Schauenburg Castle

Oberkirch, Germany

Schauenburg Castle is a ruined hilltop castle located in Oberkirch, Germany, atop a 367-metre-high hill spur overlooking the Rench river valley above the town of Gaisbach. The castle was built by Duke Berthold II of Zähringen.

The well-preserved ruin includes the remains of two towers with living quarters, a gate tower, a rampart, and a shield wall with an attached chapel. The remains of an outer bailey are surrounded by a dry moat and a second shield wall.

The castle is now a tourist attraction and includes a small museum in the cellar of the former castle chapel and a restaurant.


Schauenburg Castle was built in the 10th century by Duke Berthold II of Zähringen and was first mentioned in a written text in 1120. The Palatinate, Gottfried von Calw (d 1131, Count of Calw, Count-Palatine of bei Rhein, 1113–1126) came into possession of the castle through his marriage to Liutgard von Zähringen. On his death it passed to his granddaughter Uta, Duchess of Eberstein. Schauenburg Castle is noted as a part of the dowry upon her marriage to Duke Welf VI, a brother of Henry X, Duke of Bavaria in 1131. After Uta's death, the Sindelfinger Chronicles note that the castle passed to Uta's brother Eberhard, founder of the All Saints' Abbey. Schauenburg Castle remained in the possession of the Counts of Eberstein until the financial ruin of Wolf von Eberstein. In 1386, half of the possessions of the Ebersteins, including Schauenburg Castle, was sold to Rudolf VII, Margrave of Baden-Baden (d. 1391).

The knights of Schauenburg became a separate noble family, working as Ministerialis and Burgmann under the Ebersteins. After the death of Ludwig Winterbach von Schauenburg, the last of his line, there was a dispute between Heinrich Truchseß von Höfingen and the other line of the Schauenburg family as to who possessed the fiefdom. The family Schauenburg wanted the Schauenburg to remain a Ganerbenburg, whereas Heinrich wanted sole fiefdom. This led to the Feud of the lords of Schauenburg with Bernhard von Baden, a two-year war from 1402 to 1403. This resulted, in 1404, with Schauenburg Castle remaining with the Eberstein family.

During its time as an active castle, it was besieged many times and overrun twice. After at least two different demolitions (probably during 1689 by Vauban and Mélac in the Nine Years' War) the castle was ruined and, in the 17th century, stones from the castle were used in the building of Gaisbach Castle by Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen, the author of the Baroque satire Simplicius Simplicissimus. The castle has been a preserved ruin since the 18th century and today the castle is owned by the Freiherren von Schauenburg.



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Founded: c. 1070-1090
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Salian Dynasty (Germany)

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4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Wadad Lahad (5 months ago)
A great place which overhead the village. Ruins of a Castle from centuries. You can enjoy the view, nature and history.
Staf Claes (9 months ago)
The sign outside clearly states that entering is at your own risk. I love this stuff! It's definetly not a bluff. There's loose stones, when you climb on the wall at the far/right side there's no railings and a deathly drop. I wouldn't go here with children that love exploring a bit too much. That said, it's in good shape and it's awesome and unique that you can walk here that freely. Apart from us there were these two guys just playing badminton, how cool a free meeting place is this?!
Mary Nguyen (15 months ago)
If you wanna get a stunning view of Bühl city, then you are in the right place. You can get to the top of the ruin by climbing up the steep narrow stairs inside it. You can also take a walk along the path in the Black Forest, it'll lead you to another wonderful natural site of Bühlertal city
שלומי מתתיהו (2 years ago)
Very beautiful castle ruins with a panoramic view over Oberkirch. Free parking lot underneath the castle, from which it is five minutes walk up to the castle.
Alfons Müller (2 years ago)
The Ruin of the Schauenburg Castle is placed in the little city of Oberkirch located in the Renchtal, part of the black forest. With 3 big parking lots up front it's easy to access and with wide trails to the ruins also easy to reach by foot. No entry fee, which is nice. The ruins are not very big, but well conserved. You can explore the whole castle within 30 minutes. Not a lot of information provided, but the single big information board, gives you some good insights in the medieval "Game of thrones'' that happened here. You can climb on some walls, enter some small rooms, but mostly have nice sit-ins and a little picnic in nature while enjoying very beautiful views. The ruins are also the start and end point of a lot of hiking routes - so overall it's more a quick stop on a bigger activity as the main event. I was there around noon and it was already quite crowded - my recommendation is to check out the morning or evening hours to get a nicer, calmer experience.
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