Adventure By Claire Volkman

Castle Hunting in Germany

A legacy of the feudal system, Germany’s inspiring collection of castles and palaces evokes a rich, fairytale-esque past that attracts many visitors every year. From the towering castle that inspired the home of Disney’s Cinderella to the Rhine’s only medieval palace, you’ll feel like a Bavarian King as you stomp through their deep, dark and decadent halls.   

NEUSCHWANSTEIN

Take one look at Neuschwanstein and you’ll immediately see why it is known as the “jewel of Germany.” Built in the late 1800s as a prized retreat for King Ludwig II, this magnificent castle inspires every visitor, including Walt Disney himself. Overlooking Bavaria’s deep gorges, pine-speckled forests and towering Alps, the view outside is as captivating as the ornately decorated rooms inside. For a spectacular view, climb Mary’s Bridge to see the castle flanked by the plains and the cascading Pöllat Gorge waterfall below. 

GLÜCKSBURG CASTLE

Towering above a wide, reflective moat, the stark white Glücksburg Castle sits in the town of Glücksberg, where it was considered one of the most important Renaissance castles in all of Northern Europe. Built in the late 1500s as a monastery, the King of Denmark took up residence here during the summers, relishing the vast views across the moat as he marched across the castle’s courtyard. 

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BURG ELTZ

Nestled in the hills of the Moselle River and surrounded by a dense forest, Burg Eltz castle is, without a doubt, stunning. Walking across the narrow, stone gangway, peering up at its 12th-century façade and Bavarian painted windows, you’ll be thankful that it’s one of the few castles in the country untouched by war. Open for guests and still boasting original furnishings, it offers a rare glimpse into the royal lives of the medieval elite. 

MARKSBURG CASTLE

For more than 700 years, the last remaining medieval castle on the Rhine, Marksburg Castle has sat majestically perched high on a lush hilltop, overlooking the quaint town of Braubach. A popular stop on Rhine river cruises, this staggering UNESCO World Heritage fortress protected all who remained inside its imposing walls. Open daily for tours, you can view historic artifacts like armor, weapons and even torture devices. Listen carefully and you just might hear chains clanking in the dark and dusty dungeon.  

SCHWERIN CASTLE

Sitting on a private island in Lake Schwerin, the stately Schwerin Castle inspired the lowliest peasant to dream of strolling through its picturesque gardens, past 15th-century sculptures and statues, and up to its pristine fountain. Take their popular paranormal tour and you just might bump into a man named Petermaennchen, whose ghost has been prowling the halls for centuries.  

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