Hohenzollern Castle (Burg Hohenzollern) is rightfully recognized as one of the most famous and popular historical monuments of Germany among tourists. Statistics show that this castle is headed by the list of the most visited sites in the country: about 300,000 tourists visit it annually.
“Castle in the clouds” is another name for it, because it is located on the top of the mountain of the same name with a height of 855 m, which locals abbreviated as Zollern. If the weather is good, the Hohenzollern is clearly visible from afar, if it is unlucky with the weather, a foggy, even slightly mystical, vision of the outlines of the old structure is created.
The history of the Hohenzollern castle in Germany is very long and not easy: figuratively speaking, it was born three times, rebuilt almost completely three times.
The first mention that the researchers found about the defensive structure is dated 1267. But historians believe that it was built at the beginning of the XI century. This building stood until 1423, and then the army of the mighty Swabia captured and destroyed it.
After 30 years, the construction of the next, second castle began at the same place. The work lasted a long time, from 1454 to 1461. During the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), this defensive structure was a reliable refuge for the Hohenzollerns. The castle successfully survived the war for the Austrian inheritance (1740 to 1748), although for some time it was under occupation by French soldiers. After the end of this war, the citadel lost its strategic purpose, in 1798 it was left by the last owner. After this, the complex of buildings fell into disrepair and decline. By the beginning of the XIX century there were continuous ruins, only the chapel of St. Michael survived.
The third castle, which now stands in Germany, was restored with the assistance of Frederick William IV. Work continued from 1850 to 1867. Unlike its two predecessors, the new structure had a completely different purpose: it strengthened the prestige of the Prussian dynasty of the Hohenzollerns in power. Only in 1945 the castle began to be used as a family residence of this noble family: the Crown Prince of Prussia Wilhelm and his wife Cecilia lived there.
Hohenzollern Castle in Germany has long remained the family estate of the famous Hohenzollern family, which ruled the state from the 12th century to 1918. Now 2/3 of the castle are privately owned by representatives of the Brandenburg-Prussian line of the Hohenzollern, and 1/3 are owned by the Swabian Catholic Church.
The ancient castle is considered one of the brightest examples of the German architectural style, which harmoniously combines elements of the Middle Ages and neo-romanticism. However, even in the photo of the Hohenzollern castle in Germany, it can be seen that its architecture does not look solid. The fact is that from the first two destroyed fortresses some fragments remained, and they were left in the course of further reconstructions.
The complex has chapels of different religions:
- The Catholic Church of St. Michael. The construction, erected in 1454 – 1461, was expanded in 1853.
- Protestant Chapel of Christ. Built according to the Shtuler project, the style is close to the western choir of Naumburg Cathedral.
- Russian Orthodox chapel of the Resurrection. In the second half of the twentieth century, Prince Louis Ferdinand created it for his wife Kira, who was born and raised in Russia.
What is interesting about the castle inside
Since 1952, the old Hohenzollern in Germany has successfully turned into a museum. It was filled with family relics from the collection of the Hohenzollern house, as well as various values from the previously existing Montbijou palace (Berlin, Germany).
The interior of the castle is very elegant and luxuriously decorated. Marble columns are decorated with stucco molding, ceilings are covered with bright paintings with gold trim, unique tapestries are placed on the walls, and porcelain on the tables. The rooms have expensive and very beautiful antique furniture. The most impressive many tourists recognize the main hall with candelabra, a meeting room, a queen’s room and a blue room.
Important! You cannot take photos inside the Hohenzollern Castle in Germany!
From the courtyard there is a separate entrance to the basement. Initially, prisoners were kept in the basement dungeons, and a storage facility was also arranged there. Now in the basement there is a small museum, among the exhibits of which are knightly armor and weapons, the clothing of kings, documents, dishes and other household items. The most valuable relics stored in the museum include:
- the crown of the kings of Prussia, the last owner of which was the Elector of Germany, William II;
- the uniform of Frederick II the Great, recognized by the ancestor of Prussian-German statehood;
- a letter from President of America George Washington to the descendant of the Hohenzollern, Baron von Steuben, with thanks for the help in the United States struggle for independence.
