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, Hohenzollern Castle is one of its kind. The neo-Gothic stronghold is the ancestral seat of the mighty House of Hohenzollern which ruled over Hohenzollern, Brandenburg, Prussia, the German Empire, and Romania for centuries.
Hohenzollern is one of Germany’s most imposing castles.
Burg Hohenzollern was presumed 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. In 1454, the second Burg Hohenzollern was constructed in the same location, bigger and more fortified than before.
During the Thirty Years War, Hohenzollern 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.
How to get to Hohenzollern Castle from Stuttgart
- Burg Hohenzollern is located 60 kilometers southwest 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 people.
- 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 open 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 to travel to Zeller Horn (the final destination of bus 307), a mini-mountain located southwest of Hechingen. It is cumbersome but the view is really worth a trip.