Heldburg Fortress

German Castle Museum

In the far south of Thuringia, Veste Heldburg, also known as the "Franconian lighthouse", rises above the landscape and can be seen from afar. The Counts of Henneberg used it as an official seat due to its strategically extraordinarily favorable location. Later, it belonged to the dukes of Saxe-Meiningen.

  • Veste Heldburg
  • Veste Heldburg
  • Veste Heldburg
  • Veste Heldburg
  • Veste Heldburg
  • Veste Heldburg
  • Veste Heldburg

History of Veste Heldburg

The commander's building with Hausmann tower, located in the far west of the complex, documents the medieval use of the fortress but was modified in the 16th century. The adjoining Jungfernbau (maiden building) houses the castle chapel, whose wall paintings from the beginning of the 16th century may be created by Lucas Cranach the Elder.

After the castle fell to the Ernestine line of the Wettins, it initially served as a Protestant outpost in the battles of the Reformation period. In the 16th century, the conversion into a mountain castle began. First, the Heidenbau (Heathen Building) was erected, to which the French Building, designed by the Ernestine land architect Nickel Gromann, was later added. With the two oriels on its courtyard side, elaborately decorated with relief ornaments, and the spiral staircase with the portal, it is the main representative building of Veste Heldburg.

In the 19th century, the new owners, the dukes of Saxe-Meiningen, endeavored to preserve the castle. Georg II, in particular, used it as a retreat with his third, bourgeois wife, to whom he bestowed with the title of Baroness of Heldburg. Numerous historicizing modifications and additions to the interior frunishings, such as the neo-Gothic Baroness Bower, date from this period. Outside, the duke had the Hausmann tower, among other things, added and a terrace with a battlement crown built.

Heldburg Castle is a unique testimony to the constant development of a fortification and the transformation from a fortress to a castle. Since September 2016, the German Castle Museum has been located at Veste Heldburg. Visitors are given a representative overview of the development of castles and the construction of castles in the German-speaking region, including the illustration of the life of the castle inhabitants in connection with the various spatial functions. The largest and most important exhibit is the Veste Heldburg itself.

Amenities and Facilities

Heldburg Fortress has the following amenities and facilities:

Event location

Guided tours



Children's program

Museum store




Hours of operation & ticket prices:

April to October

Tuesday to Sunday
10.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.

November, December & March

Tuesday to Sunday
10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.

January and February

Saturday and Sunday
10.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.

Adults: 7,00 €
Reduced: 3,50 €
Admission is free for children under the age of 6.
Groups (15 and more people): 4,50 €
Family ticket: 14,00 €
Annual ticket: 30,00 €

Important info

Closed on December 24th, 25th and 31st, open on the other public holidays in Thuringia (including Mondays).

Last admission 30 minutes before closing time

Public guided tours: Sunday, 2:00 p.m.
Guided tours for groups by appointment


Heldburg Fortress

German Castle Museum
Heldburg Fortress
Burgstraße 1
98663 Heldburg

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Further information

Event location

Celebrate your event in romantic surroundings

Veste Heldburg is the residence of the Theater Duke Georg II of Saxe-Meiningen, and is committed to the romantic ideas of a fairy-tale castle. It offers a wide variety of areas and rooms for events.


Contact: Schlossverwaltung Veste Heldburg
Phone: 03 68 71 | 3 03 30

Contact request by email