Germany is a land filled with historical buildings and German castles and forts are among the most renowned in the world. Each week I publish a post about a German castle or fort and tell you – my readers – about its history, important things to see there and much more.
In the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany, lies one of the country’s most underrated castles: Lichtenstein. Located about an hour’s drive from the beautiful city of Stuttgart, this castle is perched on a cliff, overlooking the Black Forest. Lichtenstein Castle gets its name from the Knights of Lichtenstein who were a noble family in the then Kingdom of Württemberg. The family had the castle built in 1390, after deciding to relocate from a fortress located down the mountain from the new location. This decision proved to be more than worth it because Lichtenstein Castle withstood every single attack mounted on it throughout the Middle Ages. In 1567, the Lichtenstein family – which, by now, were Dukes – shifted their seat to another castle, and the Lichtenstein Castle was ignored. By 1687, the last of the Lichtensteins perished fighting the Ottoman Turks, and no one tended to the castle at all. By 1802, all but the foundations of Lichtenstein Castle remained, and somebody had the audacity to construct an unpretentious hunting lodge over it!
Enter our savior. Count Wilhelm of Württemberg purchased the hunting lodge and the surrounding estate in 1837, and set about constructing a new castle on it. His main inspiration for the construction was the book “Lichtenstein” by German author Wilhelm Hauff. Strangely, there is a surprisingly high number of Wilhelms in the history of Lichtenstein Castle. The shiny new castle was opened in 1842 and has been there ever since.
Now, that the history class is over, let’s get into the useful stuff: what to do when visiting the castle. Inside the castle, there is much to see such as the Armory, a quaint little chapel, the Knights’ Hall as well as many other rooms. The furniture is modeled on Medieval times and the feel is quite authentic. Other attractions lie outside, such as majestic views of the Black Forest from the mountaintop and the drawbridge. The castle has quite choosy opening times, if you ask me but the fee for the guided tour (the only way to tour the castle) are quite decent. It’s also possible to rent the castle which is quite cool.
As you might notice by looking at the photo below, it is more than worth it to visit the place in the winter. It should make for a whole truckload of Instagram photos and Facebook profile photos. If you come from a warm part of the world like me, your family and friends back home will ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at your winter photos. While in the neighborhood, you’ll be criminally insane not to visit the utterly stunning Black Forest. Hohenzollern Castle is nearby as well.