Beautifully presented and rich in history, castles and palaces are great places to visit! And when in Bavaria, there are hundreds of Bavarian castles for you to explore, each with its own interesting background, unique architectural styles, beautiful gardens, and antique collections, often set in stunning scenery, with views of valleys and mystical forests!
Here is a list of 14 Stunning Bavarian Castles and Palaces!
1) Neuschwanstein Castle
The Neuschwanstein Castle is not only one of the most extraordinary Bavarian castles, but it is also often regarded as the most beautiful castle in the world!
This castle, tucked away in the Bavarian Alps, looms over the Hohenschwangau Valley. It was made at the desire of the eccentric King Ludwig II, and he nearly bankrupted the country in attempts to create it. But it is safe to say that the result was phenomenal!
With its sky-high turrets and mysterious dungeons sitting atop jagged rocks against the breathtaking Bavarian Alps, the castle appears to be a work of fiction. Prepare to be blown away by the beautiful interiors of the Neuschwanstein Castle, which include opulent furniture and extravagant ornamentation!
Schloss Neuschwanstein is also known as the Cinderella Castle as it oozes fairy tale romance! The Sleeping Beauty castle is also said to have been inspired by this castle. So, at Neuschwanstein Castle, you can revisit all of your Disney-inspired childhood fantasies!
2) Hohenschwangau Castle
The Hohenschwangau Castle was built by the father of King Ludwig II, King Maximilian II, and stands on a top of a rugged hill just below the Neuschwanstein Castle in the village of Hohenschwangau. This bavarian castle can be seen from multiple windows and balconies at Neuschwanstein.
Even though its more popular neighboring castle overshadows it, the Hohenschwangau Castle remains a place worth a visit! It is much older than the Neuschwanstein castle, and it dates back to the 12th century!
This childhood home of King Ludwig II has a massive hall inside the castle known as The Hall of Heroes and Knights that spans the entire width of the structure! Gothic columns rise to the stucco ceiling, embellished with silver and pink neo-Gothic ornaments. The Oriental Room is lavishly decorated with Greek and Turkish ornaments.
3) Nuremberg Castle
While not as extravagant as some of the other Bavarian castles, the Nuremberg Castle, one of the historic castles in Germany, compensates for that with its immense historical significance.
The castle is one of Europe’s most fierce medieval fortifications, consisting of a group of medieval fortified buildings that loom over the old town of Nuremberg.
Nuremberg has been regarded as one of the most significant cities in the region since the early 1000s. Being a distinguished residence for Holy Roman Emperors, garnering it the title of Imperial Castle.
The Nuremberg castle, built-in 1105 AD, was among the most valuable residences of the Holy Roman Empire during the late Middle Ages.
After many restorations work after the severe bombings during World War II, Nuremberg Castle now comprises three main sections. The ‘Kaiserburg’ is perhaps the most historically important part of this medieval castle, with the rest of the castle now being utilized for municipal buildings, such as a youth hostel, giving you a chance to spend your night in the impressive rooms of this beautiful Bavarian castle!
4) Herrenchiemsee Palace
It is thought that King Ludwig II was so taken with France’s Versailles Palace that he desired to recreate it in his homeland. His wish resulted in Herrenchiemsee Castle, one of the most beautiful Bavarian castles!
In 1873, King Ludwig II of Bavaria purchased the island, which had previously been the site of an Augustinian monastery. He chose it as the site for his Royal Palace of Herrenchiemsee (New Palace), replicating the palace and gardens of Versailles, hence the nickname “Bavarian Versailles.”
The biggest castle made by Ludwig II, Herrenchiemsee, is a royal building complex located on Herreninsel, the largest island in Lake Chiemsee in southern Bavaria.
The luxurious palace was decorated with 52 candelabras, 33 chandeliers, and tubs of orange trees, among other things. The never-ending Hall of Mirrors at Herrenchiemsee Palace is 98 meters long, even longer than the original at Versailles!
