The upper castle from the south © A. Brinkmann, 2021

Audio Tour

Hochburg Emmendingen

One of the largest castle and fortress complexes in Baden

Welcome to the Hochburg in Emmendingen
Aerial view from the south-east © A. Brinkmann, 2010
The Fortress Hachberg approx. 1610, attempt of reconstruction © R. Brinkmann
Aerial view from the east © Hochburgverein


approx. 353 metres above sea level.
Size :
approx. 3 ha.
approx. 90 m
State of Baden-Wuerttemberg
since 2007, the ‘Hochburg Ruins Preservation Society’

Welcome to the Hochburg in Emmendingen

In our audio tour, we would like to introduce you to the fascinating history of the former margravial state fortress of Hachberg. At several points we will give you an insight into the castle and the Meierhof.

From a small lord’s castle to a fortress

The Hochburg was first mentioned as ‘Hachberg’ Castle in the 12th century. It is thought to have been founded and first owned by the Lords of Hachberg from the house of the Counts of Nimburg. The Margraves of Baden-Hachberg, a branch of the Margraves of Baden, took over the ownership and use of the complex in the 13th century. In the mid-16th century, Charles II, Margrave of Baden-Durlach, extended the castle and made it more palatial. This gave the upper castle the footprint it still occupies today.

The castle’s real heyday began in the 17th century, when George Frederick, Margrave of Baden, had it extended into a state fortress.

It was completely destroyed in 1636 during the Thirty Years' War after being besieged for two years by the Catholic League. After Frederick VI, Margrave of Baden, began work on rebuilding it in 1660, the Nine Years’ War saw to its final destruction in 1689. The Hochburg has remained in ruins ever since.

After a long time in a deep slumber, the ‘Hochburg Ruins Preservation Society’ was established in 1971 and charged with the preservation and upkeep of the ruins on behalf of its owner, the State of Baden-Württemberg. The members of the ‘Hochburg Society’ work on the castle every Saturday throughout the year.

From Sleeping Beauty to a success story for the Hochburg Society

Its founder and first chairman was district administrator Dr Lothar Mayer. Stefan Schlatterer, Lord Mayor of Emmendingen, is currently chairman of the society.

When restoration work started, the extensive ruins were massively overgrown. These initial measures were accompanied by an exact survey of the site, which formed the basis for the subsequent stabilisation and renovation work. This was the first chapter in the Hochburg Society’s success story.

It focuses not only on maintenance and upkeep, but also on stabilising and restoring the site.

In parallel to the renovation work, Rolf Brinkmann has been researching the history and architecture of the former state fortress for more than 50 years. As well as extensive research of the archives, the findings on the development of the building from the early days of the castle to the destruction of the state fortress in the 17th century were also based on the extensive site survey comprising more than 200 site plans.

The Hochburg Society initiative has been responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of this remarkable historical monument for five decades and has succeeded in transforming the overgrown, scree-covered ruins into the important, substantially restored recreational space that is the Hochburg today.

The book: ‘Von der kleinen Adelsburg zur Festung, eine Baugeschichte der Hochburg’ [From a small lord’s castle to a fortress, an architectural history of the Hochburg]

Rolf Brinkmann is an architect and member of the Hochburg ruins preservation society. For more than 40 years, he has led the society’s voluntary working group, a group that is ever committed to preserving the castle complex. In his new book on the architectural history of the Hochburg, he presents the results of his more than 50 years of research. He outlines the architectural development of the castle complex from its early days in the mid-11th century to its final destruction by Louis XIV’s troops during the Nine Years’ War in 1689. These developments are charted with more than 200 illustrations and plans.


  • Access to the ruins is free in daylight. Visitors must leave at nightfall and during thunderstorms.
  • The museum, including a shop and information stand, is open from April to October on Sundays and public holidays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., admission is free.
  • Guided tours of the castle and the museum can be arranged by appointment.
  • The ‘Schwatzhüsli’ is a little kiosk serving refreshments to visitors on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from April to November.
  • Since 2007, the Hochburg has been among the monuments managed by the ‘Staatlichen Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg’.

More Information

Verein zur Erhaltung der Ruine Hochburg e.V.
Landvogtei 10
79312 Emmendingen,
Phone: 07641/452-0

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