Castle Hohenbaden

From Stadtwiki Baden-Baden

Castle Hohenbaden
Castle Hohenbaden was the first castle of the magraviate of Baden. Today it is a ruin, that can be visited free of charge.

Address Alter Schloßweg 10

76530 Baden-Baden

Construction Date 1100
Building Type Castle

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The Castle Hohenbaden (today: the Old Castle) was the earliest seat of the margraves of Baden. It was built around 1100 on the western slope of the Battert. In 1599 a fire destroyed the building. Only in the 19th century the ruin was secured constructionally. Today it can be visited free of charge.


The ruin is situated at an altitude of 410m above sea level. The tower offers a panoramic view over the city of Baden-Baden, the Rhine valley and the Vosges. The ruin is often used as a starting point for walks in the surrounding forests and along the Battert rocks. A restaurant is housed in the western part of the ruin.


The construction of the castle above the town Baden-Baden was started after the margraves of Limburg shiftet their territory to the upper Rhine around 1100. The oldest part of the castle is the so called Hermannsbau, the upper castle, which is named after Hermann II (1074-1130). Starting in 1112 the margraves renamed themselves to of Baden.

The gothic lower castle was built during the reign of Margrave Bernhard I (1372-1431). Margrave Jakob I (1431-1453) extended the lower castle to a representative center. The Bernhardsbau (around 1400) is the most important part of this phase of construction. In the ground floor there is a pillar with a coat of arms carried by angels. At that time there were over 100 usable rooms in the Castle Hohenbaden.

During the 15th century Margrave Christoph I concentrated on the extension of the New Castle, whose construction had started in 1370. In 1479 the residence moved completely to the New Castle. From then on the Old Castle was used as a widow residence. A fire in 1599 damaged it heavily and any further use was made impossible. The ruins were secured constructionally only 250 years later.

Since 1999 a large wind harp is installed in the old knights' hall. It was designed and build by the harp maker and musician Rüdiger Oppermann, having over 120 strings and an overall height of 4.10 m. At sufficiently strong draft the nylon strings begin to oscillate. However, the large wind harp is not the first one at this place. Already from 1851 to 1920 a smaller wind harp was installed in the old knights' hall.