Castles near Cologne

Schloss Drachenburg - castles near Cologne

Cologne, or locally referred to as ‘Koln’ is one of Germany’s less prominent cities, but is nonetheless a hidden gem that has an abundance of treasures to offer, both in its center, and further outside of its center. The city itself is bursting with layers and centuries of history, ranging from an ancient Roman wall, an abundance of Gothic churches and architectural monuments, all the way to the plethora of modern buildings and artistic charms. However, once you step outside of the hustle and bustle of the city center, there are an unbelievable amount of stunning and fascinating castles that make for the perfect place to take a day-trip to. This list will highlight the best castles near Cologne, their key features, as well as practical information, such as location and opening times.

18 Castles you should visit near Cologne

1. Eltz Castle

Perched cozily within the hills that tower above the Moselle River, between the large German towns of Koblenz and Trier, lies the stunning Eltz Castle. Fascinatingly, the castle is still owned by the same family, the Eltz family, who have occupied the castle since the 12th century, which is an unbelievable 33 generations. The castle’s origins date back to the 9th century, where a Romanesque keep was built, and by the 12th century, the castle was fortified and began to play a critical military role throughout the later centuries. In the 19th century, the castle was lovingly restored by Count Karl zu Eltz, who sought to bring the castle back to its former glory, after it having been left to decay over the previous years. Today, the castle is a popular tourist site, due to its beautiful façade and fairy-tale-like appearance and atmosphere.

Where: Moselle, Germany

When: 9th century

Style: Romanesque and Baroque

Open for visit: 10:00am – 18:00pm

 

2. Castle Bürresheim

Burresheim Castle is a stunning medieval castle that is situated to the northwest direction of the Rheinland-Pfalz region of northern Germany. It is a visually striking castle, due to its dramatic turrets, spires, and Gothic features, as well as its beautiful location; it is nestled upon a rock in the Eifel mountains, that tower above to gorgeous Nette. The castle is one of the most famous in the region, and is very well known for its role as a filming location for many popular modern movies, such as ‘Indian Jones and the Last Crusade’. The Castle Burresheim was resided in until the year 1921, where it was converted into a museum, that was operated by the General Directorate for Cultural Heritage Rhineland-Palatinate, and is still open to the public today.

Where: Mayen, Germany

When: 15th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

3. Schloss Drachenburg

Originally constructed in the late 19th century, Schloss Drachenburg is a large and impressive private villa, that is built in the palace style. It is located on the beautiful Drachenfels hill in the town of Konigswinter, which is a stunning and traditional town on the river Rhine, near to the city of Bonn. The castle was built with the purpose of Baron Stephan von Sarter residing there, who was a prominent figure in the banking sector, though he never ended up moving there. Today, the castle is under the control of the State Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia and is open to the public, who are charmed by its grand, and otherworldly presence.

Where: Konigswinter, Germany

When: 19th century

Style: Palace

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

4. Schloss Dyck

Castle Dyck, or locally known as Schloss Dyck, is a gorgeous moated castle that is situated in the Rhineland region of Germany. More specifically, it is located in the municipality of Juchen, which is only a short distance away from Cologne. The castle has a rich and vast history, dating back to the year 1094 when the knight Hermannus de Disco was recorded as being the lord of an early, and simplistic fortification. Throughout the centuries, the castle was slowly modified, modernized and fortified to fulfill the military needs of the time. The castle was inherited by Johann V von Reifferscheidt, and the family-owned the castle for well over 900 years, until the year 1999, where it was adapted to the Centre for Garden Art and Landscape design.

Where: Rhineland, Germany

When: 1094

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

5. Hoensbroek Castle

Actually not located in Germany, but rather the Netherlands, but merely a stone’s throw away from Cologne, lies the Hoensbroek Castle, which is one of the largest castles in the country. It is situated in the province of Limburg and was originally a motte-and-bailey castle that dates back to the year 1225, however, this early castle no longer exists, and the earliest part that exists today dates back to 1360, which is the tall and round tower. Like many European castles, Hoensbroek Castle altered its shape and style throughout the centuries of its existence, having undergone several drastic rebuilds and expansions, with its main ones in the 14th, 17th and 18th centuries.

