Castles in the Black Forest Germany

Schloß Eberstein

With somewhere between 20 and 25,000 castles, there are more castles in Germany than any other country. Quite a few of them can be found in the southwest corner bordering France – The Black Forest. Known as Schwarzwald in German, it is one of the most spectacular parts of Germany.

Here, you’ll find not only spectacular strongholds but also broad valleys, peaceful lakes, and picturesque villages. What better way to tour the delights of the Black Forest than stopping off at its medieval fortresses and fairy tale palaces? In this post, we’ll take a look at 13 of the most fascinating castles in the Black Forest.

13 Castles to Visit in the Black Forest, Germany

1. Burg Landeck

Likely constructed at the beginning of the 13th century, the first historical mention of Landeck Castle came in 1237. Its probable function was to protect the nearby Klingenmünster monastery. In the 15th century, the castle was fortified, but in the following century, it was burned during the Peasant War.

This, however, did not do too much lasting damage. It was entirely destroyed by the French in around 1680. The castle was extensively restored in the 1960s and is now open to the public, who can enjoy spectacular views of the town from the castle’s lofty position. 

Where: Klingenmünster
When: 13th century
Style: Medieval and Romanesque
Open for Visit: Yes. 11:00 – 22:00

2. Hohenbaden Castle

The ruins of Hohenbaden Castle were the seat of the Margrave of Baden during the Middle Ages. There are three castles overlooking Baden Baden, all built by the Margrave. However, Hohenbaden is the highest of the three and occupies a position 410 metres above sea level.

The public can visit the castle for no fee, and it offers views across the town and the Rhine Plain in the distance. As well as a restaurant in the castle, there’s a large wind harp; it has 120 strings and stands in the knight’s hall of the Old Castle.

Where: Baden Baden
When: 12th century
Open for Visit: Yes. Free access to the castle during the day. Restaurant open from 17:30 – 23:00 during the week and from noon at weekends and holidays.

3. Karlsruhe Palace

Built from 1715 – 18, Karlsruhe Palace was the residence of the margraves – the grand dukes and electoral princes of Baden. The city is built around the enormous palace in the shape of a fan, with 32 avenues leading away from the palace.

Despite being heavily damaged in the Second World War, the museum was rebuilt exactly how it had been before. Karlsruhe Palace is home to the Baden State Museum, which cases cultural achievements from several historical eras. Visitors can enjoy the castle’s collection exhibitions for free every Friday, as well as a guided tour at 4 pm.  

Where: Karlsruhe
When: 18th century
Style: Baroque
Open for Visit: Yes. 10:00 – 17:00 from Tuesday to Thursday. 10:00 – 18:00 Friday to Sunday and public holidays. Closed on Mondays.

4. Rastatt Palace

Another structure built for the Margraves of Baden, Rastatt Palace was erected by Italian architect Domenico Egidio Rossi between 1700 and 1707. It is the oldest Baroque residence in the Upper Rhine Valley.

Like Karlsruhe Palace, it was planned as a whole with the gardens and the rest of the town. Visitors who take a guided tour will feel like they are stepping back in time as they admire the lavish staterooms, gilded chapels, and a glittering golden roof-mounted statue.

Where: Rastatt
When: 18th century
Style: Baroque  
Open for Visit: Yes. 10:00 – 17:00 Tuesday to Sunday (and holidays) from April to October. 10:00 – 16:00 from November to March. Closed on 24th, 25th, and 31st December and 1st January.

5. Schloß Eberstein

Rising 130 metres above the valley, Gersbach’s Schloß Eberstein dates back to the 12th century. Initially founded as a monastery, the site grew when it was the base of the Ebertseiners.

Their status as counts was even higher than that of the Margraves, who owned other castles on this list. However, their power waned, and the Margraves took over the castle in 1660. Now, Schloß Eberstein is a hotel and restaurant which serves drinks from its own winery. The restaurant has a Michelin star!

Where: Gernsbach
When: 12th century
Style: Medieval
Open for Visit: Yes. The castle is a hotel and restaurant with varying opening times. Check them out on the website below.

6. Burg Hohenzollern

Burg Hohenzollern is the ancestral seat of the Prussian Royal Family, who still own the castle to this day. This impressive and imposing hilltop castle surveys the surrounding area from atop the mountain of the same name.

A castle was first constructed here in the 11th century, but the current incarnation is a little more modern, and an excellent example of Gothic Revival architecture. Between those two, there was also a 15th-century fortress that was a refuge during the 30 years war. The castle is open to visitors and hosts open-air theatre performances and events in summer. 

