Castle Ruins: Why You Have To Visit The Baden-Baden Ruins

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The Baden-Baden Castle ruins may not have the spunk and glamour of other castles in Germany, but they captivate your mind and imagination in ways that no other castle can.

Wild adventures and injured knights and princesses locked in the once magnificent tower. Priests in white coats and pompous royalty strutting about. This is what comes to mind when you walk into the Baden-Baden Castle Ruins. If you love having your imagination run wild and free then this is where you have to go.

Castle ruins in Baden-Baden, Baden)Württemberg, GermanyI have explored quite a few castle ruins in Germany.  While I always enjoy visiting them, I recently visited some castle ruins that took my breath away.

Why I Love The Baden-Baden Castle Ruins

There are approximately 25 000 castles in Germany, and this is one of my top 10 favorites. Given I haven’t visited every single one but you get the point.

Altes Schloss (Old Castle) in Baden Baden, Germany
The entrance to Altes Schloss (Old Castle) in Baden Baden.

Baden-Baden is a spa town located in the northern Black Forest. Bill Clinton once famously quoted “Baden-Baden is so nice that you have to name it twice.” The warm mineral spas are famous in Germany and with good reason. My muscles are relaxing just thinking about them. But wait… let me tell you more about the ruins first.

Related Reading: 14 Wellness Hotels in Germany to Check into for Ultimate Relaxation

Courtyard of the Baden-baden castle ruins in Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Interior of the castle ruins in Baden-Baden.

Officially the castle is known as Hohenbaden Castle, but locally as Altes Schloss, meaning Old Castle, a well-deserved name considering the castle was built in 1102.  The castle sits high on a hill that ambitious visitors can reach through a forested hiking path.  As an avid hiker with a great love for the outdoors I’ll always choose the hiking option if I can.

Less energetic visitors can reach it via car, similar to Hohenzollern Castle.  Once visitors have passed the entrance way, this is what awaits them (above photo).

Castles ruins in Baden-Baden, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
The castle ruins in Baden Baden are the largest castle ruins I’ve explored in Germany.

The Baden-Baden Castle Ruins are by far the largest I’ve ever been to!

They’re much larger than the castle ruins in Stuttgart or other ruins that I have come across while hiking.  Normally I can explore them in about 10 minutes.

Exploring The Castle Ruins

It took us over 30 minutes to fully explore these castle ruins complete with secret dungeons! I was seriously jealous of the people having breakfast (shown in the above photo) on the castle ruins makeshift terrace. 

There is also a restaurant in the castle ruins, but the view from where they were sitting is outstanding!  As soon as I saw this I started planning my next trip just so I can enjoy those views with a cup of coffee and a good breakfast.

Wind harp in the castle ruins of Baden-Baden in Baden-Württemberg, Germany
The largest wind harp in Europe is also found at this castle ruin in Baden-Baden.

Europes Largest Wind Harp

Not only is the Baden-Baden Castle Ruin the largest I have ever been too, but it also houses Europe’s largest wind harp!

The harp has 120 strings and measures almost 4 meters!  There was a gentle breeze the day we went and a soft calming sound could be heard from the wind harp. The sound makes me think of castle spirits humming a tranquil song that tells the story of their lives.

Related Reading: 7 German Castles You Have To Visit In Southern Germany

Castle ruinsin Baden-baden, Germany

The Views From The Castle Ruins

The views from this castle ruins are impressive overlooking both the Black Forest and the Rhine Valley.  The views are maximized by the walkway at the top of the castle ruins. 

I can see why the Margraves of Baden (a title given to the counts of Baden) choose to live here from the 11th to the 15th century.

Standing by one of the window arches looking out at the countryside, I can imagine what it would have been like for a lady to stand in that exact spot 500 years ago. It makes me wonder whether the view would be different at all.

Related Reading: 5 Tips for Hiking in the Black Forest, Germany

Lightening protection of the Baden-Baden Castle ruins in Baden-Württemberg, Germany
The castle ruins have built-in modern lightning protection.

The outstanding views afforded by the ruins do have a downside though.  The risk of being struck by lightning!  It’s a real concern as many castles in Germany have been badly damaged by lightning at some point.  

I.e.  Heidelberg Castle. Fortunately, the Altes Schloss has modern built-in lightning protection in which if it gets stuck, the current runs down these wires and into the ground.  (I’m sure it’s a bit more complicated than that, but that’s the gist of it).

Related Reading: Strasbourg: Storybook Charm and a UNESCO Site

Overview of Baden-Baden Castle Ruins in Baden-Württemberg, Germany
View of the castle ruins and the Black Forest.

The Best Part About Visiting the Ruins?

Well if I haven’t convinced you to take a trip here yet that may be the fact that there is no entrance fee that will make a difference. Yip, that’s it, entry is completely free. So if your traveling on a budget or is just looking for something to do that’s within your budget then why not come and see Baden-Badens’ castle ruins. You can find more information at the City of Baden-Baden Tourist information.

Accommodation in Baden-Baden

Stay in Baden-Baden at the Hotel Quellenhof Sophia. The hotel is comfortable and well situated with some great views of the old town from the balcony rooms. Enjoy great meals at the restaurant. Ask the front desk for information about hiking and cycling in the area. 

Heliopark Bad Hotel Zum Hirsch is a 4-Star hotel that offers you a luxurious stay in real Baden-Baden style. Enjoy the traditionally furnished rooms and the onsite spa and sauna. The breakfast has an exceptional rating. You can easily explore Baden-Baden well-rested and ready for the hike up to the castle ruins.

The Baden-Baden Castle is so much more than just old ruins. They awake your imagination and give you the opportunity to take in the best views in the area, not to mention you can hike up through the forest.

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27 thoughts on “Castle Ruins: Why You Have To Visit The Baden-Baden Ruins”

  1. I visited Altes Shlauss while in the military in the early 80s backpacking. The locals had a large bonfire in the castle at night and had a big party with us as special guests. Good times. 🙂

  2. Baden-Baden is also in my top three list of the best ruins I’ve been to in Germany. It is just SO impressive, and massive! Plus, the views are stunning.


  3. I was stationed in Wuerzburg for a while teaching, and had the opportunity to visit Altes Schloss on a beautiful spring day. The drive there was fun in itself and driving thru the little town was a joy, as it was with so many places thrroughout Bavaria.
    The story behind why the harp was made there was sweet and sad, as it involved a young new queen so very far from her home. Newly married and the mistress of a castle (or so the story went), kept her busy for the day, but her nights were long and lonely when her king was gone from the kingdom. He made her a harp in the window of the castle to remind her of her home and the music played there.
    I bought a cd from the little gift shop you mentioned and had lunch there, which was simple and good. I have listened to the wind music often and have played it for friends, who have all had different reactions to the sounds and the story. All in all, it was a wonderful experience there in Germany, and the castles and the histories that surround them, were all just icing on the cake that I was eating up every day I was there!
    Mimi Jones


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