The German state of Bavaria (Bayern) has some of the most interesting sites for the tourist to visit. The countryside is lovely, with wonderful views and rolling hills. Many castles can be found in Bavaria, in both restored condition and in ruins. It is the best place for castle viewing that I know of.
Here is a short listing and description of castles located in Bavaria, with names beginning with the letters A to D.
Abenberg castle was built around the year 1020. It was originally built of clay bricks and wood. In the beginning of the 12th century it was replaced with a castle made of stone. In the year 1296 the castle was extended and renovated. Abenberg castle now houses the “House of Frankish history” and the German Lace-Making Museum and is open to the public.
Altenburg castle was built around 1109 and sits above the city of Bamburg. It was destroyed by fire in 1553 and later restored. In the 1950’s and 1960’s the castle was famous for the bear that lived within the castle walls. The bear is no longer there, and interior of the castle is not open to the public. However, the tower and grounds are open to the public, with a small restaurant located there as well.
Achberg is now a residential structure, which dates from the 17th century. Part of the structure is built on the remains of 12th century fortified walls. It is not open to the public, but well worth admiring from a distance.
Burghausen is a castle that tourists simply must see. It dates from around 1025. It is a huge complex, stretching out over a narrow hilltop nearly half a mile. It is fully restored and open to the public, with much from the history of its medieval past remaining. Six courtyards divide the complex into sections. A cafe and two museums are located within the castle. Tours are also available. It may be the largest castle in all of Germany.
Burgthan castle dates back to 1141. The original castle was almost completely destroyed. Portions of the ring wall and round tower remained. It has been partially preserved and is privately owned. It is not open to the public, but still worth having a look from the outside.
Breitenlohe castle has four corner towers, one of the types often thought of when imagining a castle. At one time this castle was surrounded by a moat, but it is gone now. It is a private residence and not open to public. It dates from the early 1300’s.
Coburg castle is one of Germany’s largest castles. It dates back to 1225. Today it is home to three museums. One is the Ducal Palace, with many furnished rooms of the Dukes of Coburg. It includes the apartment where Martin Luther lived in 1530. The second museum is the Armory, containing the largest collection of medieval armor and weaponry in Germany. The third is the Art Collections museum.
Colmberg castle dates from the 11th century. As it was never conquered or suffered much damage from attack, the castle is in very good condition. It has been restored and offers both a hotel and a museum, and of course is open to the public. It is one of Germany’s nicest castles.
Donaustauf was built between the late 890’s and early 900’s. It was built to protect traffic on the Danube river as well as the town of Regensburg. It was burned to the ground within a few centuries and never rebuilt. Before it was destroyed it was the occupied by Henry the Lion in 1161. The castle is in ruins, but the public are free to explore the remaining structure.