View of Hohenzollern Castle from Zeller Horn

Hohenzollern Castle: The Legacy of a Mighty Dynasty

Tiếng Việt

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.

Panoramic view of Hohenzollern Castle

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.

The towers of Hohenzollern Castles

How to get to Hohenzollern Castle from Stuttgart

  • Burg Hohenzollern is located 60 kilometers 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.

Practical Information

  • 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.
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42 thoughts on “Hohenzollern Castle: The Legacy of a Mighty Dynasty”

  1. Mel & Suan – Singapore – Mel works his day job for a living, but lives for antiquities, history and geography at all other times. He enjoys writing and thought sharing and obviously traveling. Suan is a homey person, who like girlie stuff such as cross stitching etc. Enjoys shopping & modeling for Mel. What a match!
    Mel & Suan says:

    Fantastic! Have not touched it though heard of it.
    How does the interior of the castle looked like? Did it have many chambers of different themes as some of the other Palace castles?

    1. Yes, it does. But the decoration is not much different either. I think the European royalties have similar taste 🙂 The most impressive chambers are the Grafensaal (the Hall of Earl) and the Treasury where holds the crowns and the royal sceptres 🙂

  2. Jolene – Sydney, Australia – Jolene is a banker by trade, a writer at heart, and is a contributor to Thought Catalog. You are welcome to peek into her adventures and reflections on films and life at "SoMuchToTellYou", her ultimate love affair with words.
    Jolene says:

    Haven’t heard of this one, but it looks as though Germany is dotted with castles like this? Very majestic though

    1. Thank you, Jolene! In the southern and central part of Germany, you will surely find a few castles like this. But in the northern and eastern part, most castles are built either near a lake or a river. Marienburg is an exception 🙂

    1. Hàng tồn kho từ năm ngoái đó e. Giờ mới đem ra chém. 1/2 đầu của 2017 này phải bế quan viết bài 🙁

      1. Hahaha, làm hết hồn tưởng mỗi tuần anh đều đi chứ, làm em xốn xang quá :-))))

  3. thanks for the tip where to take a panorama view!) This castle is on my list of places to visit in the near future))
    I heard that drones are forbidden there and was wondering if it is possible to take a panorama picture from the ground) Now I know 🙂

    1. You welcome 🙂 If you have a car, it will be easier for you. The bus can bring you to Zeller Horn, but there are not so many buses. If you miss one, you will have to wait like hours to return to Hohenzollern or Hechingen. From Zeller Horn, you can also walk to Hohenzollern. But I am not a hiker-type so it is not an option for me 🙂

      1. unfortunately I don’t even have a driving licence to rent a car 🙁
        But I love hiking! so it could be an option for me)))

      2. It look not so far from Zeller Horn, and the terrains is not so challenging. But I don’t know exactly how long it will take. Maybe you can tell me someday 🙂

  4. Arundhati Basu – New Jersey, US – The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.
    Dippy-Dotty Girl says:

    What fantastic photos, Len! I am happy to have stumbled across your blog. Also thank you for the follow. Looking forward to some more browsing here. Cheers.

    1. Arundhati Basu – New Jersey, US – The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.
      Dippy-Dotty Girl says:

      I also realised as I read your profile that I am talking to a camera. Conversations with a camera is indeed a first for me.

      1. Haha a camera that can response 🙂 Unique, am I? Well, not many people realized that Len is a camera. But I don’t want to make my readers confused so it is fine to call me Len. Because I often travel alone so I humanized my camera so that it can be my companion. It is also easier for me to write as “we” than as “I”.
        Thanks for your compliments! I really appreciate it. I am glad to find your blog as well. Skillfully written content, with great photos and a lot of useful tips. Looking forward to read more in the future! Cheers 😉

      2. Arundhati Basu – New Jersey, US – The great affair in my life is to travel. I count myself immensely fortunate that my partner shares this passion. We are a team that likes to spend time planning and plotting out places to go. Destination check, flights check, accommodation check, cheesy grins check. Off we go.
        Dippy-Dotty Girl says:

        Well I cannot fight the uniqueness of a talking camera, eh. Thank you for the lovely words 🙂 Time to travel through each other’s blogs then. Cheers.

    1. Hehe tháng 6 này ba mẹ a sang nên làm tour Đông Âu: Ba Lan, Czech, Hungaria, Áo các kiểu 🙂 Mấy chỗ này e đi hết rồi. Còn sau khi nộp bài thì chưa biết. Còn tùy vào budget haha. Nếu còn nhiều đạn chúng ta có thể hội ngộ ở Oslo 😀 Thế e với hubby có plan gì chưa?

