Glücksburg Castle is like something out of a fairy-tale–the sprawling Renaissance building seems to practically float on the water, while the gleaming white turrets and red roof contrast beautifully against the blue Baltic Sea. So it is no surprise that Glücksburg has been the seat of several different royal families–from the Germany House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, to the Danish royal family, and (briefly) the Norwegian monarchy. The House of Glücksburg even has ties with the British royal family (the House of Windsor), making Glücksburg one of the best-connected towns in Northern Europe. Glücksburg town itself is similarly historic, with its narrow cobbled streets and picturesque buildings, making this coastal town a popular draw for tourists and retirees.
Location: Glücksburg–life on the fjord
Glücksburg Castle sits on the south side of the Flensburg Fjord, looking out towards the Baltic Sea. The town sits in the northern-most end of Germany, just a couple of kilometres south of the border with Denmark. Copenhagen is around 300 km away by car, and accessed via a network of motorways, bridges, and causeways. To the south, Hamburg is around 160 km away via the autobahn.
Business: New naval industry
Historically, Glücksburg is known for its royal connections and as the seat of a number of European ruling families. But in recent years its fjord-side location has seen the town transformed into a German naval hub. There is a military airbase near the town centre, and a large local population of naval workers, who hail from all across Germany.
Culture: Where Germany meets Scandinavia
Glücksburg’s unique location on the border of Germany and Denmark means that the local culture is influenced by Scandinavian as well as German traditions. This link is very much apparent in the architecture, décor, and history of Glücksburg Castle, which continues to be the town’s main draw.
Activities: Stroll through history
The town of Glücksburg is small and easy to explore on foot. The area around the castle offers some particularly picturesque walks - the castle’s gardens are vast and beautifully maintained, particularly the rose garden, which boasts more than 500 different types of bloom. The waters of the fjord are relatively safe, but very cold, so swimming is not generally advised. However, in the summertime, locals and visitors love to sit on the sandy beaches next to the water, trying to spot Denmark in the distance.