Burghausen Castle: Europe’s Longest Castle with a Story to Tell

Burghausen Castle, located in Bavaria, Germany, is a remarkable medieval fortress with a fascinating history and architectural charm. This castle is not just any castle; it is the longest castle in Europe, stretching along a ridge for over a kilometer.

Burghausen Castle is a captivating destination that attracts history enthusiasts and architecture lovers alike. Its rich history and cultural significance, combined with its unique design elements, make it an excellent place to visit for anyone interested in medieval fortifications.

Key Takeaways:

  • Burghausen Castle is Europe’s longest castle, located in Bavaria, Germany.
  • The castle’s rich history and cultural significance make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts.
  • The castle’s unique design elements and medieval charm make it a captivating location for architecture lovers.
  • Burghausen Castle is an excellent example of medieval fortifications and is known for its tower complex and main courtyard.
  • The castle also features a chapel, museum, and castle gardens.

A Historical Overview of Burghausen Castle

Burghausen Castle, the longest castle in Europe, has a rich history that dates back to the medieval period in Bavaria, Germany. The castle was initially built to protect a trade route and control the river crossing of the Salzach River. Its strategic location made it a significant military stronghold in Bavaria for centuries.

The exact date of construction is unknown, but the first historical mention of the castle dates back to 1025. Over the years, Burghausen Castle has undergone numerous renovations and expansions under different rulers. The castle’s current appearance is the result of significant renovations carried out in the 15th and 16th centuries.

The castle played a significant role in Bavarian history, serving as the residence of dukes, princes, and rulers. It was also used as a military fortress during the Thirty Years’ War, and the Napoleonic Wars. With Bavaria’s integration into the German Empire in 1871, Burghausen Castle lost its military significance and became a tourist attraction.

Architecture and Layout of Burghausen Castle

Burghausen Castle’s architecture reflects a unique blend of medieval fortifications and Gothic elements that have evolved over different eras. The castle’s layout, with its various courtyards, towers, and buildings, offers insights into its strategic importance as a fortress and a residence.

The castle’s main entrance, located on the eastern side, is a massive gatehouse that leads to the outer bailey. The outer bailey comprises various buildings, including stables, workshops, and storage areas. It also houses Burghausen Castle’s administrative wing and the courthouse.

The inner bailey, accessed via a drawbridge, contains some of the castle’s most significant structures, including the chapel, the castle museum and the residential palace of the Dukes of Bavaria. The castle’s towers, such as the High and Long towers, offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape, providing a sense of the castle’s strategic importance in the past.

Burghausen Castle’s walls and fortifications, stretching over 1,000 meters, demonstrate the castle’s formidable defenses designed to withstand enemy attacks. The castle’s architecture and layout offer a glimpse into the past, revealing how technology and culture influenced the castle’s development.

Exploring the Main Courtyard of Burghausen Castle

The main courtyard of Burghausen Castle offers a glimpse into the castle’s rich history and architectural beauty. Spanning over 1,000 feet in length, the courtyard boasts an impressive inner bailey, surrounded by a network of buildings and outer walls.

The inner bailey is the heart of the courtyard and was the main residence of the castle’s rulers during the medieval period. The bailey was surrounded by a moat and accessed by a drawbridge, making it a highly secure area. Today, visitors can enter the bailey and explore the buildings, including the chapel, the commandant’s residence, and the old bakery.

The commandant’s residence is a prominent feature of the courtyard, with its distinctive red and white facade. The building was once the home of the castle’s commander and today serves as a museum, showcasing the castle’s rich history and cultural heritage.

The Tower Complex: A Panoramic View from Above

The tower complex of Burghausen Castle offers visitors a breathtaking panoramic view of not only the castle itself but also the stunning Bavarian countryside that surrounds it. Towering above the castle walls, the complex is a must-visit for those who want to experience a bird’s-eye view of this magnificent fortress.

The tower complex is comprised of several towers, each with its own unique history and significance. The tallest of these towers, the Hexenturm or “Witch Tower,” takes its name from the witch hunts that took place in the surrounding countryside during the 17th century. From its vantage point, visitors can take in the sweeping views of the Salzach River and the Austrian Alps in the distance.

Another tower within the complex, the Pfeffer- oder Pulverturm, housed the castle’s gunpowder during the medieval period. Visitors can climb up to the top of this tower and enjoy a 360-degree view of the castle and its surroundings.

Whether it’s the impressive height of the towers or the breathtaking views they offer, the tower complex at Burghausen Castle is a highlight of any visit to this medieval fortress.

For those looking to capture the perfect panoramic shot, the best time to visit the tower complex is during the golden hour just before sunset. The warm hues of the setting sun cast a magical glow over the castle and its surroundings, creating an unforgettable experience.

