Germany is a nation that is filled with historic works of art, literature, architecture and more dating back thousands of years.
From the time of the Roman Empire, the people inhabiting present-day Germany proved to be ambitious, studious, and also held artists and architects in very high esteem.
Long ago, Germany emerged as one of Europe’s most culturally significant nations and the country is home to a number of well-known structures that serve as landmarks.
In this article, we will examine some of the most famous landmarks in Germany and the designers and architects who are credited with their creation, as well as the overall purpose of these structures.
Famous Landmarks in Germany
1. Neuschwanstein Castle
Southern Germany is home to strikingly-beautiful landscape that features mature forests, crystal-clear lakes and far-reaching mountains. This part of the country rests near the Bavarian Alps, which are known to be some of the most visually stunning mountains in the world.
The Neuschwanstein Castle is, by far, the most famous landmark in Germany due to its position amid the surrounding landscape, as well as the architectural mastery that it was built with.
The castle is often featured on postcards and a wide range of other types of imagery depicting southern Germany’s rugged, untamed beauty.
Sitting on a rocky hill overlooking the small village of Hohenschwangau, the Neuschwanstein Castle was originally commissioned by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and was intended to serve as a retreat for the king and the royal family.
Construction started in 1869 and the project was finished in 1886 and has since served as a tourist destination in which more than 1.3 million people visit annually.
2. Brandenburg Gate
Many historians, architects and German citizens will likely argue that the most famous landmark in the country is the Brandenburg Gate. This massive structure was built on the site of the city gate leading into Berlin, Germany’s capital city.
The Brandenburg Gate faces eastward and features large stone pillars that are topped with a roof and a series of statues at the very top.
This landmark is one that tourists typically recognize much more easily than any other as it is one of the most distinct and well-known among international tourists and citizens alike.
The Brandenburg Gate was built from 1788 until 1791 under orders of Prussian king Frederick William II. The gate was designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans, a Prussian architect who was known for his mastery in producing classical structures.
This gate stands near some of the city of Berlin’s other famous structures that are also recognized as Germany’s greatest landmarks.
3. Reichstag Building
The Reichstag Building is another universally-famous structure located in Germany. This elegant building is also located in Berlin just a short distance from the Brandenburg Gate and many other famous landmarks.
It is officially titled the Deutscher Bundestag – Reichstagsgebäude and has served as a historic building that once housed Germany’s parliament.
Built in 1894, the Reichstag Building stood for half-a-century before it was severely damaged by invading Soviet forces during the Battle of Berlin in World War II.
Following the tumultuous war, the Reichstag Building sat in a state of disrepair for many years until it was once again rebuilt and refurbished in the 1960’s. Today, the building houses the nation’s Bundestag, which is Germany’s lower house of parliament.
4. Cologne Cathedral
The Cologne Cathedral is just one of the majestic cathedrals that can be found sitting in Germany’s largest cities.
This massive structure is part of the Roman Catholic church and is similar to some of the other cathedrals that were built throughout Europe during the same time period throughout the mid-to-late 19th century.
The Cologne Cathedral was built on an already-existing church that had been in place since 1250, according to most historians.
Completed in 1880, the Cologne Cathedral is recognized as one of the most beautiful churches in all of Germany. The far-reaching steeples on either side of the front entrance were some of the last efforts made by builders before the structure was finished.
The building is home to the Archbishop of Cologne and is a stunning combination of Gothic and German architecture. Today, this building stands out among the modern city buildings in Cologne and is frequently visited by many tourists each year.
5. East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is another one of Germany’s most famous landmarks for those interested in the political nature of some of the country’s most well-known buildings.
This open-air gallery is situated in Berlin and is actually one of the largest of its kind in the world and is made up of the largest surviving section of the now-destroyed Berlin Wall, which once separated East and West Germany and represented a pivotal barrier to the nation’s political progress, according to many historians.
The East Side Gallery consists of a wide range of murals that have been painted on the existing wall space. Many of these murals were done in the spring of 1990 when the Berlin Wall was finally opened.
Most of the paintings feature clear political messages and artists from at least 20 countries were able to create artwork on the wall.
6. Berlin Cathedral
Another one of the German capital’s most well-known landmarks is a once-magnificent cathedral that has since become weathered with age. The Berlin Cathedral is located in the heart of Berlin and is officially recognized as the Evangelical Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church.
This church was built on an already-existing place of worship that had been used by the Roman Catholic church since the 13th century, according to most historians familiar with the Berlin Cathedral.
The cathedral is known as one of the largest and most magnificent examples of a German Evangelical church, but it is also a dynastic residence that housed members of the House of Hohenzollern.
The Berlin Cathedral is known to have been completed in 1454, but significant renovations were carried out during the late 19th and early 20th centuries under orders from German Emperor William II. Today, the church is used for a variety of official state ceremonies and services, as well as church services.
Undoubtedly, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Germany is Europa-Park, which is a massive theme park that features a number of roller-coaster rides, games and many other attractions.
This park is one of the largest in Europe as it is second only to Disneyland Paris in France. The Europa-Park was built in 1975 and opened to the public that same year, drawing many millions of visitors each year since.
The sprawling park is home to 13 large roller-coasters and various sections that are themed after Bavarian culture, as well as other European cultures and nations.
The park is strategically located in the city of Rust, Germany, which puts it in the center of some of the country’s largest metropolitan areas between Freiburg im Breisgau and Strasbourg, France.
In addition to having twisting and winding roller-coasters, this large landmark also features a well-known resort, campground and movie theater. Visitors can shop at any one of the dozens of stores in each section of the park and this theme park is a major economic asset to the surrounding area.
8. Museum Island
Of the historic structures that tourists often visit when traveling to Berlin, Museum Island is known to be among the top of most travelers’ lists.
This distinct landmark is part of a massive complex of museums that were built on Spree Island, which is located in the middle of Berlin’s most historic districts along the River Havel. The site was developed under the guidance of the line of Prussian kings ranging from 1830 to 1930.
Museum Island features a total of five distinct museums that each feature their own special collection of well-known German and European artifacts.
These museums include the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, the Pergamonmuseum and the Bode-Museum.
The calm, serene waters of the River Havel and the quaint historic district often attract photographers and those seeking a quiet visit to one of Germany’s greatest landmarks.
9. Berliner Fernsehturm
Like many other famous European cities, Berlin, Germany also features a large, distinct tower that serves as a natural landmark which tourists sometimes use to navigate the busy streets and roads.
The Berliner Fernsehturm features a very fitting design that many architecture critics point to as being in line with much of Berlin’s other architectural work.
The tower was built in 1965 to serve as a major piece of communication infrastructure, but it has since become a tourist attraction and well-known landmark in Berlin.
10. Charlottenburg Palace
Another famous structure in the city of Berlin is one that historians and local residents will name as a famous landmark.
The Charlottenburg Palace is well-known for its architectural beauty and historically-significant designs which date back to the late 17th century.
The Charlottenburg Palace was completed in 1713 and features a clear Baroque and Rococo style of architecture and design. This palace now serves as a major tourist attraction since it was reconstructed.