It is difficult for to choose only seven places in Germany – Germany is so rich in history and the castles, cathedrals, churches, roman ruins, medieval towns and historic sights of Germany are myriad. Look for historic significance when choosing these unofficial Seven Wonders of Germany as well as getting opinions from friends and colleagues on what places they would most recommend visiting based on cultural significance.
Almost every German city has a rich history and there are countless beautiful towns, castles, cathedrals, historic sights, gardens and churches, one being prettier than the last.
Based on historical significance, architecture and popularity, these seven wonders of Germany make a great starting point for planning your vacation.
Neuschwanstein Castle – Ludwig’s Fairy Tale Castle in Bavaria Nueschwanstein Castle is the only location in Germany that was nominated for the New 7 Wonders of the World but only made it to the top 21. Mad King Ludwig’s Neuschwanstein castle (named in honor of Richard Wagner’s swan knight, Lohengrin) literally translates to New Swan Stone Castle and was built in the 1890s when castles were no longer necessary as fortresses but could be built for the sheer joy of the architecture and art. With its more than 360 rooms, the castle is the classic fairy tale castle that Walt Disney used for his inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland and is probably one of the most famous castles in the world.
Located above the town of Fuessen and overlooking the Hopfensee lake and the Bavarian Alps, Neuschwanstein exhibits incredible architecture and is replete with fantastic art work and treasures and breathtaking views. It definitely deserves its place on the list of top sights to see in Germany.
Palaces and Parks of Potsdam and Berlin – One of Germany’s Seven Wonders
Constructed between 1730 and 1916, Potsdam and Berlin’s complex of palaces and parks is a piece of art in and of itself. The beautiful Sanssouci Palace and Gardens remains its centerpiece and the parks and palaces line the banks of the River Havel and Lake Glienicke.
Schloss Sanssouci was built in Rococo style by Frederic the Great as his summer pleasure palace between 1745 and 1748 above a vineyard in the countryside of Potsdam. The Sanssouci Park includes incredible gardens and several smaller palace buildings including the Neue Kammern (New Chambers), the Orangerie (Orangery Palace), the Chinesisches Haus (Chinese House) and the Schloss Charlottenhof (Charlottenhof Palace).
The Charlottenburg palace in Berlin is surrounded by baroque gardens and is full of fantastic art that hangs in the huge decorated halls of the palace which was built between 1695 and 1699, the porcelain collections at the Belvedere teahouse on the grounds is well worth seeing and mausoleum erected for Queen Luise is splendid. Walking through the parkgrounds and the palace buildings, you can easily imagine the elegant 18th and 19th century royalty preparing for waltzes or estate banquets.
Visit Trier’s Monuments
Trier, one of Germany’s oldest cities is located on the Mosel river and began as a Roman colony in the first century. It was long considered the second Rome and is rich in Roman monuments and fortifications like the Porta Nigra Roman city gate and the largest Roman baths north of the Alps. Roman monuments, coupled with the Cathedral of Saint Peter and the Church of Our Lady of Trier as well as the beautiful setting combine to make Trier a favorite destination for history buffs as well as wine and gourmet food lovers who come to the city for wine and food festivals held in the old town.
The Saint Matthew Abbey houses the remains of the apostle Matthew and the Trier Cathedral of Saint Peter houses Jesus’ tunic which is only put on display once every twenty or so years. Combining Roman, Gothic, Medieval and Baroque architectures and graced with views of the Mosel and surrounding vineyards, Trier is both romantic and rich in history, dating back 2,000 years.
Collegiate Church, Castle, and Old Town of Quedlinburg
Quedlinburg is home to some of the most exceptional examples of well-preserved timber-framed buildings in Germany as well as being home to the Collegiate Church of St Servatius which is a masterpiece of Roman architecture. The treasures of Quedlinburg are housed at the Church and are considered to be invaluable relics and art pieces from over 1,000 years ago. The castle and related buildings were built in 960 and in the center of town over 800 buildings are designated historic sights with over 1,200 different half-timbered houses in the town of 25,000 people built over a period of 500 years.
Restored in 1990, after German reunification, Collegiate Church, castle, and old town of Quedlinburg is a lovely place to visit in Saxony-Anhalt, in the Harz region, part of old East Germany. The Harz region is personally a favorite of mine and Quedlinburg is a special delight that until a few years ago saw very few tourists. It has become a popular destination now and is a short drive from the lovely town of Wernigerode, also a medieval village with a lovely castle and half-timbered houses in the town.
Aachen’s cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by Charlemagne in 800 as a palace chapel,the site was the coronation site for German kings between 936 and 1531. The cathedral treasury is one of Europe’s foremost church treasuries, and includes a unique collection of precious objects.The Aachen Cathedral (Aachener Dom) was the masterpiece of Charlemagne who founded the city of Aachen. A masterpiece of Romanesque architecture, the Aachen cathedral was home to coronations of German kings from the mmid-900s to the mid-1500s and the cathedral treasury at the Aachen cathedral is considered one of the most important religious treasuries in Europe.
Aachen is a friendly and lovely city, graced by vineyards, the Carolus Roman spas which you can still visit, a lovely old town and, of course, the Aachener Dom (Aachen cathedral). Monique de Roma.
The Cologne Cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece and took more than 650 years to complete, beginning in 1248. The largest Gothic church in northern Europe, the Cologne cathedral was the tallest building in the world up until 1890 and still has some of the highest church spires in the world. The cathedral was built originally to house the relics of the Three Kings, dating back to the 13th century, the reliquary is the largest in the Western world and believed to hold the remains of the Three Wise Men.
Situated centrally in Cologne, directly across from the main train station, you would be hard pressed to miss the cathedral. Cologne is also home to twelve impressive Romanesque churches including Gross St. Martins so if you want to experience more than just the Aachen cathedral and take in some of the other beautiful historic churches in the area you might want to start with Gross St. Martins which was the main church of Cologne for hundreds of years after being built in 960.
Wartburg Castle in the town of Eisenach, was founded in 1080 as a military camp, the main construction of the Palas, considered to be the best preserved non-religious Romanesque structure north of the Alps began in 1155. In the 13th century, Saint Elizabeth made the Wartburg her home and Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German here in a period of ten weeks when he was ex-communicated by the Pope. From 1838 to 1890 the castle underwent massive refurbishment and reconstruction and then again in the 1950s. The Elizabeth Bower is particularly beautiful.
You can actually stay in the hotel at the castle, dine in the restaurants or visit the castle tavern in the second courtyard. There are plenty of places to hike and the atmosphere is relaxed and scenery and buildings are beautiful.