Elmstein Castle was built in the 12th century as a Palatine castle in order to guard the route through the valley. The feoffees held the title of Schenk, a German aristocratic title that originally meant cup bearer. The castle occupied by the Electorate of the Palatinate. Between 1220 and 1230, the lower curtain wall was built. Emperor Louis IV of Bavaria ceded the castle to his cousin, the Count Palatine. From 1419 to 1437, the castle was occupied by Count John V of Sponheim. In 1466, the castle was enfeoffed by Frederick I the Elector, to Erhard of Remchingen. In 1513, in the course of changes of ownership, Henry of Pagk was given the castle as a fief. During the German Peasants' War in 1525 the castle was damaged. Count Palatine John Casimir inherited the castle in 1576. The castle was also damaged during the Thirty Years' War in 1648. In 1689, during the War of the Palatine Succession, the castle fell into a permanent state of disrepair. Since then, the castle has been in private ownership.
The remains of the parts of the original curtain walls, the palas and the shield wall are still able to be seen today.References:
Bamberg is located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz close to its confluence with the river Main. Its historic city center is a listed UNESCO world heritage site.
Bamberg is a good example of a central European town with a basically early medieval plan and many surviving ecclesiastical and secular buildings of the medieval period. When Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, became King of Germany in 1007 he made Bamberg the seat of a bishopric, intended to become a 'second Rome'. Of particular interest is the way in which the present town illustrates the link between agriculture (market gardens and vineyards) and the urban distribution centre.
From the 10th century onwards, Bamberg became an important link with the Slav peoples, especially those of Poland and Pomerania. During its period of greatest prosperity, from the 12th century onwards, the architecture of this town strongly influenced northern Germany and Hungary. In the late 18th century Bamberg was the centre of the Enlightenment in southern Germany, with eminent philosophers and writers such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and E.T.A. Hoffmann living there.
Bamberg extends over seven hills, each crowned by a beautiful church. This has led to Bamberg being called the 'Franconian Rome'.