Presently, the King Ludwig II Museum is situated on the palace’s ground floor and features antique coins, paintings, a coronation cloak, original furniture from Linderhof Palace, and the royal apartment of Munich’s Residenz.
5) Linderhof Palace
Without a doubt, Linderhof Palace is one of the most royal Bavarian castles!
Located in southwest Bavaria near the village of Etta, the Linderhof Palace is King Ludwig II’s third implausible creation, following the Neuschwanstein and Herrenchiemsee castles in Bavaria. It is the smallest of three castles built by King Ludwig II and the only castle that he lived to see finished. It is unquestionably one of Bavaria’s top sights!
The Palace was a royal residence inspired by the Versailles Palace, and this magnificent Baroque style structure, designed in the style of a 19th-century French castle, is also known as the Little Versailles. It also houses a smaller version of Versailles’ famous Hall of Mirrors!
The interior of Linderhof Palace is lavishly furnished and decorated. Outside, beautiful fountains, sprawling gardens, and symmetric floral arrangements create an alluring landscape!
A statue of the French king riding his horse stands guard at the palace’s entrance. The palace gardens’ centerpiece is a magnificent pool with a 25-meter fountain that sprays water on gold-gilded nymph statues.
Be sure to visit this grand palace to witness the beauty through your own eyes!
6) Plassenburg Castle
The Hohenzollern family’s Plassenburg Castle is a grand fortress situated in the city of Kulmbach and positioned high above the streets below. It is one of the best Bavarian castles and, by far, one of the most remarkable castles in Germany!
Work on the castle fortress began in 1338 and lasted until 1791. Today, the castle has become well famous for its vast collection of over 300,000 tin soldiers and figurines set up in historical battle scenes dating from prehistory to the twentieth century.
The castle’s church, the Schlosskirche, is used for religious services, and the castle can even be reserved for weddings!
7) Nymphenburg Palace
As Ludwig II was born in Munich’s Nymphenburg Palace, the regal summer residence of five generations of Wittelsbach monarchs since 1664, the palace is one of the most common attractions in Munich and another of the great Bavarian castles!
The baroque facades span approximately 700 meters in total width. Some rooms retain their original baroque decor, while others were eventually remodeled in neoclassical style.
The Gallery of Beauties, a gallery with portraits of court ladies and mysterious unidentified beauties whom Ludwig II’s grandfather, Ludwig I, admired, highlights Schloss Nymphenburg.
8) Marienberg Fortress
The iconic Marienberg Fortress is noticeably located on a hill 100 meters above the Main River, rising from vineyards extending to the horizon. It is a little far away from the center of the city, but it’s well worth the effort!
The Fortress, built in the 12th century near the historic city of Wurzburg, has witnessed centuries of tumultuous history and was frequently under siege. Although the majority of the present structures were built between the 16th and 18th centuries, the site has had a fort since olden times. It rose to prominence later on when it acted as the residence of the native prince-bishops for almost five centuries.
However, during the Second World War, large portions of the castle were severely damaged.
While at the site, you must visit the endearing garden, Fürstengarte, on the complex’s eastern side, which is organized symmetrically with pavilions, flowerbeds, and fountains. A walk around the outside perimeter is also enjoyable! The Treasury, the Princes’ Hall, and the Museum für Franken, which is home to a Baroque artwork collection that dates back to 1712, are among the highlights on the inside.
9) Würzburg Residenz
Würzburg Castle was the former residence of the Wurzburg prince-bishops. It was designed by famed architect Balthasar Neumann and is a key work of south German Architectural style, garnering it UNESCO World Heritage status.
The castle has a world-renowned staircase and a ceiling painted by Venetian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. It is one of the world’s biggest murals in painting history, depicting the four continents!
Unfortunately, parts of this stunning Bavarian castle were destroyed in a terrible fire in 1945, but a lengthy restoration process has restored it to its former glory.