  5. monalisa – My name is Monalisa. I have done my B.Tech from Information Technology and currently, I am working as a Digital Marketing Executive. I love to do creative things...I love net surfing, animal planet, dance and painting. Appreciation keeps me motivated. I love to read, write and help people.
    Satpura Tiger Reserve says:

    What incredible photographs, Len! I am upbeat to have unearthed your blog. Additionally thank you for the take after. Anticipating some all the more perusing here. Cheers…

    1. Thanks a lot for the compliment! It is great to hear that you like my blog 🙂 Thanks for following and I hope I can bring you better content in the future. Cheers!

  6. Julz – Hi! Hope you are enjoying my travel blog about Mauritius! I am a Danish Expat, mum of 2. Currently we live in Mauritius and we absolutely love it. I am taking you around this beautiful island and also other travels we enjoy!
    Julz says:

    Beautiful!!! Love your pics 🙂 there is sometjing incredibly romantic about South Germany.

    1. I agree! Its combination of nature and castles is totally different than what we do have here in the North. It appears more dramatic and somehow, as you said, incredibly romantic.

  7. monalisa – My name is Monalisa. I have done my B.Tech from Information Technology and currently, I am working as a Digital Marketing Executive. I love to do creative things...I love net surfing, animal planet, dance and painting. Appreciation keeps me motivated. I love to read, write and help people.
    Dudhwa Tiger Reserve says:

    What fabulous photographs, Len! I am cheerful to have discovered your blog. Likewise thank you for the take after.

  8. Beautiful castle. I was very close this year to travelling to Stuttgart. But I was not aware until now of this amazing castle. The list of “things to see” has grown:)

  9. anne leueen – I am a "vintage" dressage rider. My horse partner is Biasini, a Hanoverian gelding. He is talented and opinionated! I have an adult son and daughter and a husband who thinks it is great that riding gives me a purpose in life and keeps me healthy mentally and physically!
    anne leueen says:

    Wonderful photos of this almost ‘fairy tale’ place. thank you.

  10. Your panoramic view photo looks like something out of a fairytale with the castle perfectly perched upon that hill. I never grow weary of seeing Germany’s castles. Spectacular!

    1. I agree with you 🙂 The Germans are really good in building castles. They could build at very challenging position, such as hill tops, small islands, etc. And the castles are still standing after all this years.

  11. Spectacular photography !
    Cô chưa hề đến castle này, chỉ đến Neuschwanstein Castle. Vào mùa Thu nên vàng đỏ khắp nơi.
    Germany đẹp thật, cô vẫn còn tấm tắc mãi về nơi ấy.

    1. Neuschwanstein vào mùa thu thì tuyệt vời rồi ạ! Lâu đài trắng trên nền lá đỏ vàng. Cháu đi đầu hè nên chỉ có một màu xanh thôi. Thực sự muốn xem lâu đài vào mùa đông khi phủ tuyết trắng 🙂

  12. Lignum Draco – ... A blog about nothing in particular, because "Candid photography is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get". Photography by "The Wood Dragon" since 2012.
    Lignum Draco says:

    A very impressive fortress and it sounds like a great day trip from Stuttgart. Commanding views and that last panorama is fabulous.I should think that panorama view of the fortress is essential if you’re going to visit this area.

    1. Yes, it is 🙂 I took extra hours to go there just because of the view. Not many tourists go there, so you can enjoy the view without much obstacles.

  13. vinneve – I believe in this quote "Life is a JOURNEY, travel it well." Wherever we may end up so long as there is LOVE we will be happy!
    vinneve says:

    Beautiful view of the castle!

    1. Thank you! The way to get there is a bit challenging, especially when you don’t have a car. But the view is worth it 🙂

  14. Alison and Don – Occupation: being/living/experiencing/travelling In our sixties, (Don is now 77) with apparently no other authentic option, my husband Don and I sold our apartment and car, sold or gave away all our stuff and set off to discover the world. And ourselves. We started in Italy in 2011 and from there have travelled to Spain, India, Bali, Australia, New Zealand, SE Asia, South America, etc. - you can see the blog archive. We will continue travelling until it's time to stop - if that time ever comes. So far it suits us very well. We are interested in how the world works, how life works, how the creation of experience works, how the mind works. As we travel and both "choose" our course, and at the same time just let it unfold, we discover the "mechanics" of life, the astounding creativity of life, and a continual need to return to trust and presence. Opening the heart, and acceptance of what is, as it is, are keystones for us both. Interests: In no particular order: travel, figure skating (as a fan), acceptance, authenticity, walking/hiking, joy, creativity, being human, adventure, presence, NOW. Same for Don except replace figure skating with Formula One motor racing.
    Alison and Don says:

    Absolutely stunning. I have long wanted to visit this place. As usual Len your photos are fabulous.
    Alison

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