Castle opening hours and cost of visiting
Hohenzollern Castle Address: 72379 Burg Hohenzollern, Germany.
It is open for visits at such times:
- in the summer season (from mid-March to the end of October) – from 10:00 to 17:30;
- in the winter season (from early November to mid-March) – from 10:00 to 16:30.
You can take a walk around the near-territory territory and go on a guided tour in the internal premises daily, except for some holidays. Information on changes in the usual work schedule can be found on the official site of the attraction: https://www.burg-hohenzollern.com/.
Entrance to the Hohenzollern Castle is possible only as part of an organized excursion and accompanied by a guide. The groups gain a certain number of people, every 30 minutes. Tours are conducted mainly in German, less often in English. No audio guides!
Entrance tickets to the famous German castle are offered in two versions:
With a walk in the yard and with a visit to the casemates. The cost of complex number 1:
- for adults 7 €;
- for children age 6-17 years – 5 €.
With a walk around the courtyard, with a visit to the casemates and with a tour of the inner halls of the castle. Cost:
- for adults 12 €;
- with a discount for students 18+, senior citizens and disabled people – 10 €;
- for children from 6 to 17 years old – 6 €;
- family (2 adults and a maximum of 4 children) – 28 €;
- groups of 20 people and more – 10 € per person.
Tickets are sold at the tourist office, which is located at the bus stop, next to the castle entrance gate. There you can take a free map of Germany’s famous landmarks.
How to get to Hohenzollern Castle
An ancient landmark located in the vicinity of the small town of Hechingen in Germany – it is 50 km south of the city of Stuttgart. When planning a route on how to get to the Hohenzollern castle in Germany, it is important to understand: it is Hechingen that is the final point at which all the routes to the point of interest converge.
From Stuttgart to Hechingen you can take the Ineregio-Express train – it leaves from Stuttgart Hbf train station, there are 5 flights a day. Arrival of these trains at the railway station Hechingen expects regular bus number 300, which goes directly to the castle.
It is convenient to drive from Stuttgart to Hohenzollern Castle by car. First, on the A1 highway (Stuttgart-Singen), then there will be a trip to Empfingen. Further along the highway B463, focusing on the regional center Balingen. Then you need to go onto B27 and move towards Hechingen.
A bus runs from the car park at the foot of the hill to the castle entrance gate. He walks with a frequency of 10-15 minutes:
- in the summer season from 9:00 to 18:30;
- in the winter season from 10:00 to 17:30.
You can pay the fare directly to the driver. One-way transfer prices are as follows:
- for adults – 2 €;
- for a group of 20 or more adults – 1.8 € per person;
- for a child from 4 to 14 years old – 1 €;
- for a group of 20 or more children – 0.9 € each.
If you buy a ticket at once in two directions, it turns out cheaper.
But it is not necessary to go by bus. As an option – you can get to the Hohenzollern Castle on foot, and in one of two ways. A short path goes up a steep staircase and takes about 20 minutes. The long way is easier – bypassing the path, but takes almost 40 minutes.
Some tips from experienced tourists
- Since the entrance to the castle is possible only as part of excursions at the indicated time, sometimes you have to wait a bit. You should not just stand still: you can slowly walk around the lower tier of the walls, admire the magnificent views that open from the top of the hill.
- There is a souvenir shop near the bus stop – do not rush to buy anything there! On the territory of the castle complex, in the courtyard, there is a store with a much better assortment and with reasonable prices. They offer excellent wines produced in Germany in bottles with the emblem of the castle. You can also buy books, porcelain, toys, movie discs, postcards and photos of the Hohenzollern Castle – both with interior interiors and with views from the outside. By the way, a purchased postcard can be sent immediately to friends or relatives – right at the entrance gate there is a mail box.
- There is an open-air beer yard in the courtyard, surrounded by a picturesque park area. There is also a restaurant in the castle itself – “Burg Hohenzollern”, which serves delicious traditional German cuisine at affordable prices.
- If you can, go to Hohenzollern Castle in December when the Royal Christmas Market takes place with bazaars and a variety of recreational activities. This fair is considered one of the most beautiful and interesting in all of Germany. Admission will cost 10 € for adults, free for children.
Hohenzollern Castle History: