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 In 1765, the Mainz occupying troops were withdrawn and the castle was released to be demolished and parts of the castle fell victim to demolition.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:
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.