Hesse's largest mountain castle

Right on the edge of the Vogelsberg district lies the largest mountain castle in Hesse: Herzberg Castle!

Visible from afar on the 506 metre high volcanic vent of the Hirschberg, it has become famous throughout Europe, above all through the Burg Herzberg Festival. It was first mentioned in a document in 1298. From here the old trade route "durch die kurzen Hessen (through the short Hesse)" between Frankfurt and Thuringia could be monitored and protected. It corresponds roughly to the course of the present B62. In spring 1521, Martin Luther most likely followed the historical route of the "Kurzen Hessen (Short Hessians)" from Eisenach to the Reichstag in Worms and back. 

The castle is still privately owned by the barons of Doernberg and has been so without interruption since 1477.

Since 2016 the castle has been awarded the international protection symbol for cultural assets and monuments particularly worthy of preservation according to the Hague Convention.

In the easily accessible quarry, which can be found directly below the castle along a hiking trail, basalt columns can be seen in the so called "Meilerstellung". It goes without saying that the quarry was the place of origin of the bricked stones used to fortify the castle.

Not far from the castle, north of Hof Huhnstadt and Gehau (municipality of Breitenbach) we find the natural monument Wilder Stein, a rock cliff that has penetrated the surrounding layers of sandstone as a volcanic winding vent. Legends and myths entwine around this place in the forest.


Photos: S. Jost, H. Greb


  • HLNUG, Der Vogelsberg – Geotope im größten Vulkangebiet Mitteleuropas, Wiesbaden 2009