Altes Schloss Baden Baden

Categories: Sightseeing, Cultural and History

Schloss Hohenbaden
Schloss Hohenbaden

[ source: Wikipedia]

Today it may be a romantic ruin, but at one time, the Altes Schloss in Baden Baden (Baden Baden vacation rentals | Baden Baden travel guide) was the glittering home of the margraves of Baden. It was built around 1102 by Hermann II, and it served as the homes of the margraves until the 15th century. After its construction, the castle went through two other major building periods. In the 14th and 15th centuries, a Gothic lower castle was built to supplement the Romanesque upper castle. Another extension in the late 15th century added further Gothic elements to the site. At its height, the castle had 100 rooms. This final expansion of the Altes Schloss coincided with a shift in the preference of noble families to move away from rural castles and into urban residences in their capital cities. In 1370, a new castle for the margraves was begun in Baden Baden, and they permanently relocated their residence into the city in 1479. After this point, the Altes Schloss became the home of various widows in the margraves' familial network.

In 1599, the Altes Schloss Baden Baden was destroyed in a fire. It was over two centuries later, in 1830, that the ruins were stabilized during the new craze for romantic castle ruins. To help attract tourists, a wind harp was installed in the knight's hall in 1851, where it hung until 1920. Today, a more recent wind harp can be found in the same location. Installed in 1999, this large 120-string wind harp by Ruediger Oppermann is worth a view.

Today the Altes Schloss in Baden Baden is a popular starting point for hikes into the surrounding countryside. The castle commands a marvelous view of Baden Baden, the Rhine Valley, and the Black Forest. Admission to the site is free of charge, and it is worth a trip out for the views alone. For those who would like the experience, a restaurant and hotel are also located in the castle ruins. Spaces in the Altes Schloss are also available to rent for weddings, birthdays, etc.

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About this Article

Rachel Hildebrandt

This travel guide has been written by Rachel Hildebrandt.

Starting with her first trip to Germany at the age of 16, Rachel has traveled, worked, and studied in Germany extensively. Although her first encounter with German culture was in Lower Saxony, since that time the focus of her subsequent work as a freelance historian and translator has shifted eastward. Building on her graduate studies in Dresden, Rachel has worked for a variety of German foundations as a historian and translator, and is currently pursuing research pertaining to the Sorbs in Lusatia (eastern Saxony).

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Location, Map, and Driving Directions

Location: Alter Schloßweg 10, 76532 Baden-Baden, Germany

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