Folk tales and old Moselle-area historiographies allege that Burg Bischofstein began as the palace for the Holy Bishop Nicetius (527-566). The current Bischofstein castle was probably built in 1270. Archbishop Arnold II. Heinrich von Bolanden bought the half-completed Burg and paid for the rest of the construction himself in 1273.
It is said that in 1552 Markgraf Albrecht von Brandenburg attempted, without success, to besiege Bischofstein. This is, however, undocumented. The Thirty Years' War negatively affected the Moselle. For example, on October 26, 1631, Louis XIV left the nearby village of Münstermaifeld destroyed. Despite this, a detailed visitor log in the Burg's chapel from 1680 indicates that Burg Bischofstein endured the war without damage. In 1688, during the War of the Grand Alliance, Louis XIV sent troops to weaken the Palatinate following its refusal to ratify the Truce of Regensburg. These French troops succeeded in destroying Burg Bischofstein in 1689.
In 1794 the French annexed part of the Rhineland and the French regime liquidated many of the Church's possessions because they were seen as French national property. The ruins of Burg Bischofstein, which at that time belong to the St. Castor monastery in Karden, were treated as such. They were sold at a state auction to the winemaker Nicolaus Artz on September 29, 1803.
In 1824 it was reported that a house with seven inhabitants was built at the site of the ruins. After this the ownership of the ruins is unknown. Until 1880 the castle lay in ruins. At this time the Burg belonged to the Bienen family from Rheinberg. On 11 April 1930 the heirs sold the castle to a businessman from Darmstadt named Erich Deku, who wanted to rebuild the castle for use as a summer home. It was not reconstructed, but used the preserved walls newly erected. In order to achieve this, builders had to create a pathway for construction vehicles. This partly required rock blasting. Deku furnished the Burg with an extensive art collection. Below the castle, he discovered a polyptych from 1530.
The reconstruction that stands today was completed by the Neuerburg family from Trier in 1938. Aenny Neuerburg bought the Burg at auction when bankruptcy proceedings against Deku were opened in 1936. The entire art collection was included in the offer. From 1941 to 1946 the Burg served as a sanitorium for soldiers and as a hospital and refugee safehouse under the leadership of Aenny Neuerburg. Mrs. Neuerburg's son Raymond then took over the leadership position and with his family operated a hostel for foreigners. Today, Burg Bischofstein is a designated and protected historical spot; not as an 800 year old castle, but as an example of the architectural style of the 1930s.
Every year, Classes 5-9 and 11 from Fichte Gymnasium travel to Burg Bischofstein. Schools all around Germany also visit the Burg. During vacations the Burg is used predominantly by vacationing groups.References:
Château de Falaise is best known as a castle, where William the Conqueror, the son of Duke Robert of Normandy, was born in about 1028. William went on to conquer England and become king and possession of the castle descended through his heirs until the 13th century when it was captured by King Philip II of France. Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840 it has been protected as a monument historique.
The castle (12th–13th century), which overlooks the town from a high crag, was formerly the seat of the Dukes of Normandy. The construction was started on the site of an earlier castle in 1123 by Henry I of England, with the 'large keep' (grand donjon). Later was added the 'small keep' (petit donjon). The tower built in the first quarter of the 12th century contained a hall, chapel, and a room for the lord, but no small rooms for a complicated household arrangement; in this way, it was similar to towers at Corfe, Norwich, and Portchester, all in England. In 1202 Arthur I, Duke of Brittany was King John of England's nephew, was imprisoned in Falaise castle's keep. According to contemporaneous chronicler Ralph of Coggeshall, John ordered two of his servants to mutilate the duke. Hugh de Burgh was in charge of guarding Arthur and refused to let him be mutilated, but to demoralise Arthur's supporters was to announce his death. The circumstances of Arthur's death are unclear, though he probably died in 1203.
In about 1207, after having conquered Normandy, Philip II Augustus ordered the building of a new cylindrical keep. It was later named the Talbot Tower (Tour Talbot) after the English commander responsible for its repair during the Hundred Years' War. It is a tall round tower, similar design to the towers built at Gisors and the medieval Louvre.Possession of the castle changed hands several times during the Hundred Years' War. The castle was deserted during the 17th century. Since 1840, Château de Falaise has been recognised as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
A programme of restoration was carried out between 1870 and 1874. The castle suffered due to bombardment during the Second World War in the battle for the Falaise pocket in 1944, but the three keeps were unscathed.