Undoubtedly Altena castle is one of the loveliest hilltop castles in Germany. For centuries it has sat enthroned up on the Wulfsegge and has been the eponym and symbol of Altena. It has had many functions over the years. Originally it was the residence of the County of Mark, then it turned into a prison, a criminal court, an almshouse, labourers house and hospital.
But its use as the first youth hostel in the world in 1914 was the most remarkable one. Soon this concept conquered the entire world. Even today one can have a lie down in the original beds - for testing purposes, that is. The much more comfortable beds at the DJH Youth Hostels at the lower Burghof are a much better option for overnight stays. The permanent exhibition at the County of Mark Museum is an essential part of the castle tour. The exciting and interesting info covers the early geological history with regard to the Middle Ages, the Early Modern Age and the Industrial Age to the present day.
Since 2014 the adventure elevator has connected the castle with Altena's town centre and offered an interactive time journey through the Burg mountain besides a convenient alternative for the upward journey on foot.
1942 was the year in which the castle changed owners. Since then the "Märkische Kreis" has owned and managed the Altenau castle. Besides medieval markets in August and on the first Sunday of Advent, it offers exciting permanent exhibitions and events, on a regular basis. Treasure hunting and accolades are particarly interesting for children and schools.
Tuesday to friday from 9.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Saturday and sunday from 11.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Mondays closed, except Easter monday, Whitmonday and 2nd Boxing day if this is a monday from 11.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.;
24.12., 25.12., 31.12. and 01.01. closed.
Administrations, Bookings of guided tours:
Phone 02352/9 66-7034
Fax 02352/2 53 16
Besides Altena Castle, the Citizen's Castle is the most prominent secular building in Altena. The baroque natural stone building dates back to the 17th century. The town purchased the building in 1972 and redesigned the interior, turning it into a cultural and multi-functional centre. If you're lucky and meet the caretaker, you will see Stepahn Johann Holtzbrinck's jewel the "Neue Treppe" (new stairs) with the wood-panelled hallway. Worth seeing is also the rococo garden behind the castle, which, together with the interior spaces, can be used for weddings. Altena's inhabitants and clubs can also book rooms for events. "Garten der Geschichte" by and with Karsten Wolfewicz besides the jazz and cabaret evening offered by the Altena Kulturring are two examples of events that are held there. Bookings can be made by telephone, on + 49 2352 209 236 (only Mo-Fri in the morning)
Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 9a.m.-12p.m. , Thursday: 8a.m.-5p.m.
At the town's exit, direction Werdohl, and on the river Lenne is where you will find an unusual housing complex. Little fairytale-like castles with little towers. Once upon a time noble families used to live at the Lenne Castle at Winkelsen, the lower brick building that dates back to 1898. And also today the quiet location between river and wood does not only attract deer. To date the house has been a popular residence.
The "Mückenburg" is not really a castle. But it is a former castle-like building. Here, on the way up to the castle, on the Fritz-Thormeé-Straße, is where the servants used to live, who were responsbile for the court and administration. The oldest part of the house is an almost square tower with massive walls and two vaulted cellars under the building that were probably used as horse stables. When the Klincke Family became owner in 1919, a 16-20 metre deep well was found that extends to river level.