The first castle I ever visited was not one I ever expected to see. It was never on a list, but it was a pure treasure!
Circa 2010 when my trip was interrupted by a volcano, I found myself with an extra week in Germany.
My amazing host friends, military based near Stuttgart, decided it was a great time to help me explore more of Germany.
The first choice was to get me into a castle and southern Germany has some of the best examples of castle architecture in the world! The magnificent Hohenzollern is no exception. While many people head to Neuschwanstein Castle near Munich, few recognize the choices and variety of castles that exist in and outside of Bavaria.
Hohenzollern is just south of Stuttgart in Bisingen, and it’s a fabulous example of what Prussian architecture created. Parts of the castle date back to 1267 with some structures in place as far back as 1061. Often referred to as the “Crown of all Castles in Swabia” all was lost in 1454. While other owners built up the fortress at times, the castle was never fully restored and was practically abandoned by the 19th century.
It was then that Crown Prince Frederick William of Prussia decided to rebuild the castle. Started in 1850 the castle was built to reflect the heritage and culture of the region and the Prussian monarch. For reference, Neuschwanstein Castle was built around the same time by the Bavarian monarchy.
Hohenzollern shocked me on numerous levels, the first was the way it reflected the fantastical ideals we encompass about castles in Europe. Hohenzollern has majestic spires, endless walls, and magical paintings and frescoes.
The vast and rich green forests that also surround the area are amazing. As the landscape moves into being the dark forest you see where imagination could run wild. It was these forests and these castles and beautiful buildings that so deeply rooted Germans and Victorians and Americans to a love of fairytales and medieval revival. These forests birthed Grimm’s fairytales and much more to a Euro-American psyche.
If you are looking for an escape from the tourist trail, stunning views, and some prime architecture of the medieval reimagining of the 19th century, this place is for you!
HOURS: Monday to Sunday: 10:00am to 5:30 pm (4:30pm November to March) (closed most holidays)
ADMISSION: $10-15 USD
|16 March – 31 October||Saturday* + Sunday*||11:30 + 14:00 + 16:30|
|16 March – 31 October||Monday* – Friday*||14:00|
|01 November -15 March||Saturday* + Sunday*||11:30 + 14:00|