Germany is home to thousands of castles. While some are ruins from the Middle Ages, others are extravagant palaces constructed by Germany’s last monarchs.
For those who enjoy seeing medieval castles, the Marksburg Castle in Rhineland-Palatinate is worth a trip. This majestic castle sits high on a cliff, which made it impenetrable to enemy forces and allowed it to survive for centuries.
The castle was constructed in the 12th century by a powerful family in the region. Over the centuries that followed, it was rebuilt many times over by high noble counts.
In the 19th century, French emperor Napoleon took control of the region and gave the Marksburg Castle to an ally of his, the Duke of Nassau. At this time, the castle was used as a prison and a home for disabled soldiers.
Castle ownership changed hands again before it was finally sold to the German Castle Association in the year 1900. Since 1931, Marksburg has been the head office of this organization, which is dedicated to the conservation of historic buildings.
Today, the castle is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is open daily for guided tours.