your royal tour of germany
Swabian counts and princes, the kings of Prussia and even the German emperors have their roots here at Hohenzollern Castle in the heart of Baden-Württemberg between Lake Constance, the Black Forest and Stuttgart. The proud fortress perched on conical mount Zoller offers majestic panoramic views stretching over more than 100 kilometres which already prompted Emperor William II to proclaim: “The views from Hohenzollern Castle are truly worth the journey”.
Glamorous as well as dark events shape the 1,000 year history of this impressive building: In the 15th century, the first Hohenzollern Castle was destroyed by war, but was rebuilt soon afterwards. In the 18th century, the fortress was deserted and fell into ruin. King Frederick William IV of Prussia had his family’s ancestral home reconstructed in its present form in the 19th century, even larger and more magnificent than before. Today, the castle is still privately owned by the Prussian line and the Swabian Royal House of the Hohenzollern. And whenever the current owner, Prince George Frederick of Prussia, and his family are staying in the castle, the family standard flies high on the flag tower.
Some 350,000 visitors from all over the world come to Hohenzollern Castle every year. On a tour of the state rooms, visitors can learn all kinds of informative and entertaining facts about the lives of their Highnesses and Majesties. Besides the magnificent Counts’ Hall and the Blue Salon, the Treasure Chamber is particularly impressive with its shining knights’ armours, the Prussian royal crown, the silver-embroidered dress belonging to Queen Louise, and the famous snuff box that once saved Frederick the Great’s life.
The castle is open all year round – except December 24 – and offers guided tours every day. Little princesses and knights on guided tours even get to wear a red royal cloak as well as the obligatory felt slippers, making a visit to the castle even more fun. Countless events are held regularly at Hohenzollern Castle. They range from the Spring Awakening at Easter to the Castle Adventure Day, open-air theatre performances in English and Shooting Star Nights, as well as the Falconry Weekend in autumn and the Christmas market on the 1st and 2nd weekend of Advent (last weekend in November and first weekend in December).
With a passion for freshly baked cakes and Swabian specialties the chef of the castle café restaurant is dedicated to mainly regional products. The braised beef cheeks in red wine sauce and the home-made potato salad are particularly recommended. In summer, the café restaurant boasts one of the region’s most beautiful beer gardens set in the castle gardens.
Hohenzollern Castle is situated between Stuttgart and Lake Constance above the town of Hechingen. The partly four-lane national road B 27 (Stuttgart–Tübingen–Hechingen–Balingen–Rottweil) runs directly near the foothills of the castle (exit Hechingen Süd). Arriving via motorway A 81 Stuttgart–Singen, take the Empfingen exit and head for Balingen/Hechingen.
The closest train station to Hohenzollern Castle is Hechingen. From there, you can either take a bus or taxi to get to the castle.