Walk through mighty castle gates, roam between high towers and mighty stone walls or marvel at splendidly furnished rooms: Bavaria's mighty castles and palaces are full of stories and secrets just waiting to be discovered by you. Let our excursion tips inspire you and take a journey back in time to the five most beautiful castles and palaces in Bavaria.
For over 100 years, six nobles ruled the Kingdom of Bavaria: Maximilian I Joseph, Ludwig I, Maximilian II, Ludwig II, Prince Regent Luitpold, Ludwig III. With the November Revolution of 1918, the monarchy was abolished and the Free State of Bavaria was proclaimed. Kings no longer exist - but their palaces and castles in Bavaria do. Today they house exciting exhibitions and show at original locations or deceptively real replicas what life was like at court back then. Follow in the footsteps of Bavarian kings through the various eras and experience first-hand the splendor of days long past. We have put together a selection of the five most fabulous castles and palaces in Bavaria for you here.
From a small pleasure palace to one of the largest royal palaces in Europe: In 1664, Elector Ferdinand Maria gave Nymphenburg Palace to his wife Henriette. The occasion was the arrival of the long-awaited heir Max Emmanuel. It was the latter who expanded Nymphenburg so impressively. Today, the north-south axis measures a proud 632 meters, surpassing even the world-famous Versailles Palace in Paris. Visitor attractions include the Stone Festival Hall, the Beauty Gallery, where you can admire the face of Lola Montez - the mistress of King Ludwig I - and the birthplace of the famous fairy-tale king Ludwig II. An absolute must is an extensive walk through the 200-hectare, geometrically designed Baroque garden.
Nymphenburg Palace Park and the Nymphenburg Palace Museums
Rosenberg Fortress towers majestically above the roofs of the Upper Franconian town of Kronach. Since its first official mention in 1249, it has bravely withstood all attempts at conquest and has truly earned the reputation of being "Germany's largest defensive fortress". Today, Kronach's landmark impresses - in addition to a magnificent view - with its unique architecture, with elements from the Romanesque period to modern times. World-famous architects such as Balthasar Neumann and Johann Maximilian von Welsch have immortalized themselves here and contributed to the impressive appearance of the Bavarian castle. Inside the castle, art lovers will find 1,000 square meters of Franconian masterpieces by renowned artists such as Cranach and Riemenschneider. If you want to get a little spooky, let yourself be guided by candlelight through the underground vaulted passages.
Historical journey through time at Rosenberg Fortress in Kronach
High above the tranquil little town of Kulmbach, Plassenburg Castle stands guard on a mountain over its roughly 25,000 inhabitants. The former residence of the famous Hohenzollern dynasty was first mentioned in a document in 1135 and has had to withstand numerous attacks and sieges over the past 900 years. Today, the landmark of Kulmbach is home to four museums, three of which deal extensively with the history surrounding the Plassenburg and the life of the people in the region at that time. The secret attraction is the pewter figurine museum with its more than 300,000 hand-painted individual figurines. It is the largest museum of its kind in the world and brings Napoleon's battles, fairy tale scenes or famous paintings back to life in its mini-exhibitions. One of the 150 showcases has even made it into the "Guinness Book of Records"! Definitely plan to visit!
Plassenburg castle: A foray through the history of Kulmbach
A royal residence in the middle of the city: In the heart of Munich, you can marvel at Germany's largest inner-city palace. For almost 400 years, the Munich Residence was home to the famous Wittelsbach dynasty, one of the oldest and most important noble houses in Europe. The imposing building of the Bavarian palace was built between 1508-1918 and was expanded and rebuilt by various architects during this time. This explains the architectural mix of different, art-historical epochs: Starting from the Renaissance, through the Baroque to Classicism. One of the highlights on the sightseeing list is the Antiquarium. The approximately 66-meter-long vaulted hall with its colorful ceiling fresco is the oldest room in the Residenz and is considered the largest and most magnificent Renaissance hall north of the Alps. Another highlight can be found in the neighboring Grottenhof. The elaborately decorated facade, consisting of coral, amber and numerous other types of shells, regularly captivates its visitors. After the castle tour, a relaxing round in the fresh air in the adjacent courtyard garden is the crowning finale. Stroll through the picturesque park and watch the boules players who regularly throw their balls here in convivial company.
Tracing the history of Bavaria's kings at the Munich Residence and neighbouring Hofgarten
A castle of barley juice and spices: The Tuchers are considered one of the most important merchant families in Nuremberg. They owe their economic success mainly to the spice trade and the founding of the "Tucher Bräu" beer brand. From 1533 to 1544, the patrician family treated themselves to a summer residence in the middle of Nuremberg's old town in the form of the Tucher Castle. Today, the three-story sandstone building in the style of the Italian Renaissance is a museum. Visitors can expect authentic insights into the life of the Tuchers at that time. Walk in their footsteps and marvel at valuable works of art, sculptures and personal items from the 15th to the 19th century. To make the experience perfect, stroll through the magnificent castle garden or play a game of boules. You can get the balls at the ticket office.
It stands out proudly and majestically: the Veste Coburg dominates the cityscape of the Franconian royal seat. Due to its prominent location, the former fortress is also called the "Franconian Crown". The oldest surviving parts of the imposing structure date back to the 13th century. Visitors:inside can get a close-up look at iron gates, pitch pits and cannons that were used to defend the complex. Be sure to follow in the blue-blooded footsteps inside the Veste as well: the diverse art collections of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha offer some highlights, such as gilded wedding carriages!