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Visiting Hohenecken Castle in Kaiserslautern, Germany

Hohenecken Castle Gate

Hike up to the ruins of Hohenecken Castle to catch stunning views of the surrounding German villages. Hohenecken Castle is considered one of the best examples of castles from the Hohenstaufen period, and is a must-see when in Kaiserslautern.

My family and I explored Hohenecken Castle on our Christmas trip to Kaiserslautern. The trail to access the ruins is always open, so this makes for a great activity on Christmas Eve when most other things are closed.

Hohenecken Castle History

Hohenecken Castle

The exact date of the foundation of Burg Hohenecken is unknown, but it is estimated to have been built around 1156-1200. The pentagonal bergfried (the tall defensive tower) and the large shield wall point to a construction date of about 1200.

From the 13th century to the 17th century, the castle belonged to the Lords of Hohenecken, who were officials at the courts of German emperors and kings in the Middle Ages.

The castle was captured by rebellious peasants in the German Peasants’ War of 1525. It was partially destroyed during a lengthy siege by Prince-Elector Charles Louis of Palatinate in 1668. Then, during the War of the Palatine Succession in 1689, the castle was blown up by French troops.

The ruins are still intact enough to get a feel for the layout of the castle. The outer ward, moat, upper and lower wards measure about 50 by 90 meters. The shield wall measures 25 meters wide and 11 meters high.

Getting to Burg Hohenecken

Hohenecken Castle and Well

Getting to Hohenecken Castle is fairly easy, but be prepared for a steep hike. The hiking trail begins behind St. Rochus Catholic Church in Hohenecken. There is about a 1.5 mile hike up the steep hill to the castle. The trail is mostly made up of old cobblestones.

There is a small parking lot behind St. Rochus, but there is only room for 3-4 cars. We parked at the Parkplatz in the center of town. Head toward the Burgschänke Restaurant & Hotel and turn right to head toward St. Rochus Chapel; you should start seeing signs pointing toward the Burg.

St. Rothus Church and Chapel

Turn left to follow the road up the side of St. Rochus Chapel toward St. Rochel Catholic Church. The trailhead is just past the small parking lot behind the church.

There is no map, but the trail makes a loop. Head up the stairs until you find a large informational sign. Follow the trail to the left to take the quickest way to the castle.

Visiting Hohenecken Castle

Hohenecken Castle

The castle is free to visit and is open all day, every day. As long as you can make it up the steep hill, you can visit this castle whenever you want.

Castle Count: 34

For another great castle nearby, check out Frankenstein Castle. And for more castles in Germany, you won’t want to miss Neuschwanstein Castle and Hohenschwangau Castle.

Read next: 3 Fun Day Trips from Kaiserslautern, Germany

Ready to visit Hohenecken Castle in Kaiserslautern, Germany? Plan your trip with these tips.



Visiting Hohenecken Castle in Kaiserslautern, Germany

Have you hiked up to Hohenecken Castle in Kaiserslautern, Germany? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. Lived in Hohenecken for four years it’s an awesome castle, the shoot fireworks from the top at New Years which lights up the whole valley. there are also events durning the summer and fall there. its a great walk.

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