Old Castle

Standing proudly on a hill above the banks of Lake Constance is a beautifully preserved fortress with more than a millennium of history.

Be entranced by the stories of Meersburg Old Castle, a hilltop fortress with a mysterious past in the town of Meersburg. Climb up the hills that ascend from the lakefront to reach the iconic building and step inside to learn about its history.

According to a manuscript from 1548, the castle has its origins in the 7th century. The Merovingians, a dynasty in medieval France, may have constructed the fortress under the instruction of their ruler, Dagobert I. Since then, the castle has been repeatedly built upon and has withstood any attacks or attempts to destroy it.

Admire the exterior of the building before heading inside. Conical towers and surrounding woodland give the building a fairy-tale appearance. One of the best places to get a view of the building is from Mollplatz, over the road from the castle.

Follow a signposted circuit through the interior of the building to see the rooms that are open for viewing. Picture yourself feasting with nobles in the Great Hall and learn about what Christianity through the ages has looked like in the castle’s chapels. Visit the bedroom of Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, a famous poet who lived here in the early 19th century.

Patrol the battlements, looking out to the town and lake below. The Fortress Museum contains displays of armor and weaponry from the castle’s past.

On a day when the weather is nice, join a guide to climb the keep, which is known as “Dagobert’s Tower.” This is the tallest point of the castle and, as such, it offers wonderful views of the town below.

The castle is open throughout the year, although the keep is closed during winter. Come between July and September to hear costumed musicians play music from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Although buses run to the nearby Meersburg Church, the best way to get to Meersburg Old Castle is on foot. Walk for just 4 minutes from the port through pretty streets lined with historic houses for a scenic route to the attraction.

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