The oldest inhabited fortress in Germany
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Fabulous Meersburg Castle
High above Lake Constance stands Meersburg Castle, a stone witness to medieval times and the oldest inhabited fortress in Germany. As soon as they cross the former drawbridge, visitors can get a sense of the magic of bygone days, which are brought back to life on a tour through the museum with its old walkways and numerous rooms such as the great hall, living quarters, water chamber, armoury, knights’ hall, castle dungeon and many more.
The tour starts at the gateway, where a picture hanging over the small lancet door shows a hand almost chopped off as a warning to deter visitors from disturbing the peace of the castle. This was expressed in a painting as most people in the Middle Ages could not read. According to legend, the mighty fortress dates back to the 7th century to the days of the Merovingians under King Dagobert I. In 1211, the castle passed into the possession of the prince-bishops of Constance. It was used first as a summer residence before becoming the permanent seat of the bishopric in 1526. For centuries, the largest prince-bishopric in the German-speaking part of the world was governed from Meersburg. At the beginning of the 14th century, Meersburg Castle became the first German fortress to be besieged with firearms, but it was not conquered or destroyed. As a result, visitors to the castle are presented with an undistorted and thrilling view of the past at every turn. From a fortified bishop’s seat to a museum In the course of secularisation, Meersburg Castle fell to the Grand Duchy of Baden in 1803. During this time, a court of law was established that was held in the old castle walls for many years. However, Meersburg Castle was so expensive to maintain and upkeep, that the Grand Duchy decided to sell it off. In 1838, it was bought by Baron Joseph von Laßberg, an archaeologist and passionate collector of medieval writings, who turned Meersburg into a magnet for literary figures and researchers of his day. The castle was sold for a second time in 1877 to Carl Mayer von Mayerfels, an enthusiastic collector of castles, who restored the old fortress and created the first castle museum back in 1878. The tour through the museum has been extended several times: The most recent addition, Dagobert’s tower, one of the oldest parts of Meersburg Castle, is now open to the public. A tour through the Middle Ages The tour through the castle museum with its living quarters, great hall, water chamber, former kitchen, armoury, walkways, knights’ hall, castle dungeon and much more offers a fascinating insight into bygone days. The torture chamber gives visitors an idea of jurisdiction in the Middle Ages. The rooms belonging to the famous German poetess Annette von Droste-Hülshoff are also included in the tour. In addition, visitors can climb Dagobert’s tower, where they can enjoy the wonderful views of the town of Meersburg and Lake Constance.
This text comes from the Bodensee Magazin - English Edition.
The Knight Shop
The knight shop is located inside the castle and can only be reached during a tour. Unique souvenirs such as postcards of the interiors, which are sold only here, are available in the knight shop. Literature about Annette von Droste-Hülshoff can also be found here. Countless books for children and teenagers on the subject of castles, knights and the Middle Ages expand one's own knowledge.
The Knights Market
Our knight's market is freely accessible in front of the entrance to the castle. Knight's armour, costumes, games, decorative weapons and all kinds of knights, castles and the Middle Ages can be purchased here.
"The "animated castle" stands for a variety of staged historical life worlds in the castle - for a depicted historical culture. Each weekend from April to October, medieval culture from different epochs is presented in a genuine and authentic way at Meersburg Castle. A colourful hustle and bustle in authentic clothing and furnishings are the order of the day: an exciting journey into the Middle Ages!
On this journey, you can experience a lot and beauty!
Depending on the main theme, there is dying with plant materials, pottery with a foot-operated potter's wheel; a furniture maker, bookbinder and a historical writing room; a blacksmith and a shoemaker could also be seen at work.
Paper is omnipresent today, so it would be something special to be there when the paper is made according to ancient art. Maybe there is a beer brewer or a needle maker? How did children learn arithmetic in the past? This is shown with diligently working children at a calculator's table. Of course, the "male" side, the military with soldiers in armour, will not be missing.
But not only work is done: Sometimes there is bowling, throwing dice at a game table. The performers can be found in their activities throughout the entire museum area or sitting in the knight's hall at the large covered table. There the meals are taken, which were prepared before in the Gesindeküche after medieval prescription.
The visitor to the castle is more than just a spectator! The actors and actresses are happy to answer questions about life in the time of knights and minstrels, etc.
As a visitor to the castle, you can experience the revitalisation of the castle at the regular admission price. The normal entrance fees to the castle apply, without an additional surcharge.
Dates for the lively castle 2019:
|06th - 07th April|
|11th - 12th May|
|29th - 30th June|
|13th - 14th July|
|17th - 18th August|
|14th - 15th September|
|12th - 13th October|
Meersburg Castle offers a great programme all year round. In addition to the museum visit and special castle tours, there are regular literature readings. Special highlights are the Belebte Burg, the Mittelaltermarkt and the Advent tours.
Accommodation at Lake Constance
Book your Lake Constance holiday now - in our accommodation directory, you will find numerous accommodations in the region.
This destination is a member of the Verband der Tourismuswirtschaft Bodensee.
"The best of Lake Constance"
|Winter (November - February)|
|daily||10:00 am - 06:00 pm|
|Summer (March - October)|
|daily||09:00 am - 06:30 pm|
|Last admission 06:00 pm, we recommend to schedule at least 1,5 hours for the visit.|
|Youth 14-18 years (with their students identification card)||€ 10,00|
|Children 6-13 years||€ 8,00|
|The entrance fee for families and groups are shown here.|