Falkenburg Castle is a castle ruin overlooking the village of Wilgartswiesen. It was probably built in the 11th century as a successor to the nearby Wilgartaburg and to protect the adjacent villages. In the documents of Archbishop Erkinbald of Mainz, letters dating to 1019 describe a rock outcrop called the Falkenstein considered as the most northerly border belonging to the principality of Kaiserslautern. Werner I of Bolanden is thought to have begun construction of the castle on this rock in 1125; he was a vassal of Duke Frederick II of Swabia. At the Bolanden family monastery in Hane were records of Sigbold of Falkenstein in 1135; he was one of the first to take the name of the castle for himself. Then in 1233 the imperial ministerialis, Phillip IV of Bolanden, was the first to clearly say that he was from Falkenstein in a legal document.
A Werner of Falkenburg is mentioned among legal documents dating from 1290. From 1300 to 1313 the castle was enfeoffed to Frederick IV of Leiningen. Then in 1317 it was given in fee to Counts Palatine Rudolph II and Rupert I by Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor. In 1375, Emich V of Leiningen became the owner of the castle and in 1398 the fiefdom of Falkenstein became its own county.
From 1420, the Bolanded/Falkenstein lineage died out and the counts of Virneburg took over the castle until 1456 when it went into the possession of the counts of Dhaun-Oberstein. In 1458, the Duke of Lorraine took over and became the high feudal lord. The Falkenburg survived the German Peasants' War of 1524–1525. In 1545, with the fall of the empire the House of Austria took over under the charge of the Austrian government in Freiburg.
During the 30 Years' War the castle was captured, first by Spanish troops in 1631, and then again by Swedish troops in 1632, before being finally retaken by troops from Lorraine. The castle was demolished by the French Marshal Schönbeck in 1638. The entire region of Frankenweide was administered from Falkenburg until the castle was destroyed, when it was then moved to Wilgartswiesen. Restoration work on the castle was carried out in the 1930s and 1970.
The bergfried occupied an area of 6.8 by 7.2 metres. Its walls were 1.8 metres thick and its remains 2.5 metres high. The ruins include a cistern, a gatehouse, a rock chamber, living quarters (a palas) and further wall remnants on the castle rock.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.