The Prettiest Castle You’ve Never Heard Of
If you love visiting German castles, chances are you’ve probably already been to most of the big name places like Cochem, Burg Eltz, or even Neuschwanstein down in Bavaria. While these are, without question, beautiful places, there are some lesser known castles that, in a lot of ways, are just as impressive.
One such castle is Schloss Bürresheim – and, I have to say, this is one of my favorite castles. It’s in the northern part of the Eifel, just outside of Mayen. To put it into perspective…
You’ll most likely have to drive through Mayen to get to Schloss Bürresheim, which is a decent sized city. But the castle itself is out in the country, surrounded only by a small river and hiking trails.
The castle was built in the 14th century. It has two parts, one of which is mostly ruins today. The part that is open to the public is where the various families lived, all the way back to the 15th century.
Walking to the main entrance, you pass by two gardens. They have been maintained with the same design for over 500 years.
Once you get beyond this wall, you take a sharp turn and walk up a cobblestone-type path that leads into the courtyard.
I can’t stress enough how photogenic this castle is. There are so many beautiful little details everywhere. And as the clouds cover the sun, it changes instantly from fairytale-esque to Young Frankenstein.
You can wander around and take pictures all you like. If you want to go inside the castle, though, the only option is with a guided tour. But since it’s not a busy place, we had less than 10 people in our group. We went through all of the rooms at a slow and leisurely pace. Our guide was wonderful – answering questions, telling stories. And we didn’t have to fight through tons of people to look at anything. Yes, it was all in German. BUT – even if your German language skills begin and end at “Guten Tag,” I promise you would still enjoy the tour. The inside of this castle is gorgeous. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take pictures, but I was able to find a handful online.
These pictures are all from the 17th century-ish rooms. I couldn’t find any from the 15th century-ish rooms, but just know that there are other rooms with even older furniture and paintings. These pictures give you a taste, but they don’t do it justice. Especially the chapel. It is breathtaking in person. And the tour is more than reasonably priced. We paid just 5€ per person, and it lasted about 40 minutes.
They also host different events throughout the year, such as the annual Märchenfest (Fairytale Fest) for children, musical performances, and even weddings.
And, as an added bonus, if you visit Schloss Bürresheim, you’re also visiting one of the filming locations from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Castle Brunwald – as it’s called in the film – is where Henry Jones Sr. is kept prisoner. The interior scenes are not from Schloss Bürresheim, and it’s nowhere near the Austrian border, but the scene of the car driving up was filmed on location – albeit with a little gloom added post-production!
They’re open most days from 9am to 5pm. Although they have a website, their Facebook page has much more information in regards to events, directions, and opening times. Just search @SchlossBuerresheim to find them.