Wander around Wernigerode Castle

Wander around Wernigerode Castle

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

In the Harz mountains of northern Germany, rising above the town of Wernigerode is a lovely fairy tale castle. Wernigerode Castle rises mysteriously from the fog on a fall morning. The surrounding trees burst with colors of burnt orange, rich red and amber. The exterior is out of the ordinary, as the castle has undergone extreme architectural changes over the years. Despite the changes, the castle still presents a beautiful facade for visitors to admire while learning about the castle’s history. 

One of many castles in Germany, this particular one was constructed as a lodge for German emperors going on hunting trips. It was first mentioned in 1213, but you could say it has had an identity crisis since then when it comes to architectural styles! In the 15th century it was designed in the Gothic style. Then it was redone by Count Ernest as a castle in the Baroque design in 1710 when the government seat was relocated back to Wernigerode after the Thirty Years’ War. It was yet again redone by Count Otto between 1862 - 1885 in the Neo-Romantic style. Though the styles have changed over the years, they meld together to create a beautiful piece of history whose walls reflect bygone years. On site you’ll find ancient cannons, Flemish tapestries, ornate bedrooms, large arched windows and a central tower rising high above the rest of the castle. 

The castle also has a church, which was built from 1863 - 1885 on behalf of Count Otto. This historic church hall features recessed galleries, a choir polygon, stained glass windows and a Neo-Gothic altar. There are two main ways to reach the church and castle grounds. Either walk through the forest to the castle or take the train from the city center. The castle grounds offer stunning views of the surrounding hills and town of Wernigerode. The castle has been open to the public since 1930, and today you can view around 40 rooms on two different tours. Each tour is 40 minutes and explores a different side of the castle. 

The castle is open April 4 - Nov. 1, Monday - Sunday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. From Nov. 2 - Dec. 23 open Tuesday - Friday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday - Sunday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., closed Mondays except for Dec. 21 (10 a.m. - 5 p.m.). Admission is 7 euros for adults and 3.50 euros for children ages 6 - 14. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, check their website daily.

Add Wernigerode Castle to your list of amazing sites to explore in Germany. A little history, a lot of fresh mountain air and some seriously cool historical pieces are sure to entertain you for the day. Another castle checked off the old bucket list!

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