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Sparrenberg Castle

Capture photos of panoramic views from a watchtower, tour a maze of underground passages and be part of a medieval festival at this fortress that has a history dating back seven centuries.

Sparrenberg Castle (Sparrenburg) commands a dominant hilltop position in central Bielefeld. Visit the castle to experience the life of the Counts of Ravensberg and medieval traditions such as jousting and minstrel shows. Sparrenberg Castle dates back to around the mid-13th century, although its current appearance was built from the 1500s and onward. Its original purpose was to protect the trade routes that once passed through Bielefeld and the encompassing Teutoburg Forest. 

Your introduction to the castle begins as you wander along the paths that lead up Sparrenberg Hill. Watch as the bastions and ramparts start to appear through gaps in the thick trees. Find the remains of ancient courtyards and a series of lush lawns, from where you can enjoy views of Bielefeld’s Old Town. The best views are from the top of the 121-feet (37-meter) tall watchtower and include clear sightings of the Neustaedter Marienkirche and Nicolai Church. 

Tours of the casemates operate from April to October and allow you to explore the castle’s dungeons, soldier’s quarters and tunnels. Listen as the knowledgeable guide tells stories about the Counts of Ravensberg and enemy raids. Some areas of the casemates may be inaccessible due to the presence of bats. 

Come on the last weekend of July for the Sparrenbergfest. This family-friendly festival showcases the jovial activities of the medieval era in Germany. Meet costumed characters posing as knights, magicians, minstrels, storytellers and vagrants. Watch dance performances, jousting contests and sword fights. Shop for medieval handicrafts and souvenirs at market stalls. 

The castle is just a 20-minute walk from Bielefeld’s Old Town. The nearest streetcar stop is Adenauerplatz. The Sparrenmobil toy train connects the castle with the Old Market Square and Olderdissen Animal Park in the summer months. Parking is available for a fee on the road that leads to the main entrance. 

The grounds of Sparrenberg Castle are open year round and admission is free. Individual fees are applicable for the tower and tour of the casemates. The tower is open daily from April to October and on weekends and public holidays throughout the rest of the year.


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