You must visit the castle to gain a look at the beautiful ceiling paintings and explore the impressive rooms!
10) Burghausen Castle
The Burghausen Castle in Bavaria is notable for its 1000-meter-long medieval fortifications, making it one of the world’s largest castle complexes!
Built-in 1255, Burghausen Castle was an abode for the dukes of Lower Bavaria and one of the finest fortresses in Bavaria.
The chapel at the castle is dedicated to St Elisabeth, who was dedicated to the poor and the dark horses.
The castle features a collection of Gothic panel paintings that tell the story of Bavaria and a viewing platform with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
11) Schleissheim Palace
Another one of the magnificent Bavarian castles, Schleißheim Palace, consists of three palaces set among beautiful gardens: the Old Palace, Lustheim Palace, and New Palace.
Built over several generations beginning in 1598, when Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria abandoned court life and moved to the countryside.
Although the Old Palace is the smallest of the three palaces, it is worth a visit to learn about the history of this magnificent palace complex.
The Schleißheim Museum, a branch of the Bavarian National Museum, is also housed in the Old Palace.
The Gertrud Weinhold Collection, which contains 6,000 items of religious culture, and the East and West Prussia Collection, which contains 400 exhibits documenting the history and culture of East and West Prussia, are the museum’s main collections.
Lustheim Palace is a lovely Italian-style mansion.
The palace houses an exquisite collection of early Meissen porcelain and is a branch of the Bavarian National Museum.
Over 2000 pieces of 19th-century tableware, figures, and animal figurines are on display, showcasing the extravagant lifestyles and banquets of the Baroque era.
The palace’s furnishings recall a time when sculptures, furniture making, and metalwork were considered art forms.
The State Bedroom in the Electress’s Apartment has ceilings colored by Bavarian artist Cosmas Damian Asam.
In the halls and apartments of this magnificent palace, work of art from the State Gallery of European Baroque Art is on display.
12) Neuburg Palace
Neuburg Palace is a legendary Renaissance palace built in the 16th century to function as the seat of the Pfalz-Neuburg principality. It was expanded in the following century with two round towers that gave the original baroque structure an imposing appearance.
Because of its historical significance, the castle houses a large collection of paintings, tapestries, portraits, textiles, furniture, and weapons that reflect the region’s rich culture.
The castle has a gorgeous Renaissance Knights’ Hall, a styled courtyard, and several Baroque grottoes. The complex includes a chapel with medieval frescoes. It’s the world’s oldest newly built protestant church!
13) Willibaldsburg Castle
Williamsburg Castle is another one of the Bavarian castles with a huge castle complex that was built in the 14th century. It was greatly expanded and fortified, and it served as the representative castle and seat of Eichstätt’s prince-bishops until the middle of the 18th century.
The castle overlooks the Altmühl valley, where the Altmühl river makes a sharp bend. The resulting ridge provided an ideal location for the medieval castle. A 420-meter-long fortification wall is part of the complex.
The grounds were home to a world-class botanical garden for a long time. This original botanical garden was recreated in 1998 as the newly opened Bastion Garden.
14) Prunn Castle
Prunn Castle, with its massive keep, is of medieval origin, having been constructed around 1200 during a period of unprecedented prosperity in the surrounding Kelheim area.
The setting of this one of the Bavarian castles is spectacular! The castle stands atop a steep limestone cliff overlooking the Altmuhl River Valley, with the river directly beneath. Aside from the breathtaking views from inside the walls, the castle is worth visiting for its authentic medieval décor.
A permanent exhibition chronicles the heritage of this Bavarian castle and its residents, offering intriguing information on topics such as clothing, law, hunting, tournaments, and festivities.
This brings us to the end of the list! You can either explore these Bavarian castles by yourself, or you could take one of the many guided tours that have an extensive itinerary to ensure you do not miss out on any of the experiences!
But irrespective of whether you venture out on your own or take a guided tour, we assure you that you will love these Bavarian castles!
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