The Heuneburg is a prehistoric and early historic hilltop settlement at the headwaters of the Danube in the district Hundersingen the community Herbertingen between Ulm and Sigmaringen in Sigmaringen County. The fortified nuclear installation of the early Celtic princely seat of the 6th century BC is about 300 meters long and up to 150 meters wide. She is one of the most famous sites of the Celtic period in Central Europe.

  • 7.1 Heuneburg studies


Strategically situated on a mountain ridge at an altitude of 605 meters, on a steeply sloping to the banks of the Danube, offers on the approximately three -acre castle plateau a good view over the Danube valley across to buses ( 767 m). In good weather, offers a magnificent view of the Alps.


, Since 1950, archaeological excavations are carried out. The 1950-1979 excavations driven by Adolf Rieth, Kurt Bittel, Egon Gersbach and Wolfgang Kimmig evidence of a settlement proven since the Middle Bronze Age (16th - 13th century BC).

Since 2003, a priority program of the German Research Foundation (DFG) is running too early Celtic princely residences in Central Europe, under which the outside of the Heuneburg held extensive excavations since 2004.

This wooden remains have been found on the northern tip of Heuneburg. In 2005, the fortified bailey was investigated. It was discovered in the northwest before the nuclear installation of Heuneburg the stone foundations of a monumental city gate from the 6th century BC, which was uncovered between 2005 and 2008 and for the Hallstatt period of the Alps north unprecedented. Unusual here is the use of precisely hewn limestone blocks, as the "city" wall consisted of air-dried mud bricks. This would actually have to resolve through the rain with time. To counteract this effect, the walls were whitewashed regularly. Therefore, the current model of Heuneburg is represented by a white wall.

On the northern tip of Heuneburg a grave system in an academic teaching excavation in 2008, 2009 and 2010 by students of the University of Tübingen as well as students from France, Romania, Cyprus and England studied.

On December 28, 2010, discovered in the summer of 2010 chamber shaft grave with rich grave goods jewelery was fully recovered near the Heuneburg, because of the grave goods, it is assumed that there is a princess from the Heuneburg Nobility. The centerpiece grave from the early Celtic period is around 2600 years old. The entire grave chamber was recovered as 7.5 × 6 foot tall and around 100 tonnes of heavy soil block.

In addition to scientific research excavations, there are also training excavations of the Archaeological Society in Württemberg and Hohenzollern.

Earns made ​​Jörg Bofinger, by the method of examination of the Airborne laser scanning ( lidar ) added many new discoveries known from conventional aerial archeology sites and has made using computational methods archaeological structures visible. This includes, inter alia, The course of the Wall - grave system in the field of Heuneburg foreign settlement, which can only imagine the dimension of the system. So today can be said that was probably dug in the first place in one-third of it.


The oldest documented settlement took place in the Middle Bronze Age, that is in the 15th place to 13th century BC, when the spur was formed by investing mighty Wall and grave sites so that he was better suited for an easy defense. Then that was fixed just 2 acre plateau with a wooden box wall. With the beginning of the urn fields in the 12th century BC the settlement was abandoned with no trace of destruction have been found.

But particularly outstanding is the Hallstatt Age fortified settlement. In 600 BC, was established here a so-called princely seat of the Hallstatt culture. Vorterrassen and surrounding burial grounds (eg prince grave hill " Gießübel " hill grave " Hohmichele " grave mound field " Hohmichele Group") illustrate the position of the Heuneburg as one of the great Iron Age chiefdom in southern Germany.

In the 5th century BC, the plant was destroyed by fire, traces of the following Early La Tène missing, although related wealth centers such as the Hohenasperg this influenced primarily by a new style of art time yet experienced.

New research showed that to the castle itself were still extensive outside settlements, which were probably also fixed. The population was 5,000 to 10,000 people at its peak. Findings at the end of the excavation season in 2005 with rich grave goods of a two year old child ( Etruscan gold pendant and gold fibulae ) suggest a comparison with previous assumptions stronger gegliedertere social structure of the Celts. The necessary division of labor show evidence for workshops or even artisan district that no longer produced only for their own use.

The artisans' quarter were located in the southeast of the castle. Here metal objects made ​​of bronze and iron were produced, which were also intended for export. It is unclear, however, how the materials used were obtained.

A variety of finds testify to the trade contacts with other peoples and cultures: Greek imports, amber from the Baltic, Squirrel fibulae from Slovenia, transport amphorae from Marseille.

In the Middle Ages the Heuneburg was repeatedly used as a strategic place, but without re-emerge as a permanent settlement.


The fortified settlement of the Hallstatt period is often referred to in the research as a " princely seat ", although the term is now being heavily criticized especially by the Tübingen prehistory and early history professor Manfred Eggert.

