Castles in the Black Forest Germany

With somewhere between 20 and 25,000 castles, there are more castles in Germany than in 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 fascinating castles in the Black Forest.

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Where To Stay in the Black Forest

Karlsruhe and Baden-Baden are the best places to stay in the Black Forest while visiting the close-by castles and palaces. You can book a rental car, or take the train, to see the best castles in the Black Forest.

Hotel Merkur Superior: The Merkur Superior is a 2-minute walk from the Baden-Baden spa gardens and the pedestrian zone. The main attractions are all within walking distance. The hotel offers stylish rooms, a wellness area, and a restaurant serving local and international dishes. Book your stay here.

Huber's Hotel: Located in the heart of the spa town Baden-Baden, this family-run hotel is within walking distance of the landmarks and attractions. The contemporary-style rooms are comfortable, and you can relax at the bar, where classic and creative cocktails are served. Book your stay here.

133 Boutique Hotel: The 133 boutique hotel is located in the centre of Karlsruhe and within walking distance of the Karlsruhe Palace. Some of the stylish rooms include a balcony, and the boutique hotel also has a restaurant and a bar. Book your stay here.

How to Get Around The Black Forest in Germany

The best way to see the castles in the Black Forest is by car. I recommend booking a car through Discover Cars, where you can compare all rental car agencies’ prices, and you can cancel or modify your booking for free. They also guarantee the best price. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

You can also take the Deutsche Bahn train to see the castles in the Black Forest. Click here for more information on train tickets.

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. Check here for more information.

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 meters 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. Check here for more information.

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, for more information, check here.

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, for more information, check here.

5. Schloß Eberstein

Rising 130 meters 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.

6. Burg Hohenzollern

Burg Hohenzollern is the ancestral seat of the Prussian Royal Family, who still owns 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 the summer. 

Where: Hohenzollern, Baden-Württemberg
When: 19th century
Style: Gothic Revival
Open for Visit: Yes. Check here for more information.

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. Check here for more information.

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 artifacts 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. Check here for more information.

9. Burgruine Zavelstein

Standing more than 500 meters 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

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 travelers, 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 made 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. Check here for more information.

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 meters. (Yes, the castle and mountain are spelled 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. Check here for more information.

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