Pfalzgrafenstein Castle

Kaub, Germany

Pfalzgrafenstein Castle is a toll castle known also as 'the Pfalz'. This former stronghold is famous for its picturesque and unique setting. The keep of this island castle, a pentagonal tower with its point upstream, was erected 1326 to 1327 by King Ludwig the Bavarian. Around the tower, a defensive hexagonal wall was built between 1338 to 1340. In 1477 Pfalzgrafenstein was passed as deposit to the Count of Katzenelnbogen. Later additions were made in 1607 and 1755, consisting of corner turrets, the gun bastion pointing upstream, and the characteristic baroque tower cap.

The castle functioned as a toll-collecting station that was not to be ignored, as it worked in concert with Gutenfels Castle and the fortified town of Kaub on the right side of the river. A chain across the river forced ships to submit, and uncooperative traders could be kept in the dungeon until a ransom was delivered. The dungeon was a wooden float in the well.

Unlike the vast majority of Rhine castles, 'the Pfalz' was never conquered or destroyed, withstanding not only wars, but also the natural onslaughts of ice and floods by the river. Its Spartan quarters held about twenty men.

The island of the castle was used for the Rhine crossing by 60,000 Prussian troops under Blücher in the winter of 1814 in his pursuit of Napoleon.

The castle was acquired by Prussia in 1866, and toll collections ceased in 1867. It continued to be used as a signal station for the river boat traffic for about another century. In 1946, the castle became property of the State of Rheinland–Pfalz.

The State eventually turned 'the Pfalz' into a museum and restored the color scheme of the baroque period. The museum reflects the conditions of the 14th century, and the visitor will not find modern amenities such as electricity or a lavatory. It is accessible to the public via a ferry service from nearby Kaub as long as river conditions permit.

The area is part of the Rhine Gorge, a World Heritage site.

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Address

Rheinuferstraße 4, Kaub, Germany
See all sites in Kaub

Details

Founded: 1326
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Yasser Ashfaq (3 years ago)
Romantic Pfalzgrafentein castle in the middle of River Rhine. Built by king Ludwig the Bavarian in 1326 . It's purpose was to collect the toll and never for residence purpose. It is one of the many romantic castles, along the Rhine river.
Bas Idsinga (4 years ago)
Very beautiful and elegant castle.
Roger Engellenner (4 years ago)
A majestic old castle resting on the Rhine River is a beautiful sight to see and was 1 of highlights of my adventure whilst I was in Germany.
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