Burg Loch

Schloß im Loch

Useful Information

Location: Pinswang, 6 km from Füssen.
A7 from Germany or 179 from Austria, exit Pinswang, L288 to Unterpinswang, turn left to Transformatorenhaus.
(47.5486, 10.6761)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaCave Castle
Light: bring torch
Dimension: A=855 m asl.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Tourist Information Füssen, Kaiser-Maximilian-Platz 1, 87629 Füssen, Tel: +49-8362-93850.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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13th century created by the noble lords of Rettenberg-Hoheneck.
1265 castle warden Conradus de Foramine, servant of the Hoheneggers.
1315 definitely owned by Tyrol, new construction or building activities are recorded.
1316-1319 Johann Schurfeisen becomes castle warden and is paid 8 marks per year.
1319 The Karlinger brothers receive the castle fiefdom. King Heinrich sets the payment for the castle fief at five Fuder (carts) of salt from the Haller Pfannhaus.
1328 vainly besieged, presumably by Hohenegger.
14th century abandoned.
1546 stored 394 falcon balls in the ruins, in connection with the Schmalkalden campaign.
1552 Falkon balls recovered and transported to Ehrenberg fortress.


The castle Burg Loch can be reached from the road below on a 20min walk on a steep trail. It consists of a front wall with an integrated residential building. The castle and its foundations were renovated some time ago. It was built into the opening of a 35 m wide and 12 m deep cavern in the early 13th century, most likely by the Edelfreien von Hohenegg. Unfortunately this is not documented, but in the first written mention of the castle the Burgmann (castle warden) Conradus de Foramine is noted as a witness for a donation to the monastery of St. Mang in Füssen. From 1315 the castle is noted in the Tiroler Raitbücher, so it is obviously in the possession of the Counts of Tyrol. And we can guess that the transfer of ownership took place by force, because at that time over 33 Marks had to be spent on repairs. A piece of the wall was dated to the 14th century, so it was probably built during the restauration around 1315. The background was the dispute between the Lords of Hoheneck or the Counts of Montfort and the Counts of Tyrol over supremacy in the Lech Valley.

The castle warden at Loch were subordinate to the captains of nearby Ehrenberg Castle. In 1328, the castle in Loch was besieged again. Possibly the Hoheneckers wanted to reverse the loss of the castle, but the siege was unsuccessful. In 1348, the population of the Lechtal (Lech river valley) was placed under the caretaker of Ehrenberg Castle, and the territorial formation of Ehrenberg Court was thus largely completed. As a result the small cave castle had become more or less useless. From 1352 onwards, no more castle wardens were appointed, and the castle was abandoned shortly afterwards.

In 1552, the inventory of Ehrenberg Castle reports 394 Falkonenkugeln (falcon balls) that "were found in the hole". In 1546 the Schmalkadischer Krieg began, the protestants which were united in the Schmalkidischer Bund were in war with the catholic Kaiser, and they tried to occupy Tirol in order to cut the connection between Germany and Italy. They actually captured the Ehrenberg fortress, but it was then captured by mercenaries of the Kaiser, and finally recaptured by the tyrolians. It seems, the ruins served as a fortification against the troops of the Schmalkaldic League For this reason the Falkonenkugeln, amunition for early cannons named falcons, were stored in the ruin, and after the loss of Ehrenberg forgotten. The were rediscovered six years later.

However the castle was nevertheless not rebuilt and in a chronicle from 1609 by Matthias Burglechner he only mentioned it with one sentence. "...ist vor vil Jaren ein Schloß gestanden, so die Veste Loch genannt wird" (many years ago there was a castle which was called Loch).

At the foot of the hill right below the castle lies a mysterious rampart. It was sometimes interpreted as a Celtic square enclosure. But dendrochronologically dated wooden remains from the 13th century suggest a function as an outwork of Loch Castle. The Roman road Via Claudia Augusta, which was used throughout the Middle Ages, runs through it lengthwise. So it was probably some kind of toll station, a medieval roadblock or a structure to secure the road.