Famed for its 16th-century castle, Ahrensburg is a historic town north-east of Hamburg. It dates back to the 13th-century establishment of Woldenhorn and later came into the hands of the King of Denmark, who gifted it to his general, Daniel Rantzau. Together with his brother, Rantzau constructed Schloss Ahrensburg and the town flourished following the Hamburg to Lübeck railway’s arrival in 1865.
Things to do in Ahrensburg
The town’s most magnificent building is undoubtedly Schloss Ahrensburg, a whitewashed Renaissance mansion topped by four ornate towers. Its period-furnished rooms have been open to the public since 1955 and are decorated in a mix of Rococo and Classicist styles. In addition to centuries-old landscape paintings, Meissen porcelain and Persian carpets are also on display.
Take the time to explore the grassy parklands of Schloss Ahrensburg, where a medieval market and a puppet theatre are held during the year. Just beyond the castle moat you’ll find an atmospheric mill, a 16th-century chapel and a stable, which houses a cultural centre and art gallery showcasing contemporary exhibitions.
A short drive from Ahrensburg will take you to the Stellmoor–Ahrensburger Tunneltal, a 340-hectare nature reserve that protects a glacial-carved valley. It encompasses swamp forests, reed beds and raised bogs that provide important habitats for dragonflies and frogs. Birdwatchers can keep their eyes peeled for marsh harriers and cranes, as well as white storks foraging in the wetlands.
Getting around Ahrensburg
Ahrensburg is around 30 minutes’ drive from Hamburg and Hamburg Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Regular trains connect to the Ahrensburg railway station and buses travel throughout the town. The centre of Ahrensburg can easily be explored on foot.