HOHENBADEN OLD CASTLE - Altes Schloss Hohenbaden, is high above Baden-Baden and one of three castles that defended the most prized territory of the Margraves of Baden, from the 11th - 15th century. Built in 1102, today its ruins and those of the newer "extension", Unterburg (lower castle) from the late 14th century, offer spectacular views over Baden-Baden, the Black Forest and the Rhine Valley.
It was built on a crest on the southwestern side of Battert Hill, and is a fascinating ruin with dark, secret dungeons and winding staircases that lead to the lookout point, and an impressive surrounding landscape.
Schloss Hohenbaden was home to Baden's ruling House, but in 1479 Margrave Christoph moved to the valley, with its more comfortable Neues Schloss, New Castle, and the Old Palace became a widow's residence. Then in 1599 it was damaged in a fire and fell into disuse.
Baden-Baden developed into a popular spa destination in the 19th century and the Altes Schloss became "interesting" again, now its ruin is a favorite destination in the northern Black Forest.
In the castle's Knight's Hall there is a huge wind harp, and when the wind sweeps through its old walls this plays the keynotes C and G.
The *Alte Schloss Hohenbaden (1610 ft.) (restaurant) an extensive structure situated on a buttress of the Batter, probably erected in the 10th or 11th cent. was the seat of the Margraves until the construction of the New Castle in 1479. Since its destruction by the French in 1689 the castle has been a complete ruin but the tower has been rendered accessible by means of stairs. The *view from the top embraces the valley of the Rhine from Speyer to a point far beyond Strassburg (not itself visible); in the foreground lies the charming valley of Baden, with its bright villas and smiling pastures presenting a striking contrast to the sombre pine forests.
On the summit of the Batter near the Alte Schloss rise the *Felsen ('rocks'), a number of fantastically cleft masses of porphyry, at one place resembling the ruined walls of a castle at another a gigantic tower. A good path leads through this chaos of rock of which the Felsenbrucke, commanding a magnificent view is the finest point. A broad path leads round the S. base of the rocks back to the castle, passing an inscription to the memory of Count Broussel,who caused the path to be constructed in 1839.