Hohenzollern Castle was the second castle I ever visited and it really set a standard of expectation for every castle I visited after.
Hohenzollern castle set a high precedent for all future castles that I would visit in Germany: Schloss Ludwigsburg, Heidelberg Castle, Munich Residenz, and Schloss Lichtenstein just to name a few.
My First Impression
Walking up to the castle I thought I knew what to expect, but when the castle came into view I was awestruck. I know it was beautiful, but pictures really don’t do it justice.
Everything from its stone turrets and peaked silver roofs to its massive wall that borders beautiful green trees strikes you all at once. It really a wonderful experience especially if you haven’t seen many castles before.
Related Reading: Top 20 Best Castles in Germany to Visit
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.
The castle served as a refuge for the Catholic citizens in the region during war. The Thirty Years’ War brought many battles to the region.
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Hohenzollern Castle: The Third Version
The castle you see today is not the original castle. Hohenzollern was originally built in the 11th century. The original castle was destroyed during a 10-month siege.
The castle was rebuilt again between 1454 – 1461. But by the end of the 18th century, it had lost its strategic importance and fell into ruin.
The third and final version of the castle was built between 1846 and 1867 in a Neo-Gothic style. This is the castle you see today.
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The 1978 Earthquake
In 1978 Hohenzollern Castle was hit with a devastating blow when an earthquake shook the region. A portion of the castle collapsed, trapping 20 people in the crumbling castle walls.
The earthquake was considered the worst to hit the region in 35 years. The renovations were only completed during the 1990s.
The plans for the castle definitely didn’t include earthquake resistance. Somehow I’m thinking that castles built over 150 years ago weren’t built to be earthquake resistant.
Related Reading: Lichtenstein Castle 7 Facts To Know Before You Visit
Hohenzollern Castle: One Of Germany’s Top Castles
The castle receives around 300,000 visitors a year. Pretty impressive when you consider there are over 25,000 castles in Germany. The castle houses artifacts that belong to the Hohenzollern family including the crown of Wilhelm II. You will also find an extensive collection of art that has been in the family for generations.
Prussian royalty owns a portion of the castle. Prince George Frederick of Prussia and his family stay at the palace frequently. When they do you will find their standards flying high on the flag pole.
If you’re looking for something quieter, check out my favorite castle ruins in Germany.
Related Reading: Neuschwanstein: How to Make the Most of Your Visit
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 at 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
- If you’re staying in Frankfurt then try this tour. They even include packed lunches for you to enjoy.
Accommodation near Hohenzollern Castle
Ferienwohnung Am Ziegelbach is in Hesingen and is 2.2km away from Hohenzollern Castle, about an hour away if your walking. The apartment is spacious and well equipped. It also has some amazing views of the castle, perfect if you like enjoying your morning view with a cup of coffee as I do.
Gästehaus Burgblick is about 10 minutes away from the castle. The guesthouse has a terrace where you can enjoy meals. They even offer ski storage for winters and you can inquire from the front desk about cycling and hiking routes nearby. It is also popular during winter as you can ski in the area.