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Wonders of Germany

Hohenzollern Castle
Hohenzollern Castle./ Sonse, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

Germany has a picturesque landscape and rather many natural landmarks, but these are overshadowed by the rich and diverse cultural heritage. Immense values have been lost in warfare but Germans have duly rebuilt their cultural treasures and are constantly creating new values.

The most amazing wonders of Germany are:

  • Medieval towns and cities. The country lost thousands of valuable buildings and whole historical cities in World War II but nevertheless, Germany is world-famous due to its fairy-tale towns. It is even hard to name the most outstanding ones – but Rothenburg ob der Tauber could be one of the best.
  • Hilltop castles and replicas of castles. Neuschwanstein Castle (which is not a true castle) is known worldwide, but even more interesting are such buildings as Hohenzollern Castle (also not a true castle), Eltz castle, and some other structures.
  • Churches, especially churches in Romanesque style with such world-famous examples as Speyer, Trier, and Worms cathedrals. Outstanding building is also the Gothic Cologne Cathedral and Carolingian Aachen Cathedral.
  • Rococo architecture. Germany has many outstanding Baroque-style buildings but especially charming are the exquisite late Baroque – Rococo style buildings, such as the interior of the basilica in Ottobeuren Abbey, Wies Church, Sanssouci, Augustusburg Palace, Zwinger and many other structures.

Germany is divided into 16 states

 

States of Germany:

  • Baden – WĂĽrttemberg
  • Bavaria
  • Berlin
  • Brandenburg
  • Bremen
  • Hamburg
  • Hesse
  • Mecklenburg – Western Pomerania
  • Lower Saxony
  • North Rhine – Westphalia
  • Rhineland – Palatinate
  • Saarland
  • Saxony
  • Saxony-Anhalt
  • Schleswig-Holstein
  • Thuringia

Map with the described wonders of Germany

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of Germany

Architecture wonders of Germany

Aachen Cathedral

North Rhine – Westphalia

The oldest cathedral in Northern Europe. Historically very important church, the residence of Charlemagne, place of coronation of 42 kings and queens. Constructed in 792 – 805, rebuilt numerous times adding new values.

Aachen Cathedral
Aachen Cathedral. / GĂĽnter Hentschel, Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0
Cologne Cathedral

North Rhine – Westphalia

One of the most impressive Gothic-style cathedrals in the world and one of the largest churches in the world. 144.5 m long, two 157 meters tall towers. Constructed in 1248 – 1880. The most visited landmark in Germany.

Cologne Cathedral, Germany
Cologne Cathedral / Robert Breuer, / CC BY-SA 3.0
Neuschwanstein Castle

Bavaria

One of the world’s most recognized “castles” – but in reality, this is not a true fortified castle but a Neo-Romanesque palace. Constructed on a hilltop at the base of the Alps in 1869 – 1892 (unfinished). Very ornate interiors.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle / Gabriel CalderĂłn BohĂłrquez, / CC BY-SA 2.0
Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Bavaria

One of the best-preserved medieval towns in the world. Developed around the castle in the 12th – 13th centuries. Preserved fortification walls of the town.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Rothenburg ob der Tauber. / zczillinger, Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0
Bamberg

Bavaria

Beautiful medieval city with authentic planning of early medieval cities and a huge number of valuable buildings. The city flourished in the 12th – 19th centuries.

Bamberg, the Old Town Council Building
Bamberg, the Old Town Council Building./ Klaus, Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0
Eltz Castle

Rhineland – Palatinate

Very impressive hilltop castle. Construction started before 1157, and the castle is still owned by its original owners. Castle has some 100 rooms and at times up to 100 members of the family have been living here.

Eltz Castle
Eltz Castle. / Alexandre Prevot, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Museum Island

Berlin

A complex of five important museums, constructed in 1824 – 1930: Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode Museum, and Pergamon Museum. Pergamon Museum houses Pergamon Altar from Turkey and Ishtar Gates from Babylon, Iraq.

Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin
Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin./ Jean-Pierre Dalbéra, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Nymphenburg Palace

Bavaria

Enormous Baroque palace, the summer residence of the rulers of Bavaria. Constructed in 1664 – 1675 (central part) and the 18th century. The facade of the palace is some 700 m wide, many rooms have ornate interiors.

Nymphenburg Palace
Nymphenburg Palace. / oatsy40, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Hohenzollern Castle

Baden – Württemberg

An enormous and impressive hilltop castle. The current castle was constructed in 1846 – 1867 in Neo-Gothic style on the site of earlier castles – thus it is not a true castle, but not a classical palace either.

Hohenzollern Castle in Germany
Hohenzollern Castle in Germany / Misses S, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Zwinger

Saxony

Beautiful palace in Rococo style, constructed in 1710 – 1728.

Zwinger, Wall Pavillion
Zwinger, Wall Pavillion. / Polybert49, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Sanssouci and Sanssouci Park

Brandenburg

Rococo palace, constructed in 1745 – 1747 for the Prussian king Frederick the Great. The beautiful terraced gardens around the palace have numerous interesting samples of garden architecture, such as the ornate Chinese House.

