Hohenburg castle was first mentioned in 1146 by the Counts of Homburg. They gave their name to Homburg, the district capital and university town which lies at the foot of the castle, and which was granted town status by Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian in 1330. After the death of the last Count of Homburg in 1449, the castle and town fell to the Counts of Nassau-Saarbrücken.
In the second half of the 16th century, Count Johann IV of Nassau-Saarbrücken refashioned the castle into a Renaissance palace as his seat of residence and made it more secure. In the years from 1680 to 1692, King Louis XIV commissioned his fortress builder, Vauban, to build up the palace and town into a strong fortress.
After the peace treaties of Rijswijk and Baden, the fortress was razed in the years 1697 and 1714. There were two gate systems in the mighty fortress wall. The market square enclosure and the road system also originate from this period.
Since 1981, the impressive ruins of the castle and fortress have been uncovered by extensive excavations and restored. The site is easily accessed along well-signposted walking trails. From the North bastion, the rock plateau is reached by a spiral staircase. There is an impressive view over the upstream plain of the city including Kaiserstrasse, which was named after Napoleon. The caponier takes you to the first ravelin and from there onto the glacis, which today is laid out like a park.
Below the ruins of the Hohenburg Castle there are Europe’s largest man-made mottled sandstone caves. Over twelve floors of mysterious corridors lead to impressive domed halls.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.