The Schwerin Castle – Photo Credit: Germany the Travel Destination

When you think of holidays in Germany, more often than not you think of Beer Kellers, markets and Sauerkraut. However, there’s a rich history in this country just waiting to be discovered, and much of it centres around the old German monarchy and the beautiful architecture that surrounds it. There are more than just a couple of castles in Germany to discover, and as you’ll see, although they all differ in design, architecture and use, they all form part of a rich cultural history. I missed out on castles during my last trip to Germany, so I decided to start planning for making up for that for my next trip there. Planning got me thinking about how I want to travel when in the country. Some time ago I came across an interview online with Naren Shaam, the founder and CEO of travel search site GoEuro. When asked what he liked about train travel he responded that: “…it allows for the possibility to also explore the local culture and see the landscape”. That stuck with me. So, I’ve decided that train-travel in style will be my main way of getting around Germany on this adventure.

Now, getting back to the castles, these are some of the ones that seem ripe for my exploring eyes

Schwerin Castle – From the pages of a fairytale is where it will look like you have arrived when you visit the Schwerin Castle. This castle is located in the picturesque island of Lake Schwerin. This fairytale castle has domes, towers and my favorite turrets that make it one of the most photographed places in this region.
Sanssouci Castle – Build for Frederick the Great, this large castle, with it’s Frederican-Rococo style architecture, and enormous gardens was originally build for a retreat for Frederick and has often been considered as iconic as the French Palace of Versailles. Loosely translated, Sansoussi means “without cares” and it’s easy to see why, as a relaxing walk in the beautiful gardens, and the tranquility there will certainly ensure you have a relaxed visit.
Lichtenstein Castle – Build between 1840-1842, this stunning castle is a picture postcard Neo Gothic Beauty. Its position atop a cliff (817m above sea-level) gives it a fantasy air, and you’ll be able to imagine life as it was back then, when taking a tour of the castle. Knights and kings will come to life as you tour the weapons room, look at the medieval décor and view paintings such as “Schutze von Lichtenstein”, one of the most famous paintings of its time.
Neuschwannstein Castle -This fairy-tale castle, the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle for Disney, is a true gem. Built for King Ludwig, it’s turrets and stunning idyllic scenery make it the perfect retreat for royalty, although extensive building works have had to be done to preserve it’s structure and ensure that the building is safe to tour. What a tour it is though! Decorated in homage to the operas of Wagner, the inner rooms are decorated with pictured of poets and knights, legends of the era and historical figures.
If you’re looking for a taste of old Germany, whether it’s the opulence of the monarchy or the history of battle, a tour of the castles of Germany will be sure to delight. You can be certain that my next trip to Germany will have castles included!