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Castles and Palaces of Harz

During the course of history the Harz once had over 500 castles. Today a wide range of castles and palaces can be found, from medieval ruins, formidable fortresses, stately homes and royal residences.

Falkenstein Castle

Falkenstein Castle was built between 1120 and 1180 and has been modified frequently, but still retains the character of a medieval castle. It has a commanding location and was never captured in its history. According to legend Falkenstein Castle has its origins in a murder: around 1080, Egeno II of Konradsburg killed Count Adalbert of Ballenstedt in a fight, whereupon the murderer was allegedly made to give his family seat up to be converted into a monastery. As a result, Egeno's son, Burchard von Konradsburg, had the new Falkenstein Castle built.

Stolberg Castle

Stolberg Castle offers a pleasant view upon the most picture perfect town of the eastern Harz. Stolberg has survived all wars unscathed and has the best kept half-timbered houses of all towns in the former GDR. Even in communistic times the incoming roads were kept flawless. One reason for this is that many secret service employees went on holiday here and government officials often chose this location to invite their high ranking guests. Thomas Müntzer was born here, leader of the farmer's revolt off 1525, and the first Great Revolutionary!

Quedlinburg Castle

Quedlinburg Castle is a large Renaissance style palace in the centre of the old town, on the other side of the hill to St. Servatius church. The castle dates from the 16th- to 17th centuries. Currently the castle is a museum which shows off the restored rooms of the building, each with original furniture and art works. The museum also houses a significant collection of historic firearms, and a library of original books.

Sondershausen Palace

Sondershausen Palace was for many centuries the residence of the Counts of Schwartzberg, the rulers of the small Thuringian state. In the castle museum, you can view the Schwartzberg family gallery, various sections for national and local history as well as part of the Schwartzberg art collection. A rarity is the golden coach, a state coach from the early 18th century.

Blankenburg Castle

Blankenburg Castle dominates the skyline and sits above the famous Baroque gardens and the smaller summer castle. The picturesque castle is of national historical importance as the former residence for the Counts of Regenstein-Blankenburg and the Dukes of Braunschweig- Wolfenbüttel. The association "Save Blankenburg Castle" was founded in 2005, it is a registered charity. Statutory purpose of the association is the protection and conservation of Blankenburg Castle. All donations are welcomed.

Wernigerode Castle

The Romanesque style Wernigerode Castle was founded in the 12th century and was used as a hunting lodge by the old emperors of Germany. It has changed architecturally from Neo-Gothic, to a Renaissance fortress and by the 18th century into a Baroque masterpiece.