Lichtenstein Castle: 7 Facts That Will Make You Want to Visit

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Lichtenstein Castle is known as the

Lichtenstein Castle (Schloss Lichtenstein in German) is not famous outside of Germany. But in Baden-Württemberg, it’s known as the fairytale castle. It’s definitely worth a visit.

It’s not nearly as famous as Heidelberg Castle or the Residenz in Munich.  It also doesn’t have a claim to fame like Burghausen Castle, the longest in all of Europe.  But don’t mistake its relative obscurity for uninteresting.

Here are seven facts about Lichtenstein Castle that will make your visit to this reconstructed medieval castle more enjoyable:

#1. Lichtenstein Castle Has a Nickname

It’s a source of pride among locals in the southwest state of Baden-Württemberg. So much so that it has acquired not one, but two nicknames.  The first is Neuschwanstein’s Little Brother, after Neuschwanstein Castle, the most famous castle in all of Germany.

The second, as already mentioned is the Fairytale Castle of Baden-Württemberg. It’s again indirectly referring to Neuschwanstein Castle, which was the inspiration for the Disney castle.  No word on what the proud residents of the nearby Hohenzollern Castle,  or Ludwigsburg Palace have to say about that.
You cross a drawbridge to enter the castle which overlooks Honau, a nearby village in the Swabian Alps

#2.  It Isn’t Overrun with International Tourists

Despite being a source of local pride, it isn’t on the radar of most international tourists to Germany.  As a result, the 30-minute tour is only available in German.

Travel tip:   English-speaking guests can ask a handout in English on the tour.  It may also be possible to arrange a tour in English or French. However, it’s only available for groups. Arrangements must be made ahead of time.

Despite it not being a stop for most visitors to Germany, it’s popular with German tourists eager to see the castle and the fantastic views. I loved Lichtenstein Castle. View walking up to the castle is impressive, but even more impressive from the valley.

View walking up to the castle

#3.  It’s  a Relatively Young Castle

It’s still an infant in castle years having being built between 1840-1842.  However, the grounds have a much older history.

The original castle dates back to 1200, but it was destroyed twice until it finally fell into ruins. It was reconstructed to feel like a medieval knight’s castle though, so it feels older than it actually is.

It was reconstructed to feel like a medieval knight’s castle though, so it feels older than it actually is.

View from the castle overlooking Honau and the Swabian Alps
View from castle overlooking Honau and the Swabian Alps

#4.  It’s  a Small Castle

Lichtenstein Castle is the smallest castle I’ve been to in Germany. It’s even smaller than King Ludwig’s Linderhof Castle. However, that doesn’t make it any less impressive. And it remains one of my favourite castles in southern Germany.

One of the things I loved most was the vast views of the Echaz Valley and Swabian Alps.  And when you consider that it was only built as a hunting castle, it does start to seem rather large.

I’ve never thought of a castle as cozy but that’s the feeling I had as I toured inside –  well except for all the antique rather uncomfortable looking furniture.

Despite being a
Despite being a “cute” castle, there are a lot of historic weapons and armour on display, reflecting its history as a medieval fortress.

#5.  It’s Based on the Novel “Lichtenstein”

How many castles have been inspired by a book?  This is one of them, the 1826 novel Lichtenstein by Wilhelm Hauff.

I haven’t read the book yet, but it’s on my reading list.  I’m curious to find out how a book inspired this Neo-Gothic structure.

Lichtenstein Castle as seen from another viewpoint.

#6.  Its Name is Self Explanatory

No real secret here if you speak German.  Lichtenstein is German for light coloured stone on which the castle is built on.

Clearly, German practicality has been around for at least a couple of centuries.

The castle is perched on a cliff overlooking Honau in the Swabian Alps

#7.  Lichtenstein Castle is Definitely Worth a Day Trip from Stuttgart

It’s only an hour drive south of Stuttgart. It’s one of my recommended day trips from Stuttgart.

