Schloss Marienburg

Lonely Planet review

Nobles the world over will tell you that ancestral homes can be such a huge financial burden to maintain, especially when they’re turreted castles. In late 2005, the family of Prince Ernst August of Hanover (Princess Caroline of Monaco’s husband) auctioned off some 25,000 household objects to raise money for the upkeep of their 130-room neo-Gothic fancy. Now a small part of the palace, Schloss Marienburg, is open to members of the public interested in a behind-the-scenes glimpse of German aristocratic life. Admission is by a one-hour tour, either with a tour guide or using an audio guide (English, French, Polish, Russian and Spanish available). Tours include the Knight’s Hall, Queen’s Library and more.

From Hanover, you can take the B3 28km south or alternatively the A7 south and exit 62 to Hildesheim. Take the B1 out of Hildesheim and continue 7km until you come to Mahlehrten. Turn right for Nordstemmen and you should see the castle. By public transport, the best way out is to take bus 300 to the stop ‘Pattensen’, then change to bus 310 to stop ‘Marienburg Abzweig Nord’. From there it’s 1.5km to the castle.