Harburg a small river side town, sitting on the Wörnitz River in the Donau-Ries district, is home to one of the finest and most well preserved castles in all of Germany, if not the world, Harburg Castle or Schloss Harburg as it is locally known. It is one of the Jewels on the German romantic road and a must visit for anyone able to do so.
Sitting high above the town of Harburg, the caslte, or Schloss was first recorded as being built in the 12th Century. Because of its strong strategic position, it provided a military stronghold during the reign of the Staufer-Kings from 1079 to 1272. It was referenced to in documents in the 12th century as the “Staufer Imperial Castle”. In 1295, the castle was transferred to the Count of Oettingen and it has been in the Oettingen, and later the Oettingen-Wallerstein, families ever since. This hill castle is a completely preserved facility with a remarkable building complex from the Middle Ages.
In the 15th century the fortress was extended with residential buildings. From the 16th to the 18th century further extensions completed a prince’s residence (ceremonial hall, castle church). Pretty unique is the particularly well-preserved, late-medieval ring wall with defensive corridor. These rings were used to protect the building and to shoot out from. They would turn the eye in the wall, and when they needed to reload, they would turn the eye, closing off the opening and allowing them to reload safely. The ones you can see today, are the original ones that were built in the wall hundreds of years ago. The wall can be walked all the way around the courtyard.
There are public toilets, a cafe and a small shop selling books and toys and general memorabilia. For information on opening times, prices and when the season starts and finishes, please look on the official website – http://burg-harburg.de/
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