15. Heidelberg Castle
Heidelbeg castle is situated on hillside, and dominates the view of the old center of Heidelberg. It has had a long and turbulent history since the earliest castle structure was built in the 13th century. Having been totally destroyed during the Thirty Years War, and later by the French in the 17th century, the castle was struck by lightning in 1764 and even its stones were taken to build new houses in Heidelberg. All the subsequent rebuilding has led to a variety of architectural styles which adds to the castle’s charm.
16. Inzlingen Castle
Inzlingen Castle is a medieval castle surrounded by a moat located in the very south-west of Germany just at the Swiss border. The origins of the castle cannot be clearly dated; the first written evidence dates to 1511. In the 19th century it was used as a farm house. Since 1978 it functions as the city hall of Inzlingen. There is also a restaurant within the castle.
17. Lichtenstein Castle
Lichtenstein Castle is situated on a cliff at the foot of the Swabian Alb. A castle stood here as early as the 12th century, but fell into disrepair until the current castle was built in the 19th century to honor the medieval knights of Lichtenstein. Accessible by a stone bridge stretching to another hill, the castle contains a large collection of historic weapons and armour.
18. Schloss Heiligenberg
Schloss Heiligenberg is a Renaissance-style castle located north of the Bodensee. It is owned by the Fürstenberg family and is sited on a high plateau, with stunning views down onto the Bodensee and the Alps. Through a marriage in 1516, the burgh passed to the house of Fürstenberg in 1535. It is still owned by that family today.
19. Sigmaringen Castle
Situated in the Swabian Alb, the Sigmaringen Castle dominates the skyline of the town of Sigmaringen. The castle was rebuilt following a fire in 1893, and only the towers of the earlier medieval fortress remain. At the end of World War II, the castle was briefly the seat of the Vichy French Government after France was liberated by the Allies. The castle and museums may be visited throughout the year, but only on guided tours.
20. Frankenstein Castle
Frankenstein Castle has been around since the 13th century, but it wasn’t until Mary Shelley wrote her gothic novel Frankenstein in 1818 that the castle took on frightening dimensions, though legend has it the castle has been haunted for centuries. Legend also has it that an early resident died here after doing battle with a dragon. Located on a hill overlooking Darmstadt in southern Germany, the castle today hosts one of the biggest Halloween festivals in Europe.
21. Ehrenfels Castle
The ruined Ehrenfels Castle is located on the steep eastern bank above the Rihine Gorge amid extended vineyards. It was used as customs post controlling the shipping on the Rhine, supplemented by the Mouse Tower below at the river. Heavily damaged in the course of the Thirty Years’ War, the castle was finally devastated by French troops during the 1689 Siege of Mainz.
22. Quedlinburg Castle
Quedlinburg Castle is a large Renaissance style building in the center of the old town. The castle dates from the 16th- to 17th centuries. Currently the castle is a museum, which shows off the restored rooms of the building, each with original furniture and art works.
23. Marburg Castle
Marburger Schloss was built in the 11th century as a fort. It became the first residence of Landgraviate of Hesse. Today the building is used partly as a museum and as an event site.
24. Celle Castle
Sitting on an island surrounded by moats, Celle Castle was first referred to in 1315, when the Dukes of Brunswick-Lueneburg moved their residence from Lueneburg to Celle. In 1772, the banished Danish Queen Caroline Mathilde was imprisoned here as the result of her affair with a German court doctor. She lived here for three years until her death from scarlet fever in 1775.
25. Marienburg Castle
In 1857, King George V gave his wife Marienburg Castle for her 39th birthday as a token of his abiding love. Prior to the castle’s completion, the Prussians forced King George V into exile in Austria in 1866, with Queen Marie following her husband a year later. Since 2004, Marienburg Castle has been in the possession of the great-great-great grandson of Queen Marie and King George V.
26. Schwerin Castle
Schwerin Castle sits on an island in the main lake at Schwerin, where a castle reportedly stood as early as the 10th century. Nicknamed the “Neuschwanstein of the North”, the current strcuture was built between 1845 and 1857 by several architects. Today the castle serves as a museum and as a government building for the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state parliament.
27. Altena Castle
Originally built in the 12th century, the Altena Castle is perched high above the old city of Altena. It owes its international reputation to it being the first youth hostel in the world. It was opened in 1914. Today the castle is home to a series of 31 themed rooms, each zeroing in on a different aspect of its regional history.
28. Moyland Castle
This medieval moated castle has been remodel many times over the centuries. In the 19th century, the master builder of Cologne Cathedral Ernst Friedrich Zwirner reconstructed the castle in the neo-gothic style. The name Moyland (which means ‘beautiful country’ in Dutch) was coined by workers from the Netherlands, who were hired to drain the surrounding wetlands.