German architecture: History in stone

German architecture has a very long history indeed. To be frank, we can only talk about a specifically ‘German’ architectual lineage in the broadest of terms. It would be more accurate to describe German architecture as a collage of different eras, numerous cultures and a vast array of influences. Some well-preserved buildings date back to the time of the Roman Empire, including the Porta Nigra in Trier, which was erected in around 170 CE. Germany is best known, however, for its abundant castles and palaces. In times gone by, the country was divided into lots of autonomous little territories, which were ruled by innumerable kings, princes, dukes and counts. This accounts for the stately buildings found up and down the land, from mighty strongholds to fairytale palaces. Local rulers built their symbols of power here, there and everywhere. It’s hard to pin down the exact number of castles in Germany, but estimates are in the range of 25,000, which might well be a record-breaking tally!

Discover Germany’s unique atmosphere!

Countless castles, architectural highlights and romantic little historic quarters: discover Germany's treasure trove of wonders.