There are multiple castles in Bamberg and many more castles around Bamberg. And one of the prettiest is the Lake Castle Seehof (Seeschloss Seehof) at the outskirts of the region of Bamberg. It’s easy to get there even on a day trip to Bamberg. To help you make it as smooth as possible, I wrote a little guide for you.
How to get there
With a car
It’s easiest and fastest to reach Seehof Castle from Bamberg’s city center by car. If you have already rented a car in Bamberg, you’re good to go.
The drive from the town center to the castle takes about 15 minutes.
There is a parking lot right in front of the castle gates, including a few accessible parking lots. There is a small fee to be paid to be allowed to park here. (It’s about 1 EUR per day, but fees might have increased)
Make sure to carry coins because we don’t think the ticket machine will accept credit cards.
If you want to park for free, you can try to find a spot in the nearby community Memmelsdorf, from where you walk to the castle for 5 to 15 minutes, depending on where you got a spot.
Pro tip: If you are looking for parking spots and fees in Bamberg, check out this map. (It’s in German but you’re only looking for the locations and prices anyway.)
By public transport
If you need a more in-depth guide on public transport in Bamberg, we’ve got you covered. But to give you a quick overview of how to get to Seehof Castle, here’s the information.
Take the bus line 37 from the bus bay by the new town hall next to the central bus station (called ZOB). The bus stop where you disembark is called “Schloss Seehof”, which you will reach within 40 minutes.
If you miss it by accident, you can still get off at the next stop in the small town and walk to the castle, which takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
There are different opening times depending on what you want to visit at Seehof Castle.
For the restaurant and café, which you can find right by the entrance, the opening times are as follows (as of January 2023):
- Closed Mondays (except on holidays)
- Tuesday to Sunday: 9am to 6pm
- Restaurant menu (PDF, in German)
For visiting the rooms of Schloss Seehof and the Museum Ferdinand-Tietz, the opening times are:
- April to October
- Closed on Mondays
- Note that the opening times may vary depending on the season
- Last entry is 30-45 minutes before closing time
We recommend visiting the gardens during the official opening hours in case they are closed as well.
The beautiful castle was created in a Baroque style in a sort of square shape with round towers at each corner. It sits on a little elevation so it can slightly tower over the surrounding park landscape and lakes below.
For years restorations and renovations have been going on, which are still underway. So be prepared to have at least one side of the castle façade be fenced off with scaffolding, blocking you from pretty photos from all sides.
This doesn’t mean that it’s not worth visiting, however. There are enough ways to frame your photos to hide the scaffolding and still get pretty photos.
(If you need some pro pointers and cool ideas for photos, you can book me for a photography tour or photography session.)
The lake castle’s origins date back to the 15th century, when in its location there used to be a hunting lodge. The area was deemed prime hunting grounds, so naturally the blue-blooded elite had to revamp it for their own entertainment needs and it was remodelled into a four-wing castle complete with four towers.
The building was erected for prince-archbishop Marquard Sebastian Schenk von Stauffenberg between 1687 and 1696. So, if you ever hear someone refer to the Marquard Castle in Bamberg (Marquardsburg), they actually mean Seehof Castle.
Further additions and restylings were completed by the end of the 18th century for the succeeding Prince-Bishops.
That is why, even though it was designed in the middle of the High Baroque era (which lasted from about 1650 to 1700), murals and paintings inside as well as the ornamental elements and gardenscaping you see today are reflective of the Rococo era (about1730 to 1760/70/80).
Fun fact: The castle was modelled after the castle in the nearby city of Aschaffenburg (Aschaffenburger Schloss) and are based on the architectural plans by Antonio Petrini.
The original design of the Seehof gardens was classic Rococo with beautiful statues in green nooks adding an extra touch of classic elegance to the tamed nature trimmings.
You can still see sandstone statues on pedestals around the gardens. (In winter, they are covered up to preserve them from the weather.) Originally, there were over 400 sculptures displayed in the gardens.
In total, the grounds cover 21 hectares (51.89 acres) and you can walk them freely. There is no fee.
The garden features parallel paths with tall beech tree hedges. The center piece is a large cascade with sculptures by Ferdinand Tietz dating back to 1772. Restorations have resulted in the waterworks operating almost exactly as they did over 200 years ago.
Near the café you can peek into the orangery building that houses the citrus trees in the colder months. During spring and summer, the potted trees stand perfectly lined up opposite the entrance gate.
There is a small information board to the side, by the stairs, depicting the different types of citrus fruits that are growing on the small trees (descriptions are in German, however).
Fun fact: The Orangery can actually be booked for events of up to 416 people and hosts receptions, banquets and concerts.
You can visit a total of nine rooms inside the castle, which are part of the museum.
This includes the “White Hall” with a gorgeous Rococo ceiling mural by Giuseppe Appiani, who worked for the Mainz electoral court.
If you look closely, you can see references to the castle’s purpose, namely that of the pursuit of hunting.
Guided tours are only available in German
Castle Seehof admission fees in 2023 are:
- 5 EUR regular ticket
- 4 EUR reduced ticket (e.g. for disability, over 65 of age – ID card required, specifics here)
- Children under 18 can enter free of charge
- School students over 18 are admitted free of charge when producing their student ID (more info)
- More information here (including a map for accessible access).
It is possible to get married at the castle!
As the name already suggests (See in German means “lake”), the castle sits by a small cluster of lakes that were used for fishing.
You can exit the castle gates and take a walk around the ponds and lakes for a nature stroll and to take a closer look at the elaborate figures in the water.
Note that the area from the ponds and across the forest land is protected and an official nature reserve. So stick to the paths and don’t upset the local fauna. If you have a dog with you, keep it on a tight leash.
Odd tip: If you enjoy visiting cemeteries in other countries (we actually do – it’s fascinating to see the differences), there is a cemetery on the opposite side of the castle.
It is the typical German kind with modern graves that are very neat and well kept. However, the crematorium looks historic and is held in the same Baroque style as the neighboring castle.
Make sure to close the gate to keep potential animals out. Apparently, hogs sometimes come in and wreak havoc. We also want to stress being respectful, keeping quiet, and not mistake the cemetery as an exotic photo opportunity.
In case you want to get in touch directly with the castle administrative, here is the official info:
- Address: Schloss Seehof, 96117 Memmelsdorf
- Telephone: +49 (0) 951/4095-71
- Telephone: +49 (0) 951/51939-0
- Fax: +49 (0) 951/4095-72
- Restaurant telephone: +49 (0) 951 4071640
- Virtual 360° tour
Your main character moment
Visit with a Pro Photographer
If you want to capture this special moment in front of a fairy tale castle in Bamberg, why not hire Annemarie as your photographer to guide you around and take stunning photos of yourself? No need to be a model. We promise, you’ll be surprised by how amazing you will look and feel while also having fun.