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:
The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.
The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.
There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.
In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.
After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.
The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.
Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.
Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.
Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.