Travels

Not crystal, not sand, but the real thing: Germany’s castles

Central Europe is rich in sights. Centuries of history have left their mark here in the form of cathedrals, palaces and castles. In Germany alone there are more than 25 thousand of these structures.

Germany’s castles are the stuff of legends, and have inspired cultural figures from all over the world; a visit to one of them is a fairytale; a time of crinolines, balls and duels.Today we get to know seven of them…

By the way, you can find a short and informative description of some of Germany’s lands HERE!

 

Germany’s most beautiful and popular castles

Since as early as the 11th century, the castle of the Hohenzollerns, the dynasty that ruled Prussia, Brandenburg and was linked to the Russian imperial house, has been located on a mountain near Stuttgart. “Castle in the Clouds”, as tourists call it, is Germany’s most visited castle. The complex, which is now open to the public, was built later and is the third. It won’t be easy to get to it – it takes about 20 minutes to climb up the steep, long staircase. The view from the top is worth it! There are more than 140 rooms that are so exquisitely decorated you can’t take your eyes off the palace, and history buffs will no doubt love the rich collection of objects that belonged to the Hohenzollerns, including the crown of the Prussian kings.

The most famous castle in Germany is Neuschwanstein, located near the town of F├╝ssen. It was built in the second half of the 19th century by order of King Ludwig II, of whom there are many legends, including the fact that on winter nights he travelled through the mountains in a sleigh and distributed gifts to children.

A fabulous 6 million marks were spent on its construction, which is why the castle looks opulent from inside. The halls and galleries are mesmerising, and the walls are decorated with scenes from myths and legends that the castle’s owner was fond of. The castle has a grotto with a real swan lake. Tchaikovsky was inspired to create his ballet with the same name. The surroundings of the castle are worth seeing, as you won’t find such a picturesque place like this in the whole of Germany. The most popular attraction is the Maria’s Bridge which rises more than 90 metres over the waterfall.

The city of Bamberg is home to another old German castle, Altenburg, which means old town. Spread out over seven hills, Bamberg is a peaceful town with narrow streets that appeal to anyone who enjoys a leisurely stroll. Over the centuries, the castle was visited by many greats, from Frederick Barbarossa to Johann Sebastian Bach, and E. T. A. Hoffmann lived here for a long time – in 1801 his friend bought the castle and restored it. Time has not been kind to the castle, and only one 33-metre high tower remains of the original structure. Nowadays the castle is open to the public with a superb view of the whole town from the observation deck and an excellent restaurant serving not only German specialities but also celebrations.

German castles: Meuland

Moieland is a gorgeous, gorgeous castle on the water near the town of Kleve in North Rhine-Westphalia. The castle is in the neo-Gothic style and is a landmark of the town. This incredible building surprises you with its fabulous and striking architecture, as if it had been written in a book about princes and knights. The castle’s name speaks for itself; in Dutch Moieland means ‘beautiful country’, which is exactly what it sounds like. The castle has undergone many different changes to appear as it does today.

The earliest mention of Moyland in historical documents dates back to 1307. At that time, it was a medieval fortress with a ravine with water around it. The castle not only fulfilled defensive and administrative functions but also housed a school, a court, a post office and even a hunting ground. Over the years, its owners changed several times and the appearance of the castle changed as well. The castle underwent a major renovation after World War II, which changed the appearance of Moyland. Although it has undergone significant modernisation and differs from the original castle, it is still of great historical importance. Today, it houses over 6,000 works of modern art, collected from various collectors all over Germany.

 

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