Medieval castles in North Rhine-Westphalia

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

Wissen Castle

Schloss Wissen, the ancestral home of the family von Loë is one of the most well-known noble seats on the Lower Rhine. The extensive castle complex looks back on a century old history which began in the 12th-13th century with the erection of a defence tower (presently the south wing of the main building). During the course of the centuries, a three-winged outer bailey was added to the main building and continuously adapt ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Wissen, 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

Trips Castle

Trips Castle was built in the 15th century and has a nearly square shape with a courtyard. The building has a two-story brick structure with a high substructure and an impressive seven-story tower with a capped roof on the western side. The corner towers still have partly intact corbels. The castle was modified in the 18th century, mainly around the courtyard and inside the buildings. There are two gatehouses dating from ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Geilenkirchen, Germany

Haus Marck Castle

At the foot of Tecklenburg, one of the most beautiful half-timbered towns in the Münsterland, lies the moated castle Haus Marck. Idyllically nestled in a valley meadow and surrounded by its moat, the manor house is considered an insider tip worth seeing by explorers of the Tecklenburg region. The Knights of Horne acquired the property in 1368 to build a castle. As early as 1490, however, a new Haus Marck was built, whi ...
Founded: 1490 | Location: Tecklenburg, Germany


Kolvenburg castle was formerly surrounded by a moat. The current castle represents the early Renaissance style and was built in the 15th-16th centuries as the home of local noble family.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Billerbeck, 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

Gimborn Castle

Gimborn Castle is a former water castle located in the upper Leppe valley. It was pledged in 1273 from the county of Berg to the county of Mark, and became the Residenz in the county of Gimborn Neustadt of the House of Schwarzenberg in 1631. Since 1874 the castle has belonged to the Barons von Fürstenberg zu Gimborn. Since 1969 the Castle has served as a conference site and meeting place for the International ...
Founded: 1273 | Location: Marienheide, Germany

Laufenburg Castle

Laufenburg is a castle located in the municipality of Langerwehe in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The castle was first mentioned in historical records in the 13th century and is believed to have been built in the 12th century. It is a typical example of a medieval hill castle, with a rectangular keep and a surrounding wall with four corner towers. Throughout its history, Laufenburg has been owned by a number of no ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Langerwehe, Germany

Klusenstein Castle

Klusenstein castle was built in 1353 by Gerhard of Plettenberg, a vassal of earl Engelbrecht III of the Mark. The castle formed the boundary fortification of the earldom Mark to the bishopric state of Cologne and the earldom Arnsberg. All three territories met at the Hönne river valley, the castle was also overlooking an old road crossing the valley. During the feud between earl Engelbert and Gottfried IV of Arnsberg, ...
Founded: 1353 | Location: Hemer, Germany

Bilstein Castle

Bilstein castle is located on a spur which falls away steeply on three sides so that the castle's defences only needed to be oriented towards the hill to the northeast. The appearance of the castle is thus dominated by its two round towers, each with a diameter of about eight metres: the Chapel Tower in the northwest and the Hohnekamp Tower in the southeast. The towers are connected by a tunnel under the castle courtyard ...
Founded: 1202-1225 | Location: Lennestadt, Germany

Odenhausen Castle

Odenhausen Castle was first built in the 11th century on the hill. In the Middle Ages, the fortification was expanded into a moated water castle. The castle was first mentioned in 1316. In 1560 Ludwig von Blankart converted it into a Renaissance residence. A bridge leads across the outer moat through a Baroque gate into the farmhouse and an another bridge leads over the moat to the two-winged mansion. The porta ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Wachtberg, Germany

Kühlseggen Castle

Kühlseggen Castle is a remarkable exception to the rule: after a century of standing unoccupied and neglected, it was renovated and became the residence of its owner. Today the complex of buildings is based on the castle and moat of the middle ages. The remains of the gothic manor house can be recognized in the contemporary residential house. The working yard outside was not constructed until the 19th century, after the ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Weilerswist, Germany

Heimerzheim Castle

Heimerzheim castle was mentioned for the first time at the end of the 13th century, when it was built by the lords of Heimerzheim as a well-fortified moated castle. In the Baroque era the castle was converted into a residence. Today the moated castle is rented out by the family of the Baron von Boeselager as a conference and event location. The site consists of a main castle and lower castle, with both parts of the castl ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Heimerzheim, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Monte d'Accoddi

Monte d"Accoddi is a Neolithic archaeological site in northern Sardinia, located in the territory of Sassari. The site consists of a massive raised stone platform thought to have been an altar. It was constructed by the Ozieri culture or earlier, with the oldest parts dated to around 4,000–3,650 BC.

The site was discovered in 1954 in a field owned by the Segni family. No chambers or entrances to the mound have been found, leading to the presumption it was an altar, a temple or a step pyramid. It may have also served an observational function, as its square plan is coordinated with the cardinal points of the compass.

The initial Ozieri structure was abandoned or destroyed around 3000 BC, with traces of fire found in the archeological evidence. Around 2800 BC the remains of the original structure were completely covered with a layered mixture of earth and stone, and large blocks of limestone were then applied to establish a second platform, truncated by a step pyramid (36 m × 29 m, about 10 m in height), accessible by means of a second ramp, 42 m long, built over the older one. This second temple resembles contemporary Mesopotamian ziggurats, and is attributed to the Abealzu-Filigosa culture.

Archeological excavations from the chalcolithic Abealzu-Filigosa layers indicate the Monte d"Accoddi was used for animal sacrifice, with the remains of sheep, cattle, and swine recovered in near equal proportions. It is among the earliest known sacrificial sites in Western Europe.

The site appears to have been abandoned again around 1800 BC, at the onset of the Nuragic age.

The monument was partially reconstructed during the 1980s. It is open to the public and accessible by the old route of SS131 highway, near the hamlet of Ottava. It is 14,9 km from Sassari and 45 km from Alghero. There is no public transportation to the site. The opening times vary throughout the year.