Why are there so many castles in Germany?

If you have ever wondered how many castles there are in Germany, experts estimate that there are a total of 25,000. But why are there so many compared to other European countries?

Castle in Würzburg, Germany – Photo by Mateo Krössler on Unsplash

In the Middle Ages, the nobility stopped building forts and began to build castles and palaces to live in them, and, above all, to demonstrate their power.
After the Mongol invasion of the 13th century, the Western world realized the importance of stone fortresses and castles for defense.

As time went on and technology evolved, so did the architectural style; and construction methods have changed. Thus, the architectural wonders we know today have arrived.

Why does Germany have so many castles?

On the territory of modern Germany there was, in the past, a conglomeration of smaller feudal states.

Each state had its own laws, and each prince or count had his own castle that was built for defense and refuge. During the wars, the entire surrounding population took refuge behind the castle walls.

The dominant social system of the Middle Ages is called feudalism. This means that the king or emperor rented the land of the state to several vassals who, in turn, rented smaller shares to farmers.

In turn, the farmers gave a part of the landlord to the landlord representing the rent.
The owner offered in exchange protection and shelter in the castle in case of attack.

As castles were fortresses rather than palaces, they were not built solely for the rulers of the time. They were a good that everyone needed, a symbol of the feudal state of the Middle Ages.

For castle lovers, Germany is a real paradise

Neuschwanstein Castle – Photo by Lukas K on Unsplash

The most famous castle is Neuschwanstein, built by order of the “Crazy King” Ludwig II of Bavaria and, if it seems familiar to some, it should be mentioned that it was chosen by cartoonist Walt Disney as a model for Sleeping Beauty Castle.

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