The Wegelnburg is a ruined castle near Schönau in the Palatinate Forest. It was founded by the Hohenstaufens in the 12th or 13th century. It had to protect the border of the Hohenstaufens’ territory. In 1272, the castle was destroyed because the castellan had committed a breach of the peace. The von Wegelnburg family rebuilt the castle.
In 1330 the Wegelnburg was pawned to the Palatinate and in 1417 it was given to the Duchy of Zweibrücken through barter. Because of the Treaty of Nijmegen the castle was destroyed by French troops under General Monclar in 1679. Owned by the Palatinate and then by Bavaria, the Wegelnburg was given to Rhineland-Palatinate and has been administered by its Castles Administration since 1963. During the restoration work from 1979 until 1982 the remains of the castle were saved and large amounts of rubble were removed.
Wegelnburg Castle was divided into three wards: a lower, middle and upper bailey, the lower bailey only being established on the western side. The internal gateway has been preserved and restored. Rock staircases, hewn into the sandstone rock, enable access to the upper ward. Niches, various timber holes, another stair and some renewed arches can be seen in the lower and middle wards.
The foundation walls on the sandstone rock are remarkable because of the smooth transition of the wall and the rock. Together with the rock caves they belong to the upper and middle bailey.References:
Sirmione castle was built near the end of the 12th century as part of a defensive network surrounding Verona. The castle was maintained and extended first as part of the Veronese protection against their rivals in Milan and later under the control of the Venetian inland empire. The massive fortress is totally surrounded by water and has an inner porch which houses a Roman and Medieval lapidary. From the drawbridge, a staircase leads to the walkways above the walls, providing a marvellous view of the harbour that once sheltered the Scaliger fleet. The doors were fitted with a variety of locking systems, including a drawbridge for horses, carriages and pedestrians, a metal grate and, more recently, double hinged doors. Venice conquered Sirmione in 1405, immediately adopting provisions to render the fortress even more secure, fortifying its outer walls and widening the harbour.
Thanks to its strategical geographical location as a border outpost, Sirmione became a crucial defence and control garrison for the ruling nobles, retaining this function until the 16th century, when its role was taken up by Peschiera del Garda.