Medieval castles in North Rhine-Westphalia

Kleinvernich & Großvernich Castles

The two castles of Kleinvernich and Großvernich have guarded the eastern and western banks of the river Erft since 1350. The two-part Grossvernich Castle, known as a 'castrum' with a moat, was built after 1300 near the surrounding wall, which today is hardly discernible. Kleinvernich Castle is still entirely surrounded by a moat today. However, the estate is used exclusively for agriculture. The only memorial ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Weilerswist, Germany

Juntersdorf Castle

In the 14th / 15th centuries the formerly two-part gothic Juntersdorf Castle was built on an incline and protected by a moat. The fore-castle was connected to the manor house, after it had been reconstructed following a fire in the 19th century, so that the buildings almost form a closed complex. Parts of the manor house date back to the 17th century.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Zülpich, Germany

Dollendorf Castle

Dollendorf Castle was documented first time in 1077 and was owned by Dollendorf noble family until the mid-15th century. Today some parts of the walls remain.
Founded: 11th century | Location: Blankenheim, Germany

Lüftelberg Castle

Burg Lüftelberg is first mentioned in old documents in 1260. In the 15th century it was extended into a castle with four round towers and surrounded by a moat.  The castle obtained its current appearance as of 1730. The court architect Johann Heinrich Roth constructed a Baroque building with high double pitched roofs and a beautiful portal, but used the available walls and integrated three of the four older round tower ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Meckenheim-Lüftelberg, Germany

Großbüllesheim Castle

Großbüllesheim Castle was first mentioned in records in 1402, in the fiefdom of the Duke of Jülich, enfeoffed to Reymer Spies von Büllesheim, whose descendants still flourish today as the Barons Spies von Büllesheim. Büllesheim castle was originally built in two parts next to a weir, as a knight's country seat. Of this only the gate-tower of the residential house remains, built onto the fore-castle. The fore-castle ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Euskirchen, Germany

Kessenich Castle

The two-part Kessenich Castle on the Erft river, which fed its moat, was first mentioned in records of the early 14th century. In 1339 the castle was registered in the fiefdom of the Margrave of Jülich. In the centuries up to 1828 the castle only belonged to the Jülich aristocracy for a short time. The Lords of Binsfeld owned and lived in the castle until 1604, when ownership was transferred via marriage to the aristocr ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Euskirchen, Germany

Bodenheim Castle

The castle at Bodenheim is the only preserved family seat of the former Brabant landowners of Lommersum, which was still a fiefdom in the late 18th century. On the estate there is clear evidence of the original medieval two-part castle with a moat. The picturesque manor house, with its many corners and angles, stands on an artificial mound and the moat has been dry for decades. The oldest preserved part is the west wing, ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Weilerswist, Germany

Lauvenburg Castle

Lauvenburg castle is a typical medieval castle, surrounded by water and in very good condition. The castle is situated on the outskirts of the village and appears very romantic with its old stock of trees. The moats of the two-part castle are still fed via the medieval mill-race, which was diverted from the Rotbach stream. The fore-castle was reconstructed in new-gothic style after a fire in 1868. Behind a yard with a wa ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Zülpich, Germany

Limberg Castle

Limberg Castle was built in the 13th century at a strategic site on the border of the bishoprics of Minden and Osnabrück, probably by the Bishop of Minden. Even before that, a castle or fortress was said to have stood on the site, at which Duke Widukind stayed. Around 1300, the castle became the possession of the counts of Ravensberg as a fief and was extended by them. The castle is first recorded in a document ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Preußisch Oldendorf, Germany

Elsum Castle

Schloss Elsum is a historic castle located in the Lower Rhine region of Germany. The castle was originally built in the 13th century as a fortified manor house, and it was later expanded and renovated over the centuries. The castle has a rectangular shape with four corner towers and a moat. The interior of the castle features a variety of rooms, including a chapel, a great hall, and several bedrooms. The castle also has ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Wassenberg, 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.