The Chapel: A Spiritual Retreat within the Castle Walls

The chapel within Burghausen Castle is a remarkable architectural masterpiece, steeped in history and spiritual significance. It served as a place of worship for the castle’s residents and was dedicated to St. Elizabeth of Hungary, a patron saint of the castle. The chapel’s Gothic architecture, adorned with intricate carvings and stained glass windows, is a testament to the skill of medieval craftsmen who built it in the 15th century.

Visitors can marvel at the chapel’s stunning design, which consists of a nave and a chancel. The nave’s vaulted ceiling is supported by four slender columns, while the chancel features a magnificent altar and a tabernacle. The walls of the chapel are adorned with frescoes depicting biblical scenes and saints, showcasing the chapel’s artistic and cultural value.

Today, the chapel serves as a spiritual retreat within the castle’s walls, offering moments of peace and reflection amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life. Visitors can attend mass or simply take a moment to admire the chapel’s beauty and soak in its serene ambiance.

Chapel Opening Hours

Day Opening Hours
Monday Closed
Tuesday – Sunday 10:00am – 4:00pm

Visitors should note that the chapel may be closed during special events or private ceremonies. It is advisable to check the castle’s website for up-to-date information before planning a visit.

In summary, the chapel within Burghausen Castle is a must-see attraction for visitors seeking to experience the castle’s historical and cultural legacy. Its architectural beauty and spiritual significance make it a unique destination that inspires awe and reverence.

The Museum: Discovering Burghausen Castle’s Art and Artifacts

The museum located within Burghausen Castle offers a fascinating collection of art and artifacts, providing insights into the castle’s rich history and cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the castle’s past through the exhibits, which include tapestries, paintings, sculptures, and weapons from different periods.

The museum’s collection also features antique furniture, silverware, and ceramics that showcase the lifestyle of the castle’s former occupants. The interactive displays offer a glimpse into the castle’s daily life of the past and the different roles of the people who lived there.

One of the museum’s highlights is the display of the most ancient portrait of a woman in Bavaria, which dates back to the 15th century. The portrait is believed to be of Agnes Bernauer, the wife of Duke Albert III, who was said to be murdered by her husband’s family due to their disapproval of their marriage.

The museum collection offers a unique glimpse into the lives of the people who once lived within the walls of Burghausen Castle. Visitors are transported back in time and can get a sense of the castle’s place in history, from the everyday to the extraordinary.

The museum is a must-see for art and history lovers. It provides a fascinating journey through the castle’s past, and visitors leave with a deeper understanding of the rich cultural heritage of Bavaria.

The Castle Gardens: Tranquility amidst Historic Beauty

The castle gardens of Burghausen Castle offer a breathtaking contrast to the imposing medieval fortress that surrounds them. These well-manicured and serene gardens offer visitors a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life, allowing for an opportunity to take in the beauty of the surrounding historic landscape.

The tranquil atmosphere of the castle gardens makes them an ideal place to take a leisurely stroll or simply sit and reflect. The gardens are designed to harmonize with the castle’s architecture, adding to the overall charm and historic beauty of the castle.

Visitors can explore the gardens at their leisure, discovering the various pathways, alcoves, and fountains located throughout. From the gardens, visitors can also enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, further emphasizing the castle’s role in Bavaria’s rich cultural heritage.

The castle gardens are an absolute must-visit for anyone touring Burghausen Castle. Whether you are seeking a quiet place to unwind or simply looking to appreciate the beauty of Bavaria’s historic landscape, the castle gardens provide an unforgettable experience.

Events and Festivals at Burghausen Castle

Burghausen Castle is not only a historical monument but also a vibrant cultural hub. Throughout the year, the castle hosts a variety of events and festivals that showcase Bavarian traditions and cultural celebrations.

Burghausen Castle Festival

The Burghausen Castle Festival is a highlight of the summer season and takes place over several days in July. It features live music performances, theatrical productions, and fireworks displays, attracting visitors from all over Germany and beyond. The festival is a celebration of local culture, and visitors can immerse themselves in Bavarian traditions and culinary delights.

Medieval Market

The Medieval Market at Burghausen Castle recreates the atmosphere of a medieval village and offers visitors a glimpse into life during that period. You can wander through the stalls, try traditional foods, and watch craftsmen at work. The market takes place in May and is an excellent opportunity to learn about the castle’s rich history and the lifestyle of its residents.

Christmas Market

The festive season at Burghausen Castle is magical, with the Christmas Market taking center stage in December. The market features traditional crafts, ornaments, and delicious treats. Visitors can warm up with a cup of mulled wine and enjoy the festive atmosphere surrounded by the castle’s historic walls.

