Royalty and fairy tales are a colossal part of children’s play routines across the globe. From pretend Cinderella acts to elaborate Snow White play toys, fairy tales is how the kids find their happy ending.
But rather than going to the beach to build sand castles and play with barbie dolls, take the family to life-size castles to offer insight into true royalty.
Germany is home to 20,000 castles varying in shapes, sizes and purposes, from military forts to breathtaking fantasy palaces.
The oldest in Germany is Meersburg Castle, built in the 7th Century. The most breathtaking castles, however, are those built or renovated in the 18th and 19th centuries. Here is a list of the most beautiful castles in Germany.
Once a hideout for the mysterious Ludwig II, Neuschwanstein Castle is an immaculate manor in the Bavarian Alps near the Germany-Austria border.
Soon after the king’s passing, the Romanesque palace opened its doors to the public.
The edifice was built when castles were no longer pawns in warfare, giving it an idyllic setting and splendour.
As travellers seek to venture into the realms of comfort in the old days, Neuschwanstein Castle remains one of the most visited in Germany and Europe.
Enchanted by its impeccable views and captivating legend, Walt Disney featured the castle in two movies, Sleeping Beauty and the Magic Kingdom.
Unfortunately, taking photos inside the premises is strictly forbidden, and standard guided tours take about 35 minutes but be ready to climb many stairs.
Perched on top of a cliff in Mount Hohenzollern, the castle traces its beginnings back to the 11th Century. For Centuries the court has been home to German emperors, Swabian princes and Prussian kings.
The initial castle, with stunning views of Lake Constance and the Black Forest, was destroyed, leaving only the St Michel chapel but was rebuilt by Prussian King Frederick William IV in the mid-19th Century.
The Hohenzollern Castle is a museum brimming with regal history and other treasures such as the diamond and sapphire crusted Prussian crown, shining knights’ armours, Fredrick’s uniform, and Queen Louise’s silver embroidered dress.
The castle is open to visitors all year and is one of Germany’s most visited privately owned castles.
Erected on gorgeous sandstone and tanned sunset colors to contrast the surrounding lush forests, Heidelberg Castle gives an absolute grandeur of what royalty was like in the old days.
The castle is one of the earliest palace renaissance in Germany and features lovely statues in the Ottheinrich building and also has the German Apothecary Museum, beautiful gardens, and a restaurant.
Even though the castle is partially ruined by centuries of plunder (even struck by lightning on two occasions), it remains one of the most beautiful in the world and most visited.
Heidelberg Castle welcomes an estimated one million visitors every year, making it one of the top castles in the country.
The delightful citadel perched on a 250-meter-high cliff only an hour’s drive south of Stuttgart was constructed on feudal walls of a knight’s castle and offers sweeping views of the Swabian Alps and Echaz Valley.
Often depicted as “the Fairytale castle of Württemberg,” the court was constructed by Count Wilhelm of Württemberg in the 19th Century but is now privately owned.
With great attention to detail, Lichtenstein Castle’s neo-Gothic architecture offers solace to history buffs as it is the truest beacon of the Middle Ages.
The castle offers 30-minute guided tours but only in German. Always a good time to learn the language. After the tour, visitors can grab a bite at the Old Forester’s Lodge.
Completed in 1857, Schwerin is found on an island of a lake in Schwerin. Initially, the castle was home to grand dukes and nobles before being repossessed by the state.
If you love creepies, then Schwerin Castle should be an absolute delight. The citadel is rumored to be the home of a ghost named Petermännchen, who is said to be only a few feet tall and wonders about to ensure everything is in order.
Schwerin’s architectural distinction and attention to detail have made it an esteemed destination for history buffs and nature lovers.
The colorful gardens are a fine blend of French style, English landscape, and Italian architecture.
In addition, the museum displays beautiful paintings, an awe-inspiring throne room, gorgeous ballrooms, and an assortment of hunting gear and weaponry.
Burg Eltz Castle
Perched on a 70-meter-high rock between Koblenz and Trier near the Moselle River, the Burg Eltz Castle has been an ancestral home of the Rodendorf, Rübenach, Eltz, and Kempenich families since it was built back in the 12th Century.
The Burg Eltz Castle remains in perfect condition since it was never affected by a single war and still has its original gold, silver and porcelain furnishing.
The castle’s stunning exterior and priceless artifacts make it one of the best destinations in Europe. Also, Burg Eltz Castle was featured in a 1979 movie called The Ninth Configuration.
Built-in the 19th Century, Drachenburg has some fascinating tales. The castle was built by the ennobled Baron Stephan von Sarter, a wealthy banker who ultimately never lived in it.
The court is called the “Dragon’s Castle” after a medieval tale of the town’s hero slaying a dragon on the same hill where the castle sits.
Interestingly, the castle’s name is also a mishmash of different architectural styles that make the citadel.
The castle was a Christian boys’ school in the 1930s and a training center in the 1940s before being acquired in the 1970s. Today, the court is state-owned and offers guided tours daily to flocks of tourists.
In rural Eisenach sits an immaculate 400-meter castle, a historic symbol not just for Germany but the whole world.
Wartburg Castle played a critical role in some of the most significant events on the continent in the past and presented an overview of a century-long German history.
For context, a Protestant reformer excommunicated by Pope Leo X translated Ancient Greek to German in 1522. St Elizabeth occasionally used the castle.
The castle fell into despair but was restored in the 19th Century and remained a top destination in Europe.
Wartburg Castle was the first German castle to be named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
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