The medieval Dorneck Castle, of which only a ruined castle remains today, is located above the municipality of Dornach in the canton of Solothurn. It stands 490 metres above sea level on a large rocky ridge, between the valley floor of the Birs and the slope of the Gempen plateau, from where most of the lower Birstal can be overlooked. Equipped with barbecue sites and picnic areas, the place is excellent for a summer excursion. A short walk takes you to the nearby "Schlosshof" restaurant with farm sales on the adjacent farm. A path lined with old oaks leads up to the castle ruins. The bark of the old oaks is the basis for various lichens, which receive enough light here in contrast to the trees inside the forest. During the summer, the gates of the ruins, which were built about 1,000 years ago, are open so that you can climb up to the high tower. From here you can enjoy a unique panoramic view over the Basel Jura to the Alps, in the west to the Vosges and in the north over the Sundgau hills and the Blauenkette towards France. To the left of the ruin, a footpath leads steeply along the rock walls. Here lie fallen trees overgrown with ivy and, with a bit of luck, you can even watch young foxes playing. In spring and summer, wall lizards can be seen sunning themselves on the walls of the ruin.


Starting from the car park just below the castle, a narrow path lined with old oaks leads up to Dorneck Ruin. On the right side of the ruin, a small, ingrown path leads into the mixed deciduous forest behind it on steep terrain. It is not suitable as a playground for small children, but an impressive nature experience for all older ones. The more adventurous can take a monster scooter ride from the Gempenturm restaurant at the top of the plateau. The destination of this descent is once again the castle courtyard right next to the Dorneck ruins.

The tour is neither wheelchair accessible nor suitable for prams.


There are barbecue areas and benches for picnics in and around the ruins. The "Schlosshof" restaurant offers larger menus and small meals from Tuesday to Sunday.

Other greenbelt sites in the vicinity




Ermitage/ Birseck Castle

Further information

Here you will find further information from our partner on the topic 'Birs' and the commune of Dornach.


  • Barbecue / fireplace, Culinary specialities, Culture, Excursion with animals, Excursion with children, Hike (good footwear), Viewpoint, Walk

  • Bicycle, Car, Public transport

  • Barbecue / fireplace, Food must be brought along, Picnic area, Restaurant

  • Birds, Cultural landscape / meadows, Forest, Insects, Reptiles

  • Castle / Ruins, Day trip, Excursion not recommended in winter, Farm shop, Historical site, Tour

  • Families, Groups (< 10 persons), Groups (> 10 persons), Hikers, Pets, School classes, Walkers


The destination can be reached by public transport to Dornach, from where you follow the signs to the Schlosshof (approx. 35 minutes). Travellers arriving by car drive to Dornach and then follow the signs to Dorneck Ruin. Parking spaces are signposted about five minutes' walk from the ruins.

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