You’ll pass by rolling hills and small villages through the Swabian Alps.  If you like castles, this one is worth a visit.  You can also turn it into a day trip by visiting Germany’s only Easter Egg Museum in nearby Sonnenbühl and Bear Cave and Fog Cave two interesting Show Caves.

Now that you know these 7 facts about Lichtenstein Castle, your visit is sure to be even more memorable!

And if you learn anything else, be sure to share it in the comments below.

For more info see the official Schloss Lichtenstein homepage.

See more places to visit in Germany.


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About Author

Laurel Robbins is the founder of Monkeys and Mountains Adventure Travel. She's passionate about getting outdoors as often as possible and helping travellers do the same on their vacation in a sustainable way. She's Canadian and grew up in the Canadian Rockies but now lives in Munich, Germany. You can find her skiing or hiking in the mountains most weekends, hanging out with her cat or with her nose in a good book.


Sheril Benedict
May 3, 2011
Wow.. I Wonder how come they built these big castles !!
February 18, 2016
For protection from the waring forces, probably.
May 3, 2011
@Sheril - Looking at this, I wonder if anyone fell off the cliff when they were building it. As for why, I think it was to show their wealth and power and this castle is actually a small one by castle standards.
May 3, 2011
Such a cute castle! I've never heard of it before, but when I make it to Germany again I'd love to take a day trip there. (It seems like it is precariously perched on that cliff and could topple over at any time!)
May 3, 2011
@Michael - I actually felt like I was going to fall out of the castle, just looking out the windows :). It's definitely off the beaten path, but if you combine it with one of the other nearby attractions, worth a visit. It's one of my favorite castles that I've visited in Germany, in large part because of the setting.
May 3, 2011
That last picture is amazing!! Honestly, how did I miss so many things when I was living in the area? Yes, I was miserable studying the whole freaking time, but I so should have had time to see this!
May 3, 2011
I really need some long weekends. You mention so many neat places that are such a pain to get to from Freiburg without a car. :(
May 3, 2011
I think the smallness of the castle adds to it's charm.
May 4, 2011
That is barely small in my definition!
May 4, 2011
I didn't even know this was there, and it's SO close to me! Hmmm, time to plan another cycling trip!
David @ MalaysiaAsia
May 4, 2011
Lovely tips and ever since 1989, I have always wanted to visit Lichtenstein but never got around to it. Actually, I just caught an episode of the Amazing Race where they had to cycle and measure the length of the country which was a mere 22km long. Fascinating!
May 4, 2011
My god the germans really know how to crank out the castles don't they? I would love to see this one as the hordes of tourists have always put me off making the four hour drive down from where my gf lives in Germany to see Neuschwanstein.
May 4, 2011
You're really lucky to be placed so centrally in Europe. For us living in the periphery, Lichtenstein is a bit out of the way, but I enjoyed your presentation and esp. the interpretation of the name. Never thought of that before;)
May 4, 2011
Oh boy another castle I must add to my list! I have never heard of this castle but will definitely visit. It really did remind me of Neuschwanstein! Lovely castle perched up on that crag. Great pics.
May 4, 2011
That is a very cute castle. It really surprises me that you don't hear more about this castle and that so few tourists go there. It is very beautiful!
May 4, 2011
I love castles, and would love to visit this one. Great photos.
May 5, 2011
Just the top pictures makes me want to visit! Right besides a small cliff... unusual location!
May 5, 2011
This one I have actually been to a couple of years ago... picked some castles at random while I had a free weekend on a business trip... definately worth a look
May 6, 2011
It does look like you might fall out of the castle! I have to agree with your fiance, it is "cute". Let us know how the book is... a book inspiring a castle....hmmm
May 6, 2011
