Altenburg castle is perched on top of Bamberg's highest hill and is one of Bamberg's major landmarks. The castle was first mentioned in 1109 and was used at this time as a refuge. In the 14th and 15th centuries it served as a richly furnished residence for Bamberg's bishops, but was almost completely destroyed in 1553 by margrave Alfred Alcibiades von Brandenburg-Kulmbach in the second margrave war.
The only remains of the medieval construction are the 33 metre keep from the 13th century and parts of the surrounding wall. An iron basket hangs from the upper section of the tower which was used to send fire signals to Giechburg castle near Scheßlitz, 20km away.
In the Romance period, Altenburg was rebuilt. E.T.A. Hoffmann retreated to one of the wall towers in 1812, to which the 'Hoffmannsklause' restaurant in the new building of the former palace (1901/02) owes its name. The terrace commands a panoramic view of the episcopal town and the surrounding region.
The restaurant was formed after the takeover by the 'Altenburg club'. The premises were located as it is today in the cultivation of the gatehouse. The kitchen, a vaulted room was built in 1834. In the last quarter of the 19th Century the premises has been newly decorated. Lippel family took over the restaurant in 1972.References:
Krickenbeck moated castle is one of the oldest on the lower Rhine. Its history dates back to the year 1104, when the castle was first mentioned. It is unclear why the old castle, which was certainly inhabited by Count Reginar, was abandoned or destroyed. In the mid-13th century the castle was moved to the current location. At the end of the 14th century the new castle belonged to the Counts of Kleve.
Johann Friedrich II of Schesaberg converted the castle into a Baroque mansion between 1708-1721. On September 7, 1902, a fire destroyed the entire mansion. From 1903 to 1904, a three-winged castle was built in the Neo-Renaissance style. Today Krickenbeck is a conference center.