The ruins of the Hohnstein Castle are located on a high, rocky spur which today is covered in woods, about 1 km northeast of Neustadt near Nordhausen, on the southern edge of the Harz mountains. The Hohnstein Castle was built in the time of the Hohenstaufen. Its foundation is attributed to Konrad von Sangerhausen, a relative of the legendary Thuringian count, Louis the Springer. During the Thirty Years War the Hohnstein Castle was destroyed by fire. Having been requisitioned in 1627 by an imperial officer, Colonel du Vuer, troops from the Electorate of Saxony under Lieutenant Colonel Vitztum von Eckstedt, stormed the castle and drove out the imperial forces. After 1990 safety and restoration work on the castle were started.
It's a great, true pleasure to hike the Harz if one's health allows. One defenitvely needs to be equipped with right shoes, means hiking boots, and clothes that fit for a climb. The hiking trails around and above Nordhausen are signed pretty detailed, and are easily walked. To climb up the mountains there is not too difficult. Yet one better make sure to allow adequate time for hiking up and down again which may take about 2 to 4 hours.
The Harz is the highest mountain range in northern Germany. Its rugged terrain extends across parts of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. The name Harz derives from the Middle High German word Hardt or Hart (mountain forest).