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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Details

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

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Martin Jirverus (2 months 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 months 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!
Steve Trauba (3 months ago)
Enjoyed our visit to this castle as part of a Viking River Cruise. Guide was knowledgeable and spoke great English. There are a lot of stairs and uneven ground so if you have trouble with either, just be aware.
kathy Jennings (11 months ago)
It was truly an ancient castle. Alot of stairs. Would have loved to see more of the castle interior
John Story (12 months ago)
Guided tour. Not glitzy. Good information. Helpful guide. Oldest intact castle in region. Some climbing required. Mask demanded.
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