Blumenstein Castle is a castle ruin in the Palatinate Forest probably constructed in the first half of the 13th century as part of a line of defensive castles along the Alsatian border. The castle was first mentioned in 1332 in connection with knight Anselm from Batzendorf near Blumenstein. After a feud with the House of Fleckenstein in 1347, the knight was banished from the castle.
About 1350, the counts of Zweibrücken had one quarter of the castle, the House of Dahn owned the rest. Blumenstein castle was probably destroyed in the German Peasants' War in 1525. The ruin passed from the counts of Hanau-Lichtenberg to the landgraves of Hesse, then to the bishopric of Speyer and finally to the state of Rheinland-Pfalz.References:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.