German Castles

German castles reflect the diversity of the country's landscape, and each is a reflection of the background against which it is set. Circular castles and citadels, often constructed to be completely surrounded by water dominate lowland districts in the north. Castles set on high ground in the southern part of Germany have a picturesque lack of symmetry, with spires and towers that give them a fairy-tale like quality.

A main reason for this variation in castle building styles was Germany's contact with architectural styles of surrounding cultures. Add to this the activities of German rulers and knights in the Mediterranean area and in Eastern Europe. Men returning from wars and revolts brought new ideas for castle construction after seeing the enemy's fortifications.

Medieval castles began to undergo serious development during the emergence of early feudal German states. Many different building materials were used, and Germany's diversity of available materials made for some colorful strongholds. Many German castles were also elaborately decorated on the interior, with colorful plasters covering the walls.