Medieval castles in North Rhine-Westphalia

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

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

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

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

Merode Castle

Merode estate was first time mentioned in 1170 and it was originally built by ministrial Werner from Kerpen. The first mention of castle dates from 1263. The current appearance was created mainly by Marshal Jean Philippe Eugène de Merode-Westerloo in the early 18th century. It was partially destroyed during the Second World War and rebuilt. The another big fire in 2000 destroyed 80% of interior and the restoration is sti ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Langerwehe, Germany

Löwenburg Castle

Löwenburg castle was built around 1200 by the Counts of Sayn. Together with the Castle of Blankenberg high above the valley of river Sieg it secured their territory.  In the second half of the 13th century the old keep was torn down. Only then the castle whose ruins we see today was built. In the late Middle Ages the Löwenburg went through an eventful history until it fell to the Counts of Berg in 1484. It was destroye ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Bad Honnef, Germany

Burgau Castle

Burgau Castle is a water castle in Düren, located in the town forest at the edge of the district Niederau. The earliest findings can be traced back to the year 1100. The building was constructed on a motte. Even today the manor house is situated on an island with a diameter of 50 meters. The keep also dates back to the Middle Ages; after that the southern, eastern and northern wings of the main castle were constructe ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Düren, Germany

Gudenau Castle

The imposing two-part moated Burg Gudenau is the largest castle in the municipality of Wachtberg. Its grounds are a special feature, as they are the only Baroque garden under private ownership in the Rhineland. The castle stands in a flood plain at the foot of Villip, at the confluence of the Godesberg and Arzdorf streams. Built in the early 13th century, the main castle with four wings was extended in about 1560 with ex ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Wachtberg, Germany

Hardenstein Castle

Hardenstein Castle remains lie near the Ruhr River, surrounded by mountains, and are not easily accessible. Nearby ruins show that the castle was once part of an important mining centre, probably dating to the Middle Ages; the earliest records, from the 16th century, support this. The castle is featured in the legend of the Nibelungs. The castle's association with mining led to a legend that King Goldemar, a dwarf or ...
Founded: 1354 | Location: Herbede, Germany

Kronenburg Castle

The ruins of the Kronenburg and the almost completely preserved Burgbering from the 13th century still leave their mark on the village today. In the 18th and 19th century the castle fell into disrepair. Of the main building only two semi-circular towers of the north gate and the ruins of the keep can be seen. The dimensions of the original grounds are recognizable from the the remains of the surrounding wall and of a semi ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Dahlem, Germany

Adendorf Castle

Adendorf castle is the successor of a high-medieval castle located to the west of today"s site. The small castle hill is few hundred meters from the current palace and was in the 14th century owned by the family of Hüchelhoven. Arnold von Adendorp built a new castle from 1337 at its present location. It was besieged and conquered by the army of Henry III, Landgrave of Upper Hesse, in the late 15th century. ...
Founded: 1337/1659 | Location: Wachtberg, Germany

Berleburg Castle

Berleburg castle is one of the few noble residences in Germany, which has been inhabited by the same family for the last 750 years. The castle was built in the 13th century. The two-storey north wing was expanded in 1555-1557 and the gatehouse dates from 1585. During the reign of Count Casimir, the three-storey central wing was built from 1731 to 1733. the Corps de Logis (the principal block of palace) was built in 17 ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bad Berleburg, Germany

Hardtburg Castle

Hardtburg Castle, situated 245 metres above sea-level in the Hardtwald forest, is a very unusual castle, compared with other castles and farms. It was founded in the 11th century, which makes it one of the oldest local buildings. The two-part castle is surrounded on all sides by a moat and is situated at some distance from the nearest town. At the centre of the main castle is a hill excavated from the side of the valley, ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Euskirchen, Germany

Bodelschwingh Castle

Bodelschwingh magnificent castle dates from the 13th century. The current Renaissance style water castle was built in the 16th and 17th centuries. It became to the possession family Innhausen and Knyphausen at the end of the 19th century, whose property the castle is still today.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Dortmund, Germany

Homburg Castle

Homburg was first mentioned in documents in 1276. Gottfried I of Sayn from the House of Sponheim (1247-1283/84) transferred his castrum Homburg to the German King Rudolf of Habsburg, in order to place it under his protection. He received the castle back as an inheritance. The castle was the residence of the Counts of Homburg, an imperial fiefdom (Reichsherrschaft). From 1635 Count Ernst von Sayn-Wittgenstein alte ...
Founded: 11th century/1635 | Location: Nümbrecht, Germany

Eicks Castle

Eicks Castle lies in the deep ravine of Bruchbach, virtually undisturbed by centuries in its romantic atmosphere. At first sight it appears to be a dream palace, which has always been a familiar stately home. The buildings comprise a two-part castle with moat, part of which has remained since medieval times. The fore-castle is a spacious three-wing building with two corner towers, built in 1680. The manor house is an obli ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Mechernich, Germany

Hückeswagen Castle

Hückeswagen Castle was first mentioned in 1189. In 1260 the county Hückeswagen was disposed to the counts Berg, and the Hückeswagener counts moved to Moravia. In the future the castle of the countess Margarete von Hochstaden served as a widow"s seat. To constant Verpfändungen of Hückeswagen during the following centuries the name changed in 1397 into castle. During the following centuries the castle was mostly ...
Founded: c. 1189 | Location: Hückeswagen, Germany

Bladenhorst Castle

Bladenhorst castle was first mentioed in 1266 as the residence of the lords of Blarnhurst lived there. At the beginning of the 14th century it became the possession of the family of Düngelen. In 1338, Rötger Düngelen made the castle available to the Duchy of Cleves to use in the event of war. Through marriage, in 1496 the castle passed to Philip of Viermünden. From 1624 to 1881 it was inherited by the Westphalian ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Castrop-Rauxel, Germany

Veynau Castle

Veynau castle stands in the middle of the Veybach valley, built in 1340 to close the ring of castles around Euskirchen, and thus belonged to the Jülich castle-belt. This is a very extensive complex of buildings, comprising a main castle with Palas and two corner towers, as well as an inner fore-castle with two round towers and a very large outer fore-castle. The castle is characterized by frequent conversions, but its o ...
Founded: 1340 | Location: Euskirchen, Germany

Wildenburg Castle

Wildenburg castle was built between 1202 and 1235 and is one of the few hill castles in the Eifel that has not been destroyed by war or demolition. It was the centre of gravity of a territorial lordship that extended in the west as far as the present border with Belgium and in the east reached the gates of Steinfeld Abbey. Originally the castle and the village of Wildenburg were separated by a ditch and drawbridge. Today ...
Founded: 1202-1235 | Location: Hellenthal, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Petersberg Citadel

The Petersberg Citadel is one of the largest extant early-modern citadels in Europe and covers the whole north-western part of the Erfurt city centre. It was built after 1665 on Petersberg hill and was in military use until 1963. It dates from a time when Erfurt was ruled by the Electors of Mainz and is a unique example of the European style of fortress construction. Beneath the citadel is an underground maze of passageways that can be visited on guided tours organised by Erfurt Tourist Office.

The citadel was originally built on the site of a medieval Benedictine Monastery and the earliest parts of the complex date from the 12th century. Erfurt has also been ruled by Sweden, Prussia, Napoleon, the German Empire, the Nazis, and post-World War II Soviet occupying forces, and it was part of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). All of these regimes used Petersberg Citadel and had an influence on its development. The baroque fortress was in military use until 1963. Since German reunification in 1990, the citadel has undergone significant restoration and it is now open to the public as a historic site.