The Berlin Wall, World War II landmarks, beer, bread, music festivals, and great architectural structures. These are just a few of what comes to mind when you think of Germany. This Country in Western Europe covers an area of 357,022 sq. km, comprising 16 constituent states and landscapes of forests, mountain ranges, rivers, and the North Sea beaches.
With a population of more than 83 million people, Germany is the second-most populous country in Europe. Its capital city is Berlin, which is also the country’s art and nightlife hub. It is also here many WWII sites, the Brandenburg Gate, and other iconic buildings are located. The country’s financial centre, however, is Frankfurt.
Germany has a long and complicated history that stretches back more than 2,000 years. The existence of a region named Germany dates before AD 100. Various Germanic tribes have also been inhabiting the northern part of the country since the 8th century BC. By the 10th century, a large part of Germany became a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. Centuries later, in the 16th century, the northern regions of Germany played a huge part in the Protestant Reformation.
It was only after the Napoleonic Wars that Germany became a nation-state in 1871. Germany rose into a powerful nation during the two world wars. Today, Germany remains in a powerful nation with the largest economy in Europe. It is also a leading scientific, technological, and industrial nation in the world. Germany also has a booming tourism industry. It in fact has one of the largest numbers of UNESCO Heritage Sites in the world.
Germany has some of the most impressive castles in Europe. It is home to more than 20,000 castles, from fairytale castles, hilltop castles, medieval fortresses, to grand palaces. Many of these castles have been converted into popular tourist attractions. You can even stay in a German castle, as some have been transformed into castle hotels.
Like in other countries, the earliest castles in Germany were defensive structures made of wood. These motte and bailey structures were built in the late 11th century as a form of defense against Viking raids. Since these castles are prone to fire and vulnerable to attack, they were eventually replaced with stone castles.
During the onset of feudalism in Germany, lords and noblemen built private castles to protect and assert control over their respective territories. Castles were a symbol of status and power. As centuries went by, castles became less and less “defensive” in their purpose. Manor houses and palaces were built in place of fortified castles. The purpose of castle building became more and more residential, with emphasis on style and comfort.
The oldest castle in Germany that still stands today is the Meersburg Castle. This medieval stone castle sits high above Lake Constance. The oldest part of the castle, which is the central tower, dates back to the 7th century. The castle features a medieval castle dungeon, water chamber, living quarters, great hall, knights’ hall, armoury, and a museum.
The most popular castle in Germany is the Neuschwanstein Castle. Built in the 19th century, this fairytale castle is perched on a rugged hill and is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the world. Other famous castles in the country include Schwerin Castle, Heidelberg Castle, and Wartburg Castle.
If you wish to stay in a castle, there are plenty of castle accommodations in Germany. Among the most popular castle hotels in the country are Castle Hotel Auf Schönburg, Schlosshotel Hugenpoet, and Schlosshotel Berlin.