Main information:


Picture: Children in the museum »The Cadolzburg experience«

The Cadolzburg experience

Room by room

1  Cash desk

2  A castle and its lords

Here you can find an initial overview of the topics of the exhibition. The individual sections of the bailey and the main castle are explained by means of a drone flight and a hands-on model shows the castle area when it was at its largest.


Picture: Room 2, hands-on model


3  Lean times – Hunger Tower

This small room may also once have served as a cell. Today it contains a sound and light installation, which together with a musty smell brings home the cramped conditions of such a room.


4  Stocking up (Inner courtyard, view of the cellar)

How was food stored at a castle? And above all, what could be stored and what couldn’t? What quantities were required to feed a court?


5  Well courtyard

Take time to enjoy this picturesque inner courtyard and find out more about the supply of water to the castle.

Picture: Well courtyard


8  The history of Cadolzburg at a glance

In this room you can look into the history of Cadolzburg – in the context of the history of the period. A comic strip provides an entertaining introduction to the Hohenzollerns. The special exhibition room with its changing presentations always has new surprises in store.

Picture: Room 8


9  Kitchen: Not just cabbage and carrots

The topics of this room include the staff, equipment and attractions of the Zollern court kitchen as well as medieval recipes. Here you can also see the massive hearth of the Ox Chimney.

Picture: Room 9


10.1  At the centre of power. Franconia’s Hohenzollerns

This central room in the exhibition provides information about the sensational rise of the Zollerns in the Middle Ages and shows by means of a three-dimensional family tree how far the family extended its powers in the following centuries. Here you can make the acquaintance of Cadolzburg’s most important protagonist, Friedrich I, the first elector from the house of Zollern, his wife Elisabeth of Bavaria, their son Albrecht Achilles, who was the last of the Zollerns to rule Brandenburg and Franconia at the same time, and his second wife Anna of Saxony. Further topics are the difficult relationship between the princes and the Free Imperial City and the symbols of Zollern power.

Picture: Room 10


10.2  Privies, hygiene and the healing arts

What were the standards of hygiene like in the Late Middle Ages and what illnesses did the Zollerns living at Cadolzburg suffer from?


11  The rights of princes: Power and sovereignty through rights

This room documents the complex legal rights of the Cadolzburg rulers, who not only had the right to judge the most serious crimes, but also many other far-reaching powers.

Picture: Room 11


12  Three-dimensional history

Here several models of Cadolzburg give you an overview of the castle’s building history and its functions. In the interactive media station “Architectural research made easy” (Der kleine Bauforscher), children and adults can try out their skills as researchers of building history.

Picture: Room 12


14  Oak Pillar Hall: The court dances. Festivities at Cadolzburg

Here you can see and try out dance steps from the Late Middle Ages, and, wearing the appropriate costume, sign your name next to those of kings, emperors and ministers of state in the castle’s guest book.

Picture: Room 14


15  Man the defences! (Battlements 2nd upper floor)

On these battlements you can find out all about the techniques of siege and defence weapons, which had an astonishing range.


16  Piety at the court

The former electoral chapel is furnished with many original works of art from Franconia and Brandenburg and provides an overview of 15th-century religious art. There is also information about religious faiths in the Zollern territory (Catholicism and Protestantism) and the art donations of the electors.

Picture: Room 16


17  Oriel Hall: Networks and representation

The Oriel Hall was the most important room in the Old Palace. It originally had a magnificent star vault and keystones with coats of arms. This can still be seen in the present approximation of the old room structure. A scientific reconstruction of the original room design including an explanation of the marriage connections signified by the coats of arms can be found on one of the media stations. The three-dimensional reconstruction of the magnificent fireplace gives occasion for details of the way castles were heated.

Picture: Room 17


18.1  Gun smoke and booty. War in the Late Middle Ages

This large room on the reconstructed third upper floor examines many aspects of warfare in the late medieval period. Strategic small-scale wars were fought rather than great battles and early firearms were deployed instead of armies of knights. There are also some surprising pieces of armour in a variety of design, which you can try on yourself.

Picture: Room 18


18.2  Alchemy – money, ammunition and eternal youth

Alchemy didn’t just involve esoteric experiments such as the attempt to turn metal into gold. It was put to more practical use in ore mining and making the powder for the firearms, so that it was a science that also served economic interests. This room deals with these aspects and the “Book of the Holy Trinity”, the first book on alchemy in the vernacular that was produced for Elector Friedrich I.

18.3  Off to the hunt

Cadolzburg was the centre of hunting for the court. Here the princes’ passion for hunting is represented by a real 18th-century Hohenzollern horse, a falcon and a capital stag.


19.1  Balancing act: the simultaneous government and administration of Franconia and Brandenburg

Find out how difficult it was to govern Franconia and Brandenburg at the same time. You’ll learn all kinds of interesting things about the structure of the court, wages, important court offices, childhood at the court and the financial situation of the Zollerns.

Picture: Room 19


19.2  How the powerful defied boredom

Learn all about the tournament with clubs as a form of court entertainment in the Late Middle Ages. Play at being a tournament rider or immerse yourself virtually in the world of a tournament with VR glasses. The topics of medieval board games, literature at the Zollern court and contemporary music are a little less strenuous.


20  Under the covers – the princely bedchamber

In this room – the only place in the Old Palace! – it’s noticeably colder. See what the ceiling of a room on this half-timbered floor might have looked like and try lying or sitting on a bed of medieval construction. But don’t forget to first take off your pattens, the wooden overshoes worn to protect the elaborate leather or textile shoes.

Picture: Room 20


21  A risky job: gunsmith (Battlements on the 3rd upper floor)

Find out more about the gunsmith specialists in the service of the princes. Here you can also see the castle’s last remaining stone privy. For your own needs, however, there’s a much more comfortable facility available on this floor.


22  Museum event room

This room is for the varied event and educational programme at the castle. It’s normally only accessible for groups participating in the programme.


23  The final chapter (New Palace)

As you go down the newly installed stairs into the New Palace, you can see what the castle looked like after the devastating fire of 17.4.1945. A sound installation by the artist Gerald Fiebig takes you on a final journey through the castle’s centuries of history, and a media installation on the topic of the castle’s NS history documents this dark chapter of Cadolzburg.

Picture: Room 23

show background images
show content