Hohenburg Castle Ruins

Homburg, Germany

Hohenburg castle was first mentioned in 1146 by the Counts of Homburg. They gave their name to Homburg, the district capital and university town which lies at the foot of the castle, and which was granted town status by Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian in 1330. After the death of the last Count of Homburg in 1449, the castle and town fell to the Counts of Nassau-Saarbrücken.

In the second half of the 16th century, Count Johann IV of Nassau-Saarbrücken refashioned the castle into a Renaissance palace as his seat of residence and made it more secure. In the years from 1680 to 1692, King Louis XIV commissioned his fortress builder, Vauban, to build up the palace and town into a strong fortress.

After the peace treaties of Rijswijk and Baden, the fortress was razed in the years 1697 and 1714. There were two gate systems in the mighty fortress wall. The market square enclosure and the road system also originate from this period.

Since 1981, the impressive ruins of the castle and fortress have been uncovered by extensive excavations and restored. The site is easily accessed along well-signposted walking trails. From the North bastion, the rock plateau is reached by a spiral staircase. There is an impressive view over the upstream plain of the city including Kaiserstrasse, which was named after Napoleon. The caponier takes you to the first ravelin and from there onto the glacis, which today is laid out like a park.

Below the ruins of the Hohenburg Castle there are Europe’s largest man-made mottled sandstone caves. Over twelve floors of mysterious corridors lead to impressive domed halls.



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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

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User Reviews

gabi gaboja (2 years ago)
The Hohenburg, also called Homburg Castle or Fortress Hohenburg, is a ruined castle located Homburg in the Saarpfalz district in Saarland, Germany. It stands atop the 325 metres (1,066 ft)-high Schlossberg above the Schlossberg Caves (Schlossberghöhlen). In the 12th century the castle was the seat of the counts of Homburg. In 1330 the received city rights (Stadtrechte) for their village at the foot of Schlossberg from the Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian. After the death of the last Count of Homburg in 1449 castle and city fell to the counts of Nassau-Saarbrücken. They rebuilt the castle in the second half of the 16th century into a renaissance palace, and then to a fortress. In the 1600s King Louis XIV of France and his master builder Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban expanded the fort and fortified the city. The basic structure of Homburg's old town dates back to this time. The fortifications were first demolished in 1697, and finally in 1714 when they served as a quarry for the construction of Karlsberg Castle. From 1981 the ruins were excavated and partially restored.
Bernd Verhofstadt (2 years ago)
Free audio guide only in german. Nice panoramic view
Eric Berberich (2 years ago)
An easy way up about 20min... Come after visiting the caves before sunset
Jeff Brown (3 years ago)
Great view and wonderful hike! Be ready for some stairs!
Ravichandaran Palaniappan (3 years ago)
Calm and nice place to visit with family.
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