Neuleiningen Castle

Neuleiningen, Germany

Neuleiningen Castle was built in 1238-1241 by Count Frederick III of Leiningen. The French destroyed it in 1690 and it has lain in ruins since that time. Together with, Battenberg Castle, 1,400 metres to the south, the castle controlled the entrance to the Eckbach valley. Passing between various lines of the family, the castle remained the property of the Leiningens for over 200 years. In 1468, Prince-Elector Frederick the Victorious of the Palatinate became involved in inheritance disputes amongst the Leiningens and seized possession of the castle by force. In 1508, after passing through several intermediate arrangements, an agreement was reached: the castle would be divided between the Bishopric of Worms and the counts of Leiningen-Westerburg.

In 1525, during the Peasants' War, the castle was opened to the rebellious farmers without a fight and, having been hosted by Countess Eva (1481–1543) in a friendly and generous way, the farmers left without causing great damage. Local poet, Paul Münch, described this historical episode in his Palatine poem Die Gräfin Eva vun Neileininge. Even in Thirty Years' War the castle only suffered minor damage.

During the War of the Palatine Succession, however, invading French troops razed the entire site in 1690. Its two owners, Leiningen-Westerburg and the Bishopric of Worms, could not agree to rebuild the castle in the period that followed – Leiningen being for, and Worms being against, the idea. In 1767, Charles of Leiningen-Westerburg finally sold the Leiningen half to Worms.

In the wake of the French Revolution the castle ruins were seized by secular authorities and passed in 1804 into the hands of the municipality of Neuleiningen, who, sold it just four years. In 1874, Charles Emich of Leiningen-Westerburg bought it back again for his family.

From the observation tower of the castle there is an outstanding view of the Upper Rhine Valley to the east, the mountains of the Palatinate Forest to the south and west and the massif of the Donnersberg to the northwest. Near the castle is the Old Vicarage (Alte Pfarrey), which was first recorded in 1524 and which houses a gourmet restaurant today.



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Founded: 1238-1241
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Hohenstaufen Dynasty (Germany)

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Padraig Seif (8 months ago)
Fantastic location for views of the Rhine valley. Also for open air concerts and festivals.
Gator Wick (9 months ago)
Just stopped by after seeing it from the road. It was closed, but I took some pics.
Emil Antony (2 years ago)
The castle itself was not much of a view but the area/village around it was simply beautiful. Entrance to the castle ruins is free. Car parking is just in front of the castle with limited parking or around 10-15 cars. But there’s enough parking place just before the castle as well. The village around the castle is a must visit. There were old traditional half timbered houses which added to the beauty of the village. Public toilets are also available just next to the castle.
Danielle Cummings (2 years ago)
Sweet little ruin that is worth a visit if you're in the area. We came on a June weekday (2 adults, 3 kids ages 5,3,1.5y) and unfortunately weren't able to explore the whole thing due to setup for a concert. But the main courtyard and the primary tower gave us a fun 20 minutes, and then the exterior of the castle has a "playground" (with a single spring seat ride) and a walkout to a lookout point which has a mediocre view, as a few picnic tables. There was a restaurant right at the front of the castle which looked wonderful but we didn't eat there. We parked at Parkplatz Berghohl, which was about 5 minutes walking at preschooler pace, and the walk brought us past a few wineries where I wish we could have lingered. There was a parking lot immediately in front of the castle but it seemed restricted. May go back outside of Burgsommer to see if we missed anything, and maybe even check out one of the concerts during! There were free clean bathrooms in the small building on the right as you walk up to the castle from the street.
Alex Westrope (3 years ago)
Lovely day spent in this idyllic setting. Love how the village has been built around this ruin. Brillant views across vineyards and woods from the castle wall.
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