FolkestoneJack's Tracks

The longest castle in Europe

Posted in Burghausen, Germany by folkestonejack on June 1, 2015

A fresh day saw us head east to the fortress at Burghausen, which is notable for being one of the longest castle complexes in the world. The castle’s footprint stretches out for 1000 metres and encompasses six courtyards, a couple of chapels, a clocktower and the palace itself.

Burghausen Castle sits high above the old town

Burghausen Castle sits high above the old town

The castle was used by the Dukes of Lower Bavaria from the House of Wittlesbach as their second seat of government and was constructed between the 13th to 16th centuries. It was fortified at the end of the 15th century in anticipation of a Turkish invasion, making it the most formidable fortress in the country. You get a really good sense of this from the platform at the top of the State Castle Museum as you look back on the long tail of the castle winding through the wooded hillside.

The first courtyard and Stephan's Tower

The first courtyard and Stephan’s Tower

A particular delight of the interior is the collection of massive paintings showing the battles of the Bavarian dukes – you need to stand before them for quite a while to absorb the scale of each battle and the rich detail woven into the paintings. The most stunning of these is the 11 metre long painting of the Battle of Mühldorf in 1322 which depicts the meeting of Frederick I of Hapsburg and Albert Rindsmaul of Bavaria mid-battle.

The 11 metre long painting of the Battle of Mühldorf in 1322.

The 11 metre long painting of the Battle of Mühldorf in 1322.

It was a particularly hot day when we visited and a dip in the swimming facilities in the river looked incredibly tempting, though we settled instead for a refreshing ice cream!

Practicalities

The journey from Munich to Burghausen takes about two hours by train. On our day trip we caught the 9:07am train from Munich which reached Mühldorf at 10:16, giving us a 21 minute break before switching to the 10:37am train to Burghausen (which gets in at 11.16am).

A bus connection to the old town is available from the station but we chose to walk. At a steady pace the walk should take about 20-25 minutes, though we found that one of the street signs pointing to the castle/old town had been turned to point down the wrong street – giving us a brief tour of Burghausen’s residential district! Hopefully this will be turned to point the right way again…

All in all, we spent about three and a half hours exploring the castle and the old town, including a visit to the State Castle Museum, before taking a train back to Munich via Mühldorf. We used the remarkably good value 14 day ticket of the Bavarian Palace Department to cover admission to the castle museum.

Gallery

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