Historic Wernigerode Castle surrounded by an autumn landscape.

© ohenze/Shutterstock

Schloss Wernigerode

Top choice in Harz Mountains

Originally built in the 12th century to protect German Kaisers on hunting expeditions, Schloss Wernigerode was enlarged over the years to reflect late-Gothic and Renaissance tastes. The castle's fairy-tale facade came courtesy of Count Otto of Stolberg-Wernigerode in the 19th century. The museum inside includes portraits of Kaisers, beautiful panelled rooms with original furnishings, the opulent Festsaal (banquet hall) and stunning Schlosskirche (1880), with its altar and pulpit made of French marble.

You can walk (1.5km) or take a Bimmelbahn wagon ride (return adult/concession €5/2) from Marktstrasse. In summer, horse-drawn carts make the trek from Marktplatz.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Harz Mountains attractions

1. Oberpfarrkirchhof

0.47 MILES

Oberpfarrkirchhof surrounds the Gothic- and later, neo-Gothic–styled Sylvestrikirche. Here you’ll also find the Gadenstedtsches Haus (1582) with its…

2. Rathaus

0.48 MILES

Wernigerode's spectacular towered Rathaus (town hall) began life as a theatre around 1277, only to be given its mostly late-Gothic features, which loom…

3. Breite Strasse

0.49 MILES

Wernigerode's main thoroughfare, Breite Strasse, accommodates the pretty Cafe Wien building (1583) at No. 4, today a dignified cafe and worthwhile…

4. Marktplatz

0.49 MILES

Wernigerode's magnificent Marktplatz is presided over by its towering Rathaus. In the middle of the square, a neo-Gothic fountain (1848) was dedicated to…

5. Harzmuseum Wernigerode

0.51 MILES

This delightfully crooked little local-history museum has a neat collection of exhibits on geology, town history and half-timbered houses.

6. Brockenhaus

7.99 MILES

The Brockenhaus, at the summit of the Brocken, has a cafe, interactive displays and a viewing platform. From May to October, rangers conduct one-hour…

7. Grosser Burgberg

10.13 MILES

It takes just over half an hour to walk from town, or a zippy three-minute ride on the Burgberg-Seilbahn, to reach the top of this humble peak (483m),…

8. Rosstrappe

11.37 MILES

Lovely views await at the top of Rosstrappe peak, which takes its name from what is supposedly a horse’s hoof print, visible in stone on the cliff, left…