Castles & Palaces

Gottorf Castle – a home to magnificent treasures in the far north

Schleswig: Gottorf Castle ©Lookphotos (Sabine Lubenow)

Mysterious bog bodies, the Nydam Boat from the Viking age and delightful art collections are amongst the rare exhibits and excessive riches on display at the two regional museums in the most spectacular castle in the north of Germany.

Viewed from above, Gottorf Castle is designed in a "P" shape, with four irregular wings surrounding a courtyard. Over the centuries, what was originally a Renaissance fortress has been constantly renovated and extended to create the baroque palace we see before us today. The grand Gothic Hall with its two aisles was built in around 1500 and later became the impressive Gottorf Library. Today, it makes for the perfect setting for medieval sculptures and altars.

The Deer Hall, which was completed in 1595, is considered to be one of the finest Renaissance banqueting halls around. Its original design has been maintained to this day. The lavishly decorated chapel dates back to the same period and it is now home to the early-baroque organ and the ducal prayer room with its intricate carvings and inlays. In 1637, work began to create Italian-inspired baroque gardens around the palace. The design featured terraces with a magnificent pavilion at the centre to display the famous Globe of Gottorf dating back to the 17th century.

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