About Willibaldsburg Castle
A ninety-minute drive north from the southern German city of Munich in the town of Eichstätt is Willibaldsburg Castle. Known as a ‘spur castle’ – a medieval fortification using its location as a vital element of its defence – the castle complex of Willibaldsburg was built 1355 and was the seat of Eichstätt’s prince-bishops.
The first incarnation of the medieval castle was likely to have been made up of a main house, a tower and a chapel surrounded by walls and a moat but in the late 1500s and early 1600s, a transformation took place.
Under the direction of Martin von Schaumberg, bishop and later Prince-Bishop of the diocese of Eichstätt (1560 – 1590), the castle was dramatically extended by Elias Holl, perhaps the most important architect in the late German Renaissance period. During the reign of Prince-Bishop Johann Conrad von Gemmingen, Holl created a magnificent residence – including removing onion domes from the towers.
The Bastion Garden is equally incredible to see. The gardens are based on ‘Hortus Eystettensis’, a 17th century set of copperplate engravings by apothecary and botanist Basilius Besler where the flowers are planted according to blooming seasons and were officially opened in 1998.