The longest castle in the world has an interesting history and stunning views! (Visit Bavaria series)
Welcome, dear readers! Are you ready to explore the hidden gems of Germany and discover some breathtaking sights?
If so, buckle up because today, I’m taking you to the charming town of Burghausen in Bavaria to see the longest castle in the world. Nestled in the hills of this quaint town, the castle is an impressive sight that will leave you in awe.
Whether you’re a history buff or just a traveller looking for a unique experience, this castle is a must-visit in Bavaria. So sit back, relax and enjoy the journey!
Where is the longest castle in the world?
The longest castle in the world is nestled in the hills above a small town in Bavaria, Germany. I came across it by digging into some lesser-known parts of Bavaria that I could easily reach via car or public transport.
Referred to as the “Pearl of Salzach”, Burghausen sits on the border between Austria and Germany. It lies approx. 100 km east of Munich and only 50 km north of Salzburg, making it a great day trip from either city.
Much like many of Bavaria’s beautiful sites, Burghausen is protected under cultural heritage conservation, meaning it’s kept in good shape! The vibrant townhouses and main buildings throughout the old town are designed in the traditional Inn-Salzach way and have grand gable walls and elaborate exterior decorations.
Burg Burghausen majestically overlooks the town and only adds to the incredible atmosphere of this special place.
How long is the longest castle in the world?
Burg Burghausen is officially the longest castle in the world and was awarded its Guinness World Record title in 2008.
It measures just over 1 kilometre. 1,051.2 metres to be exact. 3,448 ft 2 in if you’re still using the imperial system (if you are, stop it).
That’s a whole lot of castle!
But the length of Burg Burghausen is not the only impressive number. It boasts 6 courtyards, 3 museums and over 1000 years of history.
The history of Burg Burghausen.
Burg Burghausen has a rich and fascinating history that dates way back to the 11th century. It was originally built as the “Grafenburg,” a stone complex that housed the Counts of Burghausen.
Shortly after, it fell into the hands of the Wittelsbach family, who maintained a toll building at the southern edge of the castle. Due to its important position on the border between Austria and Germany, Duke Otto II granted the town of Burghausen its status as an important toll and market centre in 1235.
In the 13th Century, Duke Heinrich XIII expanded Burghausen Castle to use as his second residence. The Palas, Knights’ Hall, and the Castle Chapel dedicated to St Elisabeth von Thüringen were all constructed during this period.
The 14th century saw the fortification of the entire ridge, followed by the further expansion of the castle itself in the 15th century by three generations of Wittelsbachs – the Rich Dukes of Bavaria-Landshut Heinrich XVI, Ludwig IX and Georg der Reiche.
Duke Georg became ruler of Bavaria-Landshut after the Landshut Princes’ Wedding in 1475. He is the person primarily associated with the castle’s development. Georg der Reiche expanded the Palas and Bower and created new architectural features, including the outer Castle Chapel of St Maria and the monumental Georgstor (Georg’s Gate).
Taking a tour of Burg Burghausen.
Today, the castle is a popular tourist attraction in Bavaria, attracting thousands of visitors each year.
You can explore the main castle grounds for free, and there’s information points along the way in both German and English. Every section offers a glimpse into the rich history and cultural heritage of this beautiful castle and its surrounding region.
If you have the time and a little money, I highly recommend taking a peek inside the Palas, which houses the State Castle Museum. In January 2023, it cost €10,00 for 2 people.
Once inside, you can tour the Ducal apartment and the state gallery of Burghausen, which is spread across two floors. There are some incredibly interesting pieces of art to be found here. Finally, you can ascend the 62 steps to the outdoor viewing platform where you can marvel at 360° panoramic views of Burghausen town and the surrounding area.
Although the castle itself does not offer guided tours, it is possible to book private group tours in English via the Visit Burghausen website. If you want to “try before you buy” you can head to the official Burg Burghausen website and take a virtual tour of the castle grounds.
Is Burg Burghausen accessible?
The main castle grounds are accessible to those in wheelchairs or who need assistance. There are disabled parking spaces available in the castle car park and the ground is mostly level throughout. There’s also plenty of seating available along the castle route and disabled toilets.
However, sadly the rest of Burg Burghausen is not currently accessible to wheelchair users, hard or hearing or visually impaired people.
The State Castle Museum is only accessible via a narrow wooden staircase. The monumental protection of the castle prevents the installation of a chair lift. There is also no lift inside the museum to reach each floor and the viewing platform.
Currently, the castle has no guidance system in place for visually impaired people, apart from the castle model at the Curaplatz car park, allowing you to feel the shape of the castle and with information in Braille.
And for the hard of hearing, there are currently no induction loops for hearing aids, although there is written information.
3 more things to do in Burghausen.
If you’re going out of your way to take the trip, you might as well add on some extras, right?
Don’t miss out on these 3 things:
Burghausen’s old town
If you like a bit of Latin flair, then I highly recommend a visit to the old town square. Lined with multicoloured homes with gable roofs and a mixture of Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo facades, it is a true treat for the eyes.
If you really want to get into the history of the town and culture, you can book a group tour.
A short 5 km down the road from Burghausen, at a bend in the river Salzach, lies Raitenhaslach Abbey. It was the first Cistercian monastery in Altbayern (Old Bavaria), founded in 1146. Described as a “Baroque jewel at the gates of the city”, this place is definitely worth a visit!
The Marienburg Pilgrimage Church also plays a part in Cistercian history and is only a couple of kilometres away from the Raitenhaslach, so I recommend combining these two sites into one visit.
You can book a combined group tour of both the Raitenhaslach Abbey and the Marienburg right here!
Is Burghausen worth a visit?
Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, or just want to experience the charm of a small Bavarian town, Burg Burghausen is a must-visit destination!
I really enjoyed touring the castle and immersing myself in the history of this small, but important corner of Germany. Go on a sunny day to get the best views from the top of the viewing platform!
Want more Bavarian travel tips? Check out a few of my previous travel posts here:
- Visit Bavaria: The Romantic Road – Dinkelsbühl & Oettingen in Bayern
- Explore Rothenburg ob der Tauber
- 48 hours in Füssen (including Neuschwanstein castle)