Whether you’re a history buff or just like to see beautiful sights, Germany offers a number of must-see landmarks for travelers. Of these, some of the most notable are its impressive castles, which are sprinkled across the land in a breathtaking fashion.
If you’re planning a trip to Deutschland anytime soon, you can save money by using travel rewards points. But only use credit cards if you can manage your credit responsibly. Here are five of the most magnificent castles that the country has to offer.
1. Neuschwanstein Castle
This castle is the most popular in the country, and with good reason. It is also unique in that it wasn’t built for a traditional purpose.
First of all, it’s quite literally the stuff that fairy tales are made of: Walt Disney used it as inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle. It’s not hard to see why, either, with its exquisite turrets and impressive size. The castle is nestled within the Bavarian Alps with an incredible view of the entire countryside.
While most castles of the time were built as defense fortresses, Neuschwanstein was intended to be a luxurious getaway. Built by Ludwig II of Bavaria, it has an entire floor dedicated to swan scenes from his favorite composer’s operas (Richard Wagner).
Among its stunning overlook, impressive architecture, and a gorgeous interior filled with chandeliers and paintings, it’s easy to see why this castle is the most photographed building in all of Germany.
2. Hohenschwangau Castle
Also referred to as Schloss Hohenschwangau, this castle is located in southern Germany, right next door to the Neuschwanstein Castle mentioned above. In fact, you can combine your tour to the two castles, opting for either a 40-minute long hiking trail or horse-drawn buggy ride between them.
Hohenschwangau Castle was built as the childhood palace of King Ludwig II of Bavaria and rests near the border with Austria. It has roots that go as far back as the 12th century. However, it changed hands many times and was deconstructed/remodeled many times before becoming the castle that it is today. The current structure was built in the 19th century.
3. Burg Eltz
Built in the 12th century, Burg Eltz Castle has withstood the test of time. It is now one of the most popular castles in Germany. It’s yet another castle that has never been affected by war, enough though it’s situated along the Rhine River, and is well-preserved as a result.
The forest-hidden castle has been owned by the Eltz family for over 800 years. Some of its buildings were constructed in the 13th through 16th centuries. This means that the castle’s total construction lasted through a period of almost 500 years. It has been restored numerous times over the years to maintain its appearance and structural integrity. However, the castle still boasts many of its original furnishings.
4. Schwerin Palace
While many castles were situated along rivers or in dense forests, Schwerin Palace (also known as Schwerin Castle) is unique. It has its own island.
Schwerin Palace is located in the city of Schwerin, on the Schweriner See lake (yes, that’s “see”). It was used for centuries as a palace for dukes and grand dukes. It has also housed a hospital and was even a college for kindergarten teachers in the 1900s. However, it is now the home of the state parliament.
5. Hohenzollern Castle
This castle, with its scenic overlook from atop Mount Hohenzollern, has a history that dates back to the 11th century. Most of it was destroyed over the years — the chapel was the only structure to remain. The castle as its seen today was built in the mid-19th century. The beautiful structure boasts 140 rooms, palatial grounds, and a gorgeous view of the land.