Hohentwiel fortress, whose ruins lie on top of extinct volcano Hohentwiel, was constructed in 914 using stone taken from the mountain itself by Burchard III, Duke of Swabia. Originally, the Monastery of St. Georg was contained within the fortress, but in 1005 it was moved to Stein am Rhein (now in Switzerland), and the Swabian dukes lost control of Hohentwiel. In the later Middle Ages the noble families von Singen-Twiel (12th–13th centuries), von Klingen (to 1300) and von Klingenberg (to 1521) resided here. In 1521, it was passed on to Duke Ulrich von Württemberg, who developed Hohentwiel into one of the strongest fortresses of his duchy. During this time, it began to be used as a prison and in 1526, Hans Müller von Bulgenbach, a peasant commander, was imprisoned there prior to his execution.

The fortress resisted five Imperial sieges in the Thirty Years' War, under the command of Konrad Widerholt between 1634 and 1648. The effect was that Württemberg remainded protestant, while most of the surrounding areas returned to catholicism in the Counterreformation. The castle served as a Württemberg prison in the 18th century and was destroyed in 1800 after being peacefully handed over by the French.

Today the former fortress Hohentwiel is one of the biggest castle ruins of Germany. Hohentwiel’s imposing ramparts and casemates, its fallen towers and defiant ruins, still evoke the military might of this once-invincible fortress. The surrounding volcanic crags are a now a nature reserve, offering a unique habitat to many rare species of flora and fauna. Today, more than 80,000 visitors a year come to admire this special place. The modern city of Singen nestles at the foot of the mountain.

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Details

Founded: 914
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: East Francia (Germany)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jan Schäpers (3 years ago)
Sehr schöner Ort zum Verweilen, Burg hat zur Zeit nur bis 16 Uhr geöffnet
Ina Wagener (3 years ago)
Bei tollem Wetter hatten wir einen guten Aufstieg, der aber mit rutschigen Pflastersteinen, nicht behindertengeeignet, durchaus anspruchsvoll war. Die Ruine selbst lädt besonders Kinder zum Entdecken ein. Die Aussicht vom Turm ist ebenfalls empfehlenswert.
Karl Themel (3 years ago)
Historical Fort. In the surrounding country (The Hegau) are numerous volcanic cones (called Puú in USA).
Harry Polesnik (3 years ago)
Schöne und imposante Ruine. Wunderschöne Aussicht. Der Eintrittspreis ist vollkommen in Ordnung. Leider am Wochenende wenig Parkplätze. Empfehlenswert.
Lukes 910 (3 years ago)
It's amazing!!!! Everything is labelled so you know where you are and get a little of the gigantic story this place has
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