February 17, 2016

When Harburg Castle Told Michael Jackson to "Just Beat It"

Who in the world tells Michael Jackson to "Just beat it!"

According to local legend, the residents surrounding Harburg Castle in Bavaria, Germany, did! The singer was enamored with the Harburg and called it "the castle of [his] dreams." He attempted to buy the castle, but was thwarted by the owners and locals who did not want the castle, one of the best preserved and among the largest in Germany, belonging to a foreigner, no matter how famous he might be.

So the castle remains in the possession of the Wallerstein family as it has since 1731. The House of Wallerstein is actually one of the oldest lineages in Germany, and Wallerstein patriarchs and matriarchs still retain titles of "Prince" or "Princess" to denote their longstanding rank in Bavaria's history. It is perhaps fitting that such a prominent German family should control such a prominent and enduring castle in Germany's history. While historians and archaeologists have not been able to pinpoint the exact date of Harburg's construction, 10th and 11th century documents offer the earliest mention of the castle, and Roman remains have been found on site, which indicates that there has been a presence on that site possibly as far back as Caesar's invasion of Germany in 55BC.

The Harburg is located on an imposing and steep hill above the Wörnitz River overlooking the town of Harburg. It boasts impressive walls and ramparts, and for its inhabitants, there is a spacious ballroom, an aesthetically-pleasing courtyard, and beautifully-appointed living quarters, a stark contrast to the formidable defenses in place.

Have you visited Harburg Castle?

*All photos by S.W.

Linking up for #TravelTuesday!


  1. Thanks for sharing!! 😊

  2. Well, it makes sense for the locals to be against it. They must be very proud of their castle and although it is expensive to take care of such a property, a foreign star might not be the right person for that.

  3. This story is AWESOME. Where is Harburg?! I'll have to look it up and see if I can take the train there! Good to have you back in the link-up circle on Travel Tuesday! I asked on my blog, too, but I'll ask again here: when will you be back in Germany?! :) Hope all is well with your growing family!

  4. I haven't visited the Harburg Castle. But it looks great. And I love the story behind it. There are so many beautiful castles (and towns...) to see in Bavaria...


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