A half-day trip to Burgruine Tannenberg from Darmstadt
Burgruine Tannenberg ( Tannerberg Castle) is a castle ruin located about 23 kilometres from Darmstadt city centre in the municipality of Seeheim-Jugenheim in the district of Darmstadt-Dieburg in Hessen. Situated on a hilltop, it is a popular destination amongst people in and around the area for hiking and biking trips. The path leading up to the castle is lovely and full of greenery.
From the caste, one can enjoy beautiful views of the Rhine area.
A brief history:
The castle was built by Ulrich I. von Münzenberg in the early 13th century and, for around 150 years, served as the administrative seat for the “Amt Seeheim.” The castle was located on an important trade route between Frankfurt and Basel and became a robber’s castle. Immense wealth came through loot and raids on wealthy merchants travelling on these routes. People from affected surrounding towns couldn’t take it anymore and declared a feud with the owners of Tannenberg Castle. In 1399, the castle was destroyed by firearms during the siege.
Stone balls in the castle bear witness to this today.
Later in the mid-19th century, under Grand Duke Ludwig III, excavations were carried out, and a significant find – the “Tannenberg rifle” was made. It was the first handgun found in the north of the Alps. It is preserved in the National Museum in Nuremberg.
In the ruins that remain today, one can see the castle structure with its boundary walls, tiled floors, chapel, watch tower, and moat system.
What is the best time of the year to visit Burgruine Tannenberg?
Since the castle can be reached on foot or by bike, it is best to plan a trip in the summer months ( May to September) or late spring ( April) /early autumn ( October). In the winter, it can get cold, and the forest floor can become slippery.
What should one expect from this visit?
The best part about the hike is the beautiful views of the Rhine valley from the castle.
Though there are no cafes or restaurants, plenty of benches are laid out and can be used by visitors. Visitors can bring their food and enjoy it with excellent views of the valley.
Today, the volunteer group, Heimat- und Verschönerungsvereins Seeheim takes care of the upkeep of the castle and securing the remains of the castle.
How to reach Burgruine Tannenberg?
The castle can only be reached on foot or by bike. However, if you come by car, you can park at the multi-story car park of the Lufthansa Seeheim conference hotel and start the hike from there.
If you come by public transport, get down at the ‘Seeheim Jugenheim Tannenstraße’ stop. Cross the road and start the hike.
A note for my readers:
- The last leg of the hike can become a little difficult because the hill becomes steeper. The rest of the path is manageable.
- Visiting Burgruine Tannenberg can be a half-day trip if you are travelling from Darmstadt.
- Do carry your food and drinks. There are bins to dispose of the garbage.
Check out other places in and around Darmstadt here.
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