There are over 25,000 castles in Germany today; some are only ruins, but many of them are well-preserved and home to museums, restaurants and even hotels.So why are there so many castles in Germany?
During the Middle Ages, the country was divided into many small, competitive feudal states and principalities; these unstable times encouraged the construction of secure and fortified castles in Germany.
Where to start?
Check out my top-pick of the best castles in Germany. Just click on the name of the German castle and get in depth information that will make your journey through Germany's past an unforgettable experience.
In Bavaria, the South of Germany, lies one of the most famous castles in the world: Neuschwanstein. In 1869, Ludwig II constructed this fantastic castle not for defense, but for pleasure. It was his private summer retreat.
The design of Neuschwanstein is medieval, but Ludwig made sure to built in modern technologies of the day, such as flush toilets and heating.
The Wartburg Castle lies in the East of Germany, close to Eisenach, and overlooks the forests of Thuringia; it is one of the oldest and best-preserved Romanesque castles in Germany, built in 1067.
The church reformist Martin Luther lived here and translated the Bible into German. Since 1999, the Wartburg Castle is added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
In the Southwest of Germany, you'll find the ruins of the once majestic Castle of Heidelberg. The castle used to be a gothic masterpiece, but was destroyed several times over the centuries. Partly rebuilt, you can still make out different architectural styles in the ruins.
In the West of Germany, between Trier and Koblenz, lies the Eltz Castle. Hidden in the middle of a dense forest, the castle is owned by the same family that lived here in the 12th century.
The original furniture and art collection is impressive, and the armor in the Knights Hall dates back to the 16th century. Eltz Castle is still an insider tip and not nearly as crowded as other castles in Germany.
The Castle Road is lined with 70 castles and palaces; it is 625 miles long and leads you on small winding back roads from the southwest of Germany to the Czech Republic.