Cultural Events in Castles Lure Visitors to Germany
Twenty million people each year visit Germany’s palaces and parks; 1.3 million alone travel to Castle Neuschwanstein. Beautiful, historic, impressive and full of life, castles and their cultural events appeal to every age and socio-economic group. Jousting tournaments, music festivals, art shows, museums with precious antiques and Christmas markets encourage visitors to indulge their senses and imaginations.
Castles are vital witnesses to the past and reenactments of stories of bold princes and fair queens hold children in their thrall. During the summer months, Dornroeschen Castle, otherwise known as Sleeping Beauty Castle, in Sababurg stages the story of the “Sleeping Beauty and the Prince” with a little twist.
Kaltenberg, a small village with 500 inhabitants in Bavaria, becomes the center of medieval life each July. It is the classic battle between the villain, the Black Knight, and the underdog, a young Bavarian Knight, who match up in a breathtaking tournament-battle. Festivities last all day with feasting for the visitors and a medieval trade fair.
Star chefs in castle restaurants dish up one Michelin meal after another for appreciative gourmands. Three of Germany’s castle hotels are home to restaurants with rankings of three Michelin stars and delight visitors with imaginative cuisine. Two of Germany’s best chefs, Dieter Mueller and Joachim Wissler, hold court in the neighboring castle hotels of Lerbach and Bensberg in Bergisch Gladbach on Rhine overlooking Cologne. Christian Bau reigns over his three star Michelin kitchen in Victor’s Restaurant in the Castle Berg in the Saarland.
Castles in Germany are oftentimes bastions of culture. Many castles, such as the baroque palace of Thurn and Taxis in Regensburg or the Marienburg Castle in Hannover, house family museums with rare and valuable antiques. Others have fantastic art collections including the Zwinger’s 12 various museums or the Wartburg’s European art collection.
Music festivals benefit from the wonderful ambience, atmosphere and the acoustics that castle halls can offer. The Wuerzburg in Franconia hosts annual summer festivals accompanied by the fine local wines. Cellist Jan Vogler directs his annual music festival at Castle Moritzburg outside of Dresden.
And, the Castle Johannisberg on the Rhine hosts chamber concerts during the Rheingau Music Festival.
Last but not least, many castle hotels throughout Germany offer wonderful opportunities to experience a bit of the exciting and noble past without breaking the piggy bank. Manor homes in the northern state of Mecklenburg Vorpommern, castles along the Fairy Tale Road and the Castle Road as well as those belonging to the member organization, are a superb way to sleep like royalty without spending a fortune.