The construction of the castle by Ludwig the Leaper in about 1190 secured the Ludovingian domain in the east and made it possible to control important trade routes. A Romanesque coupled double window with its original central column has survived in the former residential tower of the main castle. The remains of a fireplace, a doorway and window slits in the great hall have also survived. The owners of the castle were as changeable as its fortunes. In 1806, Prussian grenadiers exchanged fire with the French for the last time from the Eckartsburg. A diorama in the residential tower recalls the two battles of Jena and Auerstedt. There was an inn at the castle as early as 1860. Today it looks just as it did in 1925. An impressive view can be enjoyed from the 36 m keep. It also houses a small museum.