Castle Ruins in Stuttgart

Castle ruins in Stuttgart, Germany

I woke up on Sunday morning and decided I wanted to visit a castle.

Fortunately living in Germany, there’s no shortage of castles and it’s not that difficult to turn this thought into a reality.  What did surprise me though was that we found one – or what remained of one, Burgruine Hofen (Castle ruin Hofen)  6km from our apartment in the NE district of Hofen Neugereut in Stuttgart, which also happens to be the only castle ruin in Stuttgart.

Castle ruins in Stuttgart, Germany

An artist’s depiction of how Castle Hofen looked in 1120

No one knows exactly when Castle Hofen was built, but there are records referring to it as far back as 1120.  Castle Hofen was built beside the Neckar River to ward off enemy attacks on the village which was next to the castle.  On the other side of the river was another similar castle built next to another village for the same purpose.

Castle ruins in Stuttgart, Germany

The castle ruins of Hofen, the only castle ruins in Stuttgart

Unfortunately nothing remains of the castle on the other side of the river. Castle Hofen is now referred to as a castle ruin since it was largely destroyed in the 30 year war from 1618 – 1648.  Above are what remains of Castle Hofen today, the only castle ruin in Stuttgart!

Castle ruins in Stuttgart, Germany

Guards would shoot at enemies from small openings found throughout Castle Hofen

It was clear that Castle Hofen meant business.  Throughout the castle were many small openings for guards to shoot at enemies, but the small holes made it difficult for enemies to shoot back.

Castle ruins and Church in Stuttgart, Germany

Castle ruins get a new life

We may think of recycling as a new concept but it’s been around since at least 1783, when part of the castle ruins were used to build a wall around the Church of St. Barbara which stands next to the castle ruins of Hofen.

Hofen Castle ruins in Stuttgart, Germany

Living beside the castle ruins of Hofen

In many ways, life has changed little since 1120.  Castle Hofen was built right beside a village and today it’s possible to live right beside the castle ruins of Hofen.  As soon as I saw this I immediately began looking for “For Rent” signs in apartment windows, much to my German fiance’s chagrin, who didn’t see why we would leave an apartment we’re happy in, to live beside castle ruins.  Unfortunately I didn’t see any “For Rent” signs, but I haven’t given up my search yet!

Vineyard at Castle ruins in Stuttgart, Germany

Vineyards line the other side of the river bank across from the Hofen castle ruins

As if discovering that castle ruins existed so close to my home wasn’t enough, we also found there was a lovely walking path along the Neckar River.  On the other side of the Neckar River are vineyards.  Castle ruins and wine?  This was turning out to be a very good day!

Restaurant near the Castle ruins in Stuttgart, Germany

Restaurant near the castle ruins

We also discovered a German restaurant along the Neckar River overlooking Max-Eyth Lake.  The views can’t be beat and the cappuccinos were divine, but overpriced.  Fortunately there are also  picnic spots along the Neckar River so you can bring your own lunch if desired.   When I woke up I was hoping to see a castle, but as the events of the day unfolded, not only did I get a castle ruin, but one close to my house in a beautiful setting in a new part of Stuttgart that I hadn’t been too.  Do Sundays get any better than this?

What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?


  1. Laurel says

    @Sabrina – We explore almost every weekend, and my list of things to explore is still much longer than the list of what we’ve explored already – one reason I really enjoy living in Germany :)

    @Cathy – I’m fascinated by castles as well, even small ruins like this one. I definitely think we’ll be back to check it out again and stop in at the restaurant for Sunday brunch.

  2. Laurel says

    @Lisa – Ohh and there are so many amazing castles around Berlin too! Definitely no shortage of castles in Germany.

  3. says

    Let me finish that sentence…
    I’m glad you included the drawing of what the castle once looked like. How wonderful to stroll your neighborhood streets and dream of all the court intrigue that once played out there!

  4. Harry says

    Hi Laurel ,

    thanks for the blog !I was so proud as i read it , because i grew up in Stuttgart Hofen and still live here ! Cool that you like it !The Burgruine Hofen is really an Insider Tip , not much people know about it .
    Had friends from Colorado here last week ,and of course i took them to the Burgruine.They also have been impressed ! Thanx for the description,now they can get information about it in English .;)
    BTW , we had dinner at the Haus am See on the evening they arrived.



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