A visit to the Old Castle, the Meersburg Burg is definitely mandatory to any visit to the charming medieval town on the shores of Lake Constance. With the (former) “oldest parts” of the castle dating back to the 7th century (Dagobert’s Tower), it is astonishing to say it’s the oldest inhabited castle in all of Germany. Yes, a family is still living inside the castle, in a rather regular-sized flat, with most of the areas and rooms open to the public. The Old Meersburg Castle is operated as a museum and accessible year-round. For sure the Museum is busier during public holidays, the spring and summer school holidays, and during specific events such as the annual medieval market in Meersburg. However, why not visiting the medieval castle in winter, to enjoy the joys of unheated structures yourself? Living conditions just like back in the days.
Guided Tour at the Meersburg Castle Museum
You can either visit Meersburg Burg on your own or, what I’d absolutely recommend, is by joining a guided tour. Free guided tours (just 20 minutes long) which are included in your regular ticket price start on a regularly scheduled basis right in front the restaurant on the first floor, or, as a group, you can book a private guided tour beforehand. In this article, I have written down several ways on how to reach Meersburg by public transport.
Quick Facts and reasons why you should visit Meersburg Burg, the old castle in Meersburg at Lake Constance
- the Burg (castle in English) is eponymous for the towns name. Meersburg = castle on the sea, the castle at Lake Constance / directly overlooking the Lake
- the castle was built in 630 by the Merovingian king Dagobert I
- Burg Meersburg is known as the old castle, in the reference to the neighbouring 18th century New Castle (as they wanted a more representative house, more up to date, more modern, fancier)
- interesting to note: Over the centuries, the Meersburg was never conquered or destroyed. During the Thirty Years’ War, the Swedes tried to cremate the castle and set fire to the roof structure – o this day and its walls bear witness to the lively construction activity in various eras.
- the museum first opened in 1877/78, thanks to its (then) new owner Mayer von Mayerfels
- german author (and feminist, as you would nowadays call her) Annette von Droste Hülshoff used to live in the castle for several years, she wrote several significant books
- During the Constance Council (held from 1414 to 1418 in Konstanz), Emperor Sigismund stayed at the castle
- Of course, there is also a dungeon which can be viewed from above (only)
- Highly recommended is the “Lively castle Meersburg”, the Belebte Burg Meersburg. Visitors can experience how authentic living on the castle might have looked like in the middle ages – more info here: http://www.burg-meersburg.de/events_belebte_burg.html
Address Meersburg Burg / Meersburg Old Castle: Schloßplatz 10, 88709 Meersburg, Germany
Opening hours March – October: daily 9 am – 8 pm (last entrance 5:30 pm)
Opening hours November – February: daily 10 am – 6 pm (last entrance 5:30 pm)
Address Ticket Office: “Torwache” Schloßplatz 8, 88709 Meersburg, Germany (when approaching the main entrance to the castle, there is a souvenir-shop to your right, this is where you have to buy your entrance tickets! you cant buy them inside the castle) Important: they only accept cash, no cards
Pictures of my guided tour at Meersburg Burg, the old castle in Meersburg