Stolzeneck Castle is located over 200 meters up on a hilltop spur that descends to the Neckar River and is separated from the plateau by a gorge, so that the fortification enjoys natural protection from several sides. It is also set off from the ridge by a deep neck ditch (dry moat). A highlight is the imposing shield wall that protects the castle on the mountain side. Hidden on the wooded mountain spur, Stolzeneck Castle can hardly be seen from the Neckar Valley. A visit to the impressive complex can be considered a real “insider tip”.
Stolzeneck Castle was probably built around the year 1200 as an imperial castle. Its first documentary mention has been recorded for the year 1268, when the name appears in connection with a widow of “Stoltzinecke”. A few years later, Count Palatine Ludwig II acquired the castle, which was subsequently loaned in fealty to various noble families. In 1418, after the death of Albrecht of Erligheim, Stolzeneck again came directly to the Electorate Palatinate, to be lent again in 1454 to the Horneck of Hornberg. When the last feudatory, Hans von Frauenberg, died in 1611, the castle was left to decay. Stolzeneck Castle is divided into a large outer castle facing the valley with only a few remnants of buildings, and the main castle on the mountain side with a fortified “Zwinger” in front. To the southwest, a mighty dry moat with sandstone rocks left visible sets the complex apart from the higher mountain. Today Stolzeneck has no keep or other towers. Its trademark is rather a mighty shield wall with a height of 21 meters and thicknesses of almost 3 meters. The shield wall*, which is still accessible today and protects the main castle like a “shield”, was once accessible from the much lower battlements of the ring wall. The last third to the walkable battlement is overcome by a stone staircase inside the wall. On the opposite side of the inner courtyard is the multi-storey palace. Despite some reused components of its predecessor, the residential building can be dated to the 15th or 16th century on the basis of the late Gothic window forms.
Stolzeneck Castle is open all year round and accessible free of charge.
*Current information: Closure of the castle ruin Stolzeneck. Cracks and stone eruptions have been detected at Stolzeneck Castle. Therefore, for safety reasons, it has been closed in the area of the main castle until further notice. The outer castle with its fountain and barbecue area is still accessible. Visitors to the castle are asked not to enter the closed-off areas for safety reasons.