Tecklenburg Castle

Tecklenburg, Germany

Tecklenburg is a ruined castle and venue for the Tecklenburg Open-Air Theatre in the eponymous town of Tecklenburg, Germany. It was once the seat of the rulers of the County of Tecklenburg.

The castle was probably built around 1100 by the Dutch Count of Zutphen to protect the important trade route from Lübeck via Bremen and Münster to Cologne. The castle is first mentioned in an 1184 document. At that time, the Tecklenburg was said to have been the largest and most powerful hilltop castle in northern Germany.

In 1400, during the rule of Count Nicholas II, Tecklenburg lost its northern territory in a conflict with the Bishopric of Osnabrück. This, and the fact that the Bremen-Cologne trade route was being re-routed more and more via Osnabrück with its now upgraded trunk road, reduced the strategic importance of Tecklenburg. Weapon technology had also changed significantly in the meantime, and the outdated defensive systems of Tecklenburg could only be improved very slowly.

In the 16th century Tecklenburg underwent numerous structural changes under Countess Anna. These mainly served to improve the living comfort of the Tecklenburg and to develop it into a stately residential home.

With its sale to Prussia in 1707, Tecklenburg finally lost its independence and sovereignty. At that time, the Tecklenburg was in an extremely poor structural condition. Many attempts were made by Prussia to develop the Tecklenburg into a defensive fortress, numerous remains of the walls of the defensive systems bear witness to this to this day. Finally these attempts were abandoned and the Tecklenburg was razed. From 1744, the castle was used as a quarry and gradually fell into ruin. Fragments of the castle are scattered all over Tecklenburg. 

From 1927, plays have been performed in the outer courtyard of the Tecklenburg. Since 1949, the Tecklenburg, whose courtyard now has 2,300 seats and whose stage technology enables professional musical performances, has been the venue for the Tecklenburg Open-Air Theatre.


The complex has two courtyards, an outer ward and an inner ward. A moat and an embankment separate these two courtyards from one another. Parts of the embankment and moat have survived. The embankment was crowned by the pentagonal tower called the Hakenturm or Schiffsturm, the highest tower in the castle. Today only its foundation has survived up to the height of the embankment's crown. The Mauritz Gate leads to the outer ward. The second ward was enclosed on three sides by buildings, only fragments of the foundation walls remain. An exception is the so-called Krönchen, the larger scale remains of a room. According to legend, the castle chapel was located in this room, but this cannot be proven, nor whether there was a castle chapel at all. However, given the size and importance of the castle, that is quite likely.

The Wierturm is a round brick observation tower that offers a good view of Tecklenburg. The key to the tower is available for a deposit from the guest house near the tourist information office on the market square.



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Founded: c. 1100
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Salian Dynasty (Germany)

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mihael Smileski (2 years ago)
Nice place
Matthew Comeau (3 years ago)
Good for a nice stroll and some views
Messala Manuel (4 years ago)
Simply Amazing
Aga Gansiniec (4 years ago)
Superbe place for walk - village is beautiful nice to visit if rain still ok you can go with handicap - at the castel you can park but it is no information how ..
Bardez Europe (5 years ago)
Good view
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