@Sabrina - Maybe it has to do with being local? I do far more sightseeing in Germany than I did while living in Canada, so I know the feeling :) @Andrew - This is another one of those places that is a lot easier to get to with a car (but I have a couple of train friendly destinations coming up soon) @Ben - Agreed. @Grace - LOL, it's all relative isn't it? @Gina - The surrounding area is really nice as well and the nearby caves are also worth a stop. I think it would be a great place for a bike ride and we saw tons of bike paths in the area as well. @David - The castle in Germany ALMOST has the same name as the country you're referring to: Liechtenstein, , except that it's spellt without an "i" after the "L" Lichtenstein. How confusing is that? I saw that episode of the Amazing Race as well and will definitely have to get to Liechtenstein. @Robin - ~ 25,000 of them to be exact. It's insane. I hear you about the hordes of tourists. I visited Neuschwanstein in October (not tourist season as it was after Oktoberfest) and it was still really busy. @Mette - I love living so central, but yes unless you happen to be in the Stuttgart area, Schloss Lictenstein really isn't close to anything else, unfortunately. @Debbie - So many castles, so little time. I really enjoyed this one though, but it is a bit out of the way. @GoingKraut - I think it's because it's not close to anything. If it was more centrally located, I'm sure it would be popular, as it really is a beautiful little castle. @Nancie - Me too, I can't get enough of castles either. @Zhu - Agreed, the castle is awfully close to the edge of the cliff, which adds to its beauty. @Keith - Glad to hear you enjoyed it. I love picking castles as random, sometimes you get really lucky and find some great ones. If you have any other recommendations, please pass them on. @Jillian - Agreed "cute" is a perfect word to describe this castle. Will let you know what I find out about the book, and hoping I can actually find it in English.
May 10, 2011
Another cool place to check out--thanks for clearing up that it's NOT located in the really small country with (almost) the same name. Otherwise I would have spent a lot of time looking for it!
July 24, 2011
Beautiful pictures!
July 31, 2011
I love the look of this castle. I'll definitely head there next time I visit Stuttgart.
August 2, 2011
By day it looks like a Disney castle, by night it could be used for the a Dracula movie!
John K
November 8, 2011
Great Photos I have model of the Lichtenstein Castle section shown in photo#7. It is wonderful to see a photo in it's natural setting.
January 24, 2014
What a very cool location - and I have a new German word today. BTW - how is your German now - several years into living in the country?
January 25, 2014
Beautiful castle - it just looks a little precarious perched on the side of that cliff!!
January 27, 2014
I really need to visit here and soon!! It looks so enchanting and I love the fact that it was inspired by a book. Although a small castle, I think it's the perfect size for my new abode. ; ) Gorgeous pics too my friend.
January 27, 2014
I love castles and this is a very beautiful one. Although I do not live so far away, I haven't visited yet. Definitely on my list now. Love the photos.
January 28, 2014
I have to agree with J.P., this is a beautiful castle. I like that it's not overrun, it's quaint, small compared to the others and its location makes it unusual. Would be great to see it, Laurel. Thanks for the tour!
Rodney Hendricks
July 30, 2014
While stationed in Germany in late 60's I was stationed about 2 miles from Lichenstein castle went several times but I think the view from driving up the side of the mountain is the best of all
September 29, 2014
@Rodney - Great tip, thanks for sharing!
June 27, 2016
Exuse yourself indicating "fairy tales" are a fable to be questioned to believe in. Obviously with authority, the Grimms Fairy Tales are to be taught to each and every child, as the Government in Proxy to any other.
August 14, 2016
@Russell - Thanks for the correction. ;)
December 26, 2016
Is it able to just look from outside or has get a tour before u get on top? How convienant with double stroller or 2 little kids?
December 29, 2016
@C You can look at it from the outside and it wouldn't be too difficult to reach from the parking lot with the strollers. Enjoy!
Suzan Vasica
April 19, 2017
Yay I'm going to see this in June or July. Am going to Switzerland and we'll go here. I love love love castles
April 20, 2017
@Suzan - Great to hear. Hope that you enjoy your visit.
Suzan Vasica
April 19, 2017
May even swing by the Neuschwanstein Castle since it's only about 2 1/2 hours away

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