Burg Hohenzollern is one of Germany’s most imposing castles. Each year, it welcomes over 300,000 visitors from around the world. With its many turrets and battlements rising dramatically above the town of Hechingen, it is an architectural masterpiece of the 19th century and a must-see when visiting the region.
Standing at a picturesque location – atop a 234m high mountain surrounded by vast green fields, Burg Hohenzollern is undoubtedly one of its kind. The neo-Gothic castle is the ancestral seat of the mighty House of Hohenzollern who ruled over Hohenzollern, Brandenburg, Prussia, the German Empire, and Romania for centuries.
Burg Hohenzollern was presumedly built in the first decade of the 11th century. But by the 13th century, it was completely destroyed. Its size and appearance, therefore, remain unknown. From 1454, the second Burg Hohenzollern was constructed on the same location, bigger and more fortified than before.
During the Thirty Years War, the castle was converted into a formidable fortress. However, as a result of repeatedly changing owners, most of the building was neglected and ruined. Only the Chapel of St. Michael remained usable. In 1819, Crown Prince Frederik of Prussia decided to bring glory back to his ancestral seat by reconstructing Burg Hohenzollern. Today, the castle is privately owned by the successor of the Hohenzollern. And the admission fee is used to maintain and renovate the castle.
Travel from Stuttgart to Burg Hohenzollern
- Burg Hohenzollern is located 60 kilometres south-west of Stuttgart. Frequent trains link Stuttgart Hbf with Hechingen Hbf (Duration: 60 minutes). From Hechingen Hbf, take bus 307 to the castle’s car park. The buses are timed to coincide with the trains.
- Baden-Württemberg Ticket is highly recommended for this trip because it grants unlimited travel (both buses and trains) throughout the entire region in one day. Up to five persons can use this ticket. The price starts at 24€ for one person and goes up to 48€ for five persons.
- From the car park, you can either hike to the castle (25-30 minutes) or take a van which costs about 3€ for a 10 minutes trip.
- Guided tours take around 35 min. But if you prefer to explore the castle at your own pace (like we did), visit the castle on Royal Castle Stroll Day. On these special days, all the chambers are opened and there is a guide in each room, who is ready to answer your questions.
- Drones are forbidden in the area. So the only way to have a panorama view over the castle is travelling to Zeller Horn (final destination of bus 307), a mini-mountain located south-west of Hechingen. It is cumbersome but the view is really worth a trip.