The Meersburg fortress

High above Lake Constance

Alte Burg Meersburg: Ritterburg und Dichterstatt

If they could talk, the walls of the Meersburg fortress, the oldest occupied castle in Germany, could tell a tale or two: about times of peace and courtly life, as well as periods of siege and violent disagreement. Visitors can get an impression of these times during a well documented tour around the fortress museum. An even deeper understanding can be gained by taking a guided climb up into the „Dagobert tower", the fortress’s highest and oldest tower, with its characteristic stepped gable. Located at the heart of the impressive castle keep, the tower’s thick walls harbour a lot of long-hidden secrets: a prison cell dating back to the early 19th century, a treasure house and a torture chamber. The iron fetters, thumb screws and other instruments of torture are a poignant witness to the judicial system of the Middle Ages and right up to the dawn of the modern age.

But the Meersburg fortress also attracted poets: Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, probably Germany’s best-known female poet, wrote some of her finest poetry here whilst staying as the guest of her sister and brother-in-law, Freiherr Joseph von Lassberg, the owner of the fortress. Her study and the room where she died can be viewed all year round as part of a visit to the museum.

Meersburg, a town of museums

A great little town. Not only because of its wonderful location and its many romantic corners, but also on account of its numerous museums. Meersburg, the town of museums, invites you to explore the Middle Ages, the Baroque era and the picture galleries. Learn about the town’s past and the wine-growing industry, or gen up on biblical themes or the history of aviation.

The historical Prince’s Little House (Fürstenhäusle) in Meersburg offers a breathtaking view of Lake Constance (Bodensee) and gives fascinating insight into the life and works of the famous poet Annette von Droste-Hülshoff.

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