Composites consist by definition of at least two materials (Gibbsian phases) with rather different properties. They exhibit a heterogeneous microstructure and possess improved properties with respect to their components. Furthermore, the design of their microstructure allows for tailoring their overall properties. In the last decades, intense work was performed on the synthesis of nanocomposites, which have the feature that at least one of their components is nanoscaled. However, the microstructure-property relationship of nanocomposite materials is still a challenging topic. This tutorial review paper deals with a special class of nanocomposites, i.e. polymer-derived ceramic nanocomposites (PDC-NCs), which have been shown to be promising materials for various structural and functional applications. Within this context, different preparative approaches for PDC-NCs as well as some of their properties will be presented and discussed. Furthermore, recent results concerning the relationship between the nano/microstructure of PDC-NCs and their properties will be highlighted.