Perched on a hilltop above the town of Pallensen in Lower Saxony, Marienburg Castle was a summer residence of the House of Guelph and is now owned by Prince Ernst August of Hanover. The prince is the great-great-great grandson of King George of Hannover and Marie of Saxe-Altenburg. King George V was the last King of Hannover, whose reign was ended by the unification of Germany. For his wife, Marie, on her 19th birthday in 1857, George gave his queen the Marienburg hill and the grand plans for a castle. That year, building work began, but sadly for the King and his queen, before the castle was complete George was forced into exile in Austria by the Prussians. A year later, Marie followed him into exile, and they would never enjoy the opportunity to live together at Marienburg Castle.
The medieval-style castle has real fairytale charm. Built around a rectangular courtyard, the four-winged castle has a grand banqueting hall which extends over two floors. The views from the upper floors and towers at Marienburg are spectacular.