Lichtenstein Castle is a Gothic Revival castle built in the 1840s. Historically, there has been a castle on the site located at the Albtrauf, above the source of the river Echaz since around 1200. It was twice destroyed, once in the Reichskrieg"s War of 1311 and again by the city-state of Reutlingen in 1377. The castle was not reconstructed and subsequently fell to ruin. It is today known as Burg Alt-Lichtenstein.
A new castle was built c. 1390 around 500 m away from the ruin, in the location where today"s structure stands. After 1567 it lost its role as a lordly seat and fell into disrepair.
In 1802, the land came into the hands of King Frederick I of Württemberg, who dismantled the ruins of the castle and built a hunting lodge there. In 1837, the land was bought from King Wilhelm I of Württemberg by his cousin Duke Wilhelm of Urach, Count of Württemberg, who, inspired by Wilhelm Hauff"s novel Lichtenstein, added the current castle in 1840–42. The romantic Gothic Revival design of the castle was created by the architect Carl Alexander Heideloff. In 1842, the castle was inaugurated in the presence of the king.
Today, the castle is still owned by the Dukes of Urach, but is open to visitors. The castle contains a large collection of historic weapons and armour.
The romantic design of the castle inspired several other buildings. The design of the castle at Lietzow was based on Lichtenstein. Likewise, the house known as 'Leckzapfen' in Osthofen took its cue from Lichtenfels. A Cape Town businessman, Reynier Fritz, who was well known in advertising circles, first saw the 19th-century Schloss Lichtenstein in the land of his ancestors, and decided to one day replicate it in Hout Bay. He was able to start building in 1986 and 12 years later it was completed. He eventually turned it into a guest house before he died there. Sometime after his death, his widow, Christine, sold it to an overseas buyer.References:
Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.
Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.
It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.
Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.
Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.
The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.
The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.
With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.
Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.