Eisenberg Castle Ruins

Pfronten, Germany

Eisenberg Castle is a medieval hilltop castle ruin north of Pfronten. Eisenburg Castle was built in 1313, when the nobles of Hohenegg, deriving from the West of the Allgau, were deprived by force of their castle, Loch, by the Tyrolean. In consequence, they moved a few miles further north to establish their new lordship of Eisenberg which centered round a new castle. To visualize their power towards Tyrol/Austria, which held the closely sited castle of Falkenstein, Peter of Hohenegg decided to build Eisenberg in a most impressive manner: he placed it on top of a high mountain and surrounded the main castle with an exceedingly high curtain wall which gave the impression of a huge tower. The two residential houses together with the kitchen and chapel leaned against the inside of the curtain wall. The ground to the south of the main castle was covered by the outer castle, with access to the main castle from the east; later to be walled up, but still visible.

In 1382 the nobles of Hohenegg sold their castle to Austria, which by then was a more reliable partner than anybody else around. In 1390 Austria made Frederic of Freyberg constable of the castle whose eldest son built the neighbouring castle of Hohenfreyberg in 1418-32. Though the defences of the castle were strengthened around 1500, the castle was conquered without any effort in 1525 in the course of the German Peasants' War by local peasants who damaged the castle badly.

Nevertheless the castle was rebuilt ten years later in a sumptuous way by Werner Volker of Freyberg after receiving high compensation payments from the peasants. He improved the living luxury immensely by erecting a new stair tower and adding a bakery, a bath and several mured toilets to the curtain wall. Also the main castle got a new main gate towards the west.

The end of the castle came on the 15 September 1646, shortly before the end of the Thirty Years' War, when the Austrians burnt their own castles of Eisenberg, Freyberg and Falkenstein in a policy of scorched earth. in the 1980s the 'Burgenverein Eisenberg' and the community of Eisenberg restored the fabric and established a small museum in the center of Zell.

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Address

Pfronten, Germany
See all sites in Pfronten

Details

Founded: 1313
Category: Castles and fortifications in Germany
Historical period: Habsburg Dynasty (Germany)

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mon Sno (17 months ago)
Amazing view and the restaurant offers really delicious food
Steffen Jeschke (2 years ago)
Nice view and a good hike for the afternoon
Matthias Wagner (2 years ago)
Excellent view. Nice restaurant nearby.
James van der Moezel (2 years ago)
You can walk up via the fully paved road from the lower parking area. It took around 40 minutes with a pram. The way up to the ruin is stairs and you’ll have to leave the pram at the hotel. The castle is open despite what other reviews say. It’s 4 walls with a lookout platform at the top. Well worth it if you like history, ruined castles, or views.
Zachary ruf (2 years ago)
Spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. I recommended hiking up from one of the parking areas. You can stop and see the mountain statue on your hike. It is stunning. The former castle on top is also beautiful.
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Cochem Castle

The original Cochem Castle, perched prominently on a hill above the Moselle River, served to collect tolls from passing ships. Modern research dates its origins to around 1100. Before its destruction by the French in 1689, the castle had a long and fascinating history. It changed hands numerous times and, like most castles, also changed its form over the centuries.

In 1151 King Konrad III ended a dispute over who should inherit Cochem Castle by laying siege to it and taking possession of it himself. That same year it became an official Imperial Castle (Reichsburg) subject to imperial authority. In 1282 it was Habsburg King Rudolf’s turn, when he conquered the Reichsburg Cochem and took it over. But just 12 years later, in 1294, the newest owner, King Adolf of Nassau pawned the castle, the town of Cochem and the surrounding region in order to finance his coronation. Adolf’s successor, Albrecht I, was unable to redeem the pledge and was forced to grant the castle to the archbishop in nearby Trier and the Electorate of Trier, which then administered the Reichsburg continuously, except for a brief interruption when Trier’s Archbishop Balduin of Luxembourg had to pawn the castle to a countess. But he got it back a year later.

The Electorate of Trier and its nobility became wealthy and powerful in large part due to the income from Cochem Castle and the rights to shipping tolls on the Moselle. Not until 1419 did the castle and its tolls come under the administration of civil bailiffs (Amtsmänner). While under the control of the bishops and electors in Trier from the 14th to the 16th century, the castle was expanded several times.

In 1688 the French invaded the Rhine and Moselle regions of the Palatinate, which included Cochem and its castle. French troops conquered the Reichsburg and then laid waste not only to the castle but also to Cochem and most of the other surrounding towns in a scorched-earth campaign. Between that time and the Congress of Vienna, the Palatinate and Cochem went back and forth between France and Prussia. In 1815 the western Palatinate and Cochem finally became part of Prussia once and for all.

Louis Jacques Ravené (1823-1879) did not live to see the completion of his renovated castle, but it was completed by his son Louis Auguste Ravené (1866-1944). Louis Auguste was only two years old when construction work at the old ruins above Cochem began in 1868, but most of the new castle took shape from 1874 to 1877, based on designs by Berlin architects. After the death of his father in 1879, Louis Auguste supervised the final stages of construction, mostly involving work on the castle’s interior. The castle was finally completed in 1890. Louis Auguste, like his father, a lover of art, filled the castle with an extensive art collection, most of which was lost during the Second World War.

In 1942, during the Nazi years, Ravené was forced to sell the family castle to the Prussian Ministry of Justice, which turned it into a law school run by the Nazi government. Following the end of the war, the castle became the property of the new state of Rheinland-Pfalz (Rhineland-Palatinate). In 1978 the city of Cochem bought the castle for 664,000 marks.