The Wernigerode Castle was originally a medieval fort offering a stronghold for the German emperors of the middle ages during their hunting excursions in the Harz. The castle was rebuilt into a Renaissance fortress, in the 16th century. In the late 17th century after the devastation of the thirty year war, Count Ernest of Stolberg-Wernigerode began reconstructing the castle remains in the baroque style as a romantic castle residence for himself. Count Otto of Stolberg-Wernigerode carried out what is considered to be probably the most important modification in the history of the castle.
The Wernigerode castle is a very good example of the typical building style of the 'Norddeutschen Historismus'. Parts of the castle have been open to the public since 1930.
Today two museum tours lead visitors through more than 40 furnished (partly original) grand living quarters of the German nobility. One should certainly plan to include a visit to the fixed displays as well as the special exhibitions on offer in the castle.