The exact building year of Stahleck castle is not known, but it has been proved that the castle was already occupied since the year 1095. It's first mentioned in documents in the year 1135 under Goswin von Hochstadt. Until 1148 almost 10 years of fight followed for the rights of the Stahleck.
In the year 1156, after the death of Hermann of Stahleck, his stepbrother Konrad von Hohenstaufen became count palatine of Bacharach on the Rhine river. The town of Bacharach, which is situated on the castle mountain, became center and residence of the originating palatine territory on the Rhine river. Castle Stahleck, which was originally the most farthest southern situated property of the Cologne bishops, was assigned from the emporer Barbarossa to his brother Konrad in the year 1190.
In the Thirty Years' War, in year 1644, as the Catholic party banished the French out of the town with 250 cavalries and 450 Cologne foot soldiers, these fled into the castle Stahleck. Colonel of Nievernheimb, commander on the fortress Ehrenbreitstein, let the castle Stahleck near Bacharach at the Rhine river thereupon be fired at without occupying it. Th restoration was made in 1666 by the elector count palatine Carl Ludwig.
Between January and May 1689 the Stahleck castle was exploded by the french troops from Ludwig XIV. 237 years it was in a ruins, until the crown prince of Preußen bought the area in 1828. Rhine river society accomplished restoration work in 1909 and 1910.
Starting at the end of 1965 until May 20, 1967, the youth hostel was further constructed on the castle Stahleck. Thereby the in the substructure still original roman Bergfried of the castle Stahleck with abated wall strength was newly roofed and furnished with new walls. Today it expresses the picture of a medieval castle with different construction phases and is one of the most well-known youth hostels.References:
Sweetheart Abbey was a Cistercian monastery, founded in 1275 by Dervorguilla of Galloway in memory of her husband John de Balliol. His embalmed heart, in a casket of ivory and silver, was buried alongside her when she died; the monks at the Abbey then renamed the Abbey in tribute to her. Their son, also John, became king of Scotland but his reign was tragic and short. The depredations suffered by the Abbey in subsequent periods, have caused both the graves to be lost. The abbey, built in deep-red, local sandstone, was founded as a daughter house to Dundrennan Abbey; this Novum Monasterium (New Monastery), became known as the New Abbey.
The immediate abbey precincts extended to 120,000 m2 and sections of the surrounding wall can still be seen today. The Cistercian order, also known as the White Monks because of the white habit, over which they wore a black scapular or apron, built many great abbeys after their establishment around 1100. Like many of their abbeys, the New Abbey's interests lay not only in prayer and contemplation but in the farming and commercial activity of the area, making it the centre of local life. The abbey ruins dominate the skyline today and one can only imagine how it and the monks would have dominated early medieval life as farmers, agriculturalists, horse and cattle breeders. Surrounded by rich and fertile grazing and arable land, they became increasingly expert and systematic in their farming and breeding methods. Like all Cistercian abbeys, they made their mark, not only on the religious life of the district but on the ways of local farmers and influenced agriculture in the surrounding areas.
The village which stands next to the ruins today, is now known as New Abbey. At the other end of the main street is Monksmill, a corn mill. Although the present buildings date from the late eighteenth century, there was an earlier mill built by and for the monks of the abbey which serviced the surrounding farms.