Hassberge nature reserve is known for its palaces, castles and ruins. The castles and palaces walking trail takes in more than 60 former residences of knights and nobility – all within the reserve.
The castles and palaces walking trail takes in the most magnificent castles, fortified storehouses, church fortresses, palaces and country estates of various noble families, who used to live in the Hassberg hills, and in some cases still do. These fascinating buildings are dotted throughout the reserve – on the 215-kilometre trail, you can expect to come across another castle roughly every hour. An insiders' tip would be to head to the Rotenhan castle ruins just outside Ebern. This castle was hewn from mighty boulders in a forest high above the Baunacht valley. If you take a minor detour onto the 'path of legends', which joins the castles and palaces trail by Lichtenstein castle ruins, you can also explore Lichtenstein's rock labyrinth and its distinctive 'devil's stone'. The gently rolling landscape of the Hassberg hills conceals a wealth of hidden treasures. These are yours to unearth on the castles and palaces walking trail – immerse yourself in a tranquil highland landscape that has preserved its richness in its mixed forests, meadows, orchards and picture-perfect little villages.
Lichtenstein castle ruins lie 426m above sea level, atop the Lichtenstein mountain ridge. The remains of the castle keep, a Romanesque mountain chapel and an open tower complete with a water-well survive relatively intact on the sturdy rock. Nearly every structure among the ruins rises up from vast crags.
At a glance:
Starts and ends: Any point along the circular route
Total length: 215km
Number of stages: approx. 8-9 days at 25km/day
Altitude variation (approximate values): ascent m, descent m
Terrain: 36.7% unmade, 25% asphalt, 38.3% other, e.g. gravel
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