What is a vacation to Germany without a peek at its famous castles? Capturing important moments in history from as far back as the 11th and 12th centuries, Deutschland's palatial monuments are as striking to us today as they were to the royal families and military leaders who once inhabited them.
Today, these castles are some of the most popular German attractions, drawing visitors from across the globe to their treasure-filled armories and enchanting grounds. Neuschwanstein Castle, in Bavaria, has the distinction of being one of the most visited castles in the entire world, luring in more than 1.5 million tourists a year with its two-story throne room and ornately-furnished chambers.
Turrets and towers rise from all across the German countryside, crowning Alpine mountains and overlooking vast parklands, forests, and charming villages. You can find them just outside popular cities, or floating on island lakes. German castles represent a vast range of architectural designs, including the bucket list-worthy medieval Burg Eltz Castle and the Renaissance ruins of Hedelberg Castle. What they all have in common, of course, is their vivid depiction of a moment in German history.
Having survived centuries and World Wars, many of these castles remain important parts of German life. They now serve as government buildings, museums, landmarks, hotels, and—in more than a few cases—incredible private homes.