Follow in the footsteps of Emperor William II as you ascend to the Alpine fairy tale world of Hohenzollern Castle (Burg Hohenzollern).
The Emperor himself has said these words about this picturesque castle: “The view from up here is truly worth a voyage.”
About The Hohenzollern Castle And Its History
The first mention of Hohenzollern Castle can be traced to the year 1061. Little is known about the first incarnation of the castle, apart from that it was something incredibly impressive to behold.
The first castle was destroyed in 1423 during a long siege by eighteen other Swabian cities. A newer, even more impressive castle was under construction by 1454.
However, version two soon met a similar end as its previous one. In 1634, it was captured by the Württemberg soldiers during the Thirty Years’ War. After changing ownership numerous times in the next couple of centuries, from the Austrians to the French to the Hapsburgs, the castle fell into a ruined state by the year 1798.
The savior of Hohenzollern was Crown-Prince (and later King) Frederick William IV of Prussia. He visited the ruin — his ancestral home — in the summer of 1819 and decided to restore it to its former magnificence. Frederick enlisted the help of historian Rudolf Count Stillfried and the architect Friedrich August Stüler.
After seventeen years of construction (1850-1867), it was once-again a majestic castle, built in the style of Gothic Revival.
Hohenzollern Castle Highlights And Features
St. Michael’s Chapel
The Chapel of St. Michael is the oldest part of the castle complex. It was the sole part that did not fall into complete ruin during the castle’s years of desolation. With magnificent stained glass windows and an impressive dragon-slaying statue of the eponymous saint.
The inner courtyard is a wonder to behold (see webcams!). For some of the most breathtaking views, and fabulous photo opportunities, you won’t do better than the Castle Courtyard. With views of St. Michael’s Chapel, the garrison (Wehrhaus) and a statue of Count Jost Niklas von Zollern, this is one of Hohenzollern’s true highlights.
Die Burgschenke is the go-to place to satisfy your cravings during a tour of Hohenzollern.
Hohenzollern Castle Location And Opening Hours
The street address (helpful for GPS users) is Burg Hohenzollern in Hechingen. If you’re driving, the castle is easily accessible by taking the Autobahn A81 (use the exit Empfingen) or the Bundesstraße B27 (exit, you guessed it, Burg Hohenzollern). There is a small fee for parking, and also a shuttle bus to conveniently bring you from the car park to the castle.
For those who don’t have access to their own vehicle, it is still quite simple to visit this extraordinary castle. From the Stuttgart train station, there are hourly connections to the station at Hechingen station. The journey takes between 60 and 90 minutes.
From Hechingen, there is a bus to the Hohenzollern parking lot, which conveniently leave five minutes after the incoming trains arrive. Once you get to the car park, you have the option of hiking uphill for twenty minutes to the Castle, or paying a small fee for the shuttle bus.
Hohenzollern Castle Opening Hours
Hohenzollern Castle is open daily throughout the year. It is closed on Christmas Eve. Summer hours are in effect from mid-March to October, from 9.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. Winter hours are a bit shorter at each end, from just 10:00 a.m until 4:30 p.m.