Where: Hoensbroek, the Netherlands

When: 13th century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 9:00am – 16:00pm

6. Burgau Castle

Burgau Castle is an impressive water castle that is located in the German town of Duren, which is perched upon the edge of the luscious town forest. Though it is not entirely certain as to when the castle was built, there are traces of evidence that link the castle back to the year 1100, whereby a motte structure existed. There is also evidence of the Medieval period, whereby the keep dates back to this period; in the 16th century, a bay was added and was decorated lavishly. Later, in the year 1730, the castle was converted into a grand Baroque building, that consisted of three wings. Sadly, during the Second World War, the castle was heavily destroyed in 1944, and was renovated back to its former glory between the years 1975 and 1998, and has been open to the public ever since.

Where: Duren, Germany

When: 12th century

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

7. Schloss Homburg

The first mentions of the Schloss Homburg, or Homburg Castle, dating back to the year 1276, where Gottfried I of Sayn passed over his castle to Rudolf of Habsburg, who was the King of Germany at the time. Centuries later, in 1635, Schloss Homburg was renovated drastically to its current appearance by Count Ernst von Sayn-Wittgenstein, adding contemporary stylistic features that were in line with Renaissance principles. Unfortunately, the castle fell into disrepair in the 18th century, and was left to be abandoned; in 1904, a renovation began and in 1926, a museum was installed, which is today called the Museum of Oberbergisches Kreis. Today, the castle is a popular tourist destination for those who are visiting Cologne.

Where: Numbrecht, Germany

When: 13th century

Style: Renaissance

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

8. Schloß Augustusburg

Schloss Augustusburg is part of a larger historical complex, known as the Augustusburg and Falkenlust Palaces, which are located in Bruhl, which is in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany. These palaces were built at the turn of the 18th century, by the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, Clemens August of Bavaria; there were several famous and prominent architects and designers involved in the construction of the palaces, including Johann Conrad Schlaun, and Francois de Cuvillies, as well as Johann Balthasar Neumann, who constructed the magnificent and impressive staircase. Today, the castle is open to the public, as our gorgeous grounds and flower gardens, which are the perfect place to take a stroll on a sunny afternoon.

Where: Bruhl, Germany

When: 18th century

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

9. Burg Castle

Burg Castle is located in the town of Burg an der Wupper, and is famous for being the largest reconstructed castle in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany, and it is a popular tourist destination for those staying in the surrounding cities. The castle’s origins begin at the turn of the 12th century, where Count Adolf III of Berg constructed the castle, upon a large mountain that towered above the river below; however, this castle was left to fall into disrepair and abandonment, and was not restored and rebuilt until the 15th century. In the year 1632, Swedish troops took control of the castle, and during the Thirty Years War in 1648, Imperial troops further damaged the castle, and eventually, it was left to decay and ruin.

Where: Burg an der Wupper, Germany

When: 12th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:30pm

10. Schloss Paffendorf

The first mention of Schloss Paffendorf dates back to the year 1230, though it is not known for certain when it was first constructed. Schloss Paffendorf began life as a moated castle, which is still how it exists today; it was built in the popular and contemporary red-brick style of the Renaissance era, giving it an image that is firmly rooted in the period. The castle was later redesigned in 1861 and 1865, where the contemporary Neo-Gothic style influenced the rebuild; many features were replaced and adapted to inject a sense of Gothicism. The castle is situated in a 7.5-hectare park, which is full of gorgeous forestry, plants, and flowers, that is open to the public today.

Where: Paffendorf, Germany

When: 1230

Style: Neo-Gothic

Open for visit: 9:00am – 17:00pm

11. Ehreshoven Castle

Situated in Engelskirchen in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany lies Ehreshoven Castle, which is a beautiful moated castle that is full of history. The castle was initially owned by Siegburg Abbey, which has originally been founded in the year 1164 by Archbishop Anno of Cologne. The castle as it stands today was first mentioned in the year 1355, where a small house stood in its place. The last resident of the castle died in 1920 with no heir to the estate, and it was thus passed over; it became a charitable foundation for Canonesses in the year 1924, and many original features are still in place and are open to the public to explore.

Where: Ehreshoven, Germany

When: 12th-century origins

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 15:00pm

12. Schloss Bensberg

Nestled in the scenic town of Bergisch Gladbach lies the gorgeous Schloss Bensberg, which is a stunning Baroque white stone castle. Schloss Bensberg was built in the 17th century by the decree of Elector Palatine Johann Wilhelm II, and it was constructed as a symbol of love for Anna Maria Luisa de Medici. An interesting point about the castle is that the famous poet Goethe stayed there for a brief period, and compared the castle to the grandeur of Versailles. Today, the castle is home to a beautiful and luxury hotel, Althoff Grandhotel Schloss Bensberg bei Koln, and many of the original features and artifacts involved in the building’s history are still on display.

Where: Bergisch Gladbach, Germany

When: 17th century

Style: Baroque

Open to visit: Not open to the general public, only hotel guests

13. Burg Satzvey

Situated in the depths of Germany’s Rhineland region lies Burg Satzvey, which is a gorgeous water castle, that exudes a charm that can only be described as fairy-tale-like and otherworldly. Its first recorded history dates back to the year 1396, though it is believed to be at least a few hundred years older than this. For the last three hundred years, Burg Satzvey has been a family-owned castle, and today is the primary residence of the family of Counts Beissel von Gymnich. Many visitors make a trip to this castle to admire its beautiful architecture, grounds, and history, and to feel as though they have jumped straight into a fairy-tale story.

Where: Satzvey, Germany

When: 14th century

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

14. Falkenlust

The recently discussed Augustusburg Castle, that is part of the larger complex, shares the same site as Falkenlust Castle, which is located approximately two kilometers away. Unlike Augustusburg Castle, Falkenlust is a lot smaller and is lusciously adorned with an array of artworks and artifacts. The castle began life primarily as a hunting lodge, and many of the artworks are focused on the theme of the sport and hunting. Though there are many more famous castles in the vicinity of Cologne, Falkenlust is an intimate example of 18th-century architecture and way of life and has some of the most beautiful and fascinating interiors on display.

Where: Bruhl, Germany

When: 18th century

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

15. Burg Flamersheim

With its origins dating way back to the 9th century, Burg Flamersheim, or otherwise known as Flamersheim Castle, is a beautiful Baroque castle, that is located in Euskirchen-Flamersheim. Over the many centuries of its existence, the castle expanded into a larger complex of buildings, each bringing with it a new layer of history that suited the needs and styles of the time. During the 17th century, the castle took on the façade of a Baroque country Palace and was renovated by the Quandt von Landskron family, after they had acquired the castle through the Palandt. This noble and influential family owned the castle privately for a long period of time, and today, it is open to the general public.

Where: Euskirchen-Flamersheim, Germany

When: 9th century

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 10:00am – 17:00pm

16. Burg Reifferscheid

Standing today as dramatic ruins, Burg Reifferscheid, or Reifferscheid Castle, tower at a whopping 450 meters above sea level, and are nestled between the mountains of Eifel, and the Ardennes. The first historical mention of the castle dates back to the year 1106 in the Chronica Regia, where an early castle stood. Over time, the castle was gradually modernized, and further additions were added with each renovation and reconstruction. Sadly, in the year 1509, a severe fire occurred, which heavily damaged the castle; a new one was built, until it was again destroyed in 1669 by another fatal fire. Upon the remains, a Baroque-style castle was built upon the foundations, and it was later fully restored in the year 1725.

Where: Eifel, Germany

When: 1106

Style: Medieval

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

17. Merode Castle

Actually located in Westerlo, in Belgium, Merode Castle has existed s the home of the House of Merode for well over five centuries. It was originally built in the 14th century in the local brownstone of the region and has changed shape over the centuries that it has existed. During the 16th century, the castle was renovated into a luxury residence and lost the shape of its original castle façade, and with it its fortifications. During the 19th century, when Romanticism was rife, many Neo-Gothic, medieval-style features were added, which gave it a fairy-tale-like, and otherworldly feel, that still enchanting and captures the imaginations of many visitors to this day. The castle is surrounded by gorgeous grounds, that are filled with a plethora of beautiful flora and fauna.

Where: Westerlo, Belgium

When: 14th century

Style: Neo-Gothic

Open for visit: 10:00am – 18:00pm

18. Burg Blankenheim

The beautiful Burg Blankenheim, or Burg Castle, is a stunning castle that is nestled in the Eifel mountains, nearby to the village of Blankenheim. It was originally built as a hill castle in approximately the year 1115, by Gerhard I, and it later became the family seat of the House of Blankenheim. The Medieval castle was later reconstructed into a Baroque castle, with many features of the stylistic principles, such as a courtyard style garden and an orangery. Later, in 1794, French troops marched into the castle, and it became uninhabited for a very long time. In the 20th century, the castle was renovated and converted into a tourist site, where a youth hostel and museum were added.

Where: Blankenheim, Germany

When: 1115

Style: Baroque

Open for visit: 10:00am – 16:00pm

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *