Tanstein Castle

Dahn, Germany

Tanstein Castle is one of the three castles at Dahn; the others being Altdahn and Grafendahn. Although the three castles are sited next to one another on a hill ridge, they were not built at the same time.

Tanstein is the oldest of the three castles in the group. An 1127 document refers to an Anshelmus de Tannicka as the owner or governor; as a result the castle was probably built in the early 12th century. In 1189, in a deed by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, a Henry von der Than is mentioned and the castle designated as an immediate imperial fief. In the period that followed, Ulrich of Dahn and Conrad of Dahn are named as imperial ministeriales. In 1328 the castle became a fief of the bishops of Speyer. Until 1464 there were frequent changes of ownership, which suggests that the fief was still not inheritable during this phase, but was always re-enfeoffed.

In 1512 Frederick of Dahn purchased the castle. Because he was an ally of the knight, Franz von Sickingen, he was involved in his battles against the imperial princes in southwest Germany. After Sickingen's defeat and death in 1523, Tanstein, too, fell into the hands of the victors. Its occupation by troops of the Archbishop of Trier lasted until 1544 and probably led to irreparable damage to the structure of the castle, because it was finally abandoned in 1585. In 1689, at the start of the War of the Palatine Succession, the French completely destroyed the ruins.

Tanstein Castle is located on the two westernmost rock outcrops of the Dahn castle cluster. Both were originally linked by a bridge. On the rocks today are modern parapet walls that have been rather arbitrarily added and do not give any real idea of the old castle buildings. On the western rock outcrop there were apparently domestic-like buildings, that were built against the rocks. This is evinced by putlock holes and other marks on the rocks as well as a large cistern, in which water from the roofs was gathered and stored.

The lower ward on the southern rock outcrop still shows traces of the original walls dating to the 15th century. These include the ruins of a smithy and a smelting furnace.

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Address

K40, Dahn, Germany
See all sites in Dahn

Details

Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Der Kritiker (13 months ago)
Great castle that you can explore completely independently. No entry required. The view is great. It's a shame that there isn't a picture anywhere that shows how the castle used to look.
Ralph Kleber (15 months ago)
Tanstein is one of the largest castles in the Palatinate and is definitely worth a hike. The castles Altdahn and Grafendahn stand together with Tanstein on sandstone rocks.
Tim98 N (15 months ago)
Extremely beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and by no means crowded.
leon95115 (2 years ago)
Amazing view in sunny day.. I recommend to visit this castle.. enjoy
John Muhlhauser (4 years ago)
Beautiful place for a hike. Highly recommend going
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