Rabenstein Castle

Ahorntal, Germany

Rabenstein Castle is a former high medieval aristocratic castle in the municipality of Ahorntal in the Upper Franconian county of Bayreuth. The spur castle may be visited for an entrance fee.

In the vicinity of Rabenstein Castle there used to be several other castles: on the opposite side of the valley is the suspected site or burgstall of Brunnloch or Rabenloch, a little further up the Ailsbach valley once stood the castle of Ahorn, the present day hamlet of Klausstein, opposite it is probably the site of Hohenloch Castle above Ludwig's Cave, down the valley lies the Alte Veste and in the village of Oberailsfeld there was once another small fortification, Ailsfeld Castle on a rock in the valley. Towards the west, above the valley of the Wiesent, stands Rabeneck Castle, a fortification probably founded by the Rabensteins.

The oldest parts of the castle were built in the first quarter of the 12th century as a residence in the Barony of Waischenfeld. At the same time the ministerialis family of Rabenstein, who were the builders of the castle and bore the raven on their coat of arms, were recorded as being in the service of the barons of Waischenfeld. In the early 13th century, the outer ward was expanded. During the following centuries ownership and occupancy of the castle changed hands several times. Its occupants included the House of Schlüsselberg and its lords, the burgraves of Nuremberg. In 1450 the castle was destroyed in the First Margrave War and in 1489 was rebuilt by Conz of Wirsberg.

In 1557 the castle went to the von Rabensteins who had ambitions for the nobility and bought back their family seat. Daniel of Rabenstein remodelled the castle in 1570, the old outer ward being merged with the inner ward.

During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was again completely destroyed by imperial troops, because its lord, Hans Christoph of Rabenstein, aligned himself with the Swedes. After the war between 1648 and 1728 a few small buildings and a farm were re-established.

In 1742 the von Rabensteins died out and the castle went to the counts of Schönborn-Wiesentheid, who revamped the ruins in 1829/30 for a royal visit by Ludwig I.



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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Moist April (11 months ago)
Amazing, if you can go during the medieval market weekend, always worth it
Adam Middleton (15 months ago)
The room we stayed in was average but good enough what you would expect from a older style hotel reception was friendly, please understand the this is an older style castle/house so you won't want to bring a lot of luggage as there is no elevators.
Andreas Freibert (2 years ago)
Very nice location in the Franconian Switzerland with a friendly staff. Offers a vast program featuring live events, dinner and whiskey tastings. Lot's of hiking activities around.
Christine Brodsky (2 years ago)
We decided to stay at Burg Rabenstein for one evening in a trip around Germany, and it was well worth the stop. The castle and its grounds were beautiful. There is a local cave and falconry on-site; however, they were both closed for the winter (we visited in November). Even so, we were able to take advantage of the local hiking trails around the castle, which we thoroughly enjoyed. A free tour of the castle is included with your reservation booking, which was informative and enjoyable. The tour is in German. Hotel staff were incredibly welcoming and made our visit very enjoyable. The room was very large, clean, and offered a huge soaking tub. The room was a bit noisy - you could hear everything in the hallways and rooms above/below. However, that wouldn't deter us from visiting again. Breakfast was free and included a nice spread of meats, cheeses, granola, yogurt, various coffees, and eggs made to order. There was a dinner murder-mystery performance the night we stayed; however, it was already booked up. The concierge suggested two local restaurants, one of which was right down the road and had amazing food. Overall, we loved our visit and look forward to staying here again on our next trip to Germany.
Timothy Leggett (2 years ago)
Beautiful castle. There are a lot of wonderful views around the area. The people in the castle were very kind and helpful. It is in a remote location, so be prepared to find entertainment for yourself or be willing to drive. Also, a lot of the onsite activities do not happen in Mondays which limits what you can do.
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