Grafendahn Castle

Dahn, Germany

Grafendahn Castle belongs to the group of castles at Dahn, which also includes Altdahn and Tanstein. Although the three castles are sited next to one another on a rocky ridge, they were not built at the same time.

Grafendahn was built in 1287 by Conrad of Mursel, who was a Lehnsmann or vassal of the bishops of Speyer and a nephew of Frederick of Dahn. The castle was conceived from the outset as a so-called Ganerbenburg - a castle in which several families or family lines lived and worked at the same time. As early as 1288, there were five other heirs, besides Conrad Mursel, who included the counts of Sponheim. In 1339, Count John II of Sponheim purchased all parts of the site from the various parties concerned and thus became the sole owner.

In 1425, the castle defences were strengthened and, in 1437, when the House of Sponheim became extinct on the death of John V, it was transferred by inheritance treaty into the possession of the margraves of Baden. However its defences were not robust enough to withstand a siege by Prince Elector Frederick the Victorious; in 1462 he took the castle and had it slighted. It was clearly not rebuilt in a systematic way. In 1480 Hans von Trotha, who was already the liegeman of Berwartstein Castle, was also given Grafendahn as a fief by the prince elector, and took full ownership in 1485 through purchase. Nevertheless, around 1500, the castle was described as 'uninhabitable'.

Until 1637 the ruined castle belonged to the lords of Fleckenstein. In 1642 it changed hands again and was acquired by the tavern at Waldenburg, where it remained for about 150 years. In 1793 the site went back to the Bishopric of Speyer as Lehnsherr (liege lord), who did not enfeoff it again.

Grafendahn Castle is the smallest of the three Dahn castles and is located on the middle of the five castle rock outcrops. The development of the upper ward is rather unclear today due to its modern parapet walls. In the west of the upper ward are the striking ruins of a shield wall, that was erected facing Tanstein Castle. Parts of it have survived at its original height. It was built of rusticated ashlars. Against the shield wall there was a small palas as well as several domestic buildings.

In the lower ward, which is situated on two narrow rock terraces, several chambers, cattle troughs and a well shaft have survived. The castle museum has been house in a restored stable block

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Address

K40, Dahn, Germany
See all sites in Dahn

Details

Founded: 1287
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Hans-Werner Fähndrich (3 years ago)
Medieval castle ruins. Unique view. Easily accessible and hosted.
martin n (4 years ago)
Eine Ruine die fast wie ein Abenteuerspielplatz ist. Viel zu sehen und viel zu erklimmen, Höhepunkt ist die eiserne Leiter die etwa 8 Meter in den ehemaligen Turm führt. Wer Burgruinen mag kommt hier auf seine Kosten.
martin n (4 years ago)
A ruin that is almost like an adventure playground. A lot to see and a lot to climb, the highlight is the iron ladder that leads about 8 meters into the former tower. Those who like castle ruins will get their money's worth here.
stefano blasi (4 years ago)
Bellissime rovine, trasudano storia e fanno pensare ad altri tempi. Il panorama che si puó ammirare dalla cima della torre piú alta è a dir poco mozzafiato! Mi ha stupito che sia tutto aperto e di libero accesso, meno che un piccolo pezzo interno che non ho potuto visitare a causa del giorno (festivo). Ai piedi del castello c'è un chioschetto il quale mi ha lasciato stizzito per i prezzi dell'acqua.. 2 calici da 0,5l 5€, mettere una fontanella sarebbe stato ottimo. In conclusione, se sì sosta a Dahn per qualche giorno merita una visita!
stefano blasi (4 years ago)
Beautiful ruins, they exude history and make you think of other times. The panorama that can be admired from the top of the highest tower is nothing short of breathtaking! I was amazed that everything is open and free to access, except for a small interior piece that I could not visit due to the (public) day. At the foot of the castle there is a kiosk which left me angry about the water prices .. 2 glasses of 0.5l 5 €, putting a fountain would have been great. In conclusion, if yes, stop in Dahn for a few days worth a visit!
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