Hirschhorn Castle

Hirschhorn, Germany

Hirschhorn Castle was built around 1250-1260 on land given as a fief by Lorsch Abbey, which since 1232 was in the possession of the Archbishop of Mainz. In the castle, which is fortified by walls and towers, a keep, a great hall, stables and several gates and outbuildings can still be seen.

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Details

Founded: 1250-1260
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.9/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Joerg Wehrle (3 years ago)
Hier ist es immer wieder schön, auch die Kinder haben Freude. Heute Sonne pur
Lucas Frey (3 years ago)
Super schöne Burg mit toller Aussicht über das Neckartal.
Adrian W (3 years ago)
Schöne Burg mit toller Aussicht. Leider war zum Zeitpunkt unseres Besuchs das Restaurant auf Grund von Sanierung geschlossen. Aber nichtsdestotrotz eine schöne Sehenswürdigkeit.
Gaylord Schönberger (4 years ago)
Eine tolle Burg zum erkunden. Von hier aus hat man einen wunderbaren Blick auf den Neckar. Auch wertvoll ist ja Schlossgarten. Es gibt hier wahnsinnig viel zu entdecken für Groß und Klein inklusive Aussichtsturm
Vladimir Zivanovic (4 years ago)
One of the rarer gems in Germany, perfect for a quick getaway, with loved ones. For those adventurous and not afraid of a bit climbing :)
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Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.