Medieval castles in North Rhine-Westphalia

Kakesbeck Castle

Kakesbeck is one of the largest medieval fortifications in Münsterland and the oldest castle in Lüdinghausen. The imposingly grown complex originated in 1120 as a motte, a small hilltop tower castle. After numerous changes of ownership, the castle was extended onto two islands, but it was not until the 14th century that it underwent significant alterations and extensions under the von Oer family. The estate experienced ...
Founded: 1120 | Location: Lüdinghausen, Germany

Kommern Castle

The oldest part of the Kommern Castle is the residential tower on the slope of the valley. It probably dates back to the 13th century. From the 13th century Kommern Castle was the property of the Arenberg family, who were elevated to dukes in the 17th century. The castle was never used as country seat, but was merely an administration building, as the Arenbergs" wealth was founded on mining. During the 18th century t ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Mechernich, Germany

Zievel Castle

When one sees Zievel Castle today, it is exactly as one would imagine a medieval knight's castle to look like. Unlike other local castles, the village of Zievel is not connected to the castle which protected it. The staff who served the noble families usually lived nearby, but here the castle stands in the middle of the landscape. Zievel Castle is not only much older than other local stately homes and was not only a fief ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Mechernich, Germany

Surenburg Castle

The origins of Surenburg Castle are unknown, but it may be established as an estate of Münster bishop around 1400. The first document of castle dates from 1474. The moated castle is on two artificial islands. The oldest parts date from the late 16th century. The main building was built in the 18th century.
Founded: c. 1400 | Location: Hörstel, Germany

Morenhoven Castle

Morenhoven Castle consists of outer ward and main castle. The moated castle can be reached over an arched bridge and probably originates from a fortified courtyard of the 9th century. In the 12th and 13th century the forerunners of the current castle belonged to the country manor on the  Swist. During the Thirty Years' War the castle was destroyed by Hessian soldiers. From 1682 onwards the new building was built. Thi ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Morenhoven, Germany

Niederkastenholz Castle

Niederkastenholz castle is surrounded by a moat, with an angular main castle and a separate horse-shoe shaped fore-castle with working quarters. It used to belong to Kornelimünster Abbey. The rough stone buildings of the castle are complemented by the wrought-iron gate. The fortified tower dates back to the 12th century and is the oldest part of the castle. The so-called Probstei was added onto the medieval main castle ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Euskirchen, Germany

Holzheim Castle

Holzheim Castle dates to 1333, and its owners were vassals of the Duchy of Jülich. In the 15th to 17th centuries the manor house and gate tower were built, both of which have survived. In 1818, when the region was part of the Prussia county of Düren, the castle and its estates were sold to private buyers. In 1893 it was bought by Richard Schleicher, who also bought the nearby estate of Schönthal. The property ...
Founded: 1333 | Location: Heistern, Germany

Neuenhof Castle

Neuenhof castle was first mentioned in 1326. The current water castle was rebuilt in 1643 and restored after fire in 1693. The main building is a rectangular two-storey house whose courtyard side is flanked by two towers.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Lüdenscheid, Germany

Kirspenich Castle

The village of Kirspenich has a Celtic-Roman origin, as can be seen from its name, but it first appeared in records in 893 AD in the property register of Prüm Abbey. The castle"s square residence tower, made of rough stone, dates back to Gerlach von Dollendorf, who owned Kirspenich in 1278. In the 14th century the castle tower, which is mentioned in official records in 1301, was raised by two storeys. Despite furth ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bad Münstereifel, Germany

Petershagen Castle

Petershagen Castle was built in 1306 by the local bishop and was reconstructed as Renaissance residence in 1544-1547. It was left to decay in the late 17th century but restored during the 1960s as hotel. Since 2018 it has been closed.
Founded: 1306 | Location: Petershagen, Germany

Lede Castle

Burg Lede in Bonn-Vilich, the oldest part of Bonn, is a real gem. The origins of the site goes back to the 14th century. Von Loë family still lives in the castle. The personal atmosphere of the castle with its salons, the library, the castle kitchen and the small courtyard create an unusual ambiance for events ranging from weddings, official business events to a private cookery course with friends. A limited number of re ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Bonn, Germany

Nörvenich Castle

The Schloss Nörvenich was established in around 1400 by Wilhelm von Vlatten and was remodeled on numerous occasions over the centuries. In the 15th century, the property fell through marriage to Konrad Scheiffart von Merode-Bornheim. Wilhelm Scheiffart von Merode and his wife Agnes von Bylandt enlarged the house in the middle of the 16th century to the West Wing. At the end of the 16th century, the castle fell thro ...
Founded: 1400 | Location: Nörvenich, Germany

Ringsheim Castle

Ringsheim castle is a very extensive castle which, unusually, stands alone in open fields. Situated between the boundary forest of Flamersheim and the crown road, it was fiercely fought over due to its strategic position. The village originally belonging to the castle was destroyed in the 17th century. Today Ringsheim is an extensive castle with a manor house, an inner fore-castle with working quarters and the area of the ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Euskirchen, Germany

Dreiborn Castle

Dreiborn castle, built around 1300, is situated outside the village of the same name. At approx. 540 metres above sea-level, it is the highest castle in the Rhineland. Originally it was protected by a double moat. A part of the surrounding wall, the round corner tower, the work-yard and manor house date back to the 16th and 17th centuries.
Founded: c.1300 | Location: Schleiden, Germany

Kleinbüllesheim Castle

The original foundations of the Kleinbüllesheim Castle date back to circa 900 AD and were discovered in 1942 south of the present castle, during excavation work in the Second World War. The present castle was built with a protective moat. The two-storey brick building with rounded corners and attic-roof appears to visitors as a massive edifice. This impression is reinforced by the huge entrance gate, dating back to the 1 ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Euskirchen, Germany

Kleeburg Castle

Kleeburg castle in Weidesheim is a jewel among the Erft castles, with its red-and-yellow window-shutters. This two-part castle, surrounded by a moat, has a large fortified fore-castle and massive brick towers. It was built probably in the 14th century and documented first time in 1393. Visitors are only able to see the fore-castle. One can only gain entrance over a little drawbridge. Today the main castle is small but un ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Euskirchen, Germany

Schleiden Castle

Of the rectangular buildings with free-standing keep, built in the 12th century, only the remains of the east and south wings of what used to be an important castle are preserved. The alterations carried out in the 18th century, following diverse war damage, resulted in the palatial building as it can be seen today. During the Second World War the castle was seriously damaged, but was reconstructed in 1952. This construct ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Schleiden, Germany

Langendorf Castle

Once two-part Langendorf Castle was built in the 12th and 13th centuries as main and fore-castle surrounded by a moat. The round corner-tower of the late-gothic manor house dates back to the 15th century, as does the oldest part of the manor house. The more recent part of the manor house includes the chapel bay window and the courtrooms. The fore-castle with three wings was renovated in the 16th century, of which only the ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Zülpich, Germany

Münchhausen Castle

Münchhausen Castle was mentioned already in 893 AD when it was owned by the Abbey of Prüm in Lorraine. Later the castle was used as a customs office. The 12th and 13th century walls, tower and some buildings have survived. Today the castle is a horse farm with restaurant.
Founded: 9th century | Location: Wachtberg, Germany

Hambach Castle

Hambach Castle was originally built in 1280 by Walram von Jülich, but it was burned down due gunpowder explosion in 1512. It was restored as a Renaissance style hunting palace in 1558-1565. The castle was confiscated by French army in 1794 and they torn down the northern tower. The castle was also damaged during the Second World War. Today it is in residential use.
Founded: 1280 | Location: Niederzier, 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.