Zwernitz Castle was originally the hereditary seat of the Walpodes of Upper Franconia. The keep and the tithe barn made of rusticated ashlars are part of the original Romanesque complex built in 1200. In 1338 the castle came into the possession of the Hohenzollern family. Around two centuries later the half-timbered buildings of the lower castle were added. When the rock garden was laid out, it was designed to incorporate a view of the castle located on a natural elevation above it.
An interesting exhibition in the castle complex documents the history of Zwernitz Castle, its inhabitants, and Sanspareil. From the keep there is a magnificent panoramic view of the Franconian Switzerland Natural Park.
The permanent exhibition "Hunting in the time of the margraves" documents hunting as pursued by the court in the two margraviates of Ansbach and Bayreuth at the height of its popularity in the 18th century. With impressive exhibits and informative descriptions a fascinating picture is created of court hunting in a world long since past.
Right next to the castle lies Sanspareil Rock Garden with its bizarre rock formations and the Oriental Building:
Find out more about »The world of Wilhelmine«
9 am-6 pm
1-15 October: 10 am-4 pm
(except: Easter Monday, 1 May, Whit Monday, 3 October)
closed 16 October-March
No regular guided tours
Combination ticket "Sanspareil"
Oriental Building +
3.50 euros regular
3 euros reduced
Rooms only accessible via staircase; barrier-free toilets are available at the visitor centre at Zwernitz Castle
Car and bus parking spaces at the entrance to the park