Lichtenstein Castle – Lichtenstein, Germany - Atlas Obscura

Lichtenstein Castle

Lichtenstein, Germany

A striking 12th-century-style castle built on the edge of a cliff. 


Not to be confused with the tiny European nation of Liechtenstein, Lichtenstein Castle is located in the southwest state of Baden Wurttemberg, in Germany, overlooking the village of Honau.

The “castle” is actually a hunting lodge, built on the ruins of a former castle, and the current structure was completed in 1842. It was built in a pseudo-medieval style, which was very en vogue in the 19th century.

In the novel Lichtenstein, author Wilhelm Hauff had described medieval life in the original castle so vividly that local ruler Wilhelm Graf von Württemberg felt inspired to have the fictional castle built in reality. Ruins of the original castle, built in the 1100s, can be found just outside the walls of the existing castle.

The most striking feature of the castle is that the outer wall is built on the edge of a cliff, which can be very intimidating for anyone with a fear of heights!

During World War II, an American tank passing through the valley below fired a shell, which directly hit the main tower. Fortunately, the shell failed to explode, saving the impressive building from destruction. However, a hole in the plaster where the shell struck remains to this day.

Fans of Super Street Fighter II may also recognize the castle, which provided inspiration for Cammy’s stage.

Know Before You Go

The castle is open to the public for tours daily from April to October, and on weekends only in February, March, and November. Tours are not available during the months of December and January.

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