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Up on a wooded hill, the almost fairytale-like Veste Heldburg stays aloof from the surrounding landscape of South Thuringia. Dreamy towers and embattled terraces characterise its shape. Furthermore, in good weather, the castle tower boasts a beautiful panoramic view of Veste Coburg and a number of surrounding mountain ranges.
German Castle Museum
Castles are a source of fascination up to this day. If you've always wanted to learn more about their function, development and use, Veste Heldburg is the place to go. It is home to the German Castle Museum, where you are taken on an exciting journey through the history of castles, from medieval times to the modern day.
How were castles built? What role did they play in times of war? Who used to live there, and what did life at a castle look like? Answers to these and more questions are presented using original components, tools, weapons and armours, furniture, crockery, and toys. Various special exhibitions complete the picture.
Veste Heldburg is thought to date back to the 12th century. For a long time, it used to be an important bastion at the border of the Henneberg and later Saxon territories. When a dangerous situation arose, fire signals were sent to the neighbouring Franconian castles from here. Thanks to this important role, the fortification is also known as "Fränkische Leuchte", Franconian beacon (reffering to Veste Coburg's byname as "Fränkische Krone", Franconian crown).
The castle owes its current shape mainly to a redesign under the guidance of Georg II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, who had the fortification modelled on famous Neuschwanstein castle in the 19th century. Until 1945, the castle remained property of the Saxon dukes.
How to get there
You can get to Heldburg by car using motorways A70, A71, or A73 as well as through roads B279 or B303. A public car park is located at the foot of the castle mountain. From there, you get to the fortification in a 20 minutes' walk on a (partly rather steep) forest trail, or along the road. Alternatively, you can drive up to the castle's on-site car park, which is only a few steps away from the castle.
Arriving on public transport is also possible. From Hildburghausen, WerraBus line 217 takes you to Heldburg/Schützenhaus. Coming from Coburg, you start by taking Frankenbus line 8301 to Weitramsdorf, then change onto WerraBus line 227 to Heldburg/Schützenhaus.