Hohenecken Castle Ruins

Kaiserslautern, Germany

The exact date of the foundation of the Hohenecken castle is unknown. Whilst older sources often plump for a construction date immediately following the building of the Barbarossaburg in Kaiserslautern in 1156, more recent sources tend to lean towards a date about 50 years later. The pentagonal bergfried and the massive shield wall in particular point to a construction date of around 1200.

In the first half of the 13th century the castle was enfeoffed to a Kaiserslautern family of ministeriales, the descendants of Reinhard of Lautern, the knight. In 1214, they were awarded the right of patronage of Ramstein by the king, Frederick II, who would later become emperor. From then on the castle's owners called themselves von Hohenecken. A barony belonged to the castle, which covered several villages. Castle and barony were an imperial fief for centuries.

At the beginning of the early modern period, Hohenecken Castle went into decline. In the German Peasants' War of 1525 it was captured by rebellious peasants. In 1668 there was a lengthy siege by Prince-Elector Charles Louis of the Palatinate, which ended in the partial destruction of the castle. In 1689, during the War of the Palatine Succession, the castle was blown up by French troops.

Including the outer ward, moat, upper and lower wards, the castle measures about 50 by 9 metres in area. It has a mighty shield wall (25 m wide, 11 m high) and a pentagonal bergfried. The castle is considered by experts to be one of the best examples of castles from the Hohenstaufen period. Today it is a popular attraction and offers extensive views.

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Kaiserslautern, Germany
See all sites in Kaiserslautern

Details

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

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Abdul Moiz Khan (19 months ago)
Good hicking trip with family. A free public car park is also available. Ruins of 13th century fort.
Amber Dumond (19 months ago)
Parts of the path were pretty steep for the kids.
Sili M (19 months ago)
Kaiserslautern's pride and our first castle that we visited ever! At first it was confusing to navigate because theres no really signs. Only relied to google maps. So you just have to park somewhere safe then hike to the castle. Hike's easy and the view is breathtaking. The castle itself is majestic and brings you back in monarchy time.
Kevin Vaughan (20 months ago)
A nice short hike to the top of the hill and the castle. They have a posted sign in many languages to include English that includes a brief history of the castle showing what it looked like prior to the French destroying it. The trail is well maintained, and there are numerous trail options once you reach the top
Molly Otiende (2 years ago)
Short (0.3 mi) but strenuous trek from public parking at the town center up to the ruins. Beautiful views. Took us 1 hour to walk up slowly, take pictures and come back down.
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