Castles and fortifications in Germany

Brüggen Castle

Brüggen Castle was the most important castle in the north of the Duchy of Jülich. The castle was built by the Count of Kessel in the 13th century to guard a ford over the River Schwalm. In the early 14th century it went into the possession of the dukes of Jülich, who had the existing building replaced by a quadrangular castle made from brick. After the occupation of Brüggen in 1794 by Napoleonic troops i ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Brüggen, Germany

Bad Rappenau Wasserschloss

The Wasserschloss (water castle) in Bad Rappenau is a moated castle from the early 17th century. The castle was built in 1601 by the Lords of Gemmingen on the site of an older manor. Today it is used for cultural events.
Founded: 1601 | Location: Bad Rappenau, Germany

Tauberbischofsheim Castle

Tauberbischofsheim town came under control of the Prince-Bishops of Mainz in the 13th century and it was they who built the former castle at the top part of the central historic part of the town. The castle is now given over to a Regional Museum and the old watchman's tower and living quarters, the Türmersturm, is the symbol of the town.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Tauberbischofsheim, Germany

Blankenstein Castle

Blankenstein Castle was built originally in 1227-1243 by Adolf I, Count of Mark. It was further developed over the course of 200 years by the Counts of the Mark. By 1425, Blankenstein was one of the most important castles in the county. In 1614, shortly before the Thirty Years" War, it was occupied by Spanish troops. From 1637, the castle fell into disrepair so that, in September 1662, Frederick William, Elector o ...
Founded: 1227-1243 | Location: Hattingen, Germany

Steinsberg Castle

Steinsberg Castle was first mentioned in the year 1109. In the thirteenth century the owners of the castle were the Counts of Oettingen. Later the castle became home to the Counts palatine of the Rhein. In 1517 the castle was purchased by the Lords of Venningen. Shortly after this purchase the castle was burnt down during the Peasants' revolt. The rebellious peasants had to pay 5000 Gulden for the rebuilding of the castle ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Weiler, Germany

Schloss Wolfegg

Schloss Wolfegg is a Renaissance castle and the ancestral seat of the house of Waldburg-Wolfegg, which still owns it today. The main building of the castle consists of four wings arranged in the shape of a rectangle with towers in the corners. Its exterior design and layout dates back to Truchsess Jakob II. of Waldburg (1546–1589) and his wife Johanna (1548-1613). After a fire in 1578 destroyed an older building, they b ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Wolfegg, Germany

Ahrensburg Castle

The Ahrensburg village came into the possession of the Cistercian Reinfeld Abbey in 1327. After the dissolution of the monasteries due to the Reformation, the whole area came into the possession of the king of Denmark. He rewarded his general Daniel Rantzau 1567 with lordship over these villages. His brother and heir Peter Rantzau built a Renaissance residence in the form of a water castle, now the symbol of the town, and ...
Founded: 1595 | Location: Ahrensburg, Germany

Wegelnburg Castle Ruins

The Wegelnburg is a ruined castle near Schönau in the Palatinate Forest. It was founded by the Hohenstaufens in the 12th or 13th century. It had to protect the border of the Hohenstaufens’ territory. In 1272, the castle was destroyed because the castellan had committed a breach of the peace. The von Wegelnburg family rebuilt the castle. In 1330 the Wegelnburg was pawned to the Palatinate and in 1417 it was given to th ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Schönau, Germany

Giechburg Castle

First mentioned in 1125, Giechburg castle was in possession of Bamberg's prince-bishops since 1390. During wartimes it burned down several times, was rebuilt, destroyed again and rebuilt once more in 1600. In 1971 the administrative district of Bamberg bought Giechburg castle and restored it. Nowadays Giechburg castle is a popular excursion destination including a restaurant which offers a venue for meetings and cultural ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Schesslitz, Germany

Kirchheim Castle

Kirchheim Renaissance castle is the best preserved example of Württemberg duchy strongholds. On his return from exile, duke Ulrich of Württemberg ordered seven fortresses to be constructed across the country, in order to better protect its territory from other countries. As part of these measures, the fortifications of Kirchheim unter Teck were expanded and in 1538, the castle was established as a corner rampart ...
Founded: 1538-1566 | Location: Kirchheim unter Teck, Germany

