Schadeck Castle is the most recent and smallest, but still most interesting of the four Neckarstein castles. It is perched on the high mountain like a bird's nest, which is why it is, in fact, called the 'Swallow's Nest'. After Ulrich II (1236-1257) inherited the 'front castle' from his father Ulrich I and another son joined the clergy, Bligger V, the third son, was forced to build a new castle. However, there was no more room on the mountain ridge where the other castles stood and thus he had to erect it downstream from the front castle on the slopes of the rocky massif that drop steeply to the Neckar River. This location must have caused enormous difficulties during the construction. To save the level ground for the castle complex and provide it with a frontal ditch as protection against the mountainside, a large chunk of the steep rock face had to be hewn out.
The castle itself stands on a rocky basement and appears to literally grow out of the mountain. Along the top of the high curtain wall, the most likely place to be attacked, runs a covered wall-walk with little towers on both sides. They command a panoramic view of the Neckar River valley and the impressive walled town of Dilsberg. Visitors to the castle today walk along a path from Neckarsteinach, which leads through the former frontal ditch. Earlier access was by way of a steep serpentine path from the Neckar. Today the ruin is the property of the state of Hesse and was recently restored at great cost. It can be viewed at any time free of charge and the curtain wall can be climbed.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.