Enthroned high over Kulmbach, the impressive castle grounds, which were first mentioned in 1135, have a chequered history. In 1338, the castle entered into the possession of the burgrave of Nuremberg on the basis of a testamentary contract. With that began the Hohenzollern rule over Plassenburg Castle, which lasted until the end of the 18th century.
The Margravial War (1552-1554) was fateful for the city and the castle. Kulmbach was completely destroyed on St. Conrad’s day, 26th November, in 1553 and, the following year, as starving garrison surrendered, the old Plassenburg Castle was razed to the ground.
However, Margrave Georg Friedrich von Brandenburg-Culmbach (reg. 1557-1603), who employed the distinguished architect Caspar Vischer, had Plassenburg Castle extended into a prestigious Renaissance building just a short while later.
In 1791, the margravate was transferred to Prussia and, in 1810, Kulmbach finally fell to Bavaria. In the years that followed, the castle was used as to house slaves, as a prison and as a prisoner of war camp, among other things. The castle started to be used for museums in 1929 and now houses four of them.