Castelli in Germania: grandezza e storia

Castles in Germany: grandeur and history


Certainly, Germany is one of the best destinations for those who want to visit a castle (or several!). Here, travelers will find everything from ruins to extremely well-preserved castles, with themed guided tours, medieval fairs inside castles and even the option of dining or staying in a castle.

The word “castle” comes from the Anglo-Norman French word “castel”, which derives from the Latin word meaning “strong”. There are many types of fortifications built for defense, but a castle is used specifically as a residence. In medieval times, castles were usually occupied by people with high hierarchical positions, such as a lord, knight or monarch.

Castle or palace?

Sometimes, there is some confusion between what a castle is and a palace or mansion, but how do you differentiate them? Despite having some other characteristics that differentiate them, the most visible difference is that a palace is not fortified (absence of a wall, something that protects it) nor used for military purposes, just as palaces mostly arise from the 16th century onwards. Now that we know how to identify castles, let's get to know them!

Eltz Castle (Eltz Castle)

Eltz Castle. Photo: Travel Germany

Dating back to the year 850 and situated in the hills above the River Mosel, this beautiful castle was one of the few in the region to have remained intact through all the wars since its construction. It still belongs to the same family (Eltz Family) since the 12th century, 33 generations ago. The castle was built on top of a 70 meter high rock, located on an important Roman trade route between rich lands and their markets, and also has a forest named after it around it.

Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern Castle

The current Hohenzollern castle is actually the third built on this site. The third and current castle was built between 1846 and 1867 as a family memorial by King Frederick William IV of Prussia, heir to the Hohenzollern dynasty.

To royal house from Hohenzollern is one of the most important European noble families that founded the German Empire, of which it was the royal house through the dynasty of the same name. In addition to the beauty of the castle itself, when visiting it, it is possible to see treasures such as the imperial crown of William II, an intact dress of Queen Louise, a uniform of Frederick II of Prussia (Frederick the Great) and a letter from George Washington to Baron von Steuben, among others. With around 400,000 visitors a year, Hohenzollern Castle is still one of the most visited castles in Germany.

Marksburg Castle

Marksburg Castle

Marksburg Castle can boast a title that no other in the region holds: in more than 800 years, the castle has never been destroyed. The castle was built in approximately 1117 to protect the city of Braubach and to enforce customs practices. The lords of Eppstein built the Romanesque castle complex, and were among the most powerful families of the time.

Those interested in history will certainly delve into the castle's rich history, but for those who simply want to enjoy the scenery, the surrounding area is very pleasant, with stunning views of the River Rhine, restaurants and walking and cycling trails along the way. From Rio.

Currently, the castle houses an extensive museum, a café, as well as the headquarters and offices of the German Castle Association (Deutsche Burgenverein), whose main task is the protection and preservation of castles and fortifications in Germany. We here, who love castles and history, are members of the association. <3

Wartburg Castle

Wartburg Castle

This castle, in addition to its great beauty, has an important meaning for Christians, as it was the home of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, and also the place where Martin Luther translated the New Testament of the Bible into German. O Wartburg is a castle originally built in the Middle Ages, with its foundation laid around 1067 by Count Ludwig of Schauenburg.

It is situated on a 410 meter cliff, overlooking the city of Eisenach in the state of Thuringia. In 1999, UNESCO added Wartburg Castle to the World Heritage List. On our guided tours, you can take them on a guided tour, including the room where Luther stayed. Wartburg Castle was also the inspiration for another icon of castles and palaces in Germany, Neuschwanstein Palace, built in the 19th century. However, this is a topic for another post, just about palaces.

Cochem Castle (Reichsburg)

This is the castle you see in the video on our home page (if you view the site on your laptop). Located more than 90 meters high on a hill on the banks of the Mosel River, Cochem Castle, dating back to 1100, was used to collect tolls from ships that passed at that height on the Mosel River. However, the castle we see today is different from the one there in the 12th century.

Reichsburg Castle in Cochem.

In 1688, the French invaded the Rhine River and Mosel River regions of the Palatinate, which included Cochem and its castle. French troops conquered the castle and then destroyed not only it, but also the city. Louis Ravené, a businessman from Berlin, decided to buy the ruins and rebuild the castle in 1868. Currently the city of Cochem owns the castle, which is also open to visitors.

In addition to the incredible view of the River Mosel, this authentic castle, with gothic and romantic details, will certainly be worth your visit.

In our personalized trips, you can include visits and guided tours to these and other castles. The trip is done your way. Contact!