Castle Tower

The striking ruins of the former castle overlook the town: the castle tower is the landmark of Bad Berneck. Many artists have been inspired by the tower and its spectacular viewpoints.

The tower, which is lit at night and is decorated at Christmas, enjoys commanding views of the town and is open to the public one day a year. The lilac bushes on the terraced hill attract many butterflies. Find out more about the mysterious castles in Bad Berneck and the ancient road they protected on QR6 and QR25. One of the best views of the tower and its terracing can be seen from QR18.

History of the Castle Tower

On the 442 meter high Schlossberg is Bad Berneck’s landmark, the keep of the Old Castle, built in the second quarter of the 13th century.

First mentioned in 1250, the Old Castle belonged to the viscounts of Nuremberg from 1338 onwards and served as an official residence. In 1430, the castle was probably partially destroyed during the Hussite Wars. During the reconstruction, the castle was extended with a fortress and kitchen. After around 1536, the castle was neglected and fell into disrepair. It served the town as a quarry; residents helped themselves to its stones.

During the Romantic period the castle was rediscovered and, according to the taste of the time, the tower was extended by one floor in 1818 and the bell of the demolished city hall was mounted in the roof.

A marble plaque on the tower entrance commemorates the visit of Prince (later King) Ludwig of Bavaria on 20 June 1905.

Interpretations and Impressions of the Castle Tower
by the artists Hans Dollhopf, Christel Gollner, Bárbara Sereno and Wolfgang Thiel

Town Time-Lapse

Shot as individual frames on high megapixel DSLR, a short film that captures the activity of Bad Berneck.
by Dominic Day.

Inside the Tower

The hidden view of the tower.
by Dominic Day


The Schlossberg – Home of the Wall Brown
By the 19th century, the moat below the castle tower was filled in and the terraces were planted up with lilac bushes, as seen today.
The combination of a rich nectar supply for insects and warm, sunlit walls and ruins attracts numerous butterflies, lizards and birds.
A special species has chosen to settle on the Schlossberg: the Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera).
This butterfly is considered to be site-faithful, and can be observed here every year during summer.
The species hides at night, well camouflaged in wall niches, and can be spotted when the moths enjoy the sun on the wall or on the rocks.
This moderately rare species finds optimal living conditions in Bad Berneck.
By Florian Fraaß

Reflections by Filmmaker Dominic Day

Filming the Castle Ruins from the Castle Tower was particularly inspiring. I made a lot of friends with buzzing insects and squeaking bats.

A few giant hornets decided I was interesting company.

Sitting at the top of the Tower was like being the prison warden of a panopticon – seeing everyone from all angles, with no one knowing they were being watched.

Night enveloped the town and I was alone in an 13th century tower, watching the stars above. Seeing the North Star above the Castle Ruins allowed me to visualise how our spinning sphere, called earth, was rotating in relation to the ‘still’ stars.

It’s strange: sometimes when I look at a time-lapse of stars I sense the earth’s rotation, while other times the stars seem to move and I am stationary. That duality is really fascinating and I am particularly curious about the third space between these two states.

Tip: The film ‚Kosmos’ can be seen at QR 06!

Travel Diary – 2013

The Tower provides a brilliant view of Bad Berneck (the Church in particular) and gives a real sense of Bad Berneck’s position – a valley town amongst a sea of greenery and forests.

Everyone loves ruins – young or old. They convey a sense of the past which is easily visible even in the present day surroundings.

It is also noteworthy to comment on the sounds and general habitat at the Tower. There is a steady hum of crickets or grasshoppers, the constant sounds of twittering birds, as well as the rushing sound of the wind as it whirls round from behind the Tower. All these factors add to the nice tranquil, solitary feeling atop the Tower.

Matt Bather, History Student in Liverpool, UK

4. The Colonnade
6. Castle Ruins