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Neo-Gothic romanticism

Neo-Gothic was the earliest, most important historicist style (particularly in the United Kingdom). At the heart of its development was a comprehensive approach to architecture and design which was also reflected in literature and lifestyle. Neo-Gothic formal language was based around an idealised view of the Middle Ages. Its heyday was between 1830 and 1900. At the start of the 19th century, romanticism in Germany led to an enthusiasm for medieval architecture, especially for castles and the great Gothic cathedrals. The passion for rebuilding existing castle ruins in the English fashion led to the preservation of the many fairytale, historically symbolic castles which are popular tourist attractions today.
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Hohenzollern Castle, Zimmern

Fortified with a multitude of towers and turrets, Hohenzollern Castle sits in splendour almost 900 metres above the Swabian Alb. Even though it might look it, this fortress straight from the pages of a storybook is not from the Middle Ages. After seeing the crumbling walls of his forefathers' castle, the Prussian Crown Prince decided to have it reconstructed in 1819. Friedrich August Stüler, a leading architect from Berlin who had studied under the great Karl Friedrich Schinkel, was commissioned to oversee the project. He sought inspiration from medieval architecture in France and England, where Gothic Revival style (neo-Gothic) was very much in vogue. The castle represented a symbol of the Hohenzollern family's claim to power, Some evidence of the Middle Ages remains: parts of St. Michael's Chapel have been retained from the original in 1461, and cellars and casemates from the previous castles were revealed in 2001.
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Moyland Castle Museum,Bedburg-Hau

The Dutch word that was the basis for the name of this medieval moated castle means "Beautiful Land". Occasionally serving as a summer residence and love nest, Voltaire and Frederick the Great met here in 1740 and were planning to establish an academy of philosophy called the "factory of truth". Between 1854 and 1862, the exterior was converted to the neo-Gothic style by the acclaimed cathedral architect Ernst Friedrich Zwirner. In 2006, its splendid grounds were voted the prettiest parklands in North Rhine-Westphalia thanks to their harmonious blend of architecture, landscaped gardens and modern culture.
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Stolzenfels Castle

Stolzenfels Castle, the pièce de résistance of Rhine romanticism, stands high above the Rhine near Koblenz. Originally a toll castle built under Archbishop Arnold von Isenburg in around 1250, it was destroyed in 1688 during the Palatinate war of succession. In 1823 the ruin was presented by the town of Koblenz to the Crown Prince of Prussia, later King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, who had it reconstructed between 1836 and 1842 to a design by the great Berlin architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. With its exquisite furniture and many original features, it represents a fine example of the life and culture of the time. No visit is complete without seeing the centuries-old weaponry and paintings. Equally essential are the murals in the chapel and small banqueting hall, which are among the most important art works of high romanticism in the Rhineland.
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  1. Hohenzollern Castle, Zimmern
  2. Moyland Castle Museum,Bedburg-Hau
  3. Stolzenfels Castle