Starkenburg Castle, built in 1065 on Schlossberg mountain above Heppenheim’s picturesque old town, is one of the oldest castles to be found in the western Odenwald region. At first, it resembled a Roman fort, which consisted of simple wooden constructions, towers, earthworks and bulwarks. King Frederick entrusted the Archbishop of Mainz with Lorsch Abbey and Starkenburg Castle in 1232. Under the rule of the Electoral Mainz, the castle was reconstructed into a late medieval fort castle.
In 1675-1689, Archbishop-Elector of Mainz Anselm of Ingelheim pushed the castle’s reconstruction. It was designed to be a fortress complex and a place of agricultural production, storage and administration. It was designed imitating the French model. In 1765, the Mainz occupying troops were withdrawn and the castle was released to be demolished and parts of the castle fell victim to demolition. The keep of the romantic castle ruin had to be torn down in 1924 due to its ruinous state. It was rebuilt in a different design in the entrance area. The residential building was also reconstructed, however, in a modern design. Later, a further new Jugendherberge (youth hostel) was constructed up there. With 121 beds and 5 seminar rooms, it offers best conditions for a comfortable stay in romantic surroundings.References:
Křivoklát Castle was founded in the 12th century, belonging to the kings of Bohemia. During the reign of Přemysl Otakar II a large, monumental royal castle was built, later rebuilt by king Václav IV and later enlarged by king Vladislav of Jagellon.
The castle was damaged by fire several times. It was turned into a harsh prison and the building slowly deteriorated. During the 19th century, the family of Fürstenberg became the owners of the castle and had it reconstructed after a fire in 1826.
Today the castle serves as a museum, tourist destination and place for theatrical exhibitions. Collections of hunting weapons, Gothic paintings and books are stored there.