Medieval Heritage in Hamburg Bergedorf Castle

There’s only a single authentic castle within the Hamburg city limits. After a long history, the medieval stronghold now houses a museum.

In the centre of Bergedorf visitors find the only medieval castle within the Hamburg city limits

Bergedorf Castle - Hamburg's only medieval castle

The early days of Bergedorf Castle

Documents first mention the castle in the 14th century. However, it’s estimated that the protective building might have been built as early as the 13th century. There are no records, however, of what the original castle looked like, so experts can only speculate as to its appearance. A model of what the early castle by the Bille river could have looked like is exhibited in the museum inside the stronghold.

Dukes and public officers 

Until the year 1420, Bergedorf Castle was the residence of the dukes of Saxe-Lauenburg. After Bergedorf and the surrounding villages were conquered by Hamburg and Lübeck, the fortress remained an administrative seat for the two city states. In 1867, Hamburg bought Lübeck’s shares and thus became sole owner of the castle. Communal administration bodies like the police and court were housed within the castle’s walls in subsequent decades. Both the courtroom and the Domestic Revival-style Landherrenzimmer (lit.: ‘country lord room’) recall the estate’s past as an administrative seat.

A museum for Bergedorf and Vierlande

Since 1953, the castle has housed the Bergedorf and Vierlande museum. The exhibition there presents artifacts from the cultural history of the region. Age-old stuccos, inlaid works and ceiling frescos add to the experience. Visitors learn about early settlement in the region and the development of the two villages into suburbs of Hamburg. The museum fosters understanding of life in past centuries while also hosting a variety of special exhibitions on topics from local history. A café on the ground floor invites you to reflect on the newly learned information in a cozy, authentic setting.

Castle and parks

After the French rule of the first years of the 19th century, the castle grounds were turned into a vast park. At first, the green areas were off limits to visitors. Half a century later, industrialization sparked people to voice their need for a recreational area, turning the gardens into the park of today. In 1926, the gardens were put under monument protection. Along with the lake, they are the perfect place for a short hike that might lead eager walkers to other Bergedorf sights, like the mill, the city hall or the observatory. In winter, the Bergedorf Christmas market is atmospherically arranged around the castle. 


Bergedorfer Schloßstraße 4

21029 Hamburg 

Getting there:

S2/S21 trains to Bergedorf