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Hardly any other canton has as many castles and palaces in its surroundings as Baselland: Around 80 splendid castle ruins and romantic palaces invite visitors on a journey of discovery into centuries long past and are popular things to see for people of all ages.
We'll introduce you to a selection of the best castles in the Basel region.
The Dorneck ruins are situated near Dornach (Canton Solothurn) and were first mentioned in writing in 1350. However, archaeological finds suggest that the fortress had already existed since the middle of the 11th century. A large and extensive complex, the ruins attract numerous visitors every year – whether along the route of a hike or for a cosy family picnic. The remains of the walls, high towers, bastions and deep well are freely accessible and can be explored extensively by castle fans of all ages.
The Homburg ruins are located in the municipality of Läufelfingen, at the narrowest point of the Homburg valley. Entirely surrounded by forest, the ruins exude their own charm and make for a popular destination in the Basel region. From the former residential tower you can enjoy a view that stretches from the Jura mountains in the Basel region all the way to the Vosges in Alsace. The Homburg ruins can be visited at any time of year – it is secured with railings at critical points. The site also features a barbecue area for short or longer breaks.
Three medieval ruins can be found at Wartenberg near Muttenz. Your castle adventure begins behind the romantic village church of St. Arbogast, before heading up a steep hiking trail to the beginning of the Wartenberg ruins in around 20 minutes. In another 15 minutes on foot you will reach the middle and deepest parts of the ruins. A special highlight: the newly installed telescope in the mid-section of Wartenberg castle ruins offers wide, breathtaking views towards the Vosges and of the Basel region in the direction of the Rhine.
The Pfeffingen ruins are clear to see on top of the hills surrounding the municipalities of Pfeffingen and Aesch. Extensive renovations of the castle complex were completed in August 2017, which made the ruins even more attractive. Wide paths, information boards and an exciting audio tour with eight audio stories guide visitors through the history of the castle. The new viewing platform offers unique views of remains of walls which could not previously be seen, and towards the Laufen valley to the south.
Over 700 years of history, a 500-year old oak forest and a 112-hectare nature reserve: Schloss Wildenstein bears impressive witness to a medieval cultural landscape that is still open to visitors today. The castle is also a popular place for private and business events. Weddings also take place within its time-honoured walls. If you'd like to find out more about Schloss Wildenstein, you can join a public guided tour and use the information path around the castle.
The moated castle in Bottmingen is one of the most frequently visited castles in Baselland. The historic castle was built in the latter half of the 13th century and listed as a historical monument in 1938. Thanks to its unique location with beautiful garden and castle pond, along with the authentic furnishings in the style of Louis XIV, the moated castle is a real tourist attraction. It's also a popular location for weddings and celebrations. The castle's restaurant has been awarded 15 Gault Millau points – another reason why a detour to the moated castle of Bottmingen is well worth it.