Sanssouci, Neues Palais
Sanssouci, Neues Palais./ Andy Hay, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
LĂĽbeck

Schleswig-Holstein

One of the most important medieval cities in Northern Europe, with a well-preserved core of a fortified medieval city. Lübeck was one of the main cities of the Hanseatic League and prospered in the 12th – 16th century. Contains a huge number of valuable structures, often built of brick.

LĂĽbeck
LĂĽbeck. / kitmasterbloke, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe

Hesse

One of the most impressive Baroque parks worldwide, the largest hillside park in Europe. Developed in 1696 – 1850. Includes numerous unique examples of landscape architecture – Roman aqueduct with 43 m tall artificial waterfall, giant, 250 m long cascades. Contains the 70.5 m tall Hercules Monument.

Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe
Bergpark Wilhelmshöhe, The Great Cascade. / Thomas Vogt, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Ulm Minster

Baden – Württemberg

The tallest church in the world so far (before the completion of 170 meters high Sagrada Familia in Barcelona) – 161.53 meters. Constructed in beautiful Gothic forms in 1377 – 1890.

Ulm Minster
Ulm Minster. / N i c o l a, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Heidelberg Castle

Baden – Württemberg

An enormous castle, one of the most significant Renaissance buildings in this part of Europe. Construction started in 1214 and expanded in the 17th century when most of the present buildings were constructed.

Heidelberg Castle
Heidelberg Castle./ Hossam el-Hamalawy, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Dresden Frauenkirche

Saxony

Rebuilt replica of one of the most impressive Baroque buildings north of the Alps. Originally constructed in 1726 – 1743. 96 m high dome is extremely durable in spite of its enormous size. Ruined in World War II and rebuilt in 2005.

Dresden Frauenkirche
Dresden Frauenkirche./ Sönke Biehl, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Wartburg Castle

Thuringia

Historically important hilltop castle that was gradually built starting from the 11th century. Especially impressive is the Romanesque part of the castle with Sängersaal. Castle served as a refuge for Martin Luther in 1521 – 1522.

Wartburg Castle
Wartburg Castle./ Xiquinho Silva, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Speyer Cathedral

Rhineland – Palatinate

One of the most impressive Romanesque-style structures in the world, the largest remaining church in this style. Constructed in 1030 – 1108 AD. 134 m long, the height of the nave is 33 m, height of the tallest tower – is 71.2 m.

Speyer Cathedral
Speyer Cathedral. / Oliver Dester, Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0
Bayreuth Opera House

Bavaria

This opera house was built specifically for the performance of operas composed by Richard Wagner. Constructed in 1872 – 1876. The building has unique acoustics and is the largest timber structure ever built.

Inside the Bayreuth Margravial Opera House, Germany
Inside the Bayreuth Margravial Opera House / lilli2de, / CC BY-SA 2.0
WeiĂźenstein Palace

Bavaria

Large Baroque palace, built in 1711 – 1718. Contains the largest private collection of Baroque art in Germany including paintings of Titian, Rembrandt, and other great painters.

WeiĂźenstein Palace
WeiĂźenstein Palace. / Allie_Caulfield, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Marksburg

Rhineland – Palatinate

Well preserved medieval castle, built on the top of the hill at the Rhine. Constructed in 1117.

Marksburg
Marksburg./ Justin LaBerge, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Augustusburg Palace and Falkenlust Palace

North Rhine – Westphalia

Some of the earliest and best examples of the Rococo style, constructed in the first half of the 18th century.

Augustusburg
Augustusburg. / Matthias MĂĽnning, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Quedlinburg

Saxony-Anhalt

A well-preserved medieval city with characteristic half-timbered buildings. Contains numerous valuable buildings from the 14th to 20th centuries.

Quedlinburg
Quedlinburg. / Michael Dernbach, Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0
Worms Cathedral

Rhineland – Palatinate

Magnificent church from 1110 – 1081, one of the best examples of Romanesque style in the world. 110 m long, with four round towers, the height of the nave – 26 m.

Worms Cathedral
Worms Cathedral./ Uwe Nassal, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Speicherstadt

Hamburg

The largest district of timber-pile-founded warehouses in the world, constructed in 1883 – 1928. This port district includes numerous innovative and unusual designs to provide more efficient port activities, it includes 17 warehouses.

Speicherstadt
Speicherstadt./ Marcus Horstbrink, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

WorldYellow Recommended books

Rick Steves Germany 2019


From fairy-tale castles and alpine forest to quaint villages and modern cities: with Rick Steves on your side, Germany can be yours!

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Germany


DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Germany takes you by the hand, leading you straight to the best attractions this country has to offer, from its beautiful castles and cathedrals to its popular beer halls, festivals, and Christmas markets to walks and hikes through the countryside. Experience Oktoberfest in Munich, ski down the Alps, and cruise or hike along the Rhine to see romantic castles and vineyards.


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