The Heuneburg heard north to those Celtic settlements on the upper reaches of the Danube, for which one has suggested a connection with the BC mentioned by Herodotus in the 5th century city Pyrene, in the case of Heuneburg simultaneously with the claim, the oldest literary mentioned settlement to be the Alps. Herodotus mentions Pyrene at a geographical indication of the origin area of ​​the Danube, which springs from " the Celts and the city of Pyrene ," refers here but on the Celts, the "beyond the Pillars of Hercules " in the vicinity of " Kynesier " or " Kyneter " who testifies (223 et passim Ora maritima ) exhausted, probably vorherodotische lore from his perspective westernmost nation of Europe and therefore in an area of the Iberian peninsula, near the present-day Algarve lived, where colonization by Kyneter by one of Avienus and Celtic presence in inscriptions since the first half of the 6th century BC is proved. The suggestion of an association with Heuneburg could still exist, based mainly to the fact that the Heuneburg located in a region close to the actual source of the Danube, in their defense system may date back to Greek models, and was certainly in Greek trade relations, while on the other hand, in the by Herodotus erroneously stated Iberian region a city Pyrene far, at least could be proven beyond reasonable doubt not, and also to the Mediterranean foothills of the Pyrenees, where it is due to other ancient tradition usually not suspected.

Museale treatment

In recent years, not least with the inclusion of funds from the LEADER project, a joint initiative of the European Union, trying to prepare the prehistoric and early historical period museum. For this was the Heuneburgmuseum, which provides information on the Heuneburg as a major power center of the Hallstatt period, decorated in Hundersingen. On the Heuneburg an open air museum with reconstructions was and it was the Heuneburg circular trail created.


Support the internationally significant cultural asset is the community Herbertingen, belongs to the Hundersingen. The land belongs to the state of Baden -Württemberg.

On 22 June 2008, the municipality Herbertingen announced that she feels unable to lift permanently alone the maintenance ( and possibly further extension ) of the museums. The reason was mentioned that the long hoped-for solution - the state of Baden -Württemberg increases with a - is still proving elusive. For this reason the application was made for the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site. On 11 December 2012, the municipal council of Herbertingen not to continue the operation of the museum and the Heuneburgmuseum in the village Hundersingen decided. The two concession agreements with the State of Baden- Württemberg on the use of the plateau and the parking lot for the Celtic open-air museum Heuneburg were terminated on 31 October 2013. As a result, it was agreed that the church, the museum stays in the village and continues to operate on its own, while a new carrier is used for the open-air museum from 1 November 2013. For first three years, " Archaeological Society in Württemberg and Hohenzollern eV " takes over the sponsorship in cooperation with the State of Baden- Württemberg and the association Heuneburg Museum eV On April 4, 2014, the open-air museum Heuneburg opened under new ownership its doors.


The Heuneburgmuseum, also called Celts Heuneburg, was established as a result of the academic study of thirty years of excavations on the Heuneburg in the former tithe barn of the monastery Heiligkreuztal in Hundersingen. To present the results of research and original findings from the Heuneburg and the Celtic princely tombs of the public, which was built in 1783, now getting on in years, former tithe barn has been completely refurbished. The historic building from the outside walls and roof floor forms the contrast to the sober interior fittings for the renovated museum, which also connects content past and present together. In addition to the excavation finds shown on the first floor, the museum, the ground floor an overview of the more than a hundred years of research in the field of Heuneburg with the methodological foundations of systematic excavations. This is followed by the detailed description of the main stages of settlement and fortifications of Heuneburg closes from the Neolithic period until in historical time. The permanent exhibition is supplemented by a photo exhibition. The attic is usually reserved annually changing special exhibitions. The association Heuneburgmuseum eV, in 1985, for his services to archeology Württemberg price.

Open-air museum Celtic princely seat Heuneburg

The open air museum Heuneburg was from 1997, when the community Herbertingen was clear through his yard plateau and the Open Air Museum Celtic princely seat Heuneburg established there in the years 1998 to 2001. On a fenced property located since many constructions, such as that of a " Donautors " with a more than 80 meters long, built true to the original, mudbrick wall and several buildings, including a mansion, a house, a storage and a workshop building. The Mauerrekonstuktion consists of air- dried mud brick on a limestone base. In contrast to the Mediterranean region, the construction technology of the Alps north is unique.

Heuneburg loop trail

The Heuneburg Loop Trail, an archaeological trail leads since 1993 over a distance of eight kilometers from Heuneburgmuseum in place Hundersingen to the most important sites of the early Celtic settlement center on the upper Danube, and after about 2.5 to 3 hours back to the starting point. From the Museum of Heuneburg Trail leads to Lehenbühl, a large grave mounds from the first half of the 6th century BC, and follows the rim height above the Danube. At this distance lie the remains of the medieval castle tree ( Buwenburg ), which may go back to an Iron Age grave mound in the United core. From there, the trail continues on Talhof for about three kilometers northeast of the town situated open-air museum Heuneburg. The trail now leads to the north, to a group of four large grave mounds in Gießübel / Talhau, and into the forest. About the Soppenweiher you get to Wiedhauhütte, then to Hohmichele, one of the largest surviving grave mound in Central Europe, and finally to a Celtic Viereckschanze. From there it is only eastward through the forest, later southward over a dirt road to Hundersingen. The archaeological monuments are accompanied by detailed explanatory panels.