The Schwanenburg

The Schwanenburg (“Swan Castle”) in Cleves, originally the heart of the like-named county and duchy, towers majestically above the city. Its name, known until the 19th century as “het slot van Cleef,” and its foundation in the 11th century are tied to the legend of the Swan Knight Helias, emphasizing its historical charm.

Throughout the centuries, the Schwanenburg served as a political power center, inspiring Richard Wagner to immortalize the legend of the Swan Knight in his opera “Lohengrin.”

Today, the castle houses the city’s justice system, with the regional court and the district court within its impressive walls.

The Swan Tower, an attraction for visitors, offers a breathtaking view over Cleves and the surrounding nature. This perspective testifies to the former strategic relevance of the fortress.

In the geological museum of the Schwanenburg, an impressive exhibition spans two floors, presenting rocks and paleontological treasures from the European Lower Rhine region. Collected over nearly five decades, the collection includes a rich selection of Ice Age deposits from the Rhine plain and the push moraine walls. The fossils provide fascinating insights into the prehistoric animal and plant world of the region.

The Schwanenburg, once a medieval fortress and now a seat of justice, stands as a living monument to the history of Cleves and is a place of education and culture where past and present unite.