Besides these main events, other cultural activities take place throughout the year, such as concerts, art exhibitions, and workshops. Check the castle’s official website for up-to-date information on upcoming events and to purchase tickets in advance.

Nearby Attractions: Exploring Bavaria’s Historic Landscapes

Burghausen Castle is just one of the many fascinating destinations in Bavaria, a state in southeastern Germany known for its rich history and striking natural landscapes. Whether you’re interested in exploring medieval towns or hiking through picturesque mountain ranges, Bavaria has something to offer for every type of traveler.

Some nearby attractions worth considering include:

Attraction Description
Regensburg A UNESCO World Heritage Site with a beautifully preserved medieval town center and iconic landmarks such as the Stone Bridge and Regensburg Cathedral.
Neuschwanstein Castle A stunning fairytale castle located in the Bavarian Alps that inspired the design of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.
The Romantic Road A scenic driving route that winds through quaint towns and picturesque landscapes, showcasing the best of Bavaria’s charming countryside.
The Bavarian Forest A vast national park with hiking trails, cycling routes, and breathtaking views of forests, mountains, and lakes.

Whether you choose to extend your stay in Bavaria or simply take a day trip from Burghausen Castle, exploring the region’s historic landscapes is sure to be a rewarding experience.

Visiting Burghausen Castle: Practical Information and Tips

If you’re planning a visit to Burghausen Castle, there are some practical details you’ll need to know beforehand to make the most of your trip.

Opening Hours and Admission Fees

Burghausen Castle is open daily from 9am to 5pm, with last admission at 4pm. Admission fees vary based on age and group size. Adults can expect to pay €9, while concessions (students, seniors, and disabled visitors) pay €7.50. Children under the age of 6 can enter for free, while families (two adults and their own children) pay €22.

Guided Tours

To fully appreciate the history and architectural beauty of Burghausen Castle, consider joining a guided tour. Tours are available in several languages, including English, and typically last around one hour. Guided tours cost €3 per person and can be booked in advance or on arrival.

What to See and Do

Once inside, take your time exploring the castle’s historic architecture and notable landmarks. Be sure to visit the main courtyard, the tower complex, and the chapel. The museum is also worth a visit to see the many artworks and artifacts on display.

Practical Tips

When visiting Burghausen Castle, wear comfortable shoes as the castle grounds involve a significant amount of walking and climbing stairs. It’s also a good idea to bring a water bottle and snacks, as there are limited food and drink options available onsite. Finally, don’t forget your camera! The castle offers plenty of photo opportunities, especially from the tower complex.

Getting There

Burghausen Castle is located in the town of Burghausen in Bavaria, Germany. The easiest way to get there is by car or train. If traveling by car, there is ample parking available nearby. If taking the train, the closest station is Burghausen Bahnhof, which is a 20-minute walk from the castle.

Visiting Burghausen Castle is a memorable experience that offers a glimpse into Europe’s rich history and architectural heritage. By following these practical tips, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your visit.


Burghausen Castle stands as a testament to Europe’s rich cultural heritage, with its captivating blend of history, architecture, and natural beauty. From its medieval fortifications and impressive tower complex to its serene gardens and spiritual retreat within the castle walls, Burghausen Castle offers a unique glimpse into Bavaria’s storied past.

For history enthusiasts and architecture lovers alike, a visit to Burghausen Castle is a must-do experience. The castle’s museum and collection of art and artifacts provide insights into its rich cultural heritage, while the nearby attractions in Bavaria offer endless opportunities for exploration.

As you plan your visit, be sure to take advantage of the practical information and tips provided in this article to enhance your experience. With its captivating charm and unique character, Burghausen Castle is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.


What makes Burghausen Castle special?

Burghausen Castle is Europe’s longest castle, located in Bavaria, Germany. Its rich history, stunning architecture, and cultural significance make it a unique and enchanting destination.

How old is Burghausen Castle?

The origins of Burghausen Castle can be traced back to the medieval period, making it several centuries old.

What can I expect to see in Burghausen Castle?

Burghausen Castle offers a captivating experience with its main courtyard, tower complex, chapel, museum, castle gardens, and various events and festivals throughout the year.

Can I visit the museum within Burghausen Castle?

Yes, visitors can explore the museum within Burghausen Castle, which showcases a diverse collection of art and artifacts that shed light on the castle’s history and cultural heritage.

Are there any nearby attractions to Burghausen Castle?

Yes, Bavaria offers a wealth of historic landscapes and attractions just a stone’s throw away from Burghausen Castle. Exploring these nearby attractions can further enhance your visit to the region.

What practical information should I know before visiting Burghausen Castle?

It is helpful to note the castle’s opening hours, admission fees, and any tips or suggestions to make the most out of your visit. These details can ensure a seamless and enjoyable experience at Burghausen Castle.