Gutenfels Castle

Kaub, Germany

Gutenfels Castle was built in 1220. It was used with Pfalzgrafenstein Castle in the middle of the Rhein and the fortified town of Kaub on the far side to provide an impenetrable toll zone for the Holy Roman Emperor until Prussia purchased the area (1866) and ended this toll in 1867.

This castle, primarily owned (since 1257) by the Falkenstein family, is one of the most important examples of the Hohenstaufen military and house construction style at the Rhine. Since 1277 it has been a castle of the Electorate of Palatinate. After an unsuccessful siege in 1504 by landgrave Wilhelm from Hessen, the castle was renamed Gutenfels (solid rock). Rebuilt between 1889 and 1892 it is now used as a hotel.

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Address

Schlossweg 16, Kaub, Germany
See all sites in Kaub

Details

Founded: 1220
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tom Reitz (2 years ago)
❤️
Chay RM (2 years ago)
Beautiful from the outside... but unfortunately it seems not to be open to the public
Lisa Branum (3 years ago)
Absolutely loved this place !!
Julian Steiner (3 years ago)
Mega schöne Burg. Leider in Privatbesitz also nicht leicht zu besichtigen. Aber sieht mega aus bin selbst schon hochgewandert.
Chip Elliott (4 years ago)
Actually spent the night here in April 1997. Beautiful views ... my daughters loved it.
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Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.