Schwanenburg Castle

Kleve, Germany

The Schwanenburg Castle, in North Rhine-Westphalia, where the Dukes of Cleves resided, was founded on a steep hill. It was first mentioned in 1020 in the monastery annals. The massive 55m high tower, the Schwanenturm (Swan tower), is associated in legend with the Knight of the Swan, immortalized in Richard Wagner's Lohengrin.

The knight's hall, built around 1170, stood where today the car park surrounded by lime trees is located in the outer courtyard. Remains of the richly decorated hall have been excavated in the courtyard of the castle and can be seen today.

In 1663, the Stadtholder of the Great Elector; John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen approved a renovation of the Schwanenburg in the Dutch Baroque style by architect Pieter Post and commissioned the construction of extensive gardens that greatly influenced European landscape design of the 17th century. Significant amounts of his original plan for Kleve were put into effect and have been maintained to the present, a particularly well-loved example of which is the Forstgarten.

In the middle of the 18th century, the building was reduced by collapse and demolition to its present size. Since then, the judicial authorities are located at the castle, and today the castle is the seat of the district and district court of Kleve. In the Swan Tower, a small geological museum is located.

On 7 October 1944, Kleve was subjected to a huge bombardment. These attacks resulted in huge damage to the town. The bombardment destroyed the historic centre of Kleve, including the Swan tower. The castle was rebuilt between 1948 and 1953.



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Schloßberg 1, Kleve, Germany
See all sites in Kleve


Founded: 11th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Salian Dynasty (Germany)

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alexandra D (11 months ago)
Beautiful place
lam gigi (5 years ago)
It’s closed on Witmonday. It’s a peaceful place to go.
Oleksiy P (5 years ago)
Nice historical place to visit in Cleve. It's only small remained part of old tower. There is possibility to go upstairs to the top of the tower. On the top of the Swan tower there are few levels were geological museum is placed. As well from the top you can see nice views of Cleve an surround places
Andreas Robertz (6 years ago)
Best place is home!
Jared (7 years ago)
Great for a quick walk around if in town.. the area as a whole has quite a lot of history
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