Ruins in Germany

Hochburg Castle Ruins

Hochburg castle was founded probably by Dietrich von Hachberg in the 11th century - although the first written mention dates from 1127. Between 1553-1577 the fortifications were completely remodeled and seven bastions were added in the early 1600s. Hochburg was however destroyed by catholic forces in the Thirty Years' War in 1634-1636. The reconstruction and modernization took place in 1660-1678, but it was again destroye ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Hochburg, Germany

Schadeck Castle Ruins

Schadeck Castle is the most recent and smallest, but still most interesting of the four Neckarstein castles. It is perched on the high mountain like a bird's nest, which is why it is, in fact, called the 'Swallow's Nest'. After Ulrich II (1236-1257) inherited the 'front castle' from his father Ulrich I and another son joined the clergy, Bligger V, the third son, was forced to build a new castle. However, there was no more ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Neckarsteinach, Germany

Schauenburg Castle Ruins

Schauenburg castle was built in the first half of the 12th century by the Edelfreien of Schauenburg. The family died out already in the late 13th century, however, the castle was still used and expanded in the mid-14th century. In 1460 the castle was besieged for five days and razed by Friedrich I in Baden-Palatine War. From the castle the curtain wall and keep have survived.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Dossenheim, Germany

Werdenfels Castle Ruins

The ruins of Werdenfels Castle stand about 80 metres above the Loisach valley between Garmisch and Farchant. The castle ruins are freely accessible and are a popular hiking destination with a good view of Garmisch-Partenkirchen and the Wetterstein Mountains. The castle was probably built between 1180 and 1230. Its owner and the purpose of the original fortification are also unknown. In 1249, ownership of the fortress was ...
Founded: 1180-1230 | Location: Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Ehrenfels Castle Ruins

Ehrenfels Castle was (re-)built about 1212 at the behest of the Archbishop of Mainz as a defensive work against the constant attacks by Elector Palatine Henry V, who, as Imperial vicar of Franconia, strived to cut down the archbishop"s reach. Mainz staffed the castle with Burgmannen and erected a customs post controlling the shipping on the Rhine, supplemented by the Mouse Tower below at the river. Heavily damaged in ...
Founded: 1212 | Location: Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany

Are Castle Ruins

Are Castle was built around 1100 by Count Dietrich I of Are and is first recorded in 1121. In 1246 Count Frederick of Hochstaden, provost of Xanten, with the assent of his brother Conrad of Are-Hochstaden gifted the county and its castles - Are, Hardt and Hochstaden – to the Archbishopric of Cologne. Its expansion with a surrounding enceinte was carried out during the period of Electoral Cologne in the 14th and 15th ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Altenahr, Germany

Hohenurach Castle Ruins

The first documented record of Hohenurach Castle dates from 1235, but it was probably built in the 11th century by the Counts of Urach. Count Ludwig I of Württemberg updated the castle in 1427, building a new castle on the existing foundations. Following heavy damage in 1547 during the Schmalkaldic War, Duke Christoph of Württemberg had the castle rebuilt in 1551. From the 16th century onwards, the castle comple ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Bad Urach, Germany

Glambaek Castle Ruins

Glambæk castle built in the 13th century by Valdemar Sejr and protected the land between Baltic Sea and Burger Binnensee. The island was captured at the beginning of the 15th century, but Erik of Pommern took it and the castle back again in 1416. During the Thirty Years" War, it was captured and destroyed in 1627 by Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Burg auf Fehmarn, Germany

Veste Landskron

Veste Landskron is a Renaissance water castle built between 1576 and 1579. The construction was started by Ulrich II von Schwerin, member of one of the oldest Pomeranian noble houses. The castle deteriorated due to the impact of the Thirty Years' War, during which the villages around Landskron were burned down, and mismanagement. When the owner Georg Ernst died in 1651, Landskron was inherited by his daughter Anna, who ma ...
Founded: | Location: Neuendorf B, Germany

Rossel Castle Ruins

Rossel Castle was erected in 1774 by the Duke of Ostein on the highest elevation of the Niederwald.The fantastic view of the Nahe confluence and the Bingen Hole (“Binger Loch”) make it a popular destination for daytrips.
Founded: 1774 | Location: Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany

Weinsberg Castle Ruins

Weinsberg castle was established on a mountain at the trade route running from Heilbronn to Schwäbisch Hall around the year 1000. In 1140 the castle was besieged by Konrad III in the course of the struggles between the Staufers and the Welfs. Finally it had to surrender on December 21, 1140, since the army of Welf VI to release the castle had been defeated by the Staufers in a battle. According to the report of the C ...
Founded: c. 1000 | Location: Weinsberg, Germany

Wellheim Castle Ruins

Castle ruins stand dominantly on Jurassic rocks above the market town of Wellheim in the ancient Danube valley.Of its former palas and the other buildings of the main castle only parts of the exterior walls and enceinte remain. The palas was sited in the east, a balcony linking it to a residential building in the south. In the north rises the mighty, quadratic tower of the bergfried, made of rusticated ashlar blocks with ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Wellheim, Germany

Honberg Castle Ruins

Honberg Castle was built in 1460 by Eberhard I, Duke of Württemberg. It was destroyed in the Thirty Years" War in 1645. After the great fire of 1803 stones were used as building material for the reconstruction of the city. In the 19th century two towers of the castle were rebuilt.
Founded: 1460 | Location: Tuttlingen, Germany

Kastelburg Castle Ruins

Kastelburg castle was built between 1260 and 1270 by the Lords of Schwarzenberg. Like the Schwarzenburg on the opposite side of the valley its purpose was to defend the town Waldkirch and to control the trade route through the Elz valley. The first inhabitant of the castle was Johann I of Schwarzenberg. The Schwarzenbergs died out already in 1345 and the castle was sold to Martin Malterer from Freiburg who fell in 1386 i ...
Founded: 1260-1270 | Location: Waldkirch, Germany

Achalm Castle Ruins

Achalm is a ruined castle located above the towns of Reutlingen and Pfullingen. Situated on the top of a hill at the edge of the Swabian Alb the ruins of the 11th century castle are topped by a look-out tower from 1838. Achalm Castle was built around 1030 by Gaugraf Egino and Rudolf of Achalm. The name Achalm appears to refer to a nearby stream, the Ach which comes from the River Alm. The castle was expanded in the 11th ...
Founded: c. 1050 | Location: Achalm, Germany

Eberbach Castle Ruins

Eberbach Castle consists of three separate castles situated about 160 metres high above the river Neckar. It is assumed that the front castle was built in the last quarter of the 12th century, the middle castle ca. 1200 and the rear castle in the second quarter of the 13th century. In 1227 King Henry VII was given Eberbach Castle as a fief by the Bishop of Worms. Presumably the castles remained in the possession of the em ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Eberbach, Germany

Burkheim Castle Ruins

Burkheim Castle was first mentioned in 1231. After destruction and reconstruction the castle was finally destroyed during the Franco-Dutch War in 1672-1676.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Burkheim, Germany

Nollig Castle Ruins

On the right Rhine bank above Lorch the massive tower of the Nollig Castle Ruin. Around 1300 a cornerstone that belongs to city"s fortifications was built first, which however soon was enlarged to a fortress. Today it is a privately owned property and cannot be visited.
Founded: c. 1300 | Location: Lorch, Germany

Helfenstein Castle Ruins

Helfenstein Castle was constructed by Eberhard von Helfenstein at the turn of the 12th century and was frequently enlarged during the period from 1100 to 1380. The site of the castle, over the main Imperial road through the Fils valley, allowed the Helfensteins to observe and control trade in the region. The close connection between the Helfensteins and the Hohenstaufen Emperors during the 12th and 13th Centuries allowed ...
Founded: c. 1100 | Location: Geislingen an der Steige, Germany

Anebos Castle Ruins

Anebos Castle is a ruin of a medieval castle in the Palatinate Forest south of Annweiler. The remains of this castle are located on top of a 300-metre high, rocky low hill ridge. Anebos belongs to a group of castles, together with the Trifels Castle and the Scharfenberg Castle, located on rocky hilltops. Today there are only a few remains of the walls and the cistern. Until recent archaeological excavations the cistern w ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Annweiler, Germany

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.