Germany's 10 most beautiful palaces

Germany's 10 most beautiful palaces

Neuschwanstein

Germany's most famous castle, located near the town of Füssen in Bavaria, draws around 1.5 million visitors from all over the world each year. Bavarian King Ludwig II ordered its construction in 1869, hoping to recreate a noble medieval residence. The Wartburg, a castle close to the town of Eisenach, served as a model for Ludwig's immense project.

Germany's 10 most beautiful palaces

Albrechtsburg

Germany's oldest castle, the Albrechtsburg, was erected in the 15th century in Meissen in the eastern state of Saxony. It was here that King August the Strong founded Europe's first porcelain factory in 1710. The castle, located on the River Elbe 25 kilometers from Dresden, has been turned into a museum.

Germany's 10 most beautiful palaces

Heidelberg Castle

The ruin is the main landmark in the well-known university city of Heidelberg on the River Neckar. The luxurious residence of the electors of the Palatinate, a region in western Germany, was demolished by the soldiers of French King Louis XIV in 1693. Nowadays, it's Germany's best known castle ruin and is visited by around one million tourists per year.

Germany's 10 most beautiful palaces

Glücksburg Castle

The moated castle, one of the most significant examples from the Renaissance, is located in the town of Glücksburg at the fjord of Flensburg at the northern tip of Germany. It was constructed on the former site of a Cistercian monastery during the 16th century; in the 19th century it became the summer residence of the King of Denmark.

Germany's 10 most beautiful palaces

Sanssouci

Sanssouci palace (from the French, meaning "without worries") was intended as a summer sanctuary where people could philosophize or play music. It was constructed by Prussian King Frederick II from 1745 to 1747 in Potsdam near Berlin. The palace and its surrounding park became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990.

Germany's 10 most beautiful palaces

Würzburg Residence

The palace in southern Germany, built for the prince-bishops of Würzburg, contains no less than 365 rooms. Its architect, Baltasar Neumann, was lauded for its magnificent staircase, which is decorated by the world's biggest ceiling fresco, painted by Venetian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo in 1752-53. The Würzburg Residence became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.

Germany's 10 most beautiful palaces

Augustusburg

The palace in Brühl, halfway between Cologne and Bonn, is a masterpiece of Rococo architecture and one of the most significant residences of the 18th century. From 1949, Augustusburg served as a guest house of the federal government for decades. Together with the nearby Falkenlust Castle and the Gardens of Brühl, it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1984.

Germany's 10 most beautiful palaces

Schwerin Palace

Located on a small offshore island in the Lake of Schwerin, the Schwerin Palace was built on the site of an old Slavic castle, which existed there a thousand years ago. Its present shape and design were formed by the grand dukes of Mecklenburg during the 19th century. Nowadays, it is the seat of the state parliament in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Germany's 10 most beautiful palaces

Marienburg Castle

Queen Mary of Hanover celebrated her 39th birthday in 1857. To celebrate, her husband King George V presented her the Schulenburg Mountain and had a castle built on top. Construction took 10 years. The Castle of Marienburg is still the private property of the House of Welf and its current owner is heir to the throne, Ernst August of Hanover.

Germany's 10 most beautiful palaces

Moyland Castle

The moated Moyland Castle (Dutch for "beautiful country") is located near the town of Kleve in western Germany.The former medieval castle was transformed into a Baroque castle during the 17th century, and later modified in New Gothic style. It now houses a collection of modern art with many works by controversial artist Joseph Beuys.

Think Cinderella and Snow White. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, Germany's nobility began building more prestigious residences to show power. We present 10 of the most beautiful ones - right out of a fairytale.