Rheinland Castles

The Dahn's
Hermitage near Kastel
The Igel Pillar
The Imperial Baths
Kasselburg Castle
Ludwigshöhe Villa
Porta Nigra
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Introduction and Notes for visitors:

A very eventful history, in the course of which the countryside along the middle Rhine and the Moselle played a central political, cultural, and economic role, but was also the theater for the wars between the European powers, has produced a great wealth of historical buildings in Rhineland-Palatinate. In 1948 the Administrations of the Castles of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate was established to look after state-owned historical monuments.

Some 77 historical structures are now under its care, ranging from a fully equipped castle to long since derelict castle ruins, and the list does not just include castles ruins, but also the most important Roman buildings to the north of the Alps. In Trier, the Amphitheater, the Barbara Baths, the Imperials Baths and the Porta Nigra are in the care of the State Castles Administration. Even today, these massive ruins are a clear reminder of the fact that Trier was the fourth largest city in the roman Empire.

Nevertheless, the largest proportion of the historical buildings are castles. In the high Middle Ages, the Rhine valley between Mainz and Basle was the heart of the Hohenstaufen empire. Some 500 castles remind us of this today, with roughly every ninth one in the care of the State Castles Administration. They include such vast defensive structures as the imperial castle of Nannstein, or Lichtenberg Castle, the latter being the most extensive site in the province with a length of some 425 m. Altwoldstein Castle above Wolfstein, on the other hand, a castle hidden in the midst of the forest, consisting in fact just of a tall tower and a pit-like narrow courtyard behind a high curtain wall, gives an idea of the frugal life of a knightly vassal family.

Many castles in the southern Palatinate, perched on top of cliffs, still present a very primeval appearance, such as Blumenstein Castle or Wegelnburg Castle, where nature and structure merge with one another, and where caves were dug into the cliffs, just like in pre-historic times.

Castle ruins are a particularly difficult problem for preservation, because repairs are constantly required in order to maintain the walls which have been damaged by frost, rain, pollution and wars. Great care has to be taken here to ensure that the ruins do not lose too much of their value as a historic document as a result of too far-reaching additions or reconstruction works.

A few structures were carefully extended and adapted for catering purposes. This was the case in the New Castle in Idar-Oberstein, in Sterrenberg Castle above Kamp-Bornhofen, in Nassau Castle and in Burghschwalbach Castle in the Taunus Mountains. In the latter instance, the Great Hall had a new steep slate roof constructed, producing an impressive, unified whole. Ecclesiastical structures are also under the care of the Castle Administration. The chapel to St. Matthew in the upper castle in Kobern is considered to be the finest Romanesque chapel in the middle Rhine and Moselle region. The chapel at Iben, near Fürfeld, constructed a few years later, is a major example of early Gothic architecture and the only part of an erstwhile Templar castle to have been preserved.

Introduction to the proram

Stolzenfels Castle in the Nineteenth Century

The Königsstuhl - the King’s Chair - in Rhens on the Rhine is a particularly important monument for German history: it was here that the electoral princes met in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries for the election of the German Kings.

Bürresheim, Stolzenfels and Sooneck Castles and Ludwigshöhe Villa have been furnished by the States Castles Administration as museums to noble and courtly domestic culture. More than 150,000 visitors come annually to see the treasured possessions of a vanished epoch. In Bürresheim, one family collected the rich furnishings during the course of three centuries. Stolzenfels was fitted out in a unified pattern to fit the concept of the Prussian crown prince and later king, but was also intended to arouse the impression of a centuries-old tradition with its numerous collector’s pieces. Over the past few years, Ludwigshöhe Villa has been fitted out with furniture taken mainly from destroyed castles.

Introduction and Notes for visitors:

Hours of Opening: Bürresheim Castle, Hardenburg Castle, the Hermitage (Klause) near Kastel, Ludwigshöhe Villa, Nürburg Castle, Otrang Villa, Pflzgrafenstein Castle, Sooneck Castle, Stolzenfels Castle, the Roman buildings in Trier (Amphitheatre, Barbara Baths, Imperial Baths, Porta Nigra) and Trifels Castle are in the care of custodians.  they are open for the whole year, except for the month of December and the first working day of each week.

The following hours of opening apply:

April to September:

9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

October to March:

9 a.m to 1 p.m.

2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Last admissions ineach case half hour before closing: in Bürresheim, Ludwigshöhe Villa and Stolzenfels 45 minutes beforehand.

Since Pfalzgrafenstein Castle is situated on an island, it is only accessible by ferry-boat when the water level of the Rhine is normal.  the fare for the ferry is extra.

Admission Prices: Because of the changing economies of the USA and Germany pricing is subject to change. It is suggested that you call a tourist office in the region upon your arrival.

Note: The names in brackets in this web site refers to the administrative district - Kreis - in which a monument is situated. Some sites will include an address or phone number, if available.

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Staatskanzlei  •  Postfach 38 80  •  55028 Mainz   •  Germany
Tel: 011-49-6131 16-4723  •  Fax: 011-49-6131 16-4777

Information and Brochures on the this region
of the Rhine are available at:
The Tourist Information Office
Rheinkai 21,6530
55411 Bingen 1
Telefon: 011-49  6721 / 1 42 69, 184-205
Telefax: 011-49 6721 / 1 62 75
The Tourist Information Office
Rheinkai 21,6530
55411 Bingen 1
Telefon: 011-49  6721 / 1 42 69, 184-205
Telefax: 011-49 6721 / 1 62 75

Please refer any questions or comments pertaining
to this city to the address above.

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