl Castle

The castle of the Teutonic Order in Dinkelsbühl was originally called 'Tewtscher Hof' (around 1350) and situated next to the almshouse. When the town was extended in 1390 it was rebuilt in its actual position. Newer building was built in Baroque style (1764). The valuable Rocaille cartouche on the gable and rococo chapel with intricate stucco are worth of seeing.
Founded: 1764 | Location: Dinkelsbühl, Germany

Hugenpoet Castle

Hugenpoet estate was first time mentioned in 778 AD as a royal property of Charlemagne. The medieval feudal castle was burned down in 1478 during the feud. The new castle was built near in 1647 after it was again badly damaged in the Thirty Years" War.  Today it has been restored as a hotel.
Founded: 1647 | Location: Essen, Germany

Hornberg Castle

Hornberg Castle was probably originally built in the late 12th century. The first mention of the castle dates from 1184. In 1259 lords of Hornberg sold the castle to the bishop of Speyer. Since 1612 it has been owned by the 12th generations of Gemmingen barons. Today the castle is a hotel. Hornberg originally consisted of two separate castles. Between them was a bailey. Around 1510, both castles were enclosed together wi ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Neckarzimmern, Germany

Wachenburg Castle

Wachenburg castle was built between 1907 and 1928 by the Weinheimer Senioren-Convent, a Corps of former students. The castle contains a restaurant with a nice view of the country.
Founded: 1907-1928 | Location: Weinheim, Germany

Kallmünz Castle Ruins

Kallmünz castle, the seat of the former Counts of Kallmünz, has been fortified since the bronze age. The first owner of the castle, which was documented in 1460, was Judge Kallmüntz of Regensburg. The building houses a restaurant. Now and then, the castle gardens provide the backdrop for musical events.
Founded: c. 900 AD | Location: Kallmünz, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

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.