With more than 100 castles and fortresses inhabiting the mountain tops and rocks of the steeply inclining Albtrauf, the Swabian Jura contains the largest density of castles in the entire country of Germany. The reason is no big mystery: both the House of Hohenzollern and the Hohenstaufen dynasty used to reside in this area. And the former centers of power have managed to retain their charms until today. Though it's been a while since the fortified walls had to ward off attackers, the historical buildings still attract rather more peaceful visitors fascinated by these well preserved witnesses of history. You'll find the best ones to conquer on your next tour right here.
On the Teckberg towers the castle of the same name, which was probably built by Konrad von Zähringen - at least referred to as "Duke of Teck." The Swabian Albverein acquired the castle during the Second World War and built it to today's hostel from the up to 50 Offers space for people.
In the courtyard of the castle is a restaurant and against a small donation you can even climb the observation tower. Once you have climbed the 76 steps, you will be rewarded with a wonderful panoramic view over the Albtrauf and the region around Kirchheim. From here you also have a view of the three imperial mountains Hohenstaufen, Rechberg and Stuifen.
Below the keep, at the foot of the Teckfelsen, is the entrance to Sybillenloch - a cave named after the legendary Celtic goddess Sybille.
The Hohen Neuffen is the largest castle ruins in southern Germany and offers a spectacular view of the small town Neuffen and the surrounding Swabian Alb.
Because of its altitude, the castle was long considered impregnable and was besieged during the Thirty Years' War for over a year. Legend has it that the castle inhabitants threw their last supplies into the enemy camp, who then assumed that the besieged had enough supplies left and moved away.
Today, the Neuffen is an ideal destination for a longer hike.
In the courtyard you can reward yourself at the kiosk directly for the steep ascent or settle on the sun terrace and let the view wander over the valley. The outdoor facilities also offer plenty of seating and a wonderful view. Here, in good weather, you can see eagles, falcons and buzzards on a medieval bird of prey flight in spring and summer!
Another highlight is certainly the free-roaming goats, who are always on the steep slopes, walls and access paths of the castle and the big and small castle visitors impress with their climbing skills.
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A castle like a book. And that's really true in this case. The inspiration for the reconstruction of the Lichtenstein ruin in 1842 was provided by Wilhelm Hauff's novel "Lichtenstein" from 1826. It looks like this: a real fairytale castle, dangerously built on a hillside.
In 1267, Hohenzollern Castle appears for the first time in documents and writings. After the first castle was destroyed, a larger and fortified castle was built in 1454 at the same place. In the 18th century, the fortress is abandoned and falls into ruin. Larger and more beautiful than ever before, King Frederick William IV of Prussia rebuilt his family's ancestral home in its present form in the 19th century. Even today, the castle is privately owned.
Visitors can visit the castle daily from 10 clock. The view from the castle walls is fantastic. For the castle you pay 7 euros entrance fee. If you also want to see the magnificent castle rooms, then 5 euros will be added.
You can read all information about the castle, the exhibitions and the gastronomy here: burg-hohenzollern.com.
The castle Helfenstein was the seat of the Counts of Helfenstein and offers from its lookout tower a magnificent view of the foothills of the Alps and the Fünftälerstadt Geislingen. The spacious grounds with its many seats and the castle tavern invites you to rest, linger and especially breathe.
A great view of the ruin you have from the nearby Ödenturm. There you can also learn a lot more about the history of the Counts of Helfenstein in the tower room.
The Hermitage Solitude is idyllically located in the former ducal hunting grounds west of Stuttgart. The castle is considered the most sophisticated creation of Duke Carl Eugen of Württemberg and was one of the most extensive construction companies of its time.
Today Solitude impresses with great architecture, a spacious garden and a magnificent view towards Ludwigsburg. Through the northern gate, the course of the Solitude-All can be marveled at - a direct connection axis from the Residenzschloss Ludwigsburg to the duke's favorite hunt lock, which was used by the Württembergische Landesvermessung from 1820 as a baseline.