Marksburg Castle

Braubach, Germany

Marksburg as the only undamaged hilltop castle in the Middle Rhine Valley. In the early 12th century records mention the Noble Freemen of Brubach (who probably built the lower part of the keep around 1117), even though the castle itself is first referred to in 1231. The Lords of Eppstein built the Romanesque castle complex with its triangular layout, characteristic of the Staufer era. The Eppsteins were amongst the most powerful families at that time; four of them were archbishops and electors of Mainz, and one of them held the same position in Trier.

The castle was bought by Count Eberhard II of Katzenelnbogen (1283). These counts belonged to one of the wealthiest lineages in the Rhineland - one of the countesses of Katzenelnbogen was the mother of King Adolf of Nassau. The counts of Katzenelnbogen built the Gothic part of Marksburg Castle, giving it its striking form. When the last Count of Katzenelnbogen died in 1479, the castle passed to the Landgraves of Hesse, through the marriage of the heiress Anna to Heinrich of Hesse. Marksburg Castle was turned into a hill fortress with artillery batteries and ramparts (this work mainly carried by John 'the Belligerent').

When the old German empire broke up in 1803 the castle passed into the hands of the Duchy of Nassau. During this period our castle was only used as a home for disabled soldiers and as a state prison. As a result of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 the castle was taken over by Prussia. Now it was used as apartments, but it was in danger of falling into decay because the administration did not seem to have done much against it.

In the year 1900, with the help of Kaiser WilheIm II, theGerman Castles Association was able to purchase the Marksburg for the symbolic price of 1,000 Gold Marks. This was done on the initiative of professor Bodo Ebhardt, privy court planner and architect in Berlin, who carried out extensive restoration of the castle.

Today this castle houses the headquarters and offices of the German Castles Association (DBV), whose main task is the protection and preservation of castles and stately homes. The association's impressive specialist library, comprising over 25,000 volumes plus records on castle history is now housed in the Philippsburg, also located in Braubach. The castle is open to the public around the year.



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Founded: c. 1117
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Salian Dynasty (Germany)


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Geo-T Pav (2 years ago)
OMG, this is a must do tour, if it is not misting or raining because the walking surfaces are uneven, and can be moderate - for those over 55 years of age, and less nimble. The various rooms shown have a lot of detail and show life in a Kingdom during a period many castles built in the same area. If you go, try to go in the morning as in the summer months it can be cooler. I hope you enjoy your visit as much as I did, and watch your step.
Angela Rexwinkle (2 years ago)
We arrived at 2:30, and the English guided tour started at 3:00. The tour guide was wonderful! You get to see most of the castle, and the history is fantastic. Great for our 6 and 10 year old girls. The inside of the castle was cool and it was mostly out of the sun. This was our favorite castle experience.
Johann Nielsen-Sperb (2 years ago)
A beautiful castle with a nice tour. Took the tour which was around 11 euros. It was very informative and had plenty of variety in the rooms and castle layout. Highly recommend it if you enjoy medieval history. The tour was offered in either English or German at different times.
Martin Jirverus (2 years ago)
We took a tour in German an was not informed that an English tour was scheduled 30 minutes later. The tour of the castle took little over one hour and was very interesting if you like history and old castles. Very bad walkways and not always something to hold on to.
Divya Nidadavolu (2 years ago)
Absolutely gem of a place! We walked along the riverside from Lahnstein to the castle and what an amazing experience it was. We bought the tickets with the English tour and were very satisfied by the end of it. We would spend time from one room to another for a short period of time but had a detailed narration about it's history. Would definitely visit it again!
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