Where: Hohenzollern, Baden-Württemberg
When: 19th century
Style: Gothic Revival
Open for Visit: Yes. 10:00 – 17:30 from 16th March – 31st October. 10:00 – 16:30 from 1st November – 15th March.

7. Castle Hohengeroldseck

Castle Hohengeroldseck stands at the top of Schönberg Hill… well, what’s left of it does. It was built in the 13th century and lasted four centuries before being destroyed (it was also besieged twice in that time).

However, the destruction is not complete; some parts of the upper and lower castle have been preserved. From the castle, you can get incredible panoramic views across the Kinzig Valley. There is a castle festival every September to safeguard the castle’s future and make sure it does not fall into further decay.

Where: Seelbach
When: 13th century
Style: Medieval Ruin
Open for Visit: Yes. Open 24 hours
Castle ruin Rötteln

8. Castle ruin Rötteln

If you head much further southwest from this castle, you’ll end up in Switzerland and the town of Basel! The ruins are the third-largest ruin in Baden, and it is still one of the most impressive castles in the Black Forest.

Visitors can explore the keep, outer bailey, and upper castle. On the site of the castle, there’s also a museum that showcases military artefacts and of course, gives a detailed explanation of the fortress’s history. Add the impressive views to that, and it’s no surprise that this is one of the top tourist attractions in the Upper Rhine Valley!

Where: Lörrach
When: 11th century
Style: Medieval
Open for Visit: Yes. 10:00 – 18:00

9. Burgruine Zavelstein

Standing more than 500 metres above sea level, the remains of Burgruine Zavelstein are part of what was the smallest town in Würrtemberg for just over 600 years. Getting to the castle can be quite a workout; however, it’s a very pretty one as there are a number of walking trails on the hill and through the forest surrounding the castle.

Where: Bad Teinach-Zavelestein
When: 13th century
Open for Visit: Yes. Open 24 hours
Schloss Ortenberg

10. Schloss Ortenberg

While staying in a castle will usually set you back big bucks, that’s not the case at Schloss Ortenberg. This Neo-Gothic fortress currently operates as a youth hostel. So, for budget travellers, it could be the best chance you have of staying in a castle!

The first castle on the site was built in around the 11th or 12th century, but like many of the castles in the Black Forest, it was destroyed by the French in the 17th century. The castle is famous for its four towers, with the Schimmelturm being the highest.

Where: Ortenberg
When: 18th century
Style: Neo-Gothic
Open for Visit: Yes. Schloss Ortenberg is a youth hostel.

11. Burg Windeck

Built around the turn of the 13th century, Burg Windeck towers over the city of Bühl. The castle has never been captured, although counts of Württemberg and Strasbourg did attempt to. It was not the war that crippled the castle, but a fire in the 14th century.

It destroyed the living quarters and stables, but the tower remains, and you can still visit that today. Guided tours of the castle are available on request, and there is a restaurant where you can enjoy splendid food as you enjoy the panoramic views over the Rhine Valley.

Where: Windeck

When: 12th/13th century
Style: Medieval
Open for Visit: Yes. 12:00 – 23:00 from Monday to Saturday. 12:00 – 17:00 on Sundays.

12. Ruine Hohenschramberg

Standing guard over the town of Schramberg, these ruins overlook the town at the bottom of the valley. The castle is one of the largest and best-preserved ruins in the Black Forest, but it’s quite difficult to get up there!

Positioned on a steep ledge, you’ll certainly need a pair of walking boots to get up to the castle. As with many of the castles in the Black Forest, it was destroyed in the Palatinate War of Succession by the forces of French king Louis XIV. A lot remains of the castle though, including the middle and rear castle, horse stables, and bastion and courtyard.

Where: Schramberg
When: 15th century
Style: Medieval
Open for Visit: Yes. Open 24 hours.

13. Yburg

Offering superb panoramic views of Baden Baden, Yburg stands on the summit of the Yberg mountain, at 539 metres. (Yes, the castle and mountain are spelt differently). It was first documented in 1245 and commanded an important position strategically.

Nowadays, the location is more appreciated for its stunning views down to the town below and out across the Upper Rhine Valley. The castle boasts a traditional restaurant that serves beer from its cellar and wine from the surrounding vineyards. These are some great accompaniments to fine German cuisine. It’s well worth the climb!

Where: Baden Baden
When: 13th century
Style: Medieval
Open for Visit: Yes. Open 24 hours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *