Heinsheim castle complex has been privately owned by the family von Racknitz since ca. 1720. The main building was erected in the early 18th century, wings and further farm buildings were added in the course of the centuries. It was first mentioned in 1180 in connection with their ancestral seat, Perneck Castle in Styria; in ca. 1720 the family von Racknitz gained the rule of Heinsheim, and in 1727 they acquired all pertinent rights from the Bishopric of Worms. For more than 50 years the castle has been run successfully, first as an inn and later as a hotel. The castle’s baroque chapel, the landscaped garden designed ca. 1810, its close distance to the river Neckar and its top-standard hospitality are features contributing to the distinctive charm of Heinsheim Castle.

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Details

Founded: 18th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Thirty Years War & Rise of Prussia (Germany)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Chris Tamdjidi (10 months ago)
Nice location, very friendly staff, really nice experience
David Faustino (14 months ago)
Felix is the best waiter
Exploring With Urban (19 months ago)
Great place to stay and great food in the restaurant. Staff was very nice and the rooms were very clean.
Johan Brouwer (2 years ago)
Nice manor house, modern bathrooms, good restaurant
Ruben Schoenefeld (2 years ago)
More charming than a chain hotel. The room was large and clean. Breakfast was really good and there was plenty of it and the staff was really attentive and friendly. The location is beautiful and we were lucky with the weather and were able to really around the hotel grounds and the neighborhood. Definitely would go there again if I'm in the area.
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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.