The High Castle of Fussen
The castle grounds: A famous landmark
Sitting high over Fussen Old Town, the High Castle is one of the most photographed landmarks.
There has been much speculation about the early history of the castle. Archaeologists have found the remains of the roman military camp known as Foetibus, which was built between 300 and 350 AD. From 1313 AD onwards however, the city and the abbey were both ruled by the bishops of Augsburg. The story of how this change in power came about is a long and complicated one.
The second floor of the Fussen High Castle has six rooms, each decorated differently. They hold a well-balanced collection of late Gothic paintings, most of which come from Swabia in south-western Germany. In addition, you will also see a few pieces from the end of the 16th Century amongst them.
Bishop Frederick II of Zollern had the castle expanded to its present dimensions and adorned with remarkable Trompe-l’oeil (paintings creating optical illusions) around 1500 AD. Since then, the High Castle has become one of the largest and most significant medieval castles in Swabia, Germany.
The “Knight’s Hall”, with its beautifully carved waffle-slabbed ceiling, used to serve as a ballroom. Here, the bishop often received Emperor Maximilian I along with his royal household.
In the north wing, you will find the main gallery of the Bavarian State Collection of Paintings, as well as that of the Municipal Art Gallery. The collections include pieces from both the late Gothic and the Renaissance periods, all of which were painted by artists from the surrounding area.
High Castle Clock Tower
In the past, the High Castle’s chief warden resided in the clock tower, where he was able to overlook the entire medieval city from his bay window. Built on to the side of the clock tower, you will see a brattice (small balcony), which enabled the castle’s defenders to shoot at their attackers. The floors below the warden’s tower room were used as prison cells.