Schadeck Castle Ruins

Neckarsteinach, Germany

Schadeck Castle is the most recent and smallest, but still most interesting of the four Neckarstein castles. It is perched on the high mountain like a bird's nest, which is why it is, in fact, called the 'Swallow's Nest'. After Ulrich II (1236-1257) inherited the 'front castle' from his father Ulrich I and another son joined the clergy, Bligger V, the third son, was forced to build a new castle. However, there was no more room on the mountain ridge where the other castles stood and thus he had to erect it downstream from the front castle on the slopes of the rocky massif that drop steeply to the Neckar River. This location must have caused enormous difficulties during the construction. To save the level ground for the castle complex and provide it with a frontal ditch as protection against the mountainside, a large chunk of the steep rock face had to be hewn out.

The castle itself stands on a rocky basement and appears to literally grow out of the mountain. Along the top of the high curtain wall, the most likely place to be attacked, runs a covered wall-walk with little towers on both sides. They command a panoramic view of the Neckar River valley and the impressive walled town of Dilsberg. Visitors to the castle today walk along a path from Neckarsteinach, which leads through the former frontal ditch. Earlier access was by way of a steep serpentine path from the Neckar. Today the ruin is the property of the state of Hesse and was recently restored at great cost. It can be viewed at any time free of charge and the curtain wall can be climbed.



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Founded: 13th century
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Danielle Cummings (5 months ago)
THIS IS A COMBINED REVIEW FOR PARKPLATZ VIERBURGEN, BURG HINTERBURG, AND BURG SCHADECK as we visited all three during the same hike, though photos will be exclusively of the specific location. Came here on a rainy October 2022 weekend afternoon with a friend and our four combined kids ages 6, 5, 3, and 2 years. We parked at Parkplatz Vierburgen, which was easy to find when set as our Google Maps GPS destination, and entered the trails near the signs at the eastern aspect of the lot. The paved lot is large and can probably accommodate 30ish cars, and has a picnic table with several informational signs near the trail entrance. The trail, which I would describe as NOT stroller friendly (I wore the toddler, and the older three kids walked) was pretty easy to follow, though we did supplement with Komoot, and first brought us to Hinterburg after a very short uphill walk (maybe 10 minutes walking at my 4yo's pace). Hinterburg is a decent sized ruin with a good amount to explore, most notable being a tall tower that you can climb (the stairs were VERY steep and scary with a preschooler, so I wouldn't recommend going on a rainy day like we did, and keep a close eye on your children). That tower is covered and has a platform surrounding the stairwell, without any benches or seating. We explored the ruined rooms (and one cellar-type room down a very barely-noticable staircase near the castle entrance) for about 20-30 minutes before moving on to Schadeck. That walk was a bit longer, I believe another 700m up, and was uphill enough that my 4yo was complaining, but she did make it. The trail was still posted but there were a few other trails you could accidentally take, so be on the lookout. When we finally could see Burg Schadeck, we had to walk around the right side of it to the main entrance, after which you'll find yourself in a courtyard before walking into the main body of the castle, which also has a tower to climb (less high but equally scary staircase, if not more so, for small children). This tower really is just a small circular room with a window seat with great views on the highest level Of the main castle building. There wasn't much else to explore besides that main body of the castle, so after a 20-30ish minute exploration we continued back to the parking lot. The walk back was VERY easy despite the rain. Overall, the trip took about 1.5-2 hours, was more than manageable for small children and baby-wearing, was easy to find and park, and was quite fun. Both castles were freely accessible, and monitored without entrance fee. Highly recommend if you're in the area! FYI there is a Spielplatz across the street from the parking lot, which we didn't realize until after the fact.
Phil Soady (2 years ago)
Old knight's tower and palace. For a nice walk above the Neckar.
Sumanth Hegde (3 years ago)
Incredible views. Very nice castle ruins. Trek up to actual get a view like the photo below.
Nicole Anansi (3 years ago)
Wonderful ruins with fantastic views over the river Neckar
Ashwin Samudre (3 years ago)
Elegant view of the neckarsteinach and the neckar river
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