Imag­ine the pic­ture: it’s a beau­ti­ful day, you just came from the yard and you hear music from the big hall. You want to rest, so you climb the steps of the tow­er to your room. You are safe­ly sur­round­ed by stone walls, armed guards and a moat. It’s great to live in a cas­tle. In this arti­cle, we will delve into his­to­ry and find out which coun­try has the most cas­tles.


Peo­ple have been build­ing cas­tles since ancient times. They were very pop­u­lar in the Mid­dle Ages when they were built for roy­al fam­i­lies. Today, some peo­ple still live in cas­tles. How­ev­er, most of the struc­tures are non-res­i­den­tial. Instead, cas­tles wel­come thou­sands of tourists every year. Do you want to feel like the own­er of the cas­tle? Where should you go to immerse your­self in the atmos­phere of the Mid­dle Ages as much as pos­si­ble? Which coun­try has the largest num­ber of these majes­tic struc­tures?

castle on the rock

Of course, your first stop should be in Ger­many, which has more cas­tles than any oth­er coun­try. The total num­ber of cas­tles here can­not be accu­rate­ly cal­cu­lat­ed. Accord­ing to rough esti­mates, there are more than 25,000 of them! The Euro­pean Cas­tle Insti­tute start­ed a study in 2018 to get an exact num­ber. How­ev­er, it will take ten years to com­plete the count.

Why are there so many cas­tles in Ger­many? There is no sin­gle rea­son, but the his­to­ry of the coun­try can pro­vide one expla­na­tion. Before Ger­many became one nation, it con­sist­ed of many tribes. Dat­ing back to 3500 B.C. his­tor­i­cal records show that these tribes fought each oth­er. They were also under con­stant threat from out­side invaders. The Ger­man tribes built cas­tles to pro­tect them­selves.

See also
Lake Ohrid in Macedonia


Ger­many is not the only exam­ple here. Cas­tles appeared through­out Europe to pro­tect against the Vikings and Romans. Many of them are still stand­ing in France, Spain and the UK. Wales has the high­est num­ber of cas­tles per square mile. How­ev­er, no oth­er coun­try has built as many cas­tles as Ger­many.


Would­n’t it be great to see all 25,000 Ger­man cas­tles? Is this pos­si­ble, and where should you start the jour­ney? Most peo­ple prob­a­bly won’t have time to see every­thing. The two most fre­quent­ly vis­it­ed struc­tures are Wart­burg Cas­tle and Liecht­en­stein Cas­tle.

The Wart­burg Cas­tle is one of the old­est cas­tles still stand­ing in Ger­many. Built in 1067, it has a long his­to­ry. The Wart­burg once attract­ed many famous poets and even host­ed an annu­al poet­ry com­pe­ti­tion. In 1521, Mar­tin Luther stopped at the Wart­burg after he left the Catholic Church. There he trans­lat­ed the Bible into Ger­man in just ten weeks.

wartburg castle

Liecht­en­stein Cas­tle stands on a rock. A draw­bridge con­nects it to the near­est land. The cas­tle was built in 1377, but its tallest tow­er was added a hun­dred years lat­er. Today, vis­i­tors to Liecht­en­stein Cas­tle com­pare it to a fairy-tale fortress.

Oth­er famous cas­tles in Ger­many include Marks­burg, Mun­zen­berg and Burghausen. With so many build­ings, you won’t get bored. Vis­it­ing Ger­man cas­tles is a great way to learn about the coun­try’s his­to­ry and archi­tec­ture. You can also learn a lot by vis­it­ing old build­ings in the area where you live! What inter­est­ing build­ings are near you?