Hohenzollern Castle was the second castle I ever visited in Germany – talk about getting spoiled!
Hohenzollern Castle is only 70 km south of Stuttgart.
If you ask any local about which castles you should visit in the area, invariably Hohenzollern will be suggested.
It commands respect even from a distance nestled on top of Mount Hohenzollern. I can imagine that its presence would seem imposing to enemies in medieval times and be of comfort to allies. Perhaps that’s part of the reason Hohenzollern Castle served as a refuge for the Catholic citizens in the region during numerous wars, including the Thirty Years’ War.
The current Hohenzollern Castle is actually the third version of the castle.
Hohenzollern was originally built in the 11th century, but was destroyed during a 10 month siege. The second version of the castle was built between 1454 – 1461. But by the end of the 18th century it had lost its strategic importance and fell into ruin. Finally, the third version of the castle, which is Hohenzollern Castle as we see it today was built between 1846 0 1867 in a Neo-Gothic style.
One might think that would be enough for one castle to endure, but in 1978 Hohenzollern was badly damaged due to an earth quake.
20 people had to be dug out from the crumbling castle walls. Somehow I’m thinking that castles built over 150 years ago weren’t built to be earthquake resistance.
In recent years Hohenzollern Castle has seen happier times receiving over 300,000 visitors each year. It is now one of Germany’s top visited castles.
Pretty impressive when you consider there are over 25,000 castles in Germany. If you’re looking for something quieter, check out my favorite castle ruins in Germany.
Hohenzollern also serves as a summer camp for needy children. I wish I could have gone to summer camp in a castle.
Know Before You Go to Hohenzollern Castle:
- English tours are available of Hohenzollern Castle on weekends and public holidays at 11:30, 2:00 and 4:30, which I really enjoyed and would recommend.
- Hohenzollern Castle is ~70km south of Stuttgart
- For more info on visiting Hohenzollern Castle see: Burg Hohenzollern