On your tour to the second highest elevation of the Kyffhäuser-Mountains, the "Burgberg" you will experience 800 years of German history. In the 12th century you would have found on the "Burgberg" one of the most powerful German fortresses – the "Reichsburg Kyffhausen" (Fortress of the empire Kyffhausen). Its dimensions from 600 metres in length and 60 metres in width can still be sensed. The tripartition of the fortress in Lower-, Middle, and Upper-fortress is nowadays still clearly noticeable. The fortress, finished while Friedrich I. Barbarassa was the emperor and existed almost 100 years in its full beauty.

After the downfall of the "Staufenreich" (Empire of the Staufen) in 1250, the fortress of the empire started to decay. The decay wasn’t stopped since the several owners didn’t have an interest in conserving the fortress or didn’t have the financial possibilities.
At the beginning of the 15th century the "Schwarzburger" owned the fortress. By then it was already called the "wüste Schloß Kyffhausen", which means the barren, rugged fortress Kyffhausen.

As time passed parts of the brickwork were used by the population to build new buildings or structures. Nevertheless the remains still show the typical elements of a feudal fortress of the high middle ages, including the "Bergfried" (main tower of the fortress – the Barbarossatower of the Upper-fortress), residential and commercial buildings on the "Ringmauer" (fortress walls) and the "Ringmauer" itself.

Construction Work (calculated by H Wäscher, Halle)

Soil used:  21 000 m³ 
Quarry:  65 000 m³ 
Chiseller and brick:  51 000 m³ 
Wood:    5 000 m³ 
Roof :    7 000 m³ 
Finishes:  59 600 m³ 


The Upper-fortress was with its length of about 220 metres the largest part of the fortress. The Upper-fortress had the function as the Main-fortress and therefore it is quite sure that the church the "Pallas" and the residential buildings could be found there.

In the 1930’s its function as the main-fortress was confirmed through very precious medieval finds. Unfortunately only the west part of the facility is preserved. During the construction of the Memorial in the last century the still remaining parts had been destroyed, no substantial records regarding the position of the buildings had been kept.

Additionally protected was the outer part of the fortress. In a westward direction it was protected by four fortress-trenches which are still visible today, and in the direction of the inner-court-yard it was protected by a moat. The mighty, once 30 metre high, "Bergfried" (main tower of the fortress) is since centuries the landmark of the mountain. The "Bergfried" had severals levels. The entrance is 10 metres above ground.

Today about 15 metres of the impressive "Barbarossaturm" (tower of Barbarossa) are preserved. In the last years it has been restored. The only access to the Upper-fortress was through the "Erfurter Tor" (Gate of Erfurt). The seclusive gate is a rare romanic design in fortresses. Above the "Kammertor" (Chamber-gate) was a gate lodge for protection.

Its own water supply is important for every fortress, especially when the fortress was sieged. On the premise of the upper-fortress the deepest well of Europe is preserved. It is likely that it was built between 1140 and 1170 and is 176 metres deep.

The middle-fortress was almost fully destroyed through the operation of a mill stone quarry in the middle ages. Just a few parts of the wall of a "Rundturm" (round tower) on the west side and of a quadratic tower on the east side are still standing.

The walk through the canyon of the middle-fortress is very picturesque. Interesting from a geological standpoint are the silicified log pieces of trees from the Pennsylvanian-period of the Carboniferous.

The lower-fortress is the best-preserved part of the fortress. Its "Ringmauer" (fortress wall) is in some parts still standing at its original heights. Through a chamber-gate you will enter the extensive restored upper-fortress which is split into two parts.

Very well preserved and excellently restored is a 5 metre high portion of a round "Bergfried (main tower of the fortress) which used to be about 25 metres high. In the "Wohnturm" (tower) which probably had several levels, you can still identify the location of the fire place.
Next to the "Wohnturm" is a chapel which probably was built in 1433 and was used as pilgrimage-chapel until Reformation.


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Burghof Kyffhäuser Betreiberges. mbH 
Kyffhäuser 4 | 99707 Kyffhäuserland
Tel.: +49 (0) 34651 45 22 2
Fax: +49 (0) 34651 45 41 0

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