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Palaces & Castles in Baden-Wuerttemberg

Numerous castles can be found in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg. These buildings, some of which have a history of over 1000 years, were the setting of historical events, domains of famous personalities and are still imposing buildings to this day.

Hohenzollern Castle

Hohenzollern Castle is a castle above the town of Hechingen approximately 50 kilometers south of Stuttgart. It is considered the ancestral seat of the Hohenzollern family, which emerged in the Middle Ages and eventually became German Emperors. The castle is still run under private ownership. Today the castle is a popular tourist destination.

Heidelberg Castle

Heidelberg is a magnificent university town set in some of the most handsome scenery in Germany. This city has a lovely Baroque Old Town and a massive, impressive castle. It is located 80 metres (260 ft) up the northern part of the Königstuhl hillside, and thereby dominates the view of the old downtown. Mark Twain was a major fan of the castle and wrote extensively about it in A Tramp Abroad. 

Karlsruhe Palace

The Karlsruhe Palace was built in 1715 as the residence of Margrave Karl Wilhelm of Baden-Durlach. It served for 200 years as the seat of government of the Baden dynasty. Karlsruhe Palace was completely destroyed by air raids, during September 1944. When it was to be rebuilt, however, the decision was made to reconstruct only the exterior in the historically correct design. The interior was modified to suit the requirements of a modern museum.

Lichtenstein Castle

Lichtenstein Castle is also known as “Wuerttemberg´s fairytale castle” as it adheres to romanticism in style and furnishing. Lichtenstein Castle was built in the 19th century. It is located near Honau at the edge of the Swabian Alps, 817 metres above sea level.

Historically, there has been a castle on the site since around 1200. In 1802, the land came into the hands of King Frederick I of Wuerttemberg, who built a hunting lodge there. By 1837, the land had passed to his nephew Duke Wilhelm of Urach, Count of Wuerttemberg, who, inspired by Wilhelm Hauff's novel Lichtenstein, added the current castle in 1840–42.

Today, the castle is still owned by the Dukes of Urach, but is open to visitors. The castle contains a large collection of historic weapons and armour.

Ludwigsburg Castle

Nicknamed the Swabian Versailles, Ludwigsburg Residential Palace is one of the largest Baroque buildings in Europe to survive in its original condition. It offers visitors an insightful tour through the centuries – from Baroque to Rococo to Neoclassical. The Ludwigsburg palace grounds today are also home to the garden show "Blooming Baroque" and serve as a venue for the castle festival.

Mannheim Barock Castle

The Mannheim Baroque Palace - Germany’s largest Baroque construction took forty years to erect. It was intended to be the second largest Baroque palace complex in Europe after Versailles. Its grand scale was designed to highlight the important role of the Palatine Prince Electors in the Holy Roman Empire.  It is now primarily used by the University of Mannheim.

Sigmaringen Castle

Sigmaringen Castle was the princely castle and seat of government for the Princes of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. It dominates the skyline of the town of Sigmaringen. Schloss Sigmaringen was a family estate of the Swabian Hohenzollern family, a cadet branch of the Hohenzollern family, from which the German Emperors and kings of Prussia came. The castle and museums may be visited throughout the year, but only on guided tours.