Landeck Castle

Like most of the castles in the Rhineland-Palatinate, Landeck Castle was built in approximately 1200. It served probably the function of protecting the nearby Klingenmünster monastery. The first documental reference to Landeck Castle was made in 1237. In the period around 1500 there were castle administrators from the Kurpfalz, the bishop of Speyer and the counts of Zweibrücken. At the end of the 15th century ex ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Klingenmünster, Germany

Brake Castle

Schloss Brake was a former residence of the Counts of Lippe. The first castle was built after 1190. In 1447 it was conquered and burned during the feud. The current appearance dates mainly from the 1570-1587 when it was modernized in Weser Renaissance style. In 1663, Count Casimir of Lippe-Brake rebuilt the east wing to its present form. Since 1986 the Weser Renaissance Museum has been located in the castle.
Founded: 1570-1587 | Location: Lemgo, Germany

Ehrenburg Castle

Ehrenburg Castle was built on a promontory in the Ehrbach valley (Ehrbachtal), a tributary valley of the Mosel. It was once used as the fortified centre of a small reign between Mosel and Rhine. Today it is a cultural monument (Kulturdenkmal) with a variety of events. The oldest, still preserved part of this castle is the remains of a steady house, a rectangular residential tower. It is assumed that the construction work, ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Brodenbach, Germany

Stettenfels Castle

Stettenfels Castle was built in the 11th century, probably at about the same time as many other castles in the area. From 1356 Stettenfels was owned by Burkhard, Knight of Sturmfeder. From 1462 to 1478, the Lords of Helmstatt owned of the castle. With the 1504 victory of Ulrich, Duke of Wurttemberg in the Landshut War of Succession the castle became a fief of Württemberg under Marshal Konrad Thumb of Neuburg in 1507. His ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Untergruppenbach, Germany

Kronburg Castle

Kronburg Castle was first time mentioned in 1227. In the 13th and 14th centuries it changed hands several times between Hohenstaufen and Habsburg vassals. The castle was restored in 1490-1536 by Rechberg family. In 1524 it was occupied by revolting peasants and in 1625-1627 it was passed to Johann Eustach von Westernach. Kronburg was conquered and partially demolished by French army during the War of the Spanish Successi ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Kronburg, Germany

Berwartstein Castle

Berwartstein Castle was one of the rock castles that were part of defences of the Palatinate during the Middle Ages. There is no definite record of the origins of the castle or its name. The name 'Berwartstein Castle' is mentioned for the first time in a document dating from 1152, when the castle was granted by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa to Bishop Günther of Speyer. During the 13th century, feudal tenants, who carried ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Wasgau, Germany

Drachenfels Castle Ruins

Drachenfels Castle is located about seven kilometres north of the Franco-German border on the eponymous 150-metre-long bunter sandstone rocks which are on a ridge at an elevation of 368 metres above sea level. The name of the castle could have come from the dragon carved in the sandstone wall of the old great hall of the castle. However, because it has not been dated, it is also possible that the dragon was inscribed on ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Busenberg, Germany

Hellenstein Castle

Hellenstein Castle was once the home of the Lords of Hellenstein. The castle was first built during the 12th century. The castle remained in the hands of the Hellensteins until 1273 when the male line died out. For almost eighty years the castle passed through several owners. In 1351 the counts of Helfenstein acquired the castle and ruled it for nearly a century, until 1448. Finally in 1503 the castle came under the contr ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Heidenheim an der Brenz, Germany

Lichtenau Fortress

The fortress of Lichtenau goes back to a medieval water castle. In 1406 Nuremberg purchased the village and the castle of Lichtenau from Frederick II of Heideck. Because of the location of Lichtenau as a tactical outpost of the Imperial City of Nuremberg within the territory of the margraves of Brandenburg-Ansbach there was frequently tension and destruction as a result of warlike conflicts. During the First Margrave War ...
Founded: 1630 | Location: Gotzendorf, Germany

Schorndorf Castle

Duke Ulrich built Schorndorf Castle in 1538 on the site of what had probably been an older moated stronghold. It formed part of the state of Württemberg"s Schorndorf fortifications and was erected with vast effort and outlay, making it the mightiest town fortress in the whole of the duchy in the 16th century. Today Schorndorf Castle is the seat of the city"s district court. In the castle grounds you can se ...
Founded: 1538 | Location: Schorndorf, 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.