Baden-Baden Castle Ruins: Why You Have to Visit

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There is something beautiful about the Baden-Baden Castle ruins. It has nothing of what you can expect from other German castles, nonetheless, it holds its own.

There is something wildly unique about visiting castle ruins, it just gets your imagination geared up and ready to fly like Peter Pan. The Baden-Baden castle ruins are no different. Be prepared to have your imagination run as wild as a once caged tiger. You can’t help wondering what secrets these once magnificent walls have to offer.

I 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 Visit The Baden-Baden Castle Ruins

So why visit this one? There are no elaborate rooms and no fascinating paintings or wall hangings, and yet this is one of the best castles I visited in Germany. And although I haven’t visited every one of the 25 000 castles in Germany, but I have visited more than a few.

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.

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Interior of the castle ruins in Baden-Baden.

The official name of the castle is Hohenbaden Castle. It is known by the locals as Altes Schloss, which means Old Castle. It’s a fitting name as the castle was built in 1102. You can reach the castle via forested hiking path or via car. As I am a lover of the outdoors and visited during a warmer season I chose to do the hike rather than do it by car. Beware though, the castle sits on the top of a high hill so you have to be prepared for a mildly steep hike.

The photo above is the first thing you see when you enter the gates. Already I was thinking about the many things that may have happened here in the past and who once lived here.

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.

Take Some Time to Explore 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!  Who wouldn’t want to enjoy these views with a great breakfast and hot coffee at hand?

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 to, 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. Take a few minutes to let the sound tickle your imagination and amaze yourself with what you can come up with. This post would be way too long if I told you everything that was running through my mind. Suffice it to say I may admittedly have thought of something Harry Potter related…

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

The Views From The Castle Ruins

The views from this castle ruins are impressive overlooking both the Black Forest and the Rhine Valley.  Enjoy the best of them 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

The castle ruins have built-in modern lightning protection.

The views are amazing but they come at a price. Lightening. To clarify, many castles in Germany have been damaged by lightning at some point. Obviously, when they built these castles they didn’t consider adding lightning protection.

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).

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View of the castle ruins and the Black Forest.

The Best Part About Visiting the Ruins?

Convinced that you need to visit yet? If not then here is just one more fact that should be of some use: It’s free! Yip, that’s it, entry is completely free. So if your traveling on a budget or you’re 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

Top Pick: Hotel Quellenhof Sophia

Stay in Baden-Baden at the Hotel Quellenhof Sophia. Besides offering great comfort you can also enjoy some of the best views in the old town. The front desk also offers information about hiking and cycling in the area which is great for the active visitor.

Top Pick: Heliopark Bad Hotel Zum Hirsch

The wonderful 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.

You may be skeptical about the Baden-Baden Castle ruins now, but once you’ve seen them up close and personal… That’s a completely different thing.