Why are there so many ruins and castles in Germany?
During the Middle Ages, the German realm was divided into dozens of small states, ruled by kings, dukes, earls, and even bishops. These states formed the Holy Roman Empire, ruled by an Emperor. However, the Emperor’s power was rather restricted.
Over the centuries, the states in the Empire increased to approximately 300. Truth is, there was often little love lost between some rulers of the kingdoms and counties within the empire.
The leaders of the states and territories within the Empire built castles to control their areas, for defence, and as centre of administration. Castles were a symbol of power!
Castles in Germany were often built at strategic points, on top of a mountain, or at a place to protect an important trading route.
The appearance of most German castles changed over the centuries. They were destroyed by fires or enemies and rebuilt. New owners added additional buildings and changed the style.
While medieval castles were mainly fortresses and lacked comfort, there are also beautiful palaces